I love sangria. It’s my new go-to drink. All types of sangria too: dry Spanish, rosé, fruity, booze, sparkling, and even white. There are so many sangria recipes with rum, but when it comes down to it, making sangria is always a fun experiment using whatever fruits are in season to soak into your favorite wine and booze.
It probably didn’t help either when Cameron Hughes asked if I could review a selection of their wines! I received a free gift from Cameron Hughes Wine with their Introduction to CHW Sampler.
The sampler featured five reds and one white! Below are my honest reviews of Cameron Hughes’ wines and two sangria recipes with rum that will be perfect for your next brunch or a BBQ!
Picking Wine is Hard, Let the Experts Handle It
The idea at Cameron Hughes Wine is simple: great wine doesn’t have to be expensive. And for people like me, that means you don’t have to be a sommelier to sample and appreciate Cameron Hughes’ wine.
Here’s their secret though: As a négociant (or wine trader for non-fancy folks), they meet winemakers all over the world, peeping into every cellar and barrel room that says “Employees Only.” Sometimes they buy wine still in the barrel, but other times they buy “shiners” or wine already in a bottle with no label.
Regardless of how they get it, they’re able to buy the best possible wine for the best possible price.
Since they don’t own vineyards or a winery, they get to focus on tasting and finding the best wine and negotiating the best price. I was told it’s not unusual for the company to go through hundreds of samples before accepting one.
All of their deals are made discreetly and are typically protected by an agreement to keep the source producer or winery’s name secret. But hey, that’s how they can offer a $100 Napa Cab for $30 a bottle, or a $60 bottle of Pinot for under $20.
The selection and variety is always changing and growing. Cameron Hughes is constantly on the hunt for new deals. They typically release over 30 wines a year.
No matter what wine they buy, one thing is the same: Cameron Hughes, the man, always stands behind his company’s wine.
With every wine, Cam also posts a video on the product page and their YouTube Channel. He shares his knowledge, notes, and stories that help describe these wines in his “Cam Confidential” videos.
Cameron Hughes Wine Review
I received a free gift of Cameron Hughes Wine with their Introduction to CHW Sampler. Below are my honest reviews of Cameron Hughes’ wines.
Included in my Cameron Hughes Wine sampler were five reds and a chardonnay. The bottles “retail at $150” but buying through Cameron Hughes brings the price down to less than $20 a bottle.
I’m not much of a fancy wine drinker, so I can’t back up the $150 a bottle quality claim, but there are tons of reviews that say the quality of the wine is top notch.
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These were delicious wines though! When I opened the box, I was a bit bummed because I’m not much of a red wine person. Cameron Hughes’ wines is a different story.
Use Promo Code: BIGWORLD to receive free shipping with any size order!
I especially enjoyed their Red Mountain Red Blend and their “Limestone Cowboy” Chardonnay was just how I like em: un-oaked! Here’s some quick notes of the full wine sampler I received:
601 – 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Style: Full, Bold | Flavors: Blackcurrant, Cherry, Plum
91 pts & Gold Medal, 2017 Winemaker Challenge; A fabulous Napa offering to satisfy even the most discerning Big Cab lover.
484 – 2013 Napa Valley Meritage
Style: Medium, Smooth | Flavors: Coffee, Oak, Plum
Rich, spicy and lush on the palate with deeply textured black fruits and toasty oak notes that end in a coffee chocolate kiss.
575 – 2014 Red Mountain Red Blend
Style: Medium, Smooth | Flavors: Cherry, Chocolate
Dark, almost opaque in the glass, the nose features an intense mélange of dark berry fruit. everything here is perfectly proportioned and wonderfully integrated.
539 – 2015 Oregon Pinot Noir
Style: Medium, Fruity | Flavors: Cherry, Cranberry, Strawberry
Dark garnet with a bright crimson hue, Lot 539 serves up rich and vibrant aromas with a pretty red fruit mélange.
530 – 2014 Santa Ynez Valley Syrah/Grenache
Style: Medium, Fruity | Flavors: Blackberry, Oak
533 – 2015 Santa Barbara “Limestone Cowboy” Chardonnay
Style: Light, Crisp | Flavors: Honey, Lemon, Mineral
For more information and the full section of wines (it’s huge!!), check out the official Cameron Hughes website here. Use Promo Code: BIGWORLD to receive free shipping with any size order!
Two Easy Sangria with Rum Recipes:
Making sangria is always a fun experiment using whatever fruits are in season to soak in wine and booze.
For red wine, I used Cameron Hughes’ 484 – 2013 Napa Valley Meritage. However, any fruity, full bodied, somewhat-dry red Spanish wine will do.
For the white wine, I used Cameron Hughes’ 2015 Santa Barbara “Limestone Cowboy” Chardonnay. The white wine was crisp, un-oaked and had citrusy flavors that’d be perfect with something fizzy and ‘bright.’
Have fun experimenting with your own sangria! When it comes down to it most sangria recipes share the same basic parts:
- Fruit (like apples and oranges)
- Orange juice
- A sweetener (like brown sugar or cane sugar)
- A liquor (like brandy or rum)
- Bold, fruity, dry Spanish red wine (like Tempranillo, Garnacha, or other Rioja wine)
- & Ice (for chilling)
Traditional Red Sangria with Rum Recipe:
Traditional Sangria Ingredients
- 1/2 apple, cored, skin on, chopped into small pieces
- 1/2 orange, rind on, sliced into small pieces, large seeds removed (save some for garnish)
- 3-4 Tbsp honey
- 3/4 cup orange juice, plus more to taste
- 1/3 cup rum, plus more to taste
- 1 750 ml bottle dry Spanish red wine*
- Add apples, oranges and sugar to a large pitcher and muddle with a muddler or wooden spoon for 45 seconds.
- Add orange juice and brandy and muddle again to combine for 30 seconds.
- Add red wine and stir to incorporate, then taste and adjust flavor as needed. I added a bit more brandy, orange juice and brown sugar. Stir to combine.
- Add ice and stir once more to chill. Serve as is, or with a bit more ice. Garnish with orange segments (optional).
- Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours, though best when fresh.
Recipe adapted from The Minimalist Baker
White Sangria with Rum Recipe:
- 1 bottle white wine (I used an un-oaked Chardonnay)
- 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
- 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1 lemon sliced
- 2 kiwis sliced
- 1-2 cups ginger ale
- optional– splash of rum
- 1-2 tbsp sugar or honey optional
- Pour wine into large pitcher.
- Add sliced fruit, stir and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow fruit to infuse with wine.
- Add ginger ale just before serving.
- If you like spike it up a bit more with a splash of Cointreau or brandy.
- Garnish with fresh mint leaves if you wish.
Recipe adapted from Art and the Kitchen
What’s your favorite sangria recipe? Let me know in the comments! Mine, I think, will always be the traditional Spanish red with rum instead of brandy. :)
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