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It was late afternoon. I was at the grocery store picking up a few items to make dinner.

I passed two women greeting each other. One of them had a young daughter in tow. The girl was maybe 7 years old. The moms were maybe in their late 30s.

We were all in the dairy section; the area with the big refrigerators full of milk and cream. The ladies were separating when the little girl blurted out to her mom, “Can I have one of these bologna, cheese and cracker combos? PLEASE!” She was jumping up and down for emphasis. Her mom told her “no” and kept walking. Then she stopped suddenly, right near me, and said out loud to herself, “Wait a minute. This is one of those life experience moments.” She turned to her daughter and said, “Come back over here,” and she walked to the refrigerated case that held the bologna, cheese and cracker combo packs.

“I’ll let you get one of these, but here’s the deal. We will read the ingredients list on the back and if there’s anything on the list we can’t pronounce, you’ll promise me you’ll put it back...

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This recipe is for a red sangria but you can also go for a white sangria option. In that case change the brandy to vodka or white rum. And use white wine of course. A reisling, gewürztraminer, sauvignon blanc or a pinot grigio will all work. You can also use rosé and have a pink version.

Servings: 10-12 glasses

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A 750 ml bottle of red wine. If you shop for an Argentinian wine it will likely save you money. A bit sweeter or smooth-tasting wine is good, too. Some suggestions would be a rioja, a zinfandel or even a tempranillo. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get good flavor. Maybe $10 -12 tops.
1 lemon cut into wedges
1 orange cut into wedges
¼ cup of brandy
2- 3 cups of sparkling water or club soda
One more cup of fruit. You can choose your favorites. Berries are pretty in the pitcher. You can even cut up chunks of peaches or nectarines. Kiwi slices are an option and lime slices, too.


Put the lemon and orange wedges in the bottom of the pitcher. Mash them up a bit with a wooden spoon to get the juices flowing. Then add the wine and the brandy. Stir and chill until cold. This can be done a day ahead.

Right before you are going to serve it, add the club soda. You don’t want to add that too early or it will go flat.

Serve over ice.

Some people like to let some of the fruit go from the pitcher to the glass. Others prefer to garnish the glasses with other fruit; just toss a few berries in the bottom of the glass (for example) and then top it with the sangria.




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