Summer, summer, summertime… time to sit back and unwind! Each June, the lyrics of this 90’s pop song flow through my mind (you can thank me later for passing along that melody, ha ha!) and I am ready to spend my days relaxing poolside and evenings picnicking with family and friends. Realistically, my days and evenings are still filled with farm chores, but when I do find time to unwind, I love to have a refreshing drink to sip on hand, like this delicious Strawberry Mint Sangria. It’s fabulous to share or just to pour a glass and watch the sunset at the end of a long, hot day.
Every good sangria starts with a great wine. One I recently discovered that adds a terrific base, or is ideal on its own, is Sterling Napa Valley Chardonnay. Perfect for grilling season (pair with some grilled shrimp or fish,) this 2013 Napa Valley Chardonnay flaunts rich, golden character with ripe fruit and flagrant oak spices. Sun-kissed apple, peach, lemon curd and caramel are lifted by a bright citrus and flanked by toasty spices. The barrel contribution leaves a honey and almond impression across the finish. This elegant, full-bodied Chardonnay can stand up to seafood and grilled meats alike.
When you start your sangria with a wine you already enjoy, the results are generally very favorable! Adding in fruit and herbs that you normally gravitate towards adds the little extra you are seeking when putting together a terrific drink. As the Sterling Napa Valley Chardonnay already has a lovely citrus note, I decided to capitalize on that with my recipe and also added in two of my all-time favorite early summer flavors of strawberries and mint. They are not only in season right now, they are an excellent pairing and the flavors blend in well with a citrus-wine base.
If you prefer a red sangria, you can swap in Sterling Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon instead or try it on your next batch for a new flavor blend experience. Sterling Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has intense aromas, led by toasty oak and spice, unfold with layers of cardamom, cedar, dark chocolate and anise over briary fruit. Velvety, plush and round, the palate delivers style and sophistication with enjoyable, rewarding accessibility. Layers of red fruit, brown sugar, and black licorice are joined by chocolatey tannins that melt into a long finish. The cooler vintage left a lift of acid that makes it perfect for pairing with food and fruits.
Whatever way you wish to serve it up, sit back, take a delightful sip and unwind!
Strawberry Mint Sangria
1 bottle of Sterling Napa Valley Chardonnay
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
1 orange, sliced or 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
4 sprigs of fresh mint
4 ounces spiced rum
Pour wine into a large pitcher.
Add rum, gently stir to mix.
Add mint, strawberries, and orange.
Chill in refrigerator overnight.
Serve chilled, enjoy and as always, drink responsibly! May be served over ice, if preferred.