10 Best Wines For Sangria

Sipping sangria on a sunny patio might very well be the peak of leisurely relaxation. The fruity flavors with a kick make the beverage a great option in the warmer months. While ordering pitchers of it at your favorite restaurant or bar might be your summertime routine, it's simple and fun to make yourself. You'll be able to choose the wine, liquor, juice, and fresh fruit to include in your drink, making it the ultimate customized version.

There are plenty of ways to create the perfect balance of flavors, but arguably the foundation of it all is a bottle of wine — and not just any wine. For starters, avoid overly tannic wines (the type that dries out your mouth with one sip). Some grape varieties that tend to be tannic are cabernet sauvignon, nebbiolo, syrah, and sangiovese (per Decanter). Instead, look for labels mentioning fruitiness, spices, and a smooth taste, which will blend more seamlessly with the types of flavors in the fruit and the juice.

Before you run out to stock up your supplies with the cheapest boxed wine available, remember that you still want to choose a wine that complements the other flavors in your sangria (save the boxed wine for another time). While you don't have to splurge — and probably shouldn't use a top bottle you've been saving — buying a decent bottle will elevate the whole experience. Read on to discover your new favorite wine to use for your next batch of sangria.

1. Bodegas Borsao Tres Picos

Grenache wines boast a range of flavors thanks to the grape's capacity to grow in numerous regions. From Spain to France, not to mention Italy and the U.S., expect dark fruit flavors and spice notes (via Wine Folly). Bodegas Borsao is a winery in northern Spain, with vineyards sprinkled along mountainsides. With close to two-thirds of its production centered on growing grenache (locally referred to as garnacha), you can bet that the grapes are high quality.

Tres Picos is made with 100% garnacha, showcasing ripe fruits and floral flavors. Dark fruits including blackberries and plums are present in every sip, and an underlying vanilla aroma adds a softness. With smooth tannins that blend the flavors seamlessly, this wine is a perfect match with fruit.

Let yourself be inspired by the fruit presence and add your favorite fresh berries to the wine. To evoke some of the wine's spicier features, pop a few cinnamon sticks in the mixture to soak as well. Orange peels balance out the dark fruits, and a splash of cointreau or triple sec — two orange-based liqueurs — will tie it all together.

2. Sobon Estate Rocky Top Zinfandel

Zinfandel is a favorite among U.S. consumers, and it's no stranger to outdoor barbecue affairs. Similarly, using it as a base for your next pitcher of sangria is an excellent option. If you want to keep your drink potent while still adding soda or juice, Wine Folly notes that the grape often produces wines with a high alcohol level. Flavors range from jammy fruits to smoky spices, making zinfandel the perfect candidate for a mixed drink concoction.

Sobon Estate is a family-owned vineyard in California, growing sustainable vineyards and producing quality wines thanks to decades of experience with the land. The winery's Rocky Top Zinfandel showcases rich powerful flavors, with notes of dark berries, strawberries, pomegranate, licorice, and spice.

With an alcohol content of 15%, this bold wine can handle the addition of ginger ale or Sprite if you want a bubbly fix to your sangria. Alternatively, add some cranberry or blood orange juice to contrast the jammy berries, and sliced nectarines or peaches and lemons to infuse the perfect amount of sweetness and acidity. Meanwhile, a splash of port wine will highlight the rich flavors in the wine.

3. Catena Malbec

Although malbec originated in France as a dark and tannic wine, its chameleon nature soon became clear when it found its way to Argentina. Decanter describes that the South American country produces fruity, juicy wines with notes of dark plums, cherries, and blackberries. Rich yet smooth and showcasing chocolatey flavors at times, a well-balanced malbec is a treat.

While the grape can sometimes veer toward astringent, mouth-drying qualities, Catena Zapata produces a soft pleasant wine with deep flavors. Violet floral notes mingle with blueberries, blackberries, and red fruit aromas (via Winebow). The fruit-forward wine is contrasted with light cinnamon spice, vanilla, and leather.

