Wining Wife®

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Tag: Cabernet Sauvignon (page 1 of 3)

“Secret” Ingredient Chili to Knock Your Socks Off

ChiliOkay, so it’s been a little while since I’ve posted a recipe on here; it’s about time I did! I actually have two chili recipes. One, my seven pepper chili recipe, I’ll have to share later. It’s super spicy, and since I’m breastfeeding, and little man is not as much a fan of the spice as the rest of us, I won’t be making it for a bit. The other is a recipe I’ve been perfecting for a little while, and I’m ready to share it. It is delicious.

April_01__2016_at_0616PMYou see, a few months ago, I got the bright idea that perhaps I should do something to keep the heat in the chili (because, let’s face it, who wants chili that’s not very spicy?). This “secret” ingredient to my chili not only allows me to keep the heat, but it makes it so that the chili pairs really nicely with some of the richer wines in our cellar. In fact, the first time I made it, I paired it with a Chateau Ste. Michelle 2012 Cold Creek Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine has subtle notes of chocolate and nutmeg. 

Guess what I added to the chili?

I added chocolate and nutmeg. I know! It seems so crazy, but I was thinking if a Mexican molé is made with chocolate to help tame the spice and add richness, why can’t I add it to my chili. And, I’m sure there are like five thousand chocolate chili recipes out there that already exist. 

It's hard to think this big guy was once a picky eater.

It’s hard to think this big guy was once a picky eater.

Here’s a funny story before I get to the recipe. When my oldest son (that’s him in his bowling team photo) was much younger, say 5, he was an extremely picky eater. I taught him to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches based upon a suggestion from another mom friend, and that curbed a lot of the picky eating habits (if he didn’t want what I’d made, he could make himself such a sandwich). However, it didn’t curb all of the picky eating. He just wouldn’t eat any red meats or pork or chicken. He liked chocolate. So, when he would say “What’s for dinner?” I would say, “Steak.” He would respond with, “I don’t like steak.” I would respond with, “But it’s chocolate steak. You like chocolate.” Guess what? He would eat said steak. Then he would say “I don’t like steak; but I like chocolate steak.”

I added this dark beer to the chili in addition to the chocolate.

I added this dark beer to the chili in addition to the chocolate – and it made a nice beverage to enjoy with the chili at dinner!

Of course, there was no chocolate in the steak, or the chicken, or the pork. I lied to my kid. There it is. He found out about it several months later at my sister’s house in New Orleans. Her kids were all “That’s not chocolate!” And so, yeah, the spell was broken, but he would pretty much eat anything I made following that. 

So, I think of that story when I make this chili.  Of course, there is chocolate in this recipe. 

So this time around, I used canned beans. It made enough for 3 adult and 1 toddler-sized portions for 4 days. Crazy, right? I wanted to spend time unpacking and doing taxes instead of cooking, though, so that’s what I did. I served it over couscous with some cheddar cheese. 



Wining Wife's® "Secret" Ingredient Chili
Chili with the added benefit of chocolate added
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  1. 6 14 oz. cans of kidney beans
  2. 2 14 oz. cans of black beans
  3. 2 28 oz. cans of fire roasted tomatoes
  4. 1 12 oz. bottle of dark beer
  5. 1 bar of Ghirardelli bittersweet baking chocolate
  6. 1 lb. of pork Italian sausage
  7. 1 lb. of chicken Italian sausage
  8. 2 onions
  9. 4 cloves of garlic
  10. 1 packet of your favorite chili mix
  11. 1 tablespoon chili powder
  12. 1 tsp cumin
  13. 1 tsp nutmeg
  14. 1 tsp oregano
  15. 1 tsp thyme
  16. 1 tsp cilantro
  17. 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  18. 1 tsp sea salt
  19. 1 4oz can chopped hot chilies
  20. 1 bell pepper
  21. several grinds of black pepper
  1. Chop onion and sauté in 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Once onion becomes transparent, add garlic, seasoning packet, and other dried herbs. When fragrant, add the sausage and brown sausage. Deglaze pan by adding the bottle of beer. Cook until beer reduces, about 7 minutes. Rinse canned beans and add them to the pot along with the tomatoes, canned diced chilies, and bell pepper. If needed, add water or broth to pot until beans are just barely covered. Stir well and bring to a boil. Once boiling, break chocolate bar up and add to pot. Cook until beans are tender. Salt and pepper to taste and serve over couscous with cheese and sour cream.
Wining Wife®

