Jeff’s Corner 6-17-22

Hello, Hello, Hello!

As everyone knows, it is absurdly hot for mid-June, but to quote Bob Dylan, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” A great way to cool down, however, is to pull the cork on a bottle of our brand new, just-released 2021 Grand Rouge.

One of our longest-tenured wines (created by our founder Ned Simes), Grand Rouge has developed a loyal, almost cult-like following for many reasons. First, it’s a semi-sweet red in a world of sweet wines dominated by whites, blushes, and roses. Second, it’s served chilled (I recommend 45-50 degrees), and many folks want their beverages cold.

Finally, it is aged in stainless steel and never sees the inside of an oak barrel. This gives the wine a very bright, clean finish that really allows the fruit flavors of the grapes to show their stuff. When I was a kid, Grapette was one of my favorite sodas. I wonder why…

The 2021 Grand Rouge is a lucid, very pale garnet with a hint of ruby. The varietal blend is 50.6% Tempranillo and 49.4% Merlot, with an ABV of 13.8%. The residual sugar is 4.0%, or 40 grams/liter, which gives us 7.5 grams of sugar in a 6 oz glass of wine.

In the nose, bright, red fruit aromas of cranberry, candied raspberry, cherry, and pomegranate are backed by floral notes of red rose petals. The palate is straightforward with crisp acidity that balances the sweetness.

Now, back to all these 100* plus days we’ve been enduring. Let’s take our refreshing ’21 Grand Rouge and raise the bar a bit and make a heat beating giant pitcher of Sangria.

The origins of Sangria date back over 2000 years to Spain, when the Romans were conquering the Iberian peninsula. Between lots of “blood letting” (actually a loose translation of Sangria) the Romans planted vineyards. The wine from those vines was much safer to drink than water, dark red like blood, and mixed with fruit for sweetness.

Versions of Sangria first appeared in America not long after the revolution, but its official introduction was at the New York World’s Fair in 1964 at the Pavilion of Spain, and Jerry Jeff Walker first recorded his iconic tune “Sangria Wine” on August 18, 1973, in Luckenbach on the legendary “Viva Terlingua” LP.

Here’s a good, basic recipe that can easily be customized. Be creative, add your imagination (and more fruit), fire up the Weber, and invite your friends over. This makes about 6-12 servings, depending on your friends…


2 ea lemons, limes, and oranges
2 cups brandy
1 cup sugar
2 bottles GCV Grand Rouge
2 cups fresh-squeezed orange juice


Chill fruit, brandy, wine, and orange juice
Slice the lemon, lime, and orange into thin rounds and put into a large Mr. Kool-Aid pitcher
Add brandy and sugar and chill in fridge for 2 hours to develop flavors
When ready to drink, lightly mull (crush) the fruit and add wine and orange juice
Adjust the sweetness with more wine or sugar