Saturday Sangria: Red Currant Grapefruit Cascadia Pinot Gris

This week I saw the most gorgeous red, white, and black currants at the farmers’ market!  They were so beautiful that I ended up buying several pints, even though I had no idea what I would do with them.  When I got home, a quick search on Tastespotting led me to try to this lovely loaf cake recipe – which I highly recommend – but I also had a feeling that these delightful, tart berries would go very well with white wine… especially something light, and citrusy.  The timing was perfect; I had some Limited Release Cascadia Pinot Gris that I had been dying to try.  This was the perfect excuse – and, as you’ll hopefully agree, the perfect pairing!

Keep reading for the full how-to, after the jump!

Red Currant Grapefruit Cascadia Pinot Gris sangria
serves 4

You will need:

  • 1 bottle (750mL) Cascadia Pinot Gris (or substitute another Pinot Gris, or even Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1 cup red currants, washed and picked over
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 grapefuit
  • 1-2 cans sparkling lemonade
  • ice


  • jug or pitcher
  • juicer
  • wooden spoon
  • small pot
  • knife and cutting board

Step 1: make red currant simple syrup

Pick through your currants to remove any twigs or less-desirable berries, then wash the good ones (you will need about 1 cup).  In a pot over medium heat combine currants and sugar.  Stir to coat berries in sugar and simmer until sugar is completely dissolved.  Grate the zest from your grapefruit into the pot and stir to combine.  You may also want to use the back of your wooden spoon to crush some of the currants as you simmer the simple syrup (I did), since this will help them release their juice and tone down some of the tartness of biting into the currants.  Remove from heat and allow to cool while you prepare the rest of the sangria.

Step 2: ready your pitcher

Pour your wine and sparkling lemonade into your pitcher.  Juice the grapefruit into your pitcher and stir to combine.

Step 3: Add currant simple syrup

Once your currant-simple syrup has cooled, add it to your pitched, a little at a time.  I highly encourage tasting after each addition – not only because it’s a good excuse (ha), but also because it will allow you to fine-tune the sweetness.  I found that 1/2 of the simple syrup was enough for me, but you may want to add more or less, so trust your palate on this one.

Step 4: Add ice and serve!

To finish, I added some slices of the grapefruit half that I didn’t juice.  I also used the reserved currant simple syrup to top each glass, since the currants tend to stay at the bottom of the pitcher.

Voila!  A simple ode to the gorgeous red currant (and to the bounty of farmers’ markets).  Cheers to local eats and the creativity they inspire!

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