Tag Archives: cabernet sauvignon

What’s my name?!

18 Nov

DANG! I squealed when I opened the box holding this. It’s a classy personalized label and I’m a classy broad. Clifford=total class I tell you.

No, I did not get into the wine-making bizzzz. Not yet. But the kindly Gallo people sent me a personalized bottle. This is a dang good gift, methinks. They sent me the Cabernet Sauvignon but you can also personalize Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc at this site. Pretty inexpensive too–less than twenty! Well shipping will cost a touch more but I digress.

I haven’t opened it yet but when I do I will pour it into my brand-spanking new Riedel glass designed in conjuncture with Louis M Martini Winery to specifically to serve up Cabernet. I’ve always maintained that everything tastes better out of my Zalto Burgundy glasses but I’m willing to open my mind. So hot dang yes this post is extolling the virtues of products sent to me for free but I’ve pleasant past experience with Riedel stemware and really I just love this dark label with my name on it. I haven’t opened it yet. I have opened the Louis M Martini wine that was supposed to go with the glass and I can solidly say they make a yummy wine. And now, a fine wine glass too.

Someday I’m thinking I’ll make my own wine and possibly would use my middle name but for now Clifford looks good to me!

 

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Okay alllllmost there

4 Aug


Hey now, I know. You are still waiting for the end of the Beaujolais run but let us pause for ye olde cabernet sauvignon. Partly because I am twiddling my thumbs on editing my Brouilly entry and partly because Gallo sent me this delicious cab which I opened because A) I’m tired of gamay for two seconds and B) I made an ice cream calling for cabernet so I had to open it so here ya go:

2014 Louis M Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

YAY okay metaphor: This is the older wiser friend you have supes ridic convo with but also although any other person their age would think you an idiot for saying “supes ridic convo” , this one did not and you had enough funtime that you could (half jokingly) say “supes ridic convo” and both of you are like whooaaaa we are such fun loving ironic idiots! Yet deep. Yet idiotic. But this wine is all that MINUS the idiotic part.

 

Also this wine makes amazing ice cream. Ice cream is for all ages. I’ll leave the recipe.

Okay stats, WSETs style:

Appearance: Clear (not that it was not opaque but it was not cloudy!) deep purple red, with medium slow tears.

Nose: clean, medium, youthful, with cedar, vanilla, blackberries and a whiff of tobacco smoke.

Onnnnn zee tongue!: dry, medium, acid I’d call medium if it were white but it is acidic as heck (pleasantly so) for a red, tannins are ever so slightly fresh and medium plus. Like the tannins could be better integrated or riper but they are not overly astringent. The alcohol, my guess is medium plus. My guess is 14.5…feeeeel my anxiety as I check to see if I am accurate…14.4% on the tech sheet they gave me yet 14.9% on the bottle so…I was right there!!! Score. This is a boozy bitch.

Body is medium plus. Like it feels like but the texture and strength of booze make it feel like more. Flavor intensity is medium. The medium flavors? They are blackberries, Black currant jam, red cherry, cedar, vanilla, nutmeg, yet more vanilla, and a whiff of tobacco smoke in the name of what comes from a clove cigarette winkwinkformergothlol.  The finish is…well hot. That is the high alcohol. It does not evolve but it does not fall off so I would say it lasts medium and it evolves over the lat medium minus. Which is still better than 90% of wines out there probably.

Okay if you see this wine don’t waste is on ice cream ORRRRR do! the ice cream was insanely great. Here is the recipe:

Ch0colate-Cabernet Ice Cream adapted from Vegan à la Mode by Hannah Kaminsky

  • 1 3/4 almond milk
  • 3/4 cup chocolate almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp Arrowroot
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa
  • pinch salt
  • 3 oz. chopped dark chocolate ( I used Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips)
  • 3/4 cup cabernet sauvignon (she says “or any other fruity red wine” but I’d never say cab was generally fruity–I’d recommend a pinot noir, blaufrankisch or beaujolais instead)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine first six ingredients in medium saucepan. Whisk to combine then heat over medium, whisking frequently until it boils, then reduce heat to low, add chocolate until it dissolves. Take off heat and whisk in wine and vanilla. Cool completely before  processing in your ice cream maker per their directions.

