All summer I have I wanted to serve a Sangria option at M6. For me, Red Texana was the obvious choice to use as the base wine. Although not a Rioja, Red Texana is sweet, fruity and hearty. When I first tasted it, Sangria came to mind.
I worked on developing the tasty version of my mentally concocted Sangria. Tasting and testing to derive a flavor profile that exists only in one’s mind is quite challenging. Hundreds of recipes are readily available on the internet. Many are similar and tasty. However, I had my own quest for taste and clarity.
The blending and tasting process for Sangria is much like blending and tasting varietal blends. You have to spit. Spitting is not natural for me. However if you don’t spit, after a few you get dizzy. Tasting over.
I considered questions such as how much alcohol should M6 Sangria contain? Some Sangrias are 7% alcohol and some are 12%+. Which is better? High alcohol tastes stronger and packs a punch, low alcohol tastes like fruit punch, but you can drink more without adverse effect. More orange taste or less? How much lemon is appropriate? “Who’s on 1st? What’s on 2nd?”
Taste, slurp, breathe, spit. Repeat. Taste, slurp, breathe, swallow, realize that you should have spit. Spit out nothing. Repeat again.
Mix, taste, add, mix, taste again (don’t forget to spit). Add more of something, too much? Taste. Repeat. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. (…not really, I don’t HAVE to do any of this. I just like to say that).
Next thing you know you have gallons of some concoction that you can’t duplicate. The notes are blurred because of spilled wine. You have to start over later. All of your pitchers are full, so you pour it all out for a fresh start. After a respite and with new found clarity of mind, you realize that the spilled wine did not blur your notes. It blurred your vision. You just wasted a lot of Sangria. I refer to such as research expense.
Over time, our efforts were rewarded with our initial recipe. Although we use natural fruit juice, clarity is an issue for me that I will continue to work to improve. Locating and blending the right ingredients is a fun and rewarding pursuit. We will keep trying to improve upon the formula.
M6 Sangria is a cold, refreshing option. It is fruity and thirst quenching. Sangria reminds me of summertime outdoor gatherings with friends and family. Barbeques and hamburger cookouts come to mind with the kids playing croquet on the back lawn. Summertime can get rather hot here in East Texas, but maybe our Sangria in the shade can help neutralize it a bit.
With encouragement and tasting assistance from others at M6, a recipe was finalized. We introduced it to our Tuesday Night gathering and it was well received. I hope you enjoy it too.
A contest to develop a White or Tropical M6 Sangria is under consideration. Look for details soon!