Summer Wine

A friend of mine told me a story about an old man who lives in the Canary Islands – The man, now in his 90s, walks for 2 hours up and over hills every day to sit on the coast and have a chilled glass of Rioja at sunset. He says he owes it to the wine that he’s kept healthy over the years – and although I am inclined to believe it’s more because of the walking, I think there’s some merit in his answer!

Red wine contains resveratrol, a ‘heart healthy’ antioxidant shown to prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces LDL cholesterol and prevents blood clots.

Many of us find it difficult to drink red wines in summer, opting for a more refreshing white or sparkling wine. But it is possible to avoid the switch and continue to reap red wine’s benefits in hotter months. Just follow these tips:

1. Chill it: I know many of my more informed friends won’t like this recommendation, but to be honest I prefer my red wine chilled. Stick it in the fridge for 20 minutes before serving and it’s likely you’ll experience a new taste of old favourites.

2. Choose light bodied wines: choose wines that are below 13% alcohol, low to medium tannins and don’t buy oak-fermented wines.

3. Organic and biodynamic: Biodynamic wines come from diversified, balanced farm ecosystems that generate health and fertility for the animals, soil, plants and crops. If you are looking for quality reds, you’ll find them with this certification.

4. Moderation: After 2 small glasses (125ml), the benefits are mitigated by the alcohol. Don’t overdo it!

With all of this in mind, here’s a sugar-free Sangria recipe for you to enjoy. Great for BBQs and dinner parties this sunny summer.

Sugar-free Sangria Recipe

Sugar-free Sangria

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 2-3 hours
Chill: Overnight
Makes 5 servings




– 1 bottle of organic zinfandel (or any other sweet grape red wine)  
– 1 handful frozen blueberries
– 2 apples
– 3 lemons
– 1 orange
– 2 cinnamon sticks
– 1 tbsp raw honey
– 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger

1. Chop the apples, lemons and orange into wedges and place into a large pot
2. Add in blueberries, cinnamon sticks, grated ginger, wine and raw honey
3. Simmer over a low heat with a lid on for approximately 2 hours
4. let cool and refrigerate over night
5. Serve straight from the fridge over ice

This is a guest post from Personal Trainer and Fitter Food Mentor, Elisah van Vriesland.