Monday, 7 April 2014

Cocktail Hour: Classic Sangria + Campo Viejo Garnacha Giveaway

I pretty much always drink French wine, because it is what I know about and I pick it up really cheaply when I visit my Brittany home, but there are a few wines you can pick up here in Britain I do rather like. I'm moving out soon, but since September I've been living in a sort of private student building in London near my university, and regardless of the weather (both blankets and sunglasses have been utilised) some of us from my flat and from the flat next door like to sit out on the sort of outdoor passageway in front of our front doors drinking and talking in the evenings looking out over Canary Wharf. Usually, I like to sit there with my own bottle rather than sharing, but one evening I'd run low and Tom asked me if I wanted some of his red. To be honest, we're both wine snobs (flavour not price) so he is just about the only person I'd accept wine off of in the building.
Sangria 1 DSC_0644 That freezing cold evening after crispy aromatic duck takeaway was when I first discovered Campo Viejo's rather excellent Spanish Rioja, and I think the pair of us must have put away almost two bottles between us looking out over the city at night. Campo Viejo will forever be a university memory for me now, just like Sainsbury's Basics Tomatoes, reading the Evening Standard on the Central Line and getting frozen yogurt at the North Campus Student Union at UCLA and sitting with it in my Monday afternoon Milton class. 
DSC_0547 The British being British, now it is officially Spring, the clocks have changed to British Summertime and we've had just that little bit of sunshine, we're not going to be drinking red wine again until at least Autumn, we're all going to be trying to stretch out the rosé window for as long as possible! I think this is a big shame, because while I was never quite down with that California thing of putting ice cubes in a glass of red, I can think of one excellent Summertime thing to do with it: Sangria. (This recipe makes 1 large jug for a crowd!)

  • 2 bottles Campo Viejo Garnacha Rioja
  • 120ml Brandy
  • 120ml Triple Sec 
  • 200ml Sparkling Lemonade
  • 2 tsp Golden Caster Sugar (optional)
  • Handful Fresh Apple, cubed
  • Handful Fresh Strawberries, cubed
  • 1/4 Orange, sliced then quartered 

In the bottom of a large jug mix together the brandy and the triple sec. I find adding orange liquor as well as the traditional brandy it gives it a nice Summery and fruity flavour. Add the wine and the lemonade and stir well. Taste, and see if the sugar is required. Depending on your brand of lemonade, triple sec and personal tastes, it might be sweet enough already. If you're adding it, stir until it is all dissolved. Add the fruit, stir well and serve either chilled or at room temperature, depending again on your personal preference. Enjoy! 
Sangria 2 DSC_0631
So you can try your hand at mixing up some sangria at home, and to celebrate their upcoming Streets of Spain Festival on Southbank (more on that in a moment) I have teamed up with the guys at Campo Viejo to giveaway 6 bottles of their Garnacha Rioja on Twitter. Essentially, this giveaway is open to everyone in the UK who is 18 or over, and all you have to do to enter before the giveaway closes at 5pm on Monday 14th April is to follow both myself (@makingmewonder) and @CampoViejoUK on Twitter, and RT this competition Tweet I sent out this morning. You can find the full terms & conditions here

Anyway, so the Campo Viejo Streets of Spain Festival on Southbank. From May 2nd to May 5th for the second year at Festival Place (under Queen Elizabeth Hall 12pm-10pm outside daily, and inside Festival Village at 11pm) running a massive colour and wine experiment where they are looking at if colours around you that you're looking at effect the taste of the wine you're drinking. What I'm personally super excited about is that there will also be some fantastic Spanish food vendors from around London (I heard some of the restaurants that are involved when I met with Campo Viejo for breakfast the other week and this will be one not to miss!) and La Boqueria in Barcelona. 
In other sunshine news, I just wanted to share with you a snapshot of all the beautiful white cherry blossoms and blue skies this weekend. I hope you enjoy this sangria, I'd love to hear how you all get on with it, and maybe any personal variations you like to add. A white wine sangria is also on my to do list, so hopefully I'll get to that sometime this Summer. Also, Londoners, how many of you will be hitting up Streets of Spain? Good luck in the Twitter giveaway! 


  1. Oh, I love sangria. My alcohol tastes are embarrassingly teenage girl-ish, so if it's sweet and fruity I am so there! I tried a white wine sangria made with tequila at La Tasca yonks ago, but it wasn't quite the same - it's got to be red!

    When we were in Barcelona I had one that was made with coconut and strawberries which stands out as one of the best drinks I've ever had (probably helped that we were on the beach!). Might have to give some of this a go when it gets a bit brighter - it's too grey here in the North for something so summery!

  2. Can I just comment on how funny it was that we were both typing comments on each others new blog posts at exactly the same time?!

  3. Oh this looks delicious, I love sangria!

    Maria xxx