The third wine sent to me from Wine Chateau for sampling was The Great American Wine Company 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon by Rosenblum Cellars. For this wine, I created a menu consisting of soup, salad, main course, cheese course, and dessert. It was a lot of fun to consider what menu items I would pair with a young Cab.
I wound up serving Caesar salad, savory beet soup, steak with gorgonzola sauce, sautéed rutabagas, cheddar, blue cheese, and molten chocolate cake. (I told you I went all out!)
The wine was nice – and it’s a good value (it retails for under $20, and Wine Chateau has it available for just under $10). On the first nose, the wine had hints of vanilla, berries, and chocolate pudding. After the swirl, mushrooms, celery, and fennel notes became apparent. I could sit and smell this wine all day.
We started off with the caesar salad. I went ahead and made the salad from scratch following the directions for the Classic Caesar Salad from the Eatin’ on the Cheap blog. Yes, I made the dressing the traditional way – making an emulsion of the egg and the oil. The salad was delicious. It paired nicely with this cab, and it tamed the clove and vanilla flavors. The wine retained its dry heat on the back end. I made the croutons from scratch, cutting up some french bread , tossing it in olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
The next dish of the evening was the savory beet soup. This soup was amazing (and it was easy to make, though peeling beets is always an interesting endeavor – anyone know how to do it super-efficiently? Post your tips in the comments section). Nevertheless, we’ll be making this one for Thanksgiving this year. The beets brought out the fennel in the Cabernet as well as sour cherry, cloves, and nutmeg. It was also a really nice pairing.
For the main course, I served steak with gorgonzola sauce and pan roasted rutabaga. Let me say, the sauce for the steak was absolutely amazing. While I used sirloin instead of filet mignon, it came out great, and it paired wonderfully with the wine. It really brought out the balance of the Cabernet. The rutabaga (my first time trying this delicious vegetable, thanks to our CSA), was also delicious. It brought out the tannins and the heat in the wine.
After the main course, we took a small break and cleaned up a bit before sitting down to enjoy the cheese course. For this course, I used cheddar and blue cheese. The cheddar brought out the cloves and vanilla notes in the wine more. The blue cheese was really nice with the Cabernet. It smoothed the wine out a bunch.
You would think that we would be completely stuffed after all this food, but I had designs on dessert. I got out the mixing bowl, and began making the last course: A molten chocolate cake. The trick to making these cakes is to avoid overcooking them so that the center remains smooth and uncooked. Unfortunately, I overcooked mine a little, but they were still really great. The wine, having decanted for some time, had become more tannic and mild. The wine went very well with these small cakes, and was enjoyable.
In all, I would recommend the Great American Wines Cabernet Sauvignon. If you’ve tried it, what did you think? What did you pair it with?