WINE by Wohlert: Cab Sauv
King of the World
I receive a great many comments and compliments on this monthly article. Lately, the comments have been leaning in a particular direction: “Hey der, wine guy, your stories are getting’ a little highfalutin. Can you write about some normal stuff for a while, doncha know?” Yes. Yes, I can.
Let’s talk about one of the noblest grapes. Let’s talk about one of the most popular grapes. Let’s talk about one of the hardiest grapes that can pretty much grow anywhere in the world. Let’s talk about Cabernet Sauvignon!
Cabernet Sauvignon, or “Cab,” as it is affectionately known, grew to prominence in France as one of the primary blending grapes in Bordeaux wines. From there, it spread around the world to places likes Australia and South America and California. In 1996, UC-Davis did a DNA test and determined that this grape was a chance crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc sometime in the 17th century. I’m sure that it was a beautiful day in the vineyards; there was probably some lute music drifting through the air, and some random bees were just having a jolly old time, completely unaware that they would be the cause of so much joy, philosophy and overpriced wines in Napa.
If you’ve ever been to one of my classes at the People’s Food Co-op or one of my other events, you may have heard me talk about Tuesday night bottles of wine and Friday night bottles of wine. Tuesday night wines are for eating with leftovers in your jammies and watching TV. Friday night wine is for fine dining and trying to impress your friends. You can extrapolate the cost of said wines from these scenarios. The great thing about Cab is that it can produce great wines in both price brackets.
This month’s wine is The Crusher Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a bouncy number from Clarksburg in Central California. It opens with a lively bouquet of wild strawberry, plum jam and cassis. Flavors of black raspberry, Bing cherry and hints of tart cranberry join rich caramel and smoky sandalwood. The wine is rich and ripe yet with firm structure. You can enjoy this on a Tuesday night or any night of the week.
You can find this wine at Woodman’s. Tell Jessica, the dark mistress of the liquor department, that I sent you. She doesn’t think people actually read these articles. Who’s laughing now?