Dark And Lovely Sangria | Nik Snacks

In preparation for Black History Month, Sangria Saturday is taking a dark turn. That's right, this sangria features a sweet, dark dessert wine because everyone knows that THE DARKER THE BERRY, THE SWEETER THE JUICE. 

There are FIVE types of dessert wine and they all come from sweet grapes with higher than normal concentrations of sugar and alcohol (which is basically the only things a pitcher of sangria consists of) but there are THREE dessert wines that are also fortified wines that are the best for making dark and lovely sangrias.

PORT: Ruby and Tawny, LIKE SISTERS; Ruby is classified as sweet and Tawny is VERY sweet.

Port wine is made in the Northern part of Portugal with Portuguese grapes. The grapes are fermented in open tanks where the grapes are stomped daily as the wine begins to ferment. the wine is strained and blended with a clear grape spirit (with nearly 70% ABV) that stops fermentation and fortifies the wine. 

SHERRY: Manzanilla (young and dry), Amontillado (aged and nutty), Cream (sweet blend of two different sherries), Pedro Ximenez (very, very sweet)

Sherry comes from Andalusia, Spain. All styles are oxidized so that they develop nutty aromatics.

MADEIRA: Rainwater (an American appellation), Verdelho (semi-dry), Malmsey (rich and acidic)

Oxidized, fortified dessert wines from the Island of Madeira 

The Caravel dessert wine from RayLen Vineyards is one of my favorites. It's a fortified wine made from Cabernet Franc grapes and laced with Brandy. It reminds me of an aged tawny Port with Sherry tendencies. Not only is the color intense with deep ruby red tones, blackberry and cherry scents tittlate your olfactory glands which give way to deep, dark raisins. If only they were chocolate covered. The website says this wine "smolders the mouth with luxurious textures of crushed velvety tannins" and it really does. It feel like you'r actually drinking crushed velvet. 

With a little kick from some 90 proof whiskey and a little extra coloring and sweetness from classic grenadine. It's just what the food blogger ordered. ENJOY! This sangria recipe (look for it below) is deep, dark, complex and sensual.

For my non-drinking teetotalers, sub cherry juice or cranberry juice for wine, splash of OJ and a few dashes of angostura aromatic bitters or orange bitters for your own non alcoholic Saturday sangria fun.

Taste testing the sangria to make sure it's okay

Dark And Lovely Sangria

Dark And Lovely Sangria

Yield: 8
Author: Nikki Miller-Ka of Nik Snacks
Prep time: 5 MinInactive time: 1 HourTotal time: 1 H & 5 M
Create this drink with the darkest, most fruity dessert wine you can find


  • 1 bottle (375 ml) Dessert Wine (recommended: RayLen Caravel)
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 cup Jim Beam Devil's Cut whiskey
  • 2/3 cup grenadine
  • Ice


  1. In a pitcher, combine the wine with orange slices and whiskey.
  2. Refrigerate until chilled. 
  3. Add ice to wine glasses, pour sangria over ice and serve.

Please consult a healthcare professional or dietician about nutritional needs for your diet. I am a communications professional, not a physician.

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About the author

Nikki Miller-Ka

Nikki Miller-Ka

Ms. Miller-Ka is a classically trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami.

Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications and outlets in the Southeast. She has also worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. Presently, she is a food editor, freelance food writer, and a tour guide for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.

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