Saba Cooked Grape Must
Acetaia Leonardi Saba—the sweet, syrupy reduction of Trebbiano and Lambrusco grape must—is a unique and versatile ingredient. The family's Trebbiano and Lambrusco grapes are grown in the 7 hectares surrounding the family home and acetaia. After a gentle crushing, the juice and pulp is coarsely filtered and the mosto (mash), is cooked (cotto) in an open cauldron at 175-200°F for over 24 hours, reducing it to about a third of its original volume.
The majority of the concentrated mosto cotto is placed in a batteria to be aged and acidified into various balsamici. Leonardi selects are certain portion of the mosto cotto to become Saba. They age it in large oak casks for four years, thickening the syrup and giving it a deep complexity, without converting it to vinegar.
The result is a pure, sweet, syrup expression of the Trebbiano and Lambrusco grapes. Saba has a fruity character, raisin-like sweetness, and hint of acidity that complements both sweet and savory dishes. Its uses in the kitchen are endless. Glaze meats and vegetables with Saba while roasting. Add a teaspoon to salad vinaigrettes. Drizzle over fresh cheese or desserts like gelato and panna cotta. Top Prosecco with Saba or use in mixing cocktails.