5 Great Washington Wines for Winter

Today’s post comes from Andy Hayes of Plum Deluxe

One of my favorite wine producing areas is the state of Washington. The second largest wine producing state (lagging far, far behind California, but growing), Washington has a variety of wines in all manner of styles. One of the most famous wineries in the state is Chateau Ste. Michelle, though at last count there are over 800 wineries now! I also firmly believe Washington wines are better value than their counterparts, with great small-batch qualities.

To help get you in the mood, I’d like to share 5 of my favorite affordable Washington wines for you to sip and sample this winter. Enjoy a glass on your own after a long day, or pop the cork with friends for those festive occasions.

Treveri Cellars Sparkling Rosé ($18)
Want a wine that makes you feel like a million bucks (and looks like you might have spent big bucks on your purchase)? Then go for the Treveri Cellars pink sparkler. It’s not just pretty – Treveri is one of the top sparkling wine producers in Washington; recently I served this wine at a party and it was the biggest hit of the night. Flavors include berries with a hint of citrus, a very light and crisp sipper. Get an extra bottle, you’ll need it.

Sleight of Hand Cellars 2012 Spellbinder ($20)
Washington has many, what I would call, “quirky” wineries, where the brands are a unique extension of the owner. One of those we always have in our house are wines from Sleight of Hand Cellars (also sold under Renegade Wines). The geeky wine names and labels are fun fodder for conversation, but there’s plenty of winemaking prowess under the hood. Spellbinder is my recommendation; it’s a red blend featuring Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc with just a splash of Syrah and Grenache. Blends are hard to pull off well, but this one is a keeper – smooth yet earthy & spicy, perfect for dinner parties.

Revelry Winery

Revelry Vinters 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon ($16)
Revelry Vinters is by far one of my favorite wineries in the state, one of the few producers where I would drink pretty much anything they produce. Located in Walla Walla, my first experience with Revelry was sipping their wines in their small tasting room, an old building by the airport that used to house a movie theater! Their Cab Sauv is my go-to, as it’s a lovely blend of grapes from the surrounding growing regions, and aged for balance – you won’t find the flavors of oak and rich berry overpowering your palate nor your pairings.

EFESTE 2012 Evergreen Riesling ($20)
Washington is the Evergreen state, so why honor not honor the title! I love the family-owned EFESTE winery that is active in philanthropy and community efforts, not to mention producing fabulous wines – don’t take my word alone; they’re racking up awards left and right. I don’t normally line up for a Riesling, but this is the exception. Picked from grapes grown at a higher elevation, this fruit-forward white wine exudes lots of tasty pear and apple flavors, and pairs well with food.

Maryhill 2011 Malbec ($22)
The winery with the best view in Washington has to go to Maryhill Winery – it’s located on the banks of the Columbia River Gorge, making it just a hop and a skip from Oregon state. From the deck of their tasting room, you can see Mt. Hood! Maryhill makes a variety of top shelf wines, including their signature 2011 Malbec – An easy-to-drink bold red. Flavors of white pepper, dark cherries, bittersweet chocolate accent this velvety wine.

Andy Hayes is the founder of Plum Deluxe, the website that helps you make moments that matter. For more ideas on wines and entertaining, check out their wine reviews and wine pairing ideas.

Wine Selections by the Owner

English: A photograph of a bottle of an Israel...

:  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All of the wines tasted at this time were selected by one of the owners of Creekside Cellars.  While the wine store is no longer in business, the wines reviewed here are still available at a variety of places.  The tasting occurred on March 30, 2013.

