If you have a couple of friends over and want to prepare something a little bit more elaborate, then- cut a thick slice of dark lithuanian bread (available from any Russian grocery store), roast a leg of lamb, toss some arugula and then sit back and enjoy with a Cabernet Sauvignon. This is the perfect wine for the oncoming cold and chilly evenings...sip after sip warms the gut, kindles the taste buds and the evening is converted into a warm and romantic memory.
Cabernet Sauvignon along with Chardonnay and Merlot is one of the most widely-planted of the world's grape varietals. The principal grape in many wines from the Bordeaux region in France, particularly those from the Medoc, it is grown in most of the world's wine growing regions. Many of the finest red wines in the world are predominantly made from this grape.
Most Cabernet Sauvignon based wine is blended with varying quantities of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot or Malbec. Blending grape varietals lends a wine added structure, aromas and flavors along with muscularity and individuality. All this depends on the type of wine that is desired by the wine maker or the vineyard owner.
California Cabernet compared to French Bordeaux is mostly bigger, dark- with more blue and violet highlights. Alcohol levels are higher and flavors are inclined to be more fruit forward; jammy preserves, cassis, stewed plums, roasted meat, cherry and toasty oak. New world wines are also much more approachable and welcoming in their youth.
If you like trying something very different from the usual stuff in your wine shop, I recommend the Cab from Ceja Vineyards. With bright fruit, berries, leather, anise and some dark chocolate on the nose, it shows a toasty earthiness with a concentration of dark fruit, blackberry, plum and cherries on the palate. This wine can be enjoyed alone or with chicken, darker fish or meat dishes. And it goes beautifully with anything chocolate!
And if you crave a wine that is bolder, bigger, true to the spirit of California than go no further than the Cabernets from Phelan Vineyards. This is a boutique winery located in the Mt. George area in Napa Valley dedicated to producing premium Cabernet Sauvignon. The Phelan wines are characterized by their elegant texture and huge aromas of smoky wooden barrels with hints of coffee, earth and dark berries. And this one demands a juicy steak or roasted lamb with lots of sauce and gravy!
Please drink responsibly. Au Revoir...
By Priya Singh
For more adventures in the world of food and wine, go to Nourishment for the Senses