This piece originally appeared on Fix.com.
The fine-wine cognoscenti might sometimes turn their vino-sniffing noses up at the thought of sangria, a combination of wine and fruit that aims for refreshment and fun over complexity and haughtiness. That’s a shame, because sangria is not only pure party material but also has a rich history of its own and enough variation to please just about any palate. If you doubt its seriousness, bear in mind that, just as there are specific stemware designs for wines made from certain grape varieties and in different regions, sangria now has its own dedicated glass!
Sangria’s origins probably date back to the Middle Ages, during a time when water was unhealthy to drink and drinking fermented beverages carried a much lower risk of causing illness. During this time, people would mix wine, which was much lighter and less potent than what we are used to today, with spices such as cinnamon.