Have you ever wondered about the best wines for sangria?
From rosé to merlot, there are plenty of options. But really, there are no wrong answers!
How to Choose a Wine for Sangria
Sangria is a delicious make-ahead party drink that’s full of flavor, super simple, and insanely versatile.
And one of the key ingredients is (usually) wine.
Red sangria is probably the most recognized. And that’s down to the red wine in the mix.
But you can add all kinds of wine to make sangria light, bubbly, sweet, or tart.
So, what are the best wines for sangria? Let’s find out!
Rioja (ree-yo-hah) comes from the Rioja region of Spain, where wine has been made for almost a thousand years. So I’d say they know what they’re doing.
Plus, Sangria was first bottled in Rioja in the 1960s. This helped lead to the beverage’s worldwide popularity.
So if you want a classic sangria, it’s got to be Rioja.
It’s sweeter than other types of red wine and pairs especially well with brandy or rum.
Recipe: 750 ml Rioja, 1/2 cup Cointreau, 1/4 cup brandy – apples, grapefruit, oranges, and limes (sliced or quartered), cranberries, ice
Malbec wines come from different areas of the world. So, the flavor profile varies greatly depending on where you are.
For example, Malbec wines are sweet and berry or plum-forward in Argentina. However, in France, Malbec tends to be more peppery and acidic.
Since this wine is pretty dry, it makes a beautiful option for sweet sangria.
Recipe: 750 ml Malbec, 1/2 cup tonic water, 1/2 cup simple syrup, 1 teaspoon cinnamon – oranges and limes (sliced or quartered)
When I think of Merlot, I’m reminded of dark luscious fruits. Think black cherries, blackberries, raspberries, or plums.
This wine also tends to have some dessert-like undertones like chocolate or vanilla.
Though you can sometimes find them with herbal notes as well.
Since Merlot has a lot of fruity flavors, it pairs well with fresh fruit and berries. It makes a wonderful sangria and can be enjoyed any time of year.
Recipe: 750 ml Merlot, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup Cointreau, 1 cup brandy, 3 cups citrus soda – fresh strawberries, lemon, peach, and orange slices
Lambrusco wine is Italian and has a history of over a thousand years.
It’s fruity but is available in both dry and sweet varieties. The flavors of a Lambrusco remind me of berries and rhubarb.
When making sangria with Lambrusco, know it’s going to be sweet. So be sure to add citrus to balance it out.
Recipe: 750 ml Lambrusco, 2 cups orange soda, 1 cup sparkling water, orange slices
Garnacha wine, also known as Grenache, is very popular in Spain and France.
It’s a fantastic option for your next sangria pitcher with its natural fruit flavor and low tannins.
This wine also comes in sweet and dry versions but dry is my preference for sangrias.
Regarding fruit, I suggest adding berries like strawberries, raspberries, and black cherries.
Recipe: 750 ml Garnacha, 1/2 cup brandy, 2 tablespoons maple syrup – orange and lemon slices, seasonal fruit
Rosé is made with red grapes, but the fermenting time is lessened. That’s why it’s lighter in color than a deep red.
Just like the visual color of Rosé, the flavor is also much lighter than that of red wine. This makes it great for a light summery sangria.
It pairs well with a lot of different fruits. Try it with citrus fruit, berries, or both!
Recipe: 750 ml Rosé, 1/3 cup brandy, orange slices, 2 tablespoons sugar, mint leaves, and sparkling water (for serving)
Chardonnay is a white wine that can have lots of different flavor profiles.
Depending on where it is made, Chardonnay can range in flavor from apple to pineapple.
It tends to be a drier, medium to full-bodied wine with moderate acidity. It’s a smooth wine to add to sangria and can easily be paired with many fruits.
Recipe: 750 ml Chardonnay, 1/2 cup fruit juice (depending on the wine flavors), 1/4 cup brandy, 1/4 cup peach schnapps – orange, peach, lime, and strawberry slices
Tempranillo wine gets its name from the fact that the grapes ripen early in the season. “Tempranillo” is the Spanish word for “early”.
This wine is often a bit spicier than others and has low sugar content. It’s lovely when blended with other wines in a sangria.
Adding sweet orange juice is also a great choice for a tempranillo sangria.
Recipe: 750 ml Tempranillo, 1 cup pomegranate juice, 1 cup citrus soda, 3 ounces brandy, 1/2 cup orange juice – apple and orange slices
9. Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir isn’t often used for sangria because it carries a hefty price tag. However, if you don’t mind the budget, it sure is a tasty choice!
Pinot Noir grapes are grown in France, and they can be pretty fickle. But they produce a super smooth and dry wine that’s truly delicious.
This wine is quite spicy, balancing fantastically with sweet fruity flavors.
Recipe: 750 ml Pinot Noir, 1/2 cup Triple Sec, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup agave nectar, 3 cups sparkling wine – orange, apple, and peach slices
10. Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc is a flavorful, full-bodied wine with grapefruit and grassy notes.
It’s a white wine that’s high in acidity and pairs well with other flavors. The crisp and fresh flavors taste scrumptious with fruit and citrus juices.
It’s super refreshing and will keep party guests smiling.
Recipe: 750 ml Sauvignon blanc, 1/4 cup apple brandy, 1/4 cup sugar – lime, lemon, apple, and peach slices, fresh strawberries
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