Wine-timidation

18 Apr

Oh no so there is that friend. She has her shit together. She is smarter, cooler, more–I dunno everything-er–than you, and you love her but worry about saying the wrong thing around her until the night gets going and you realize really her presence is actually calming.

She looks super deep, and also somehow pulls off the paisley/plaid/denim look like a boss. Like this wine pulls off combining varietals from Spain (the Tempranillo), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon) and Northern Rhone (Syrah). And then this wine sports the one wacky grape like she rocks the random nonsensical jacket patches and it works! The grape in this oh-so-super metaphor is the Petit Verdot. Who the F grows that? It is a finicky and needs extra-special heat and is hardcore and normally used in tiny amounts except here where it is a full 25% of the beverage but hey! This wine has it! And makes it wicked awesome! Why does she have a wombat patch? That’s so odd! And cool now you wanna get to know some wombats even though she probably forgot she ever got that patch.

Oh right and before I forget there is hip minimalist intervention in the making of this vineyard to boot. So cool.

Also a friend of mine in the wine community sent this to me because he rocks and I do my best to give him educated wine feedback…

Here is the thing. This girl (wine) is good. And quality. And worth keeping in your wheelhouse. I might eat it with migas but don’t tell.

So this intimidating friend/wine…although at first glance too hip n cool for school, once you get to chatting (sipping) she is relatable. Do-able. Maybe even basic. Simpler than you surmised but still…upscale shall we say. Delectable.

And now I shall like a WSET advanced certified person I’ll judge for you this wine:

2012 Booker Vineyard “Remnant” 

35% Tempranillo, 25 % Petite Verdot, 23 % Syrah, 17 % Cabernet Sauvignon

Aged 24 months in French oak barrels. From Paso Robles (so near yet so far!).

Lemme give those of you who want a soundbite tasting note my thoughts: This is plush but has a bite. Fruity in a way some peeps will call sweet but really just fruity. With some spice. Balanced perfectly. If you want to know what to pair it with I would say walnuts. That’s my gut feeling. But you are not ordering that for dinner so I’d say anything with nuts. Oooooh a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich would be flippin’ wicked with this. Now I need a sandwich. Oh my.

All of which to say this is an approachable wine with an attitude. Like that girl who is so cool you hope she likes you too. She probably will.

Details, WSET-style:

To the eye: DARK!!! Which I love. Dark ruby/purple. Opaque even poured in small amounts. Medium thick slow tears gliding down the wineglass sides.

Nose: All sorts of blackberries, plums, allspice, red pears,and ginger.

Tongue: Dry but so fruit-forward you almost wanna call it sweet. Acid is medium. Tannins medium and may be from the petit verdot but clearly there is some influence from the oak. Sorta plush yet textured like that. Alcohol is medium (13.8% abv which technically is .3 over medium but what the heck evs). Body is for a red medium…almost plus> Strawberries blackberries cherries all the -ies, allspice as heck, a hint of that sorta sweet baby spinach…rightttt? Right. Flavor intensity is medium, Finish is medium plus. There is a moment you think “this is short-ish or maybe medium” then something spicy kicks you. In a Pleasant Kicking Way. Someone is into that right??

Okay. Thank you Paul for sending this my way. It is truly a delight.

Oh heck realized I have some peanut butter cup ice cream and a cherry ice cream and that may be the ideal pairing for this wine. Test it and tell me?

Cheers!

17 Mar


I apologize in advance if this entry is more maudlin and less haha funny. Because I want to toast to family. Which matters.

Family is the…BEST thing. If it weren’t for my parents I…well I need not go on. 

So. Accelerating to the drink because I can tell you more of my not-haha-funny past my family saved me from later. History will always be there where we left it.