You'll want to add a touch of sweetness to harmonize with this bold wine. A few spoonfuls of brown sugar go a long way, or for an added kick, pour in some dark rum. Alternatively, a cherry liqueur will highlight the fruit in the wine — and, of course, don't forget the fresh stuff. Blueberries, blackberries, and cherries will match the wine, or you could add some sweetness with mangos or pears.

4. Mezzacorona Di Notte

The advantage of wines made with a blend of grapes is that the winemaker has already taken care of balancing out the characteristics of the various grapes. Mezzacorona winery in Northern Italy encompasses vineyards from the mountainous Dolomites to the Mediterranean Garda Lake. This combination of climates, soils, and viticultural conditions allows a variety of grapes to flourish.

Indigenous and international varieties alike are highlighted in the wines, and Mezzacorona's Di Notte red blend demonstrates it best. Teroldego, marzemino, and merlot come together to produce flavors of currants, dark berries, vanilla, and chocolate. Juicy and bright, this wine is a perfect base for sangria.

Serve it with a splash of Sprite and orange juice to round out the deep fruit aromas. Sliced apples and your choice of berries keep the flavor fresh while highlighting the notes in the wine. A splash of brandy or port would pair well if you want to step your drink up a notch, and some cinnamon sticks and fresh ginger add a spicy nuance to create the ideal summer sangria.

5. Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau

The Beaujolais region in France is famous for its yearly release of nouveau wines. Wine Folly says the style is the fastest win in the world, and it is indeed bottled and ready to sell shortly after the end of harvest. Given the accelerated winemaking process, the flavor is incredibly fruity and juicy, often evoking unusual aromas such as bubblegum and banana. This isn't the type of wine you'll want to buy and hold on to for many months; it's primarily intended for immediate consumption.

Georges Duboeuf was at the forefront of the nouveau concept, and the brand's yearly Beaujolais release is consistent and reliable (via Pull That Cork). If you come across a discounted bottle from the previous year, it's the ideal starting point for a pitcher of sangria. And if you're purchasing it soon after it hits the market, this wine is wallet-friendly (as are most nouveau wines).

The grape used in Beaujolais — gamay — is low in tannins and great served slightly chilled. Add fresh berries to match the ripe raspberry flavors or toss in some cranberries to enhance the bright acidity. Include a bit of orange peel in your sangria to take the flavors to another level, and add some apple slices to round it all out. Meanwhile, if you want to play up the vibrant flavors, a splash of limoncello will do the trick.

6. Montes Outer Limits Sauvignon Blanc

If you're looking for a refreshing yet boozy drink for a hot summer day, white sangria is a great option. Sauvignon blanc is a deliciously zesty grape that makes fruit-forward wines with herbaceous aromas (via Decanter). Montes winery in Chile produces an excellent version from the Aconcagua Valley, a coastal region with cool climates, says Wine-Searcher. As Decanter remarks, these conditions add an element of acidity to the grapes, which means the wine will have the perfect characteristics to liven up your sangria. The Montes Outer Limits Sauvignon Blanc showcases passion fruit, grapefruit, and lime flavors that scream summer.

Fruity yet crisp and dry, this white wine could handle a wide range of mix-ins. If you're all about the citrus, combine it with lemonade or squeeze in some fresh orange or lime juice. To balance it out with a touch of sweetness, tropical aromas from pineapple or mango juice are the ideal match, and a splash of soda water or Sprite adds some welcome bubbles. Don't forget to include fresh fruit in the mix; your pick of pineapple, mango, apple, guava, peach, or kiwi would all work well. Meanwhile, if you want to highlight the herbal notes, fresh mint is a perfect way to do so.

7. Aveleda Fonte White

Vinho verde wines from Portugal are typically fresh and fruity. As MasterClass notes, the wines often have a slight fizz, adding to their vibrant properties. Although the name translates to green wine, Wine Enthusiast explains that this refers to the naturally abundant green landscape of the surrounding region, not the color. The low alcohol content is another unifying feature that makes this style of wine ideal for hot weather and perhaps even daytime sipping.

