Fall under the spell of this provocative punch.
Rio Grande Winery: A Spanish Tradition
From its humble roots in Spain to being tasted in the United States, at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York, sangria has grown to become a popular, refreshing party drink around the world.
Whilst stationed in Europe, Gordon Steel, the owner here at Rio Grande Winery, was fortunate to travel down to Spain where he stumbled across the magnificent beverage. His first sip ignited one of the first ideas he embarked on in his winery venture. That was that, he had to offer up something as magnificent as this to appease the parched palates of the ever dry New Mexico.
Sangria is based on a traditional wine punch popular across Europe for hundreds of years. Going back even further in time, hippocras was a well-documented drink concoction enjoyed in the Middle Ages. Sangria is traditionally a red wine punch made primarily with rioja and other Spanish red varietals, but it can also be made with white wine. In the south of Spain, sangria is often called zurra, and this version is created with peach or nectarine.
So after many “tastings” of sangria, Gordon realized he had to bring this back with him and ultimately fuse the fruit and wine aspects together. Thus today, we are graced with Rio Grande Winery’s signature peach, cherry and limonada sangrias. Sexy, sweet and dangerous, it’s the perfect drink for any occasion.
Written by Nathan Blair
Nathan has been working in the wine industry in South Africa and the US for eight years, covering all aspects from wine making and production to marketing, sales and events management.
Stop in to Rio Grande Winery to meet him and Gordon and to sample their three delicious varietals of sangria.
NM Vintage: Your New Passion
At NM Vintage Wines in Mesilla, the house-made sangria is the drink of choice to sip on their outdoor patio just steps from the Mesilla plaza. For those who prefer a dryer wine, their versions are a bit less sweet that some of the others found around town. Check in regularly; they change up their sangria offerings weekly with fresh flavors like white mango and berry red.
Want to mix up a batch at home? NM Vintage options up this light and fruity favorite that’s perfect for the season.
Summer Passion White Sangria
1. Mix together two bottles of your favorite types of white wine. We recommend one a little sweeter and one a little more dry, so you can make everyone at the party happy.
2. Kick up the flavor a bit by adding in ¾ cup of apricot juice and another ¾ cup of peach juice. We like to use versions without added sugar.
3. Taste to see if you need to add any additional sugar. If you do prefer it sweeter, add in about a ¼ cup of white sugar at a time, stirring and tasting along the way. Remember you can always add more sugar and make it sweeter, but you’ll be hard pressed to make it less sweet.
4. Throw in chunks of your favorite summer fruits. We like strawberries, cantaloupe, melon, grapes, peaches, and watermelon. (If you have leftovers, strain it and replace the fruit after one day, especially if you used things with rinds like oranges and limes.)
5. Serve it up as is over ice or get creative and make it your own. Make it sparkling by adding in club soda or Sprite if you want a bit more sweetness. (Add soda to glasses as you serve. You’ll lose carbonation as the party progresses if you mix into the whole batch.) Or, throw in fresh sprigs of lemon verbena or mint from your garden.
2 More Sangrias To Sip On
At Salud! de Mesilla (1600 Avenida de Mesilla, saluddemesilla.com), find oversized servings of made-to-order sangrias with flavors like white peach, red watermelon, and fresh berries. Enjoy on one of their two outdoor patios for the full summer experience.
Pair your favorite pizza or pasta dish with a glass of Luna Rossa Winery & Pizzeria’s (1321 Avenida de Mesilla, lunarossawinery.com) signature sangria for $6 or take the bottle home for $17 and serve as the label suggests with “spicy Mexican or Chinese foods.”