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Fruit-infused sangria sheds cheap persona

SangriaWine lovers are always on the lookout for ideas for summer sipping, and sangria may be the drink.

The fruit-infused wine is going through a bit of an image makeover, shedding its cheap and sweet image to emerge as trendy, refreshing and premium. These ready to-drink bottles not only offer the taste of traditional recipes but are also available in innovative and shockingly refreshing styles. I recently tasted a few and found a couple worth filling an ice-cold pitcher.

When I saw the accolade of “Most Chillable Red” by NBC’s Today Show for Slices sangria, it had my attention and the tasting research began. Slices sangrias are made in Spain where sangria originated and has been shared around dining tables for hundreds of years. Slices’ recipe is from seasoned winemaker Miguel Gurpide, whose enjoyment of sangria dates back to his boyhood memories of these fruit-infused wines served at dinner in the summer. The grapes are local Spanish varieties blended with all-natural fruit juices.

Eppa SupraFruta Sangria also received great reviews. It was created by a group of friends who loved the mixture of superior wine and real fruit. They wanted a way to simply pour and enjoy premium-quality sangria. They use wine from California’s Mendocino County and have a strong emphasis on certified organic brands. The fruit is also organic and the blends for the red boast a few well-known powerhouse antioxidants of pomegranate, blueberry, blood orange and acai juice.

With more and more consumers interested in something different, something sweet and something with a nod at healthy, the new image of Spanish sangria may be worth a taste.

  • 2012 Eppa SupraFruta Red, California (about $12 retail)
  • 2012 Slices Red Wine Sangria, Spain (about $12 retail)
  • 2012 Slices Rose Wine Sangria, Spain (about $12 retail)
  • 2012 Slices White Wine Sangria, Spain (about $12 retail)