This brings us to sangria, which is often served while the sun is still high in the sky. If you want a lighter option that you can savor without quickly becoming tipsy, vinho verde makes an excellent base. Aveleda has been a leader in Portuguese wine production for over 150 years. The winery's Aveleda Fonte Vinho Verde is made with regional grapes commonly used in this style of wine. The result is a crisp and fruity wine with notes of green apple and lime.

With the alcohol content only at 9.5%, a splash of limoncello or peach schnapps wouldn't be amiss here. Or, keep it tame and add fresh lemon juice or a lemon-lime soda to enhance the aromas of the wine. While the wine is a bit fizzy, adding soda water, Sprite, or ginger ale would be a great way to amplify the bubbles. Sliced peaches or melon balance out the vibrant acidity with sweet flavors, and kiwi or pear are other great options to include.

8. Acrobat Rosé

There's a reason why rosé wine is synonymous with summertime, even though you certainly shouldn't limit yourself to consuming it only during that time of the year. While Provence in the south of France is often considered to be the pinnacle of this style of wine, other regions worldwide have plenty to offer. Acrobat Oregon Wines in, well, Oregon produces a range of wines, and it's worth taking note of its rosé.

Acrobat's rosé, according to The Foley Food & Wine Society, is made with a blend of pinot noir and pinot gris, which stands out since most pink wines are only made with red grapes (via Wine Enthusiast). The result is fresh, fruity, and bright — exactly the kind of wine you would want to have in your glass on a warm summer day. The strawberry and pear aromas mingle with floral notes, resulting in a fruit-forward wine that pairs well with the real stuff.

Chop up fresh strawberries and pears to highlight the wine's flavors, or opt for raspberries and apples for contrast. If you want to intensify the lightness, a splash of port or fruit liqueur is a great option. Bubbly rosé sangria sounds like a dream combination, so try mixing in some ginger ale or Sprite for an added punch. Skip the orange juice here and opt for lemonade if you want to add some citrus zing to your drink.

9. Medici Ermete Lambrusco Concerto

If you aren't so fond of watering down your wine to add bubbles, Italian lambrusco is the way to go. This sparkling red wine comes in several styles and hues, ranging from vibrant salmon to deep purple. Medici Ermete boasts vineyards in Northern Italy where the vibrant summers are ideal for ripening several grape varieties that fit into the lambrusco category.

The winery's Concerto wine is made with organic lambrusco salamino grapes. The result is a vibrant deep ruby red color in the glass and a full flavor in the mouth. Strawberries, raspberries, and cherries take center stage, and the fruitiness is well balanced with fair amounts of residual sugar.

You can take this wine in a lot of directions if you are transforming it into sangria. For one, if you want to emphasize the rich and intense fruity flavor, a splash of port wine will do wonders. Alternatively, dark rum adds a caramel note on the palette, while peach schnapps would liven it up with a sweet touch. Blood orange juice could be the perfect sharp contrast to the dark berry flavors, or you could take those flavors a step further by mixing in some cranberry juice. As for the fresh fruit, apples, oranges, pears, and berries are all excellent options.

10. Bolet Organic Cava Brut Nature Reserva

Let's not forget classic bubbles when it comes to choosing wine for sangria. While you could splurge and pop open a bottle of Champagne, cava is an excellent and affordable alternative. The sparkling wine from Spain undergoes the same rigorous winemaking method as the prestigious French alternative, Wine Folly explains. The outlet notes that indigenous Spanish grapes are used, and the result is fresh, floral, crisp, and zesty.

Bolet has been a family-owned winery for multiple generations and focuses on organic farming in the vineyards. The Organic Cava Brut Nature Reserva is made with the three classic grapes that go into the sparkling blend. Green apple, pear, lemon, and almond aromas jump out of the glass in this crisp, bubbly wine. Minimal residual sugar means that you can adjust the sweetness of your sangria with juice and other add-ins.

Pairing this cava with a tropical fruit juice is an excellent option to contrast the bright acidity. Try mixing in pineapple, mango, or guava juice for a sangria you will want to make all summer. Sliced tropical fruits are equally welcome, or add ripe peaches or nectarines. For a distinct flavor profile, fresh raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and a splash of grenadine make a simple yet delicious combination.