White Wine Sangria RecipeIngredients:1 bottle chilled Moscato d’Asti1 bottle chilled good rosé wineFruit and fresh herbs—choose from the following that you find at your local farmer’s market (the amount is a suggestion—not a rule. You can’t mess this up!):* 1 orange, sliced in half—cut into 3 circles, and then in half (6 pieces)* 3 apricots, chopped into ½-inch pieces* 3 plums, sliced into ½-inch pieces* 2 nectarines or peaches (white or orange, or one of both), sliced into wedges (eighths)* 1 pear, cored and cut into ½-inch slices* 1 apple* 2 handfuls of green or white grapes* 10 cherries, plus more for garnishing each glass* 10 strawberries, plus more for garnishing each glass* Fresh mint or basil leaves to garnish (optional)Directions:Mix all of the ingredients, put it in the fridge covered for an hour and serve. Don’t leave the mixture in the fridge too long or you will lose the bubbles. To prepare in advance, cut up all of the fruit and just pour in the chilled wines an hour before guests arrive.Bonus tip: Don’t throw out the fruit when you’ve finished the wine. You can place the fruit in a bowl with lemon sorbet on top, garnished with fresh mint. Or put the fruit in a pan, add a “glug” of Moscato if you have, cover and cook over medium low heat for 45 minutes. Serve à la mode.
Sangria isn’t as easy as it looks. Made well, it is a mouth-enlivening sensory experience formed by the perfect marriage of good wine’s earthy notes and the sweet acidity of juicy fruits.At worst, it is a hangover in the making that doesn’t quit. I’ve been there.The first sangria I attempted was for my own going away party in Rome, circa 1997. Raquel, a Spanish friend of mine whom I met in language class several years prior, had told me how to make sangria: red wine, fruit, lemon soda and vodka. My head hurts just writing those words. I ruined my own party for myself. The headache I think came with the first sip. I have no idea if any other Spaniard in the world would agree with her sangria recipe, but I learned a very valuable life lesson from that experience: Do not add sugar—or lemon soda, which is filled with sugar—or vodka to red wine.Sometimes it is only through a downfall that one rises to great heights. After that party, I think I made a secret pledge to erase the disaster by bringing forth a perfect sangria to share with the world. It took me 15 years, but here it is.This sangria is perfect because it uses Moscato d’Asti, a favorite light bubbly Italian dessert wine, mixed with a dry rosé to create a crisp blend of wines that is just sweet enough and just strong enough. The color of the mixture reflects the summer sun’s rays, and once the fruit is added, you will be serving a work of art.Once you add the fruit to the wines, just step back to let the quality of the ingredients radiate their innate goodness.