Top tips to buy wine for sangria

Sangria JugView larger image

Temperatures are rising across the UK and, with bank holidays coming in May, you might be keen to buy wine in preparation for mixing up a jug of ice-cold sangria.

While some people would argue that it's a sin to pour lemonade and fruit juice into a good red wine, the fact is that it's still a great way to enjoy that unique flavour of red wine, with a reduced alcohol content and plenty of ice on a hot day.

You'll need fresh fruit, of course - apples, oranges and other citrus fruits finely sliced or diced according to your preference - and it's a good idea to add these to the mixture some time before it is served, a process known as steeping.

To buy wine that will suit the purpose, you might want to stick to Spanish and Portuguese regions, as these are the only countries allowed to call their product 'sangria' ever since January 2014.

Something quite sweet with a rounded, fruity flavour of its own will give you a great base, then you just need to steep your fruit and mix in some fresh orange juice and lemonade.

For a much more intense sangria, add brandy - in some cases orange juice and brandy are used in place of the lemonade, rather than in addition to it.

And you can even use up old bottles of mulled wine by mixing them in, for a spiced summer punch that frees up much-needed cupboard, wine rack or cellar space for some new purchases more suited to the season.