Wine Friends and Mediocrity

Had to go to the package store to pick up a bottle of wine for an Extracurricular event The Firm was hosting that night. [1] My knowledgeable Wine Friend[2] was sadly not in that day. I would recommend finding a Wine Friend you can truly rely on. As you know, the bottle of wine you drink sometimes makes the difference between an amazing experience and a forgettable one. A substitute Wine Friend was in the store and I asked him about my selection. He honestly told me he hadn’t had this one before, but I really liked the label, IMG_5289so I went for it.[3]

After drinking this bottle I decided that I need to step up my game if I’m going to continue blogging about wines. My $7-$15 selections, while sometimes yielding a gem, are often very uninteresting. This was fine for when I just came home from The Firm needing a glass with dinner, but now that I’m actually trying to taste and experience the wines it just doesn’t work.[4]

So on to the hopefully last mediocre wine review![5]

To:                  Alleged Blog Readers
From:             WineEsquire
Date:               March 27, 2015
Wine:              Souverain Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Review
Picked up my glass, swirled a bit and got some fruity notes on the nose. Some oak too.[6] Took a taste and got a mouthful of nice wine, but no real complex flavors. IMG_5255Not a typical full bodied cab, more medium bodied without much texture. Husband and Friend also did not get much flavor out of this wine, although Husband said he tasted some orange peel on the finish. I didn’t get that. It was very drinkable and made the parmesan cheese pop very nicely in my mouth. We were doing a bit of pre-gaming for a cocktail pairing dinner we were heading too, so we didn’t get involved in any foods beyond the cheese.[7] Overall, a very nice wine if you’re looking for a good deal[8] and something to drink, but this is certainly not going to make any sommeliers take a second sip.

Wine Dossier
This was a 2012 Cabernet from North Coast, California.[9] This was made by Souverain, a winery that’s been producing since 1944. The bottle tells me the wine is “elegantly layered” with blackberry, cherry and vanilla and baking spices. Didn’t get any of those. I actually can’t believe this is the first cabernet I’ve reviewed on the blog. Cabernet is my go-to top choice right now.[10] It is one of the most widely grown grapes in the world, appearing in almost every wine growing region’s repertoire.[11]

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] Remember Extracurriculars?
[2] Wine Friend. Defined as the unassuming knower of all things wine, always able to pick a fantastic bottle while staying in the agreed upon price range.
[3] I also swear I remember reading in Wine Spectator that the 2012 California Cabernet crop was outstanding and that you really couldn’t go wrong with a bottle, no matter who the producer. My memory was almost right, the article actually said “[a]s for final quality in the bottle—it’s too early to know.”
[4] I know my Alleged Blog Readers can only read so many blog posts that say, not much flavor, not complex. Mea culpa. Mea culpa.
[5] Unfortunately, I’m sure I will continue to encounter mediocre wines in the future. The price of wine does not dictate quality; it’s all about finding the right bottle. In the future I hope to improve my skills at seeking out exceptional gems!
[6] Husband recently sent over an image of The Wine Wheel to help me identify flavors. I tried to use it to get more out of this wine but it didn’t work. I did just purchase the official Wine Aroma Wheel to have with me for future tastings. I’ll let you know how I like it.IMG_5288
[7] We had a wine cocktail at this dinner which was really superb. Apple Honey Onyx Moonshine paired with Hahn’s 2012 SLH Pinor Noir, a homemade cinnamon raspberry shrub and pressed lemon. I’ve never had a wine cocktail before, but this was an experience I would certainly like to have again!
[8] I paid $14.99.
[9] North Coast is apparently a region, not a town, on the northern coast of California. Go figure.
[10] It used to be Pinot Noir, but I’ve evolved into Cabs for the past year or so.
[11] The Wikipedia article on this is actually fascinating; lots of neat tidbits. The most widely recognized flavor is the herbaceous or green bell pepper. “The word ‘Sauvignon’ is believed to be derived from the French sauvage meaning ‘wild’”; “[T]he grape is a relatively new variety, the product of a chance crossing between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon blanc during the 17th century in southwestern France.” “In Bordeaux, the maceration period was traditionally three weeks, which gave the winemaking staff enough time to close down the estate after harvest to take a hunting holiday.” “The decision to first start blending Cabernet Sauvignon was partly derived from financial necessity.”