I’m not really sure if wine cocktails are true cocktails, but these recipes are still ideal for summer fun and entertaining. The Bellini is probably the most famous wine cocktail, though sangria may fight for that honor. Either one can be delightful, and while they may define wine cocktails for many people, there really is a world of recipes to choose from. I tend to prefer my wine straight up, but have been known to make a wicked sangria. One thing I learned long ago after extensive testing (seriously) is that some of the simpler jug wines out there are perfect for making a pitcher of it.  You can catch my recommendations in the recipe, and rest assured that I don’t believe jug wine is always the appropriate choice.

In a Bellini, for example, the quality of the ingredients counts; there are only two, after all, and as they have nothing to conceal their flavors, scrimping here leads to less-than-lustrous results. In many ways making a Bellini is like making a pizza: It’s easy to make, but the results can only be as good as the ingredients.

Want more wine for summer?

Don't miss our features on Strange and Wonderful White Wines, Chardonnays for Every Palate, or Easy-drinking Reds (for a Cheap Drunk). While you're there, stop into the Snooth forums and connect with fellow wine lovers!A lighter red with bright acid and soft tannins is perfect for Sangria. Rioja has been a go-to wine but you might want to look for something even fruitier, like an inexpensive Grenache. I like to keep my sangria very simple with no brandy or added sugar. Simply pile in the fruit and let it steep overnight to allow the flavors to blend

For each bottle of wine you'll need:

2 medium oranges, washed, halved and thinly sliced
1 large peach or even better 2 nectarines , washed, pitted and diced
1 cup of strawberries, sliced
1 lime washed, halved and thinly sliced

Choose a white wine that is dry and fresh with good acidity, such as a Chenin Blanc, to build your drink mix. Because the wine already has some tropical fruit flavors, work with them and use fruits that will complement its taste.

For each bottle of wine, you’ll need:

1 medium orange, washed, halved and thinly sliced
1 large peach or even better 2 nectarines , washed, pitted and diced
1 mango, peeled, seeded and diced
2 kiwis, peeled and sliced

Combine the wine and fruit in a non-reactive container (glass or plastic -– no metal) and blend well. Put the sangria in the fridge and let it sit overnight.

Taste the sangria just before serving and add sugar if you want more sweetness. I find that the fruits release enough sugar for me, so I like to keep it just the way it is!

If you want to experiment with wine cocktails, Prosecco is a great place to start. The bubbly white wine is the base for some classic like the famous Bellini, a mix of peach nectar and Prosecco, the Poinsettia, where it’s blended with Cointreau and cranberry juice, and my favorite, the Sparkling Americano! Make your own with these recipes.

A Classic Bellini

Place 1 ounce of peach nectar (or fresh peach puree) in the bottom of a chilled Champagne flute. Top with 4 ounces of Prosecco. If you wish, add a drop of raspberry syrup; the classic Bellini included one to give the drink a pink hue. Enjoy — it’s that simple and delicious!

A Poinsettia for All Seasons

In a chilled Champagne flute combine:
1/2 ounce Cointreau (any orange liqueur, such as Triple Sec, will do)
3 ounces Cranberry juice
Fill the glass with Prosecco and garnish with orange zest.

A New Twist on an Old Classic: Sparkling Americano

Fill half a cocktail shaker with crushed ice, then add:
1 ounce of Campari
1 ounce of sweet (red) Vermouth
Shake until chilled and strain into a chilled Champagne flute. Fill the glass with Prosecco and garnish with an orange slice.

Learn More About Wine on Snooth

Fix Your Wine Emergencies
This edition of our Wine Survival Guide breaks down 7 common wine crises (including crumbling corks and carpet stains), and how to solve them with what's on hand.

5 Red Wines for Fish

Looking to match your seafood with something fruity or light-bodied, higher-acid or even sparkling? There's a red for that!