Tag Archive | "cabernet sauvignon"

Enjoy a Glass of Jordan and a Chorus of ‘Blurred Vines’

Jordan ChardonnayRobin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” is at the top of the pop charts, which means, that it is ripe for the parodying. You can find any number of spoofs on YouTube, but few will likely please wine lovers as much as this version from Jordan Vineyard & Winery.

So, curl up with a glass of the Jordan Chardonnay, a vibrant Russian River treasure and one of my long-time favorites from California, or the Bordeaux-like Cabernet Sauvignon, and let some blurred vines sail by.

It’s a great way to escape on a summer afternoon.




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Cool Off with the 2010 Mulderbosch Rosé

Chill this rosé down until it fogs up the glass when you pour it.

2010 Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé

Fact: I have written about this wine for several years now, but I think the latest vintage may be the best yet. Either that, or the excessively high heat has made an icy cold glass too refreshing to resist. (Both are true in my book.)

This South African beauty is something of an anomaly among rosés. Its color is almost Kool-Aid red-pink, like something out of a comic book, and it’s made from Cabernet Sauvignon, instead of more popular rosé grapes, such as Pinot Noir, Sangiovese or Grenache.

But its aromas and flavors are truly serious. Chill this wine down and get ready for a blast of wild strawberry and pomegranate aromas to shoot from the glass, followed by flavors of watermelon, tart cherry and a touch of green herb on the palate.

Grill up some steaks with a touch of lime juice on them or burgers with a spicy mayo, and enjoy.

It’s not easy to find Mulderbosch in San Antonio. The wine rep at one H-E-B claimed he hasn’t been able to get it for three years, yet I found it at another H-E-B, the one on Thousand Oaks, for an attractive $10.99 a bottle. I’ve also seen it at Spec’s, Twin Liquors and several Gabriel’s stores in the past.

Feeling: This is a wine that loves anything that sings of summer, from vine-ripened tomatoes with a touch of dill weed to grilled portobello mushrooms to crab cakes. So, forget what the thermometer says and sink back with a summer quaffer that’s practically perfect.

If you want to learn more about rosé wine, join Richard Becker, Steven Krueger, Bonnie Walker and me, among others, at Culinaria’s Rambling Rosé this Saturday at Becker Vineyards in Fredericksburg. This event is one that each of us has called our favorite of the entire year. So, join us for some terrific wines, wonderful food and, we hope, good talk. For more information, click here.

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Chilean Cab Offers Full Flavor at Low Price

Casa Lapostolle Rafael Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Fact: Chilean Cabernet Sauvignons are can be fine wines at good prices. This one is a good example, priced as it is in the $12.50 range. Aromas of bright red fruit, including plums, greet you on first sniff. The flavors are a little more complex, with currant and blackberry mingling with a touch of oak, cocoa and smoke. Supple tannins and a good acid structure are friendly on the tongue; the wine dances to a tart finish.

The wine is a blend of 85 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 8 percent Syrah, 5 percent Carmenère and 2 percent Cabernet Franc.

Feeling: I visited Chile a few years ago and so I’ve been following news of the earthquake and its aftermath fairly closely. One way to support the country at this difficult time is to buy its products, so I have been searching out  new Chilean wines to add to the list of ones I already love. This may not be quite as full-bodied as some cult Cabs from California, but it is far more food friendly. It was paired with braised short ribs, a combination that made both better.

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Napa Cellars Cabernet a Smooth Sensation

Napa Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Fact: The buzz surrounding the 2007 vintage in Napa Valley should have Cabernet Sauvignon lovers as excited as they were about the 1997 vintage. Many will also be looking for bargains, which this wine is at $26 a bottle.

The year was perfect for producing grapes with intense fruit flavors and soft tannins. The blend of Cabernet grapes used in the wine includes fruit from Rutherford, adding a subtle violet quality, as well as nearby Oakville.

Aromas of blackberry, black currant and dark red fruit mingle with a touch of violet and cocoa. Let it open a little in your glass and let notes of oak and vanilla come into play. The dark fruit notes carry over to the taste, which is also marked by hints of cedar. A full, rich finish lingers after each sip.

Feeling: I likes me some smooth Cab, and this one fills the bill nicely. It’s soft yet full-bodied on the tongue, which makes it enjoyable by itself. The alcohol content isn’t too far gone at 14 percent, so pair it with a big ol’ hunk of red meat, anything from lamb to a beefy Irish stew.

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Myron’s Prime Steakhouse to Showcase Mondavi Wines

California wine pioneer Robert Mondavi may no longer be with us, but bottles bearing his name are still extremely popular with wine critics and wine lovers alike.  Myron’s Prime Steakhouse in New Braunfels will be pairing its best fare with some of Mondavi’s finest wines in a dinner set for 7 p.m. Jan. 22.