Scharffenburger Brute Rose Sparkling Anderson Valley, Mendocino County ($25) This sparkling wine received a star and exclamation point from Wining Husband and I. It was citrus-y, light and smooth. It was a bit sweet, but not overly sweet. We enjoyed it pretty well.

Duckhorn 2011 Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley ($29) We gave a  star to this wine. It was a pretty good Sauvignon Blanc. It was smoky, and had lots of citrus to it. It was very dry. It would pair well with a strawberry avocado salad or one of the pear and walnut salads that are out there.

Conundrum 2011 White Blend, California ($24) We gave this wine a star, though when you read that we thought the nose had aromas of Tidy Cat mixed with Cascade, you may wonder why. On the tasting, it was round. It was fresh, sweet, and citrus-y, and decently good.

Levendi 2009 “Red Hen” Chardonnay Napa Valley ($29) We also liked this wine pretty well, giving it a star. It was sweet and buttery with a hint of spice. It was your basic Chardonnay with a vanilla finish.

Waterbrook 2010 Sangiovese Rosé Columbia Valley ($13) Yeah, we didn’t like this one. I’m not going to share the notes that we wrote down. Suffice it to say, neither Wining Husband nor I were fans.

Guarachi 2010 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast ($60) Yeah, we didn’t like this one either. It received 93 points from Wine Spectator. Either our palates were off and we were missing something or it was just one of those wines that doesn’t mix well with our chemistries. Our notes say “rubber mallet & sweat sock, smells like a foot.” I think that about sums that one up. (As a full disclaimer, I’m not entirely sure this effect wasn’t brought on by the wine that immediately preceded it in the tasting).

Shannon Ridge 2008 Wrangler Red Lake County ($15) We weren’t much fans of this one either. We gave it a “no.” It had a wet dog quality on the nose. On the taste it was light fruit & rubber with a bit of cigar. It was okay, but it just didn’t work for us.

Clos de L’Oratoire 2010 Chateauneuf~du~Pape France ($45) We enjoyed this wine, giving it a star. It was tobacco and dry spice with a medium body. It was a versatile wine, and would pair very nicely with Wining Husband’s recipe for Chicken Valencia.

William Harrison 2007 Cabernet Franc Rutherford, Napa Valley ($44) This wine was a winner. We gave it a star and one and a half exclamation points. It was sweet and buttery with a cigar box and tobacco finish. It was rather lovely.

Murphy Goode 2000 “Brenda Block” Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley, Sonoma ($63) This wine was the winner of the lot. We gave it a star and two exclamation points. It was sweet, with butter and spice goodness. It behaves and tastes like a 2-3 year old wine instead of a 13 year old wine. It didn’t need a pairing; it was great on its own.

Have you tried any of these wines? What were your thoughts on them?


Tasting Notes: A Collection of California Wine and Cheese

English: Goat's milk cheese

English: Goat’s milk cheese (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

*These notes are from a tasting in March, 2013 at Creekside Cellars. While Creekside Cellars is no longer open, these wines can be found at a variety of places. I have a stack of tasting notes I will be sharing over the coming weeks from tastings held at this wonderful venue.*

The theme of this tasting group was “California wine and cheese,” and all the wines and cheeses collected were products of California. One of the things I will miss most about the weekly tastings offered at Creekside Cellars was the care that the owners up into pairing their weekly cheese plate with the offerings of wine for that week. While I don’t normally mention cheeses on here, I’ll give a brief overview of the cheeses that were featured during this tasting.

St. Pat – This cheese from Cowgirl Creamery in Petaluma was delicious. It was mellow, soft, and filled with flavor. It was wrapped with nettle leaves, giving it a delicious smoky, artichoke flavor.

Green Chile Chevre – This cheese came from Redwood Hill Dairy in Sebastopol. The cheese was a light and delicious goat cheese with green chilies mixed into it. I’m a huge chevre fan, so naturally I liked this as well.

