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Estate Grown Saba

 

What it is:  Saba, or Vin Cotto, the sweet tart syrup of pressed wine grapes that have been reduced and aged.

Details:  One 200-milliliter glass bottle, $35.

Who makes it:  Terra Sonoma, a family winery and farm nestled in Sonoma's stunning Alexander Valley.

Why I love it:  One of my first food discoveries while living in Italy years back was Saba. Similar to balsamic vinegar, though made from winegrapes yet fermented, Saba is a sweet tart grape nectar. Crafting it is a patient task - and traditionally an Italian one at that. That's why I was so excited to discover such a coveted condiment being produced in California's Sonoma County by Terra Sonoma. The first to produce it stateside, their Saba is made with estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes, reduced slowly over a period of four weeks, then aged in bourbon barrels for a year. The resulting syrup is bursting with rich fig and cherry characteristics. It's also gently tart and vivacious. I feel like blushing when I taste it.

How I’ll use this in my kitchen:  The Italians used Saba as a replacement for sugar and indeed it flavors instead of merely sweetens. I love it drizzled over grilled stone fruits or figs wrapped in prosciutto or over a juicy grilled steak or a slow roasted duck breast. It's simply divine sprinkled onto grilled radicchio or onto a slice of aged pecorino or Gorgonzola. Try it spooned into a simmering tomato sauce or a homemade strawberry jam batch. Italians use Saba like Vermonters use maple syrup; everyday!

Storage Tips:  Keep refrigerated once opened.

Tags
Terra Sonoma
Geyserville, CA

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