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White Sangria vs. Classic Sangria: What Are the Differences

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Most people immediately think of red wine when they hear of sangria. However, it can be made with other wines, too. There are great sangria cocktail recipes that require rose and white wine, instead of the classic red. 

This delicious drink is currently trendy worldwide. It can be had on cold winter nights and during hot summer days. It all depends on the different varieties of wine you can use to make it and the fruits, too. Sangria can be used to make incredible drink and food pairings and will enrich every beverage menu

If you are running a bar or are a restaurant owner who wants to add new offers, sangria is a good place to start. You can choose between red and white sangria. It can even be made with sparkling wine

You probably have a lot of questions now. What is the difference between classic and white sangria? We are here to answer the questions you may have about the different types of sangria! 

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What Is a Classic Sangria 

Classic sangria refers to the original recipe, which uses red wine. Back in the day, sangria was made with aged red wine and fruit. Cinnamon was among the most used spices, too. Sounds very wintery, doesn’t it? 

Over time, the recipes evolved. They started changing depending on the season and the available ingredients. Also, depending on the person preparing it. 

Key Takeaway: Red and white sangria are made with different wines. There is no way to tell which one is better. It all boils down to personal preference. However, don’t be afraid to experiment with recipes for your bar or restaurant. You can attract many new customers with your delicious sangrias!

8 Best Wines for Classic Sangria

There is a huge range of red wines you can use to make classic sangria. Here’s our list of the most suitable types: 

1. Tempranillo

A versatile wine with a medium to full body. Tempranillo often has hints of berries and cherries. Hints of spice are common, too. These flavors and aromas make it a perfect choice for classic sangria. 

2. Garnacha

Garnacha is a popular Spanish wine. It’s often used in sangria recipes. Similar to the previous suggestion, it has a fruity and berry flavor. That’s why it’s great to use in a classic sangria recipe. 

3. Merlot

This is a super popular red wine. It’s a medium-bodied wine with flavors of plum and black cherry. There is a hint of chocolate, as well. Merlot has soft tannins and can add a smooth texture to the drink. 

4. Zinfandel

This wine is known for its bold and robust characteristics. It pairs well with many fruits. It will add a layer of complexity to the drink, too. 

5. Syrah/Shiraz

Syrah is a full-bodied wine with dark fruit flavors. It also has peppery notes. It will bring depth to your sangria. A bit of spiciness, too. 

6. Cabernet Sauvignon

It’s a full-bodied red wine with rich flavors, frequently used for sangria. It has flavors of black currant and plums. Sometimes it has hints of tobacco and cedar. Like other wines from this list, it can add depth to your sangria. 

7. Malbec

Malbec is known for its velvety texture and dark fruit flavors. Any wine with fruity flavors complements well the rest of the sangria ingredients. 

8. Red Wine Blend

To make a unique sangria, choose a red wine blend. The blends are made with various grapes. That’s why they offer complexity and balance. These wines combine the best characteristics of different wine varietals

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What Is White Sangria

White sangria is made with white wine. The recipes include different white wines, based on personal preferences or what’s currently available. Fruits and spices are a must, too. It’s most commonly consumed in the warmer months, like a spring or summer cocktail

8 Best Wines for White Sangria

There are plenty of white wine types all over the world. Not all of them, however, will help you make a delicious white sangria. Here are the types we recommend using in your recipes: 

1. Sauvignon Blanc

This super popular wine is known for its citrus and tropical flavors. It has high acidity. It will also add a refreshing touch to your white sangria. It’s the most common choice of bartenders and cocktail experts preparing white sangria. 

2. Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris

Both these wines are light and crisp. They often have notes of pear and green apples. That’s why they will pair perfectly with the fruits commonly used in sangria. 

3. Albariño

We can’t skip a Spanish wine on this list. This wine is known for its citrusy and floral notes. It pairs well with many fruits. It will bring a distinctly Spanish flair to your white sangria. 

4. Chardonnay

If you choose to use Chardonnay, go for unoaked bottles. That’s because it is usually lighter and has fruity flavors. You should avoid the oaked versions because the oak influence can overpower the drink. 

5. Viognier

Viognier is a medium to full-bodied white wine with floral and stone fruit aromas. It can add great aromas to white sangria. Especially when paired with fruits like peaches and apricots.

6. Moscato

Moscato is a sweet and slightly effervescent wine. It pairs well with a variety of fruits. When you use Moscato, the sangria will turn out sweeter. 

7. Gewürztraminer

It’s an aromatic white wine with floral and spicy notes. It can bring a unique and exotic flavor to white sangria. Especially when combined with fruits like lychee and peach.

8. Riesling

Riesling can add a hint of sweetness and floral notes to white sangria. Look for an off-dry and semi-sweet Riesling with balanced acidity.

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Classic Sangria vs. White Sangria

The difference between red and white sangria is the wine used in the recipe. White sangria can be made with various white wines. They make the taste crisper and add fruitier notes.

Classic sangria, on the other hand, is made with heavier red wines, which bring richer and bolder flavors to the drink. 

There is no way to tell whether classic sangria is better than white sangria or vice versa. It all depends on personal preference, the way the sangria was made, and the occasion. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Classic Sangria vs. White Sangria

Need to know more on the topic? We are here to answer some frequently asked questions!

Is Classic Sangria More Popular Than White Sangria? 

Yes! Classic sangria is more popular than white sangria because the original recipe uses red wine. Through the years, however, people started experimenting. Now you can enjoy sangria made with white and rose wine, as well as with sparkling wines. 

Is Sangria Better for Me Than Beer?

Although sangria has more calories, if overconsumed, both can cause harm to your health. There are plenty of unpleasant side effects of drinking too much, including health issues and weight gain. If you drink in moderation, it doesn’t matter if it’s beer or sangria.

How to Serve Sangria?

Sangria should be served chilled. Once you mix the wine with other ingredients, put the drink in the refrigerator. It should sit there for at least an hour. If possible, leave it overnight. Add soda or sparkling water right before serving to keep their bubbliness. 

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