Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Brave New World

I’m back in Oregon, after a very quick month at the Denver Publishing Institute, and it’s nice to be in a place that has clouds and living grass. Though my days, for the past three weeks, have been filled with fruitless job searching/applying/begging, I did arrive home to my birthday gifts: two Riedel wine glasses and two coupons for the wine(s) of my choice. My excessively heavy suitcases still in the car, my boyfriend and I stopped by Fred Meyer to find a New World wine (either a cabernet sauvignon or merlot) that would best compliment my new glasses. We settled on a bottle of Joel Gott 815 Cabernet Sauvingon from California. Because it was a special occasion and Ben had been so generous (naïve?) as to put a $20 per bottle ceiling on the wine coupon, I splurged… well, I guess he splurged. I had this wine last Thanksgiving with my family, at the recommendation of a local wine shop, Grapes, in Hawaii, and I’d remembered it as being extremely good. I suppose that writing that $16.99 for a bottle of wine is a splurge affirms my current income-less state, but this wine even tastes spendy. 

In order to prove that my recent wine accoutrement accumulation was worth it, I taste-tested this wine with a various cast of glasses and with and without my aerator. I first tasted the wine in a small wine glass not designed to enhance a red wine; second, I then aerated it in that same glass and tasted it; and third, I aerated the wine and drank from the new glasses. The difference was extremely noticeable. The first glass left something to be desired. I felt as if the wine needed to be swirled in the glass or left open on the counter so that the bouquet could open. The wine tasted too simple for a cabernet. After aerating the wine, in the second step, the nose was distinct with scents of cherry, and the tannins were stronger upon the swallow. When I used my new glasses, specifically designed for cabernets, the wine tasted exactly as a cabernet should. It opened with a light taste of cherry and was followed by notes of cedar (the cedar notes were made evident only in the final test). The long finish was extremely smooth with structured tannins and a hint of acidity.

Though I went through this tasting process, this wine never tasted too sharp or undeveloped. I'm pretty sure that it'd taste great even in a coffee mug as long as you let it breathe for a bit. This wine was exceptionally smooth and embodied the best elements of a cabernet—full-bodied, hints of berry and with noticeable tannins on the long finish. The bouquet and mouth-feel were much more complex than a merlot, but the smoothness and light notes of fruit made it much more drinkable than a zinfandel or even a malbec. So if you have any hesitations about this varietal, give the Joel Gott a try and you'll be an instant convert. I'd recommend this wine to everyone and anyone. 

Have any suggestions for a wine to taste, try and love? Leave me a comment and I’ll see what I can do!

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