Seascape – This cheese came from Central Coast Creamery in Paso Robles. It’s a mixture of cow and goat milk, cheddar like and aged for 5 months.

Mezzo Secco – From Vella Cheese in Sonoma, this cheese was a medium dry jack coated with black pepper. It was served with Blue Chair’s Organic Greengage Plum Jam.

Finally on the plate was Framani Picante Salami. It wasn’t a cheese, but it came from Berkeley. It was a dry chorizo seasoned with pimenton de la Vera. It was very delicious.

Okay, now that your mouth is watering, it’s time to get down to business and discuss the wines.

Rack & Riddle – Sparkling Blanc de Blancs Sonoma ($23) – This sparkling was very good. We gave it a star. On the nose, there wer hints of apples, walnuts, and pears. On the palate, it was all apple, peach, and green grapes. It had a Perond-like taste afterwards. It paired well with the seascape cheese and the plum jam.

Brander “La Mesa” 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, Santa Rita in Santa Barbara County ($18) – This wine was good when paired with cheese. It was floral and sweet, yet dry. It went well with the St. Pat, Chevre, and Seascape.

J Vineyards 2009 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley ($26) – We didn’t have this wine during this tasting, but in the past we’d enjoyed it.

Naggiar 2011 Viognier, Sierra Foothills ($11) – This was smoke yet dry. It had spice that appeared with the Mezzo Secco, and it had hints of ancho and Anaheim peppers. We gave this wine a star.

ampelos 2011 Rose of Syrah, Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County ($18) – This wine was very nice and versatile. We gave this wine a star and exclamation mark, meaning we really enjoyed it. It tasted of barbecued watermelon, was tangy and smoky, and it had a subtle spice. It would be great with BBQ chicken or even my husband’s delicious artichoke heart pasta.

Talley Vineyards 2010 Pinot Noir, Arroyo Grande Valley ($36) – This wine also earned a star and an exclamation point from us. It smelled of red fruit and licorice. There was a bit of “wet dog” on the nose which disappeared when swirled. There was also a hint of funky cheese on the nose. On the taste, it was smooth, with an understated spice. It was an excellent pairing with the Mezzo Secco cheese.

Pruett 2010 “CSP” Syrah, Sierra Foothills ($23) – This was another star and exclamation point wine. It tasted of plums, dark fruit, and cloves. It was sweet, especially with the olives. It was excellent with the chorizo.

Frank Family Vineyards 2010 Zinfandel, Napa Valley ($39) – We did not try this wine because we’d had it in the past and enjoyed it very much.

Neyers 2011 Sage Canyon Red” 45% Carignan, 25% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre, and 15% Syrah, North Coast ($39) This wine was stinky on the nose. It was like a wet dog. It had a dry heat and was tannic. It went well with the chorizo.

Ladera 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($39) – This wine had butter and olive oil on the nose. It had notes of red fruit, olive oil, and butter with a slightly watery taste. It went well with the chorizo; the sausage brought out the heat, tannins, and spice in the wine.

Have you tried any of these wines? What were your thoughts on them? There were a few from this list that we’d like to cellar.


Pairing Review: Rosenblum Cellar’s The Great American Wine Company 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon

The Great American Wine Company Cabernet Sauvignon

The Great American Wine Company Cabernet Sauvignon

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.

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad

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.

Savory beet soup

Savory beet soup

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.

Steak with gorgonzola sauce and pan roasted rutabaga

Steak with gorgonzola sauce and pan roasted rutabaga

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.

DSC_0461After 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.

DSC_0462You 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?


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Is it a Faux Pas to Drink Cabernet in the Summer?

English: bottle of stag's leap cabernet sauvig...

Bottle of Stag’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


For a while, now, it’s been considered a faux pas to serve a heavy wine such as a rich Cabernet Sauvignon in the hottest months of the year. After all when it’s hot and humid outside do you really want to add more warmth and richness to your body? Thus, July brides are advised against serving heavy reds at their celebrations, and instead are often advised of serving the lighter Merlot wines, Rose wines, and chilled whites.


