Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita went crazy for these wine slushies at the Women’s Fair: How to get some

I’ll never forget the first moment I saw it.

It was a pale rose color, and it was churn-churn-churning in an industrial margarita/slushie machine.

Free samples of its alcoholic awesomeness were being distributed last weekend at a booth at the Wichita Women’s Fair – a wondrous oasis visible from the main thoroughfare but partially obscured by neighbors passing out trial-sized bottles of shampoo and hawking blinged-out bags.

One taste and I knew: This was the adult beverage I’d always dreamed of, the one I never knew I always needed.

The big hit of the Women’s Fair this year was a “frappe vino” mix, and the samples being distributed were so good, my co-workers and I talked about them and only them for most of the week.

Lucky for them, I had the good sense to buy a couple of boxes, and after I mixed one up, I realized that this stuff is THE stuff.

The wine frappe mix is made by an Ohio-based company called d’marie. Sadly, we can’t buy it in person when the Women’s Fair is not in session. But we can buy it on the company’s website. (We also can buy them already made at Cocoa Dolce‘s east and west stores, where a less-sweet, more icy version of the drink is on the menu.)

A box of the d’marie mix, which costs $13 and makes one batch, is made with a base of dehydrated green tea and also includes evaporated cane juice and dehydrated cranberry juice. All you have to do is dump a 750 ml bottle of wine into a plastic bag or container then fill the bottle with water and dump that in, too. Next, you mix in the packet of d’marie powder and freeze for three to five hours.

The frappe samples distributed at the fair had been mixed up in a professional slushie machine, so their texture was smooth and creamy. The sales ladies warned us that the freezer method wouldn’t produce that texture, but the texture it did produce was even better, I thought.

When it was finally frozen, I scooped the finished product with an ice cream scoop into glasses, and the consistency was smooth and icy and without being crunchy. It reminded me of when I put my bottle of wine in the freezer in hopes of chilling it quickly, forget about it, and then later pour out a glass floating with perfect ice chards. I’d always wonder why that happy wine accident couldn’t be a purposeful thing. Little did I know, it was. It is!

The people staffing the Women’s Fair booth had used a below-average bottle of wine that I would likely never consider drinking in its original state. But with the powder added and the freezing applied, it was heavenly. So when I made my batch, I went for the cheapest bottle of Cabernet I could find.

The texture tops, but the flavor is wonderful as well. You can still taste the tang of the dry wine and the bite of the alcohol, but there’s just enough sweetness added to make it taste like dessert.

The box says that the mix works just as well with white wine, rum, vodka and champagne. The d’marie brand has been operating since 2000, selling wine dip mixes and crackers. But it introduced the frappe vino mix in 2006 and now sells it online and at big trade shows and conventions. The company has about six salespeople that travel the country selling the product.

You can get a box for $13 at www.dmarieinc.com/.

I brought the batch I made to work for everyone to sample (just a tiny taste) and I’m pretty sure I’m going to be voted employee of the month.

Just thought I’d share.


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