In my humble Wino opinion, a birthday should always be celebrated with a good bottle of wine. When I first enjoyed this week’s Divine Wine, it was during a birthday celebration with a bunch of friendly Winos. We ordered the bottle, none of us knowing quite what to expect. We had the obligatory birthday “cheers’ing”…. and then we each took a sip. Although it was now five years ago, I remember the moment clearly. I took a sip, and then – with the glass still held up in front of my face, I lifted my eyes from the glass and made eye contact with one of the other winos at the table. We held that eye contact for a moment, knowing we were both thinking the same thing. We were both in love…. with the wine. Since then, I’ve had this wine a number of times and each time, have found myself savoring each sip (or gulp) from my glass.
Divine Wine of the Week: Franciscan Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Price Range: $15-20 at Costco, Total Wine, and most likely your favorite wine shop.
Wino Assessment: As previously noted, upon the first sip, there was nothing but love for this wine. It is dry – has that woody/oaky flavor. But not at all chalky. It also has a bit of that dark fruit flavor (plums, perhaps) that balances the dryness without making it too jammy or sweet. In a way, this wine goes down like a smooth cup of coffee. As you enjoy a few sips of the Franciscan Cab, the swirl of flavors are so satisfying that I swear you’ll suddenly start taking smaller sips because you just want it to last longer.
Tasting Notes: Here is what Franciscan Winery says about their Cabernet Sauvignon:
Aromas: Complex and vibrant aromas of red plum, anise, cherry, violets, and tobacco accentuated by notes of black currant, dried herbs, toasted oak, and cocoa.
Flavors: Elegant and supple texture on the palate make the frame for generous flavors of sweet plum and dark cherry, with notes of vanilla and mocha. Silky tannins and well-integrated structure tie together and linger in the finish.
The winery also has a nice write-up of the history of this wine, if you’re interested in reading more.
Divine Wine Bite: So now that you have the wine in hand, what should you eat with it? Cabernets generally have a lot of tannins, which typically make the wine taste a little more bitter (in the same way that dark chocolate might taste bitter), and also makes it taste dry. Because of that, Cabs tend to go well with red meat. The red meat’s protein and fattiness balance the bitter/dryness of the wine. So try this wine with a nice grilled steak or grilled lamb. I personally enjoyed it with this delicious burger tonight!