Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sangria Time!

Ah, spring is here and it's beautiful! It seems that the flowers and greenery have been more vibrant here in Atlanta. It's the kind of weather that's makes you want to grill out, play outside and sit out an patio and sip icy drinks while basking in the sun (and pollen). A few weeks ago, I was asked along with some fellow Southern food bloggers to review a boxed sangria that's new to the market here in Georgia. It's called Beso del Sol (which means "kissed by the sun"). Let me tell you, the timing of this little sangria experiment couldn't have been more perfect. Sangria and spring go quite well together. I've had the box for at least four weeks, have carried it to a couple of get-togethers and have sipped it on my front porch. And it's still going!

Here's what I liked about this particular sangria:
  • It's boxed for easy to transport.
  • It keeps up to 6 weeks, so no need to guzzle it all (unless you just want to) for fear of it going sour.
  • It's actually made in Spain with good quality Tempranillo wine.
  • It's 100 percent natural with no fake flavors or colors.
  • It's sweet, but not too sweet.
  • It tastes more like sangria you would make yourself -- not the usual bottled fare.

Serving Tips
Add fresh fruit and serve over ice for an authentic sangria experience. It also pairs really well with Spanish tapas. I had the pleasure of visiting Spain several years ago (before kids, obviously) and almost everywhere you go you find jamón y queso. It is true that Spaniards have a national love affair with ham and cheese. Fortunately, it's easier than ever to find imported Spanish cured meats and specialty cheeses here in the United States. Look what I found at two of my favorite stores: Costco and Trader Joe's.

Spanish cheese selection from Costco; Spanish ham from Trader Joe's.

I recently took these to a neighborhood potluck and they were a huge hit. Throw some cheese, cured ham, olives and Marcona almonds on a platter. Combine with Beso del Sol sangria, and you have magic. Happy spring, everyone! What are drinking, cooking or eating? I would love to hear from you.

Disclaimer: In the interest of full disclosure, Beso del Sol provided me with a sample of their product but did not pay me to review or endorse their product.

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