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Top 10 Red Wines for Making Sangria

red wine sangria in pitcher and glasses

When it comes to crafting a stellar batch of sangria, the choice of red wine is crucial. You want a red wine that brings a perfect blend of fruity flavors and just the right level of sweetness to the mix. It’s like the secret ingredient that sets the stage for a tantalizing sangria experience. 

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Whether you lean towards robust, full-bodied reds or prefer something a bit lighter and more easygoing, there’s a red wine out there, ready to elevate your sangria game. So, grab a bottle of your favorite red, and let’s dive into the delightful world of creating the ultimate sangria!

Pinot Noir

World of Pinot Noir 2016 Tenley Fohl Photography 1600x1066
source: worldofpinotnoir.com

Pinot Noir is an excellent choice for a delightful twist on traditional Sangria. Its light to medium-bodied profile, vibrant red fruit flavors, and subtle earthiness complement the refreshing nature of this fruity cocktail. The Pinot Noir brings forward notes of cherry, raspberry, and hints of spice, infusing the Sangria with a sophisticated depth. Pairing harmoniously with citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, as well as sweet additions like apples and strawberries, Pinot Noir adds a refined complexity to this classic drink recipe.

Malbec

Malbec
source: bordeaux.com

Malbec, a full-bodied red wine, boasts rich flavors of dark fruits like blackberry and plum, along with hints of cocoa and tobacco. With its rich and fruit-forward characteristics, Malbec is a fantastic choice for sangria. Its flavors of ripe blackberries and plums lend a luscious sweetness to the drink. Malbec pairs exceptionally well with vibrant fruits like oranges and cherries, enhancing the juiciness and complexity of the sangria. Its smooth tannins and medium acidity create a well-rounded base, allowing other ingredients to shine.

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Tempranillo

Tempranillo
source: vinovest.co

Tempranillo, a classic Spanish red wine, delights with flavors of ripe cherry, plum, and leather. Known for its smoothness and earthy profile, Tempranillo adds depth and sophistication to sangria. Its flavors of red berries, cherries, and a hint of spice complement the fruity notes of the drink. Tempranillo pairs beautifully with citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, creating a delightful balance of flavors. The medium tannins and moderate acidity of Tempranillo contribute to a velvety texture in the sangria. Also, the lingering finish of Tempranillo adds a touch of elegance to the overall drinking experience, making it a perfect choice for those seeking a refined and satisfying sangria.


Zinfandel

Zinfandel
Source: zinfandelic.com

Zinfandel, a bold and robust red wine, bursts with flavors of blackberry, raspberry, and pepper.  Zinfandel’s robust and jammy character makes it a superb choice for sangria. Its flavors of ripe berries, black cherries, and hints of pepper add an intense and fruity dimension to the drink. Zinfandel pairs wonderfully with fruits like blackberries and raspberries, enhancing their sweetness and adding a touch of complexity. Its medium tannins and moderate acidity provide a solid structure to the sangria.


Syrah

Syrah
source: domainesfrancoislurton.com

Syrah, a complex and full-bodied red wine, showcases a captivating blend of dark fruit flavors, black pepper, and smoky undertones. Syrah’s flavorful and spicy nature makes it an ideal candidate for sangria. Its flavors of blackberries, plums, and black pepper contribute richness and depth to the drink. Syrah pairs exceptionally well with citrus fruits like oranges and limes, creating a vibrant and zesty flavor profile. The firm tannins and medium-high acidity of Syrah provide a robust backbone, ensuring a well-balanced and satisfying sangria experience.


Cabernet

Cabernet
source: trefethen.com

Cabernet, a renowned and esteemed red wine, entices with flavors of blackcurrant, black cherry, and hints of vanilla and cedar. As a full-bodied red wine, Cabernet Sauvignon brings intensity and complexity to sangria. Its flavors of blackcurrants, black cherries, and hints of cedar impart depth and richness to the drink. Cabernet pairs harmoniously with fruits like blackberries and pomegranates, adding a touch of sophistication to their sweetness. The firm tannins and vibrant acidity of Cabernet create a structured foundation, making it an exceptional choice for a bold and elegant sangria.

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Sangiovese

Sangiovese
source: ottoettari.com

Sangiovese, an enchanting red wine hailing from Italy, showcases vibrant flavors of cherry, cranberry, and herbs. As the namesake suggests, Sangiovese is a natural fit for sangria. With its bright red fruit flavors, such as cherry and strawberry, Sangiovese adds a soothing and lively touch to the drink. It pairs beautifully with citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits, enhancing their tanginess. Sangiovese’s moderate tannins and medium acidity contribute to a well-rounded and approachable sangria, perfect for sipping on warm summer days.


Shiraz

Shiraz
source: shirazathome.com

Shiraz, a bold and powerful red wine originating from Australia, impresses with its dark fruit flavors, spicy notes, and hints of chocolate and eucalyptus. With its distinctive and powerful character, Shiraz brings richness and complexity to sangria. Its flavors of blackberries, black plums, and spices add depth and intensity to the drink. Shiraz pairs wonderfully with fruits like blackberries, blueberries, and figs, enhancing their sweetness and adding layers of flavor. The robust tannins and moderate acidity of Shiraz create a robust and structured sangria that leaves a lasting impression.


Garnacha

Garnacha
source: garnachagrenache.com

Garnacha, a delightful red wine known for its fruity and spicy character, offers a burst of flavors including red berries, black cherry, and hints of black pepper. Known for its ripe and fruity profile, Garnacha (Grenache) is a fantastic choice for sangria. Its flavors of red berries, cherries, and a touch of spice contribute to a vibrant and juicy sangria. Garnacha pairs well with fruits like strawberries, raspberries, and peaches, adding a delightful sweetness to the drink. The low tannins and medium acidity of Garnacha create a smooth and easy-drinking sangria, perfect for enjoying with friends and family.


Merlot

Merlot
source: sutterhome.com

Merlot, a classic and crowd-pleasing red wine, enchants with its velvety texture and flavors of ripe plum, blackberry, and a touch of cocoa. Merlot’s soft and velvety characteristics make it an splendid addition to sangria. Its flavors of ripe plums, black cherries, and hints of chocolate bring a smooth and elegant touch to the drink. Merlot pairs wonderfully with fruits like raspberries, blackberries, and cranberries, enhancing their natural sweetness and adding a luscious complexity. The gentle tannins and moderate acidity of Merlot create a supple and well-rounded sangria, inviting you to indulge in its delightful flavors.

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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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