The evening starts off with Blue Satin Soup and Robert Mondavi Napa Chardonnay, followed by Ahi Tuna and Robert Mondavi Carneros Pinot Noir.  Spicy Barbecue Salmon and Robert Mondavi Napa Merlot will precede  Tenderloin with Gruyere Mashed Potatoes and the Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from 2005 and 2006. (The 2006 received a 96 rating from Wine Spectator.) Dessert will be  Honey Panna Cotta with fresh raspberries and Robert Mondavi Napa Moscato d’ Oro.

The cost is $69.95 a person plus tax and tip. Reservations required. Call  (830) 624-1024 or e-mail Myron’s is at 136 N. Castell, New Braunfels.

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Thanksgiving Wines, From Traditional to New

MulderboschFinding the right wines to serve at Thanksgiving is never an easy task. You have to start with what you’re serving.

Get beyond the turkey and look at your side dishes. Are you having candied yams and a sweet cranberry relish? Mashed potatoes and stuffing? Green bean casserole? All of the above?

Each of those foods calls for a separate wine, so you may want to have a couple of glasses on the table or offer a couple of wines to suit people’s tastes.

With the candied yams and the relish, both loaded with sugar, you’ll want a sweeter wine, something like a Riesling or a Gewürztraminer from Washington state. That’s because your wine should always be sweeter than the food you’re pairing it with or the wine will taste shrill and bitter. Hogue Cellars and its sister label, Genesis, make fine examples of both starting at about $10 a bottle.


Hogue Cellars Riesling

If your plate will be filled more with roast turkey, mashed potatoes and a not-too-herbal stuffing, then think about a Chardonnay or a Burgundy (either white or red, but not California’s “hearty Burgundy” out of a jug). The bold flavors of these wines will bolster the meal without clobbering it into submission.

An elegant Pinot Noir, with plenty of acid, is supremely food friendly. Fine examples of this can also be costly. But, we like the 12 Clones Pinot Noir from Morgan, which runs in the $20s. If you want to spend more, Morgan has a line of single-vineyard Pinots as well, each equally stunning.

Another red suggestion could be a Rhone blend, either from France or the United States. These are lighter bodied wines that won’t clobber your dinner with its brashness. Llano Estacado Signature from Texas is a fine example of this at a reasonable price of about $10 a bottle.

There are many lighter-styled reds that are very good matches with giblet gravy or a gorgeous goose. Inexpensive Spanish Tempranillo or Garnacha, Chilean or New Zealand Pinot Noir, Beaujolais Villages, and even Italian Montipulciano reds can slip right into your Thanksgiving dinner beautifully.

Cool, refreshing rosé certainly pair well with many Thanksgiving favorites. The acid cuts through the sauce of the green bean casserole and gives turkey a little pick-me-up. Plenty of youthful rosés from the southern hemisphere have begun appearing in the market now, with the Mulderbosch Rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon ($12-$16) being a perennial standout. Also, be sure you’re purchasing a dry rose — white Zinfandels and other blush wines will be sweeter.  (So, maybe have those with the candied yams!)

If you have to have Cabernet Sauvignon, especially a big one in the California style, then feel free to do so. But think about serving it after dinner, so you can enjoy the wine on its own and be thankful for every drop in your glass. Remember, these wines are more geared to go with beef than turkey. Serving one will only help disguise all the flavors of what you’re eating.

If there is one ubiquitous wine for the multifarious dishes on the Thanksgiving table, it might be the most logical choice for a celebration: sparkling wine. Champagne, Cava, Prosecco, all sparkling wines and all worth exploring. An off-dry Prosecco like Zardetto often sells for $10-$15, while the ever-reliable Domaine Ste. Michelle series from Washington state sells in the same price range. We recently judged a wine competition where both the Korbel Brut Rosé and the Korbel Blanc de Noirs (very light rose color) took top prizes. These are under $15.

You could also use a less-expensive sparkler in the following Thanksgiving-inspired cocktail, the Relish: Mix 1/2 ounce cranberry juice and 1 ounce orange juice in a Champagne flute. Top with chilled sparkling wine. Serve.

Bonnie Walker and Cecil Flentge contributed to this article.

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Wine Review: A Napa Cab That’s Nice and Complex

StClementSt. Clement Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Fact: Napa Valley is known for producing excellent cabernet sauvignon that’s full of bold fruit flavors while being elegant on the tongue. In this case, a little age has helped integrate both aspects into a smooth, satisfying whole. The hypnotic nose is full of fruit aromatics (cherry, current) and vanilla spice. Soft tannins let it slide over the tongue to a silky, fruity finish. A little merlot and cabernet franc offer excellent structure, support and a greater depth of flavors, from cocoa powder to cherry cola. The current vintage, 2006, sells for about $32 a bottle.

Feeling: Get the grill heated up and get out a New York strip.  This baby calls for a hunk o’ meat. Let the wine evolve in the glass, and let your sense of relaxation follow suit.

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