I confess.  I really only ever thought of sangria as a summer beverage, best served with lots of seasonal fruit floating in my glass and tons of ice. Then I heard about Bass Note Sangria, a premium sangria brand created here in my home state of California in 2016. Consider me a sangria convert!

Founder A.T. Howe has an inordinate amount of wine experience having repped for several wine, beer, and spirits companies over the years.  He saw a potential niche for himself in sangrias, a market where there was very little variety or innovation.  As one of the few African Americans involved in the world of wine to begin with, Howe was used to being seen as an outsider.  What he wanted to do with Bass Note is create a different kind of sangria, one that didn’t just rely on red wine and citrus-based flavors like the original Spanish-style sangrias that have been around forever.

Howe created a group of sangrias with a total California vibe. Starting with premium California wine and then blending the wine with fruit puree or fruit juice and herbal extracts.  His Bass Note brand sangrias are unique in their lack of artificial flavors, with an emphasis on bold natural flavor profiles, making them incredibly drinkable both alone and paired with food.

I really wanted to try the Raspberry Hibiscus Sangria, as it was touted as being similar to a Rosé (a wine variety my daughter and I love to drink together), but it was literally out of stock everywhere I looked!  Not to be deterred, I took this as a good sign, and went with my second choice, the Blackberry Sage Sangria.  I was not at all disappointed!  When I twisted off the lid, I could immediately smell the blackberries and lemons.  The sage is subtle but delicious, giving a nice balance to the fruity flavors.  My daughter isn’t a big fan of wines other than Rosé, but agreed to taste test this sangria with me and she was pleasantly surprised by how deliciously drinkable it was!  Even to her less experienced palate, the fruit flavors came through making it an enjoyable beverage alone as well as with our dinner meal.  We paired ours with grilled steak, roasted asparagus, and herb roasted red potatoes.  Howe was right; this sangria went perfectly with that grilled steak and wasn’t a bit overwhelmed by the herbs on the veggies. (If you want to try these roasted potatoes too, here is the recipe.)

My goal now is to get a bottle of that Raspberry Hibiscus Sangria, given that the folks at Bass Note swear it is amazing when paired with lasagna.  As, quite frankly, when am I not in the mood for lasagna? Do yourself a favor and give Bass Note Sangria a try.  With four unique flavor combinations to choose from, there’s sure to be one that will make you want to drink sangria year-round as well.

Julie Bond

Julie Bond is a voracious reader with eclectic tastes running the gamut from YA lit, to psychological suspense, and anything dog-related, of course. You can find her haunting her favorite San Francisco Bay Area indie bookstores. Email her at ObsessiveBookFanatic@gmail.com

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