Monday, June 27, 2016

Sangria: Wine Concentrates From Colorado

Decadent Saint describes themselves as "Colorado’s Craft Winery," and they claim to be pioneering the American craft wine market with a revolution in a bottle. Small batch produced, their 20.5% abv wine concentrates can be diluted to make up to five bottles of a wine and fruit juice mix. Retail is about $20 each, so you’re making sangria for $4 a bottle. The concentrates are made with wine, real fruit and fresh spices, and contain no flavorings. They say they stay fresh for six months after opening without refrigeration.

Enologist and owner Michael Hasler says, "nothing on the shelves compares with them for taste, value or utility."

Decadent Saint was formerly What We Love, The Winery.  The concentrates come in three flavors: White Sangria, Fire or Ice Sangria and Mountain Rescue. based on a homemade recipe that Hasler created while he owned a ski lodge in New Zealand.

Decadent Saint White Sangria

This one features "White Wine, Real Fruit, Fresh Spice," as the label says. ."Tastes like freshly blended tropical fruits!" That’s truth in advertising, right there. They promise aromatics of mango, passion fruit, peach, guava, grapefruit and spice, and it's all true. Just add water, although I liked it better with seltzer. Prosecco makes a nice mix, too. The bottle of concentrate makes three to five bottles of white sangria.

It’s really viscous right from the bottle, more so than orange juice, but about the same color. The aroma, undiluted, is like a concentrated orange/tangerine/pineapple juice blend. It tastes like OJ, as well. I did a one-to-one mix with seltzer water and found it was still fairly thick and very much like a mimosa, with a little alcohol at the back end. So, they really do mean it when they say to dilute three to five times.

Decadent Saint Fire Or Ice Sangria

As the name suggests, you can drink it hot or cold, like a sangria or a mulled wine, depending on which holiday you’re celebrating.

Decadent Saint Rocky Mountain Rescue

This concentrate includes red wine, dark chocolate, decaf coffee, berries and spice. Again, there’s no stipulation on temperature. Drink it hot or cold, they say. The Rocky Mountain Rescue leads off with a dark chocolate raspberry note, smoothly transitioning to a rich mocha before giving way to the full spice cacophony.

While sangria is nearly always a limited color in my wine palette, I can say these concentrates make some decidedly good ones.  I found that I liked them best with one-to-one or two-to-one dilution, but at that point they are still very viscous and concentrated. Follow the recipe and you'll have enough refreshing sangrias to get through a good part of the summer.

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