Classic red wine sangria

Photos: Nigel Cox

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The wine you choose for your sangria will have a big effect on the flavor: After all, wine is the main ingredient. The good news is that you'll end up with a fantastic final product as long as you use any bottle you'd enjoy drinking on its own. For reds, a medium-bodied, fruity wine with moderate tannins is ideal—think Grenache-based Spanish bottlings, Argentine Malbec, or Italian Chianti. With white wine, look for unoaked varietals with lots of tropical or citrus fruit flavors: Pinot Grigio and most Rieslings are a safe bet. When in doubt, do as the Spaniards do and buy an inexpensive red or white Rioja (a $10 to $15 bottle is fine). And when it comes to sparkling wines, Spanish Cava can't be beat for the price—about $15.
—Nick Fauchald

Get the recipe: Classic Red Wine Sangria