So with our spread, we wanted to go two different routes. We knew that we wanted to do red Sangria (and what Spanish meal would be complete without it?) and also a classic Spanish white wine. We weren’t totally sure what wine to choose, because we had cheeses pretty high in acidity, as well as a shrimp and olives. We chose a classic Albariño.

Albariño is a wine made in the Rías Baixas region, in the northern part of Spain. In the cool, sea regions of this area, white grapes do really well. Albariño is a DO (Denominación de Origen) protected wine, so the way it is made is regulated which makes it pretty consistent. The northern part of Spain, Basque country is close to France, and what’s interesting is that the grapes in this region are compared to the grapes used to make French Viogner as far as taste profile (although Albariño is lighter).  The wine has a lot of fresh fruit flavors – pears and apricots, green apple –  slight (slight) sweetness, and is very light and drinkable. It went well with fish (our gambas), and paired well with the acid in the goat cheese we selected, as well as provided a little sweetness for the blue cheese that we served. Overall, it worked really well.

So on to Sangria. We love Sangria in my house (note my addiction to sugar). This is a failsafe recipe that is amazing for parties. Why do we love it so much? It’s partially because of the fresh fruit, and partially because of the sweetness that makes us drink one too many.  Sangria is derived from the word sangre, meaning blood. Yep, not sure why folks back then wanted to drink something they called “blood,” but regardless, it’s delicious to us. A cheap red table wine is typically used in this mixture. And when I say cheap, I mean it. I find that it really doesn’t make a difference and why waste good money on a wine that you will completely change by adding other stuff to it? Truly good sangria doesn’t have an obvious wine flavor anyways – it takes on a new flavor.


  • 2 bottles of Spanish Red Table Wine
  • 1/2 cup triple sec
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup simple syrup (1/2 cup of sugar dissolved in 1/2 cup of boiling water)
  • Mixed diced fruit: blackberries, apples, oranges. You can add whatever you want. Apples and oranges are most common.

Mix all ingredients. Seal tightly and chill for 24 hours.