How many of us can create wines in honor of our papas? If I ever make a wine I would. That’s what Joseph Carr of Josh Cellars did when he made

Josh Cellars Legacy Red Blend

And the winery was kind enough to send some to me. If my family were in town I certainly would have shared the wealth. But it was Tuesday night in LA and I needed to write another wine blog and there was nary a soul to share with. So I am cheers-ing with the camera. With you.

My blog family.

I love you dear readers. Not as much I love my family but like, a whole bunch.

But because I love you I’ll stop being sappy and talk of this vino I would share with you.

Were you here. 

My lovelies.

Okay wine.

The grape varietal combo is luscious:

45% Merlot for the juicy alcoholic tastiness. 45% Zinfandel for those of us who like our rough and also slightly spicy stewed fruit. Then 5% Cabernet Sauvignon (everyone will drink it!) and 5% Petite Sirah (why not?).

This drink is indeed good for family because it is medium in almost every category. So no one will argue. It’s a balanced bottle.

To the eye: deep cherry-plum red, medium tears

Nose: clean, medium intensity, cherries, plum, tobacco and raisins, youthful (2014)

Tongue: dry, medium acid, medium tannins, medium alcohol (13.5% abv), medium body, medium flavor intensity, plums, raspberries, currants (red and black), stewed dried fruit (raisins, prunes, cranberries), vanilla, cigar box, cloves, allspice, medium finish

All over: good quality. Quite do-able. If I was at a party and someone handed this to me I’d be at home.

I’d take this wine home. Cheers!

Lovely

7 Feb


Oh hey chatty wine! This wine has a lot to say and I was up for listening. And reading. The winery sent me oodles of info on this lil’ sample from Columbia Valley:

Mullan Road Cellars 2013 Red Wine Blend

It’s a Bordeaux blend: 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 1% Malbec 

Oh okay okay let us talk about the taste. That’s what y’all are here for no?

Oh okay okay okay I am going to go WSET with the tasting notes but I’ll attempt to spice them up. If you want to skip all that I’ll just say this is a sexy blackberry jam of a wine with some delightful vanilla from its 16 months in oak (some new French, some American).

Here we go!

On ze Eye: Easy. Easy on the eyes. Ahem. Technically it is clear, medium ruby with slow thick tears.

In yer Nose: clean, medium, blackberry, vanilla, and allspice to put it simply. Youthful.

On ye olde Tongue: dry, medium plus acid and alcohol, so a thoroughly serious wine. But like fun serious. Like…I’m not sure things in the world have been unfun serious recently so… 

Body and flavor intensity: medium plus, both of them. Tannins are the medium. But all the acid and alcohol (14.3% abv) make me think this could be aged for some time. 6 years, say?

Flavours (with a u bc why not British): blackberries!!!!!! And as the French and cool people like you and I say: cassis. As in currants: mostly red. Boatloads of vanilla. And allspice! That’s the stuff! And probably some more spices like cloves and nutmeg but they are elegantly woven in so you don’t get the impression you’re eating a Christmas cookie although that sounds good right now…

Oh no now I want another bottle so I can pair it with gingerbread. Not that I have gingerbread right now. Or another bottle so all this will remain a fantasy. For now…

Drink now drink later just drink?

6 Sep


You know how sometimes even your most favorite food on earth, consumed at the wrong time, is enjoyed, but slightly frustrating because the environment is wrong? Like trying to eat a delightful split pea soup while, say, driving in summer. The taste, the color, this soup has it all! But it’s friggin’ hot and you are in a car and you wish you’d waited for optimum conditions.

Such it is for this wine because it is a bloody good wine but I opened it in my hot hot home without a nice bit of food to pair and it was great but cooler air would have made it greater. Don’t get me wrong. DRINK THIS gosh-darned wine. 

2013 Columbia Winery ‘Element’ Wahluke Slope

Actually having visited and tasted many of Columbia Winery’s wines I would advise giving any of their ditties a whirl. This blend came my way as a birthday gift from my aunt and uncle who reside in Washington within a quick drive of myriad excellent wineries.

