Cabernet Sauvignon that is.
I don’t like it. Or so I have thought these past several years. Not the grapes, but rather because of the oak barrels it is aged in. For the same reason I don’t really care for chardonnay or whiskey.
My wife and I spent a couple days touring the Seneca Wine Trail, Fingerlakes region, New York, and we got to talking with one of the winemakers at Atwater Vinyards. He let me sample some chardonnay that was aging in stainless steel tanks, and had never seen oak. This was where I learned to avoid “oaky” and any synonyms when reading wine labels to pick out something I’d like. Of course I reasoned that I liked non-oaky chardonnay’s and didn’t think about how that might pertain to other wines.
Several years have gone by, and my views of wine haven’t changed. Though, I’ve added Pinot Noir to my list of faves, along with Beaujolais Nouveau, Riesling, Chianti, Tempranillo (soooo good with chocolate) and the uber cheap (but quite good) Cafe Chardonnay from Gallo.
A food/wine pairing event last October, really opened up my eyes to how different foods really effect how wine tastes – for better, or more often in my case, for worse. We tried 4 wines – 2 white, 2 red -pesto chicken, tomatoes, cheese, olives chocolate and fruit. Surprisingly, each wine was my favorite, or least favorite depending on it’s food partner.
I also know that our tastes change every 7 years (or is that just how long it takes for all our taste buds to replace themselves).
Whatever the case, now that my wife is doing these in home wine parties, I’ve sampled about a dozen new wines the past few weeks. I’ve tried 4 cabernets and each of them was dramatically different than the last… I’m enjoying a good one right now from Monterey California (beware of worsening grammar and punctuation skills)… and lo it’s described as oaky, with licorice (I hate licorice… don’t I)
If I didn’t know, I wouldn’t now!
Well, throw time, experience and prejudice out the window people, I have a whole new world of wine to get to know all over again… 28/100 of my way into the wine century club!