What happens, though, when you want to enjoy a succulent porterhouse steak during the summer months? The lighter wines just won’t stand up to the heft of the meal.


Over at Snooth, several suggestions were made as to great Cabs you might want to try during the summer (Cabernet Even in July!). I also thought that the Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon was an excellent summer choice.


What do you pair with heftier meals during the summer? While I enjoy salads, fish, chicken, and lighter fare during summer months, it’s also nice to have a steak and potatoes dish or a rich pasta dish on some of those nights when lettuce and tomatoes just don’t do the trick.



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Delicious Red Wines From Napa Valley

Cabernet Sauvignon fermentation crust

Cabernet Sauvignon fermentation crust (Photo credit: niallkennedy)


I’ve decided that I will accept guest posts for this blog, especially while I’m pregnant, in order to provide you with fresh wine news. Here is another post from Chuck Withers over at Two Guys Wine and Travel Blog


With such a wine-conducive climate and beautifully fertile soils, it is no wonder that Napa Valley, California is such an ideal place for winegrowing. Napa Valley is famous for producing some of the world’s very best wines. No matter how much you already know about wines, there is always more you can learn. With each new creation and different varieties of the same, experiencing and learning about wines can be a lifelong endeavor. In the case of Napa Valley red wine alone, there are many different wines to consider. Here are a few facts and food pairings to consider with your next Napa Valley red wines.


Popular Red Wines


Barbera is a red grape commonly cultivated in California. Producing deep colored, red wines, Barbera is a very popular choice. With a light to medium body, a low level of tannins, and a nice level of acidity, Barbera can be a perfect addition to nearly any serving of pasta or lamb. Under ideal conditions, Barbera is generally best served at a temperature of about 60 degrees.


Cabernet Sauvignon is generally noted as the most popular and most famous of all red-wine grapes. Producing a medium to full bodied experience, Cabernet Sauvignon is often used as the basis for many other wines. With its dry but rich taste, Cabernet Sauvignon can go exceptionally well with hearty meals, such as pasta or various types of game.


Cabernet Franc, which is often used for blending, can also be a great choice on its own. Although slightly softer than Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc can also produce a similar effect. Raspberry flavors and herbal aromas are some of the identifying features of these delicious wines. In terms of food pairings, Cabernet Franc goes equally well with the hearty meals commonly associated and served with Cabernet Sauvignon.


Gamay, which is a light and fruity choice, is generally best when served young. With its subtle softness, this can be a great choice for meals that might regularly be served with white wines. Ideally, Gamay serves best when refrigerated and served at low temperatures, such as 56 degrees.


Similar to Cabernet Franc, Grenache is generally used as blending grape but can also be served alone. Grenache has a low tannin level, with a rich and fruity taste. With its simple, yet delicious taste, Grenache can pair well with many different meals, including lamb, chicken, or many everyday dishes.


Merlot is a popular choice that can vary depending on the grape and whether or not oak is used. California Merlots are generally fuller in body with a higher level of alcohol.  Merlots are generally served best at a slightly higher temperature than some other wines, such as 64 degrees.


Selecting The Right Napa Valley Red Wine


When it comes to selecting the right wine, the task might seem overwhelming. Napa Valley offers many different options, each providing a different experience and taste. When you need to make a selection, whether for yourself or for a group, remember that every experience will be different. Give yourself the chance to experiment with different Napa Valley red wines and don’t be afraid to try new things. Chances are, with a little experimentation you’ll find a brand new favorite.


Article courtesy of Chuck Withers of the Two Guys Wine and Travel Blog, follow him on Twitter @twoguyswine for more updates on wine, travel and many more international delights.



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Five Popular Red Wines

Old Vine cabernet from Chateau Montelena, Napa...

Old Vine cabernet from Chateau Montelena, Napa Valley, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I’ve decided that I will accept guest posts for this blog, especially while I’m pregnant, in order to provide you with fresh wine news. Here is another post from Chuck Withers over at Two Guys Wine and Travel Blog.


