Winter Sangria



It’s not something that comes innately to me. I might be the person with the least amount of it. I get angry when people are walking slowly. Taking up the whole escalator. Counting change at the counter. When the elevator doors won’t open quickly enough. I get impatient that I’m impatient.

This time of year demands patience from everyone, at least in the Midwest. And especially in Chicago, where most of our day to day happens on foot.


Winter forces you to walk slowly so you don’t fall. It makes time feel like it’s crawling when the wind whips your face as you wait to cross Michigan avenue or the bus to arrive at your stop. It makes a block feel like an eternity when you’re in the middle of that wind tunnel.

And the worst part, it makes the countdown to spring seem infinitely long. Unbearable. But if you will wait, it will come. And it will be sweet and that warmth will bring you out of a hibernation you didn’t even know you needed.


I think winter makes Chicagoans a bit tougher. And I hope, kinder. We’re all in it together. Swapping looks of empathy when you and a stranger realize you just missed the bus and the next doesn’t come for another 20 minutes. Oh and it’s a 20 below windshield. Or when you start sweating on the bus because your 19 layers of clothing you need to tolerate the temperature outside makes said bus feels like a sauna and then the windows are literally fogging up and you make eye contact with a stranger and you both smile, because you get it. You feel extreme gratitude you have for the person who will bear the cold for a few extra seconds so they can keep the door open for you.

But when you’re fresh out of patience, and going outside actually hurts your face, you gotta find a way to make it bearable. What helps get us through?

Well for some, the whole 30 (apparently.) bravo to you brave, strong souls – i’ll be over here with my wine and pizza. I’ll meet you at the bar on February 1st.

It’s the perfect time of year to add a little something extra to your cocktail. When I was home for the holidays we decided to spruce up our traditional wine with a few garnishes. The idea was to make this a sangria – but I didn’t want the sugar and it’s the holidays, so i was darn sure i didn’t want to dilute it with club soda.

So the recipe below is totally customizable, add more booze depending on the guests you have….I’ll never tell.

Winter Sangria
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  • 3 tart Gala or honeycrisp (honey crisp will be pretty tart), cored and chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh cranberries, cleaned
  • 2 bottles dry white wine (I used a dry sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio will work nicely too), chilled
  • 1/4 cup sugar, optional
  • 16 ounces club soda, optional
  • sprigs fresh rosemary, for garnish


  1. Add first five ingredients into a pitch. Chill for at least an hour.
  2. Garnish with rosemary.
  3. BOOM.




  1.'Marlene Sackett says

    I am so redundant–but you are an amazing writer dear Megan!! Thank you for another fun, entertaining article!


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