Accidents often lead to mishaps — but sometimes they lead to new developments — as happened for Ryan Sharp owner of Portland Sangria and ENSO Urban Winery. Sharp was turning out a large batch of rosé in 2010 at ENSO when he realized he had run out of bottles. Not wanting to waste his commodity and needing it out of the tank, he poured it into a keg and blended in some fresh berry juice. Soon enough, visitors at the Enso tasting room were enjoying the sangria from the draft system, served in pint glasses with ice and frozen berries.
After creating literal buzz in the tasting room, Sharp realized a need to make it available to a wider market, and did so with the help of Mercy Corps Northwest’s small-business program. Today the sangria is available in cans in Oregon, Washington, Tennessee and New York.
Each flavor is made from one-part dry wine and one-part juice from the Pacific Northwest, along with fresh herbs or whole spices. While other cans on the market tend to be straight wine, Portland Sangria’s effervescent and punch-like qualities at 6.5 percent ABV make it foolproof for day-drinking while on a hike, a patio or at the river.
Currently Portland Sangria is available in Raspberry Loganberry Cardamom, Lemon Ginger Rosemary and Blueberry Basil.
Want to hit it a little harder? Try making the producer’s recipe for a Portland Sangria Bramble at home, or at the river’s edge.
Portland Sangria Bramble
Makes 1 cocktail
2 ounces Aria gin
1 ounce lemon juice
1/4 ounce simple syrup
3/4 cup mixed fresh blueberries and cubed watermelon
1-3 fresh basil leaves
1-2 ounces Portland Sangria Dry White with Blueberry Basil
Garnish: blueberries, basil sprig, lemon wheel
Add all of the ingredients except for the sangria into an ice-filled shaker tin and shake vigorously for at least 15 seconds. Double-strain into a rocks glass with crushed ice and top with the sangria. Garnish with a few fresh blueberries, basil sprig and lemon wheel.