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Tinto De Verano, The Summer Wine of Spain

Jun 17, 2008
Though "rain in Spain is mostly on the plain", Spanish summers are delightful. And like Nobel Laureate Earnest Hemingway, if you visit the bullfighting fiesta in Pamplona or pub crawl through Montparnasse, the hills of Spain with a bottle of Tinto de Verano, the summer wine of Spain, you may call yourself extremely lucky!

Tinto de Verano, translated into English or American for that matter, is the Red Wine of Summer and as the nomenclature suggests, it is usually drunk in summer. This refreshing summer drink is commonly served in the beach side Chiringguitos in style. In the Costa del Sol, it is a familiar sight to find locals drinking Tinto de Verano while overseas visitors taste a similar drink called Sangria which has been discussed a bit later in this article.

Tinto de Verano is often homemade or may be purchased ready-bottled from the supermarkets or the wine stores. The concoction, if you are not already very familiar with Spanish drinking habits, consist of 1 part red wine with 1 part La Casera which is an aerated drink like Sprite but less sweet, and is served over ice with a slice of lemon decorating the glass. Otherwise, one may put some ice in a glass, half fill the glass with aromatic red wine and then top it up with very light lemonade.

There are a few online stores as well you will come across such wines. And one recent development is the appearance of several wine clubs all over the world. These clubs often procure white wines and other too and let their members taste them. The clubs also educate their members about white wines.

Coming back to Sangria which is also a summer wine punch like the Tinto de Verano, and it has the following ingredients.

- Red wine
- Sliced or chopped fruit
- Honey, orange juice or any other sweetener
- Slight trace of brandy or any other spirit
- Gaseosa or Soda

Due to the differences in recipes, the alcoholic content in Sangrķa's can be very different. Sangrķa's ingredients vary, chiefly in the type of fruits that is used. The difference is also due to the addition of spirits (of course when it has been added), and also based on whether there is any carbonation or not. Often in place or red, white wine is preferred, and when this is the case, it is known as Sangrķa Blanca.

Zurra is the way it is known as in some areas of southern Spain. It is a result of nectarines or peaches. Usually in recipes, the ingredient that is wine tends to dominate and this works as a base too. Cinnamon is also often included with the sweetener in many parts of Portugal and this spices the flavor.

Incidentally, there is a popular song on summer wine that is often sung by eminent vocal artists that goes like this:

Strawberries cherries and an angel's kiss in spring,
My summer wine is really made from all these things,
Take of your silver spurs and help me pass the time,
And I will give to you summer wine - mm summer wine.
About the Author
James Copper is a writer for http://www.cecwine.co.uk
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