Berry Kiwi Sangria

If you’re anything like me, you have a love affair with wine that’s like none other. White, blush, red, dry, bitter, sweet – it doesn’t matter, I love them all. I’m “that person” when you’re dining out at a restaurant that makes wine recommendations from the wine list based on what dish you ordered.

And, though wine is fabulous all by itself, it’s even better when you mix it with other things to make a delightful drink called a sangria. Sangria comes in all kinds, with every imaginable wine as a base. The traditional sangria began with a red wine, but many restaurants offer at least 3 different sangria varieties on their cocktail menu, with a ton of different flavor profiles. Overwhelmingly, however, sangrias usually have a citrus or berry undertone.

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Since sangria is a great entertaining drink similar to punch, this recipe will be for a full pitcher of it. So, in a large glass pitcher, combine 1 bottle of a berry-based wine (I like JazzBerry by Boordy Vineyards, but there are loads of other berry wineries out there!) along with 1 cup of tripe sec and 2 cups of Dole Strawberry-Orange-Banana juice. Add 3 sliced kiwi fruits, 1 sliced lemon, and about a cup of fresh strawberries (capped). Stir to combine and let sit in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. (The longer it sits, the more the fruit will ferment into the wine!)

Once you’re ready to serve, add two cans (or about 2 and 1/2 cups) of your favorite clear soda. Sprite is good for not adding a lot of extra flavor, but Fresca makes several varieties of fruity sodas that will give it an extra kick! Serve in sangria or wine glasses and garnish with additional fresh fruit.

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Full Recipe:

Berry Kiwi Sangria

Yield: about 8-10 servings

Ingredients:

1 bottle berry-based wine
1 cup triple sec
2 cups Dole strawberry-orange-banana juice
3 kiwi fruits, peeled and sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1 cup fresh strawberries, capped
2 cans or 2 & 1/2 cups of clear soda

Process:

1) In a large glass pitcher, combine fruit, wine, triple sec, and juice. Stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

2) Just before serving, add soda to pitcher. Stir lightly and serve in sangria glasses or wine glasses filled with ice and garnished with fresh fruit.

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Slow Cooker Wine Braised Pork Spare Ribs

Just about everyone loves barbecued pork spare ribs. However, I already did a great barbecued pork recipe in the slow cooker (see Slow Cooker Apple Pulled Pork). So, when pork spare ribs were the best deal in the meat department this week, I had to decide on another way to cook them – perhaps a more “sophisticated” rib recipe.

Well, there’s nothing more sophisticated than cooking with wine, so that was the basis for the thought process on this tender, fall-off-the-bone rib recipe. Just school yourself away from the good ole barbecue rib route for a bit and I promise you’ll find these are another fabulous way to use pork ribs!

Finished Text

There are many different ways to prep meat for cooking, but this recipe uses a technique called “brining” which essentially means soaking the meat in a salty liquid for several hours to infuse flavor.

In a large baking dish, combine 3 cups of water, 1 cup brown sugar, 4 cloves of garlic (peeled and smashed), 2 tbsp of salt, and 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and then add about 4 pounds of pork ribs cut into individual ribs (about 8 large ribs), cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Meanwhile, make a spice rub from 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tsp salt, 2 tsp cumin, 2 tsp coriander, 2 tsp thyme, and 1 tsp cayenne pepper. Set this aside, and then dice 1 small onion and add it to your slow cooker, along with 2 cups of white wine (I used white zinfandel since that’s what I had on hand, which is technically a blush wine, but any semi-dry white would do) and 2 cups of chicken stock.

Liquid

Once the meat has brined, discard the liquid and pat the ribs dry with paper towels. Rub each rib with your spice rub, making sure you use all of it, and then put them one by one into the slow-cooker. Add 3 bay leaves, cover, and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7 hours.

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Once the ribs are done, they should easy pull apart and be practically falling off the bone. Use tongs to plate them all on a serving dish and serve immediately! (These would be great with roasted red potatoes!)

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Full Recipe:

Slow Cooker Wine Braised Pork Ribs

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients:

4 pounds pork ribs, cut into individual ribs (about 8 ribs)
3 cups water
1 cup brown sugar
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 tbsp salt
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp cayenne pepper

2 cups white wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 small onion, diced
3 bay leaves

Process:

1) In a large baking dish, combine water, 1 cup brown sugar, garlic, 2 tbsp salt, and crushed red pepper. Stir to combine and then add pork ribs. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

2) Make a spice rub in a small dish by combining 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 tsp salt, cumin, coriander, thyme, and cayenne pepper.

3) Add onion, wine, and chicken stock to slow cooker. Remove meat from brine, discard the liquid, and pat each rib dry with paper towels.

4) Rub the spice rub onto each rib and add them to the slow cooker. Add 3 bay leaves, cover, and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7 hours.

5) Once ribs are done, they should pull apart easily. Use tongs to plate them on a serving platter and serve immediately.