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Posts tagged ‘rose wine’

Rosé Sangria with Apple Brandy and Agave

Spanish or Portuguese Sangria, is why I love summer. Most often it is made with Spanish Rioja’s,which are typically lighter bodied, dry, acidic, and inexpensive. However, there are other wines that work well in this recipe such as French Gamay or Beaujolais, and even Italian wines such as Dolcetto or Bardolino. Unfortunately most of us are familiar with this wine punch labeled blankly on a drink list as “white or red sangria” without much detail on the wines or spirits used. This is due in part to lack luster ingredients on one hand and on the other hand because the sacred recipes of generations past is a “secret”. Since almost anything made at home will be fresher and healthier for you, I seldom order sangria out, unless vacationing in Spain or Portugal then do as the Romans do by all means!

The inspiration for this sangria comes from my sheer adoration of rosé. Surprisingly  I have yet to see this grace the menus of restaurants around town, but I’m sure they will catch on soon enough. I chose a bottle of highly acidic rosé from a region in France known as Chinon in the Loire Valley. Loire Valley wines are known for being high in acid with crisp citrus fruit flavors, perfect for sangria. I also skipped sugar in favor of agave syrup to keep it light and I used an apple brandy called Calvados instead of standard brandy with a few dashes of two types of bitters to round out the sweetness. Fresh fruits will be key to this recipe so don’t be afraid to pick different seasonal fruits from your local market or farm stand.

Rosé Sangria

Rosé Sangria with Apple Brandy & Agave

1 bottle french rosé

4 oz Calvados (apple brandy)

1 oz Grand Marnier Cognac

1/2 oz Blood Orange Bitters

1/4 oz Peach Bitters

1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup agave syrup

1 ruby grapefruit, peeled and cut into wedges

1 orange sliced into thin rings

1 lime sliced into thin rings

1/4 cantaloupe cut into chunks

1 granny smith or pink lady apple thinly sliced

1 yellow peach pitted, and thinly sliced or cubed

Combine all the ingredients in a pitcher or large wide mouth jar and stir to combine. (Note: If you can store it in the refrigerator for a few hours or over night the flavors will only intensify.) Pour into a clear glass and top off with a few ice cubes, a splash of sparkling water and garnish with a sprig of mint!  However, you can skip the sparkling water which is more traditional of the Spanish & Portuguese sangria… Enjoy!



The long summer days and warm summer nights we have been enjoying here in New York have me thinking about summers past. When I spent a summer up in Napa while working at a winery, we had lots of friends who wanted to visit. We would grill and play bocci ball in the yard, drinking chilled wine and laughing. Occasionally it would be too hot to grill so I want to share one of my favorite recipes for backyard parties ~ sans grill. Whip this up the day before so you can enjoy a cold glass of rosé with your friends!

summer salad


(serves 4 people)

1 bunch asparagus (sliced and blanched)

1 cup peas thawed (blanched if fresh)

1 cup snap peas or fava beans (blanched & shelled if fava)

5-8 leave of fresh basil sliced into thin ribbons

5-8 leaves of fresh mint sliced into thin ribbons

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

Zest of one lemon

Juice of half a lemon

Drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil

A few cracks of fresh pepper

Good pinch of salt

0.3 LB Pecorino Foja De Noce (or any pecorino) Sliced thin and served over the salad)

20 slices of  prosciutto

4 slice of rustic bread charred on the grill or in the oven, (you could also serve this without charring)

This salad is something that you can make either the day before or an hour before you expect people to arrive. Just let it come up to room temperature before serving.

Boil water in a large saucepan. When bubbling, blanch the fresh peas, asparagus, fava beans/ snap peas individually until bright green. Careful not to over cook them as you want them to have “snap” when cooled. Remove from boiling water and shock in ice bath until cooled, drain. Then pile them into a big serving bowl. Toast the pine nuts in a skillet over medium high heat, careful not to burn them. Remove from heat, cool the nuts and add them to the bowl.  Zest one lemon over the top of the veggies and squeeze the juice of half over as well. Drizzle some olive oil over the top and season with salt & pepper. Thinly slice the mint & basil and add to the salad. Mix to combine.

Grab a large platter or plate for the prosciutto and other charcuterie. Plate them up nicely and drizzle with a touch of olive oil salt and pepper.  Plate the cheese on a cheese board and serve it room temperature. If charring the bread, prepare it while toasting the pine nuts, otherwise serve sliced as is with olive oil to dip in.

I usually serve this with a bottle of rosé from France or a white wine from Italy like a vermentino.

Also, feel free to make lots of this salad if you want to make great left overs. Maybe grilled shrimp or calamari would be ideal for a day after compliment.