If you are hosting a good-sized crowd for Thanksgiving and want to try and steer them away from the hard stuff until you bring out the fine wine at dinner time, you may want to consider this spin on Sangria from my go-to resource, Epicurious.com. It can be made ahead, you can use pretty plastic punch cups (so no cocktail glasses to wash), and you can display it in your prettiest bowl far away from the kitchen, so there’s no one going back and forth to the refrigerator for drinks and getting in the way in the kitchen.
When you are picking a red wine to use in this sangria you don’t want to use a cheap red wine that you wouldn’t drink on its own, but you don’t need to break the bank either. Some great choices are:
- Pinot Noir – A perfect “go-to” choice that’s light with up front fruitiness
- Garnacha (Grenache) – generally lower tannins, rich red fruits, great acidity
- Tempranillo – notes of black cherries, blackberries, and cola. Choose those labeled “Crianza” or “Joven” to avoid a heavily oaked flavor
- Primativo / Zinfandel – rich, jammy fruits, accented with spice and floral notes
- 3 cups pomegranate juice (or 1/2 pomegranate – 1/2 cranberry)
- 3 – 3″ cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1 (4″) piece peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup), divided
- 1 (750-ml) bottle red wine
- 1 Bartlett pear, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/2 cup spiced rum (Captain Morgan)
- 1 (750-ml) bottle pear or apple sparkling cider
Bring pomegranate juice (and cranberry juice if using), cinnamon sticks, allspice, and one-third of ginger to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook 10 minutes, then remove from heat and let steep 10 minutes.
Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher, reserving cinnamon sticks. Add wine, pear, pomegranate seeds, rum, cinnamon sticks, and remaining ginger and stir to combine. Cover and chill at least 4 hours.
To serve, fill pitcher or punch bowl with ice and pour sangria over. Top with cider. #GirlsGoneWine
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