Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Getting close to Woop Woop!

I have not been particularly enamored with Denver, Colorado. When expressing my skepticism to a fellow Publishing Institute student, he chuckled and knowingly assured me that I just hadn’t been to the mountains yet... Clearly, he has no idea who I am. Concerned that the only promising thing about this city was the “mountains,” (wherever those are, I have no intention of finding out) I was plunged into a deeper dejection than before. Luckily I discovered the University of Denver area gem: Morgan's Liquor, an insanely well-stocked store with a massive wine selection. The wine section inside was a sight for very sore eyes (Denver supermarkets don't sell any alcohol above 3.2%). Not only were there full casts from Germany, Portugal and Chile, but almost every single bottle came with a recommendation. Some were vivid orange tags that read: “SALE! GREAT PINOT” and the rest either a winery’s own advertisement tag or official Wine Spectator tasting notes and notable reviews/scores/points. It is a wonder I didn’t keep my suite-mates in there longer as I scoured for wines without “leathery notes.”

I settled on two wines, both with screw caps instead of corks. I rarely buy screw cap wine so I don’t know if it was the lack of a corkscrew + fulcrum opener, the static electricity building in the air or just a burning desire to try some new wines that drove me to this cork-less madness, but I was not disappointed. Clearly a screw cap does preclude a bottle from containing a quality wine! It was the 2009 Woop Woop Cabernet ($10.99) from Australia that I tried first. I have been waiting to try this wine for a long time, endeared by the name and a history of rave reviews. The name Woop Woop, comes from the colloquial Australian phrase for “out there” and seemed apropos as we drank the wine in the middle of a raging lightning storm happening directly over us. This wine was one of the fruitiest Cabernet Sauvignons I have had in a while. This Cabernet was remarkably fruit forward, tasting of cherry. The finish was long, rich and smooth. I was left with the remains of fruit and silky tannins to remember the glass by. A friend that tasted it with me told me with hesitation that she’d been put off of red wine because of “too much Smoking Loon,” but I am happy to say that one glass of the Woop Woop and she was instantly brought back. For only $10.99, this wine was remarkably full-bodied and memorable. I'd also recommend checking out the rest of Woop Woop's varietals. Too scared of Shiraz to try their highly acclaimed Shiraz, I'll leave the task up to you!

I was surprised to see that this wine was called, simply, “Cabernet” instead of either Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc (a confusing abbreviation), but it turns out it’s just a rather Australian shortening of Cabernet Sauvignon. This grape is one of the most diversely grown and well-known grapes in the world and until the 1990s it was the most widely planted grape. Merlot, another one of my favorites, surpassed it in production.

Stay tuned for more screw cap tasting when I try a La Yunta Tinto from Argentina next!

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