Wine has long been known as a social drink. People like to get together and have a glass with their dinner, but they are not drinking the same bottle every time. There are many, many different types of wines. Some are red, some are white. Some are dry and others are sweet. As you consider which drink you will serve at your dinner party, make sure to learn all that you can about different wines and the food they can pair with so that you serve the very best drink for your guests. The following are five of the most popular reds.




If you are new to the drinking world, Merlot is a good place to start. It is soft, round, and not too tannic, making it a good drink for the beginner. You can pair Merlot with any foods, which is part of the reason why it is such a popular choice. Scents for this varietal often include blackcherry, plumb, and herbs.


Cabernet Sauvignon


Arguably the world’s best variety, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes blended with Merlot. This wine is full-bodied and the older it is, the less bitter the flavor. It becomes rich and the grip goes away as the drink ages. Many times, this drink will undergo an oak treatment, giving it a vanilla note. Cabernet Sauvignon is often served with simple red meats, such as steak. The grapes were most popular in France for many years, but now also grow in Australia, Chile, and California.




This drink is also often referred to as Syrah because they are from the same grape variety. It goes well paired with all types of meat, including steak, beef, and other wild game. Gripping tannins often pull the fruit sensation out of Syrah. You can typically find wild black fruit flavors in Shiraz. Not only can you find average wines created with this varietal, but you can also find some of the world’s best wines with the intense flavoring of Syrah.


Pinot Noir


The Pinot Noir grapes are hard to grow and are not rough at all. They make the best reds of Burgundy, with a delicate, soft, and fresh structure. While fruit is the main aroma in Pinot Noir, you can often find tea-leaf or worn leather undercurrents.




The characteristics of Malbec vary based on where the grapes were grown and how they were transformed. Many people consider Malbec to be easy to drink, with plumb and berry flavors. Beginning in France, this varietal is also grown in California in some of the cooler areas. You can pair Malbec with all kinds of meals containing meat. Malbec is great for dishes with strong flavors, such as Cajun or Indian meals.


If you are getting together for a drink or for an all out dinner party, make sure to serve the right drink. Learning about the different varieties and flavors of each of the red wines can help you to decide which drink you will choose to serve for your get together. Not only will you discover what food to pair with your drinks and what flavors they carry, but you may also realize that there are health benefits associated with drinking red wines.


Article courtesy of Chuck Withers of the Two Guys Wine and Travel Blog, follow him on Twitter @twoguyswine for more updates on wine, travel and many more international delights.


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How To Choose A Cabernet Sauvignon

English: bottle of stag's leap cabernet sauvig...

English: bottle of stag’s leap cabernet sauvignon Français : bouteille de cabernet sauvgnon stag’s leap (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I’ve decided that I will accept guest posts for this blog, especially while I’m pregnant, in order to provide you with fresh wine news. Here is another post from Chuck Withers over at Two Guys Wine and Travel Blog.


Known as one of the best wines in the entire world, Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most commonly served wines at big events and formal parties. Some of the many advantages of this drink is that Cabernet Sauvignon grapes thrive in nearly any vineyard in any wine-producing country. They are able to grow in various climates and even when harsh weather conditions are present. It is a black grape that has a strong flavor that can vary somewhat depending on the climate where it was grown. One of the most popular locations for these grapes to grow is Napa Valley, California, where many of the modern producers of fine wines and other alcohols reside. Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is among the highest quality beverages of its type. If you are interested in choosing a high quality Cabernet Sauvignon, following a few simple tips will help you make your decision.




Even though Cabernet Sauvignon grapes grow in many different places, they exhibit different qualities and flavors depending on the weather in that area. France and California are widely regarded for the grapes that their climates produce. Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is known for having a stronger fruit flavor, with undertones of black currant, cherry and blackberry. French grapes tend to produce a more spicy or oaky tasting beverage.


