Houston’s annual sangria drop returns with a twist


After being canceled last year due to the pandemic, the Sangria shot hosted by Women Of Wine (WOW) charities returns this year. However, thanks to COVID-19 lingering like a crappy roommate, that won’t involve hundreds of guests tasting sangria in a large room. Instead, it’s billed as Sangria Throwdown Over The City. During the month of October, each participating bar and restaurant serves its sangria as part of its in-house drink menu – a development that can be beneficial for the 11 participating venues.

One thing has not changed: the profits go to Houston Area Women’s Center, which offers support services to victims of domestic or sexual violence.

Bear Dalton at Women of Wine Charities Sangria Throwdown
The late, tall and deeply missed Bear Dalton of Spec’s was a regular Sangria Throwdown attendee and a staunch supporter of WOW Charities fundraising for the Houston Area Women’s Center. Photo by Phaedra Cook.

Due to the new format, People’s Choice the vote is online this year. Visit participating venues, order the contest sangria, then vote for your favorites. You can vote up to five times a day for several participants – but pace yourself. This year’s event subscriber is Bacardi, and there are several wine sponsors. The the full list is on the WOW Charities website.

This year’s competitors are:

The final roster of judges is still being confirmed, but whoever goes around to taste the 11 sangrias to help determine the The judge’s choice and Most Creative Sangria awards is editor and publisher Cook of Phèdre of Houston Food Finder. (Yes, that’s me.) Having judged the competition several times over the years, I can share that I seek engaging presentations and elevated flavors that are balanced without sacrificing “oomph” (so to speak).

Visit as many participating restaurants and bars as you want by October 31. On November 3, WOW Charities is hosting a special happy hour to announce the winners. We will update this article with details when they become available.

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