Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Decadent Saint makes a case for sangria and spirit exploration

Posted By on Wed, Aug 7, 2019 at 9:46 PM

click to enlarge MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
Meet Michael Hasler, a winemaker from Australia with roughly four decades experience around the world. He's the owner of and winemaker at Decadent Saint, a Louisville, Colorado-based winery.

I met Hasler recently, randomly via an Airbnb experience, and I visited him later at his booth inside the early July Colorado Springs Art and Music Festival.

I confess I approached his "Ultimate Mixers" with a degree of skepticism, at-first thinking they sounded like a potential headache in a bottle, likely to be sappy and over-sweet, or maybe synthetic tasting.

But a short sampling later, I was totally hooked on them, anxious to play at home with some bottles I purchased. (Transparency note: Hasler threw in a jar of his newly launched Decadent Mud chocolate sauce for me to try.) Should you be interested in checking the products out, after watching the below video for a little more backstory via Hasler, they're available locally at many locations in the area.

The reason I'm choosing to write about the products here is because of how much they've impressed both me and many guests to my house in the last several weeks. They've also garnered critical acclaim and medals at competitions such as the Denver International Wine Competition and San Francisco International Competition (a 2016 Double Gold for the Spiced Mocha spiced dark chocolate wine).

As Hasler describes in the below video, all his concentrated wines are made with real fruit, unpasteurized and unfiltered as his liqueur-making process goes. Each 750ml bottle (20.5-percent ABV) makes up to a gallon of sangria by simply diluting with water and ice, or can be utilized as component to a wide variety of cocktails.

Overwhelmingly, our samplings at home have led to the passionfruit flavor being our clear favorite — we've added it to beer, made a simple sangria, and made the suggested passionfruit habanero margarita and passionfruit hard lemonade. I've even turned persnickety bartenders onto the products.

Decadent Saint's raspberry flavor makes a really lovely sangria, even if the base wine you're using under it isn't all that fine or fancy, says Hasler. We've been drinking it with a $12 bottle of an organic cabernet sauvignon.

We've played the least so far with the spiced black currant, mainly because those spices evoked a sense of fall time for me, and I just wasn't craving them in the midst of the hot summer days. But soon that time will arrive to explore them, in something like a black currant Arnold Palmer, which adds the Decadent Saint product to vodka and lemonade plus black tea — another variant for that bottle is a black currant mule with vodka, ginger beer and lime. 

Come dessert, the spiced mocha label contributes to a fine Colorado Bulldog or White Russian, but I've also enjoyed it just mixed with coconut milk. The 15-percent-ABV Decadent Mud is just that, made with fortified red wine, coconut cream, decaf coffee, maple syrup, black currants and the same proprietary spice blend that goes into the spiced mocha liqueur. It's reminiscent of Glühwein (mulled wine), with a faint clove and cinnamon essence. The mud spreads like Nutella and can go on just about anything, from toast to ice cream to fruit — admittedly we just keep dipping pinkie fingers in the jar.

So, yeah, this all might read like a damn commercial, but let's say that Decadent Saint impressed us enough that we felt compelled to share the word on the brand. It's a great Colorado spirit worth your attention — it absolutely caught ours. 

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