THE SPANIARDS have
known for centuries
that spring is the perfect time for sangria,
the refreshing wine
punch. More and more
people here in the
States are catching on.
This spring crowd-pleaser has returned to
Costco for its seasonal rotation, making it
a perfect beverage as the weather warms up.
As popular as this fruity beverage has
become, its origins are difficult to identify.
According to the SAGE Encyclopedia of
Alcohol, some of the earliest versions were
prominent in Spain. The name “sangria” is
believed to come from the Spanish word
sangre, which means “blood,” referring to
the dark red color.
In ;;;;, the European Union passed
legislation to establish that true bottled
sangria comes only from Spain and
Portugal. As for the U.S., the drink began
its rise in popularity after the ;;;; World’s
Fair in New York.
Fruity and full of flavor
Today, there are many variations of
sangria, but the original recipe called for
red wine, sugar and fruit juice, along with
spices and sliced fruit. “As a child, I remember gatherings with my grandfather, uncles
and family friends drinking sangria in our
backyard while having lively discussion on
the family recipe,” says Alberto Orte, a
Spanish winemaker who is the creator of
Kirkland Signature™ Sangria.
During these festive family affairs,
everyone would help prepare the
thirst-quenching beverage. “One would cut
the fruit, another poured the wine and a
different person would add the sugar and
spices,” Orte recalls. “Each individual would
have his or her own special recipe or twist
on the beverage, which made the gatherings
fun and interesting.”
Kirkland Signature Sangria is made
Refreshing wine punch is
perfect for casual get-togethers
from the red grapes monastrell (the Spanish
version of mourvèdre) and bobal (a native
Spanish grape known for its dark, spicy
notes), with a touch of syrah. Once the base
wine is complete, stabilized and filtered,
the wine is transferred to a large stainless
steel tank. “The most important piece of the
blend is choosing the grapes for your base
wine,” notes Orte. “Spanish varietals that
are fruity and full of flavor are the perfect
match for the Kirkland Signature program.”
The next step is steeping a large bag
containing a proprietary blend of herb,
fruit, spice and floral parcels in the wine
for four to eight weeks, until the desired
flavor intensity is reached. Each batch is
analyzed to ensure consistency. The blend
is refreshing, balanced and low in alcohol.
You can make sangria in your own
home. An abundance of recipes can be
found on the internet, from complex to
simple. Always start with good-quality
Spanish red wine as your base; after that,
the key to a great sangria is to experiment,
using a variety of ingredients and an array
of fruit to mix the drink to your liking.
One variation is white sangria, using a
dry Spanish white wine. Use fresh fruits
such as lemons and limes, and throw in a
couple of lychees for a tropical touch. To
kick up the spice level, toss in a cinnamon
stick; a mint leaf brings additional freshness. Once you have settled on your recipe,
simply pour the delicious result over ice and
garnish with fruit.
Whether you choose to purchase
Kirkland Signature Sangria or try your
hand at mixology, this easy-to-drink spring
treat is fitting for most casual get-togethers.
Marinated olives, tart manchego cheese,
marcona almonds, decadent Spanish jamón
and a refreshing pitcher of sangria are perfect accompaniments for a warmer-weather
Spanish fiesta. Salud C
Annette Alvarez-Peters oversees Costco’s beer,
wine and spirits program.
HERE’S ONE of wine buyer Romar
Nichols’ favorite spring drinks: the
Romar’s Fizz. It’s an effervescent cock-
tail, heavy on Costco ingredients and
incredibly easy to make: Just mix equal
portions of Kirkland Signature Sangria
and Kirkland Signature DOCG Prosecco.
The Romar’s Fizz is a refreshing drink with
crisp acidity and flavors of orange, red
berries and Mediterranean spices.—AAP
Romar’s Fizz Romar’s Fizz a s
OUR DIGITAL EDITIONS
Click here to watch a “Quick & Easy”
video on making the Romar’s Fizz.
(See page 9 for details.)
FOR YOUR TABLE