Saturday, September 3, 2011

Wine Not?

I love wine.

I love the way wine is packaged and presented - usually in glass bottles with interesting labels and names, stacked in neat rows along walls in the grocery stores, in cellars, and racks.  When I go shopping for food I always stroll up and down the wine section, even if I'm not buying wine (which I usually am). I like how the neatness and orderliness of the wine section makes me feel...tranquil.  The wine section is like an art gallery inside every super market. You suffer through the pushy mothers in the dairy section, the whiny kids in the cereal aisle, the indecisive hippie staring at the shelves of legumes when, finally, WINE bliss.  You'll encounter others in the wine aisle, but they will be in the same state of zen as you, so feel free to take your time.

I love the way wine tastes.  I don't pretend to be a connoisseur of wine (I can't even spell the word without spell check), and I'm unable to really put into words why I like the wines that I like.  When I taste a wine that I enjoy, adjectives like "aggressive, complex, deep, grassy, structured, earthy, rounded, etc." never come to mind.  The only two wine-related words that I use now I learned this past Christmas during a wine tasting trip that Chris and I took in Central California - buttery and oaky. And I don't even know if the wine is "oaky" unless the label states that it was aged in oak. I do know that if it was aged in oak it tends to have a "buttery and oaky" flavor, and I learned that I really enjoy "buttery and oaky" wines best. Basically, I prefer wines that are on the richer end of the wine spectrum, like cabernet sauvignon for reds and chardonnay for whites, but I'll never turn down a free glass of any kind.  Hell, most of what Chris and I drink on a regular basis comes in a box.

But situations do appear when an actual bottle of wine is required, and this "Wine Not" is dedicated to those nice bottles of wine. I plan on updating this page whenever I encounter a wine worthy of mentioning, even if I don't have the words to describe it.

Educated Guess - Cabernet Sauvignon

While Chris and I were in Virginia for Sierra and Mark's wedding, we went to Ray's The Steaks in Arlington with cousin Jack. Jack ordered chateaubriand for the table, and I was given the pleasure of deciding on a wine to accompany the meat.  The wine list at Ray's is extensive so I did what I always do when narrowing down the selection - first decide on the type of wine (cabernets tend to go well with steaks), then look at the prices and pick a price that is not the cheapest, but is second to cheapest, and lastly choose a name that sounds cool. Thus, Educated Guess, Cabernet Sauvignon. And it was phenomenal.  The combination of it with the chateubriand was totally worth the obscene amount of calories we ingested, and i'd do it again.  This is what the winemakers say it tastes like: "It’s rich, ripe and focused with juicy blackberry 
and cherry fruit, cocoa and hints of mint all tied together with a creamy french vanilla middle and a finish 
that in a word is . . . lingering." All I know for sure is that it was delicious, and definitely "lingered" on my taste buds. Unfortunately, I haven't found Educated Guess in Miami yet, but you can bet that when I do, I'm buying a bottle.

Additionally, look how awesome the label is:


Anonymous said...

You are a wine conosewer, Nana (or however you spell it). That is why we always let you select the wine when you are with us.

James Hallman said...

I'm usually pretty whiny in the cereal isle as well. :)

Anonymous said...

James, you select the cereal. Carol will select the veggie treats.

Chris said...

It's clear that Nana will be in charge of the wine. I think it's safe to say we have the beer situation spoken for as well haha.

anitarobertson said...

i miss you Ana! Can't wait to drink some buttery oaky wine and spend endless hours walking through a wine store :) love this post!