Winter Red Wine Sangria is the perfect holiday cocktail spiced with cinnamon, cloves, and anise, and packed full of crisp, sweet, apples, oranges and grapefruit.

Winter Red Wine Sangria filled with fresh cranberries, star anise, and apple slices. Red wine sangria is my favorite cocktail. I love the marinated fruit, the subtle spices, and I love that you can customize it to fit the season. In the summer I make my Summer Moscato Sangria , and when the holidays come around I make this easy Winter Red Wine Sangria. It’s filled with warm spices, crisp apples, oranges, grapefruit, and when I’m feeling festive, some fresh cranberries and pomegranate seeds. It’s the perfect Christmas cocktail to share with friends and family.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Thank you!Winter Red Wine Sangria in three stemless wine glasses filled with oranges, grapefruits, apples, cranberries, pomegranate seeds and spices.

What Kind of Wine Do You Use for Sangria?

You can use any red wine for sangria but most often you will find it made with a Merlot, which has fruity undertones, or a Cabernet Sauvignon. If you have access to red wine from Spain give that a try as sangria originated in Spain!

What Fruit is Used in Sangria?

Traditionally sangria has some citrus fruit in it, usually oranges or lemons, sometimes lime, and firm fruit like apples or pears that soak up the sangria as they marinate it in giving you delicious bites of fruit with your cocktail. For my Winter Red Wine Sangria I chose to use oranges and grapefruit which are traditional winter citrus, as well as sweet Fuji apples. I also tossed in some fresh cranberries and pomegranate seeds but both are more to make the drink more festive and less for flavor.

A close up of a star anise pod in a glass of Winter Red Wine Sangria

Tips for Making Winter Red Wine Sangria:

  1. Add a little fizz with some sparkling water or a lemon/lime soda. Since this is a winter sangria I added grapefruit sparkling water to give it some bubbles. You could also use lemon/lime soda, or ginger ale. Or, you can skip it if you prefer no bubbles!
  2. Subtle spices take this from a traditional sangria to a winter sangria. I chose to use whole spices for my winter sangria so I added a clove, a star anise pod, and a cinnamon stick. You can use ground spices if you’d like but you only need a pinch! 
  3. Make sure you chill your red wine sangria. Though you don’t normally chill a red wine sangria needs time for the flavors to meld and it’s best served ice cold. Mix everything together, place it in the refrigerator and let it sit for at least 2 hours. It is best if you can let it sit overnight! Serve over ice.

Winter Red Wine Sangria surrounded by pomegranate seeds, and whole spices

Winter Red Wine Sangria is perfect for holiday parties because you can make it the day before and let it sit overnight in the fridge while the flavors develop. When guests arrive you’ll be ready to serve your Christmas sangria!

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Servings: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chill: 2 hours

Winter Red Wine Sangria

Winter Red Wine Sangria is the perfect holiday cocktail spiced with cinnamon, cloves, and anise, and packed full of crisp, sweet, apples, oranges and grapefruit.
Winter Sangria perfect for Christmas
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  • 1 750 ml bottle Red wine
  • 3 tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 ounces Orange juice
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 2 Cloves
  • 1 Star anise
  • 1 ounces Grand Marnier
  • 1 Grapefruit, sliced
  • 1 Orange, sliced
  • 1 Apple sliced
  • 1 cup Grapefruit sparkling water
  • 1 cup Fresh cranberries, optional
  • 1 cup Pomegranate seeds, optional


  • Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and stir until sugar is dissolved.
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • Serve over ice.
  • Enjoy!
Nutrition Disclaimer: We are not certified nutritionists. Nutrition facts are an estimate and are provided as a courtesy. They are generated by an online API which recognizes ingredient names and amounts and makes calculations based on the serving size. Results may vary.
Course: Drink
Cuisine: American