So yah. Lots of Columbia wines to choose from but please do choose the right one for the weather? I mean I’m not sorry I opened this. Because good wine is excellent always. But in retrospect I’d have saved for a colder night. Let us unpack the details:

This wine had a full body. The tannins are a wee bit heavy handed on first pour but let it mellow in your glass a second, no matter how thirsty you are, and you’ll be rewarded by the effects of letting it breathe a bit. The blackberries, red cherries and currants will sing more sweetly. That crack of pepper will settle into the grooves of the vanilla bean that simply must have been hanging out in this bottle! Hint: it wasn’t a vanilla bean–it is just the effect of the oak this juice spent 19 months in.

The finish lasts deceptively long. It seems to fall off…but then! Oh then. It pulls out mellow notes of blueberry and happiness and oh…rainbows over mountain springs so take that and do what you might with it. If you dig rainbows you are a good person who should keep drinking these. If not? You and I do not see eye to eye yet. Please advise.

Big. Ass. Mine Yours Which What-evs

30 Aug


So Milano Family Wines is up to putting out some hot ass. So what. The. Hey. Okay.

I wanted to be opposed to this based on name but for some everyday drinking in, I could be into this shiz-nit.

Ass! Mine…yours..whoevers…I would never in a mil and yon years have purchased this but this is what online contests are for, to expose more people to wine they might not select otherwise.

Psssssst! I got this from a giveaway on the venerable Bri’s Glass of Wine site. Bri knows some good stuff so… I figured if I won the results would be dandy. 

I am confused that Milano Family Winery is, oh say, family? I mean, my fam is open. Mom explained sex, at least the mechanics as they apply to baby-making when I was maybe 7 and my father advised me in family therapy as an adult that I should consider pre-marital sex (I took that up it was a good idea) and yes I’m writing a memoir of my fuck-uped-ness but Big Ass family wine? Okay sure. But really.

How. Does. It. Taste.

That is what matters.

Wait, first! A PSA:

TEMPERATURE IS IMPORTANT! WHEN PEOPLE SAY SERVE RED WINE AT ROOM TEMP THAT SHOULD BE BETWEEN 55 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit!!!! NOT THE USA “72 is perfect” ROOM TEMP! THAT IS TOO FUCKING WARM!

If only I could go to every bar in the USA and help them with wine temperature. EVERYONE would appreciate wine more.

This Big Ass red ain’t bad. I shall endeavor to assess with a bit of the WSET 3 criteria. But first the tech info:

This is a Merlot/Zinfandel/Cabernet/Carignan blend aged in 20% French Oak. I am assuming the Cab is Sauvignon, not Cabernet Franc because most people, if they say Cab. mean the Sauv.  

But let us not dwell on tech, let us dwell on experience.

Okay now the WSET drill:

Appearance: Clear, deep purple.

Nose: Clean, medium (+), dark red cherries and currants, white pepper and cinnamon, fully developed.

Palate: Dry, medium acid, medium (+) alcohol (apparently it is 14.5 abv), medium (-) body, blackcurrant and red currant jam (what the what?! red and black true!) cinnamon, white pepper, black pepper, allspice and cinnamon and some sage. A whiff of tobacco and vanilla but I do not think aging would accentuate it therefore ergo—-

Drink now, little reason to age. Flavor intensity was medium (+) and

Finish: medium (-) it does not totally drop off but then it does not evolve and move me. Which is fine anything over low is helpful to making me wanna have some more.

Quality? According to the WSET probably somewhere around good. Maybe between acceptable and good (closer to good but good for WSET is better than most people’s “good”)which for this price is super. Like, I would sip this freely and happily. And be like, “Hey dudes, check this BIG ASS WINE!”. It is big. And look at my ass. Hint I do have a sweet ass.

I mean in general this is good, but there is not a thing I would call special or idiosyncratic to a grape, or region but..this delight would pair up with a snack or  a dessert or even it would just pair well with a…drinking vessel?  Wine is really good when you pair it with a wine glass.

There ya go.

Wisdom for the ages.