Price vs Quality


Because the price of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon can vary so significantly, it must necessarily be taken into consideration. One of the first steps in selecting the right wine for your table is to set your price range. There are a number of good options in any price range, although it is important to note that quality is often reflected in price.


Another factor that will affect the price of a fine drink is its vintage. Like many other red wines, certain varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon improve with age. There are also certain years that stand out as some of the best. Cabernet Sauvignon from its best years will definitely be more expensive than the bottles that were made in years that weren’t as good. Still, there are many situations when an older bottle of wine is not necessarily better than one that is younger. Although vintage is important, it is not the single determining factor in choosing a good Cabernet Sauvignon.


Food Pairing


One of the most important considerations when you are choosing your Cabernet Sauvignon is to match it with the food that you will be serving. Because it is a flavorful, full-bodied varietal, it generally pairs best with richer, heartier foods such as red meat, lamb, and goose. While many people say that it pairs well with anything, there are, of course, certain foods that go better with certain types of drink.


When it comes to choosing the best Cabernet Sauvignon, it is important to consider the region where the grapes were grown, the price, and the menu with which it will be served. If you aren’t sure which Cabernet Sauvignon you prefer, one of the best things you can do is to taste several different types. This will help you make the best decision with regards to the beverage that you choose to serve.


Article courtesy of Chuck Withers of the Two Guys Wine and Travel Blog, follow him on Twitter @twoguyswine for more updates on wine, travel and many more international delights.



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Tips For Serving Cabernet Sauvignon (Guest Post)

2012-10-07 20.36.19Here is another guest post from Chris Withers of the Two Guys Wine and Travel Blog.

When you are planning a dinner party, you probably go over every last detail time after time to make sure that you have thoroughly prepared. There are a lot of aspects to consider, including the food you will provide, the table settings you will set, and the drinks you will serve. With many different wines to choose from, you might have a hard time deciding which one you will serve at your dinner party. As one of the most popular of the red wines, you cannot go wrong with Cabernet Sauvignon.  Initially from France where it was prevalent for years, it is now a popular choice produced in California as well. When this drink is served just right, the rich flavor will be the talk of the party. The following are some tips for serving your wine.

Choose The Right Bottle

When you are looking at different bottles, realize that the older the bottle, the more mellow the drink. As the wines age, they become more smooth, which allows you to enjoy your food as you are drinking. If you serve a bottle that is too young, it could be too sharp and will overtake the flavor of the food you are serving.

Cool The Bottle

When you serve this wine, you want to be sure that the temperature is just right. It is possible to over chill your drink, just as much as it is possible to leave it just a little too warm. To allow your bottle to come to the right temperature, take it from room temperature and let it sit in the refrigerator for about twenty minutes. If you don’t have a refrigerator handy, an ice bucket would do, cutting the time down to five minutes.

Aerate The Drink

Uncork your bottle and let the air mix with the drink about an hour before serve time. This allows the drink to have the best flavor and also lets some of the odors out that might hide the true aroma. You could also put the drink into a decanter so that it can aerate faster.

Choose A Glass

When looking for a good glass to serve your drink in, try to find some large, round glasses. When you hold the glass, hold it by the stem so that the drink will not warm with your body temperature.

Pour The Wine

Your drink will probably have some sediment in it. This does not mean that the drink is bad, but just that the pigments and tannin have broken down and settled. When you pour your drink, use a funnel that has a filter on it to catch the sediment. This will also help to aerate the drink. When the drink reaches the widest area of the glass, you should stop so that you and your guests can swirl the drink and not risk a spill.

Serving this drink does take a certain amount of knowledge so that you get it just right. If you want to truly impress the guests at your dinner party, make sure to read up on a few tips before your get together. Always remember how to choose, cool, and aerate your bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon before you pour it in the perfect glass and you will have success.

Article courtesy of Chuck Withers of the Two Guys Wine and Travel Blog, follow him on Twitter @twoguyswine for more updates on wine, travel and many more international delights.

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