Wine Review: 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Casillero del Diablo

img_9502

Straight from the Devil’s locker.

The direct translation of Casillero is “pigeon hole” or “locker”.

From their website, I would guess that they are making reference to the Devil’s personal collection but let’s not get caught up on semantics.

It’s no secret that Xavier and I eat at  Cacique a lot. I mean a lot.

img_9213

I’ve had this Cabernet Sauvignon twice at Cacique and still liked it enough to get a bottle of my very own.

Caserillo del Diablo doesn’t mess around.  This is the best Cabernet Sauvignon I’ve had. It’s got just the right amount of everything: right amount of oak, right amount of fruit, right amount of smooth finish, and generally the right amount of awesome.

I often find Cab to be a little full bodied, too bold, too much upper cut to the upper palate, but Caserillo del Diablo is not like that at all.  It’s silky smooth and seriously dangerous. The bottle disappears very easily.

Other pertinent facts: NO red wine headache.

This is the first wine from Chile that I’ve had and I have to say that maybe Kricket is onto something.  Chile tastes good.  

img_9449

Wine Review: 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, 14 Hands Winery

img_9144

On a Sunday afternoon, Xavier and I went to lunch at a local restaurant called La Paz. It’s right up the street from our all time fave, Cacique, and we thought it would be fun to try a new place.

We thought wrong.

La Paz is why restaurants outside of New Mexico should not serve food they don’t understand.  Additionally, the service was terrible. It took an hour to get our food and the food we finally got was mediocre at best.

Speaking of mediocre, the wine list was also laughable. Featuring such fine selections as Sutter Home White Zinfandel and Bare Foot Pinot Noir, I seriously considered just ordering an iced tea but then I saw one choice that looked promising: 14 Hands Cabernet Sauvignon.

I had never tried it but I knew that 14 Hands wine usually cost more than $6 at the store so it was the creme de la creme so to speak.

This glass of wine was quite delightful and, were it not for it’s presence, we probably would have left when the waiter came to apologize for the 45 minute wait, explaining that the kitchen had sent our food to the wrong table, and promising that our lunch would be delivered eventually.

Despite the underwhelming nature of the restaurant, I really did enjoy the wine so I decided to get a bottle of my very own.

img_9141

I wish this story got better but, well, it kinda doesn’t.

There was something amiss about the bottle I bought. While it generally tasted alright, it smelled weird.

Perhaps I should rephrase. I thought it smelled weird.  Xavier said, “That’s what Cabernet Sauvignon smells like.”

He thought it smelled fine.

Oddly enough, I thought it tasted alright just as long as I didn’t sniff the top of the bottle. Overall though, I liked the wine I had in the restaurant better than the bottle I brought home.

The restaurant wine was dark and smooth, very full bodied and pleasantly woody with a good amount of oak.

Maybe I got a dud bottle. I’m sure it happens from time to time.

Wine Review: Cabernet Sauvignot, Kendall-Jackson Vinter’s Reserve

img_8401

Twenty years ago I had dinner at Olive Garden with Monique.  We were there to celebrate (Thank God We’re Not) Mother’s Day and I wanted a glass of wine because it seemed like an adult thing to do.

Despite living in sin city, I had grown up on a dirt road and had no idea what to order. Monique’s family, on the other hand, was in the habit of attending cultured events like the Santa Fe Opera and she was somewhat better equipped to differentiate between a decent wine and a bottle of cough syrup.

“Get this one”, she told me, “You’ll like it.”

So I did.  And I did.

“This one”, was Kendall-Jackson Cabernet Sauvignon.

Burned in my memory for all of time because, at the tender age of 21, I had notably fewer things to keep track of.

Which brings us to the present moment.

Xavier and I made an afternoon adventure out of visiting Costco in Leesburg, VA. We live in Maryland but in these parts packaged liquor can only be sold in state regulated liquor stores, ergo not Costco.

Hence the drive to Virginia.

We bought two wines on this trip.  I have already reviewed one of them, the Sofia Rose’, and the other – based on the recurrence of an old memory, was 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from Kendall-Jackon Vinter’s Reserve.

img_8340

I had meant to pair it with food, take some nice photos and to write something eloquent about it, but that’s not what happened.

I came home from work on a Friday night feeling exhausted and fed up with the steady stream of idiocracy that had filled my shift. Poor Xavier got home and asked how my day was.

Now faced with wild gesticulations and an ongoing rant, Xavier silently opened this bottle of wine and poured me a glass because he’s a good husband like that.

It worked like a charm and by the the second glass I had calmed right the fricky-frack down.

How was it? I would call it a solid “pretty good”. A far cry better than the yellow tail Cabernet Sauvignon, though not quite as smooth as the one from Tarara Winery that started this whole wine review business in the first place. It’s worth noting that the Kendall-Jackson is about $14.50 at Costco – as opposed to the $45 price tag on the Cabernet from Tarara.

For $14.50, I think this wine is a good buy. If you want me to say that it tastes like cedar, vanilla and cherry…. um, sure. Yes, it tastes just like that.

My review: A fairly smooth red wine with a pleasant woody aftertaste and enjoyable sedative qualities. May save a marriage.

 

 

Wine Reviews: Cabernet Sauvignon, [yellow tail]

img_8355
Cheap wine in a dirty kitchen. No counter tops were cleaned in the making of this photograph.

I suppose I should’ve know better but I decided to live cheap and dangerously.

This is Cabernet Sauvignon from yellow tail.

The price: $6.59.

That means no Mircale Gro for the grapes.

Now, to be honest, it’s not terrible, not pond water by any means, and it does start to taste better by the 2nd glass.

That first glass though.. it punches you in the throat on the way down which means it’s not very smooth and I figured out that this characteristic is what determines whether or not I like the wine.

It’s 13% alcohol so after the first glass, with the throat numb anyway, the punch is nearly painless.

While my review of this wine could double as zen wisdom for surviving a bar fight, it’s not all bad. If expendable income is tight and this is what you brought home to have with dinner, drink it fast, the pain is short lived.

Wine Reviews: Cabernet Sauvignon, Tarara Winery

img_8220

Since when am I a wine critic?

Since I decided that I need something new to talk about, a fresh project to take on, and an excuse to get out and visit new places.

This idea was born today at lunch. I said to Xavier, “I want to visit wineries, take creepy pictures of their vines and talk about their wine.”

I had him at “wine”.

We were in Leesburg, VA with a car full of groceries when this happened so a winery trip has yet to occur but I do have a wine to review!

I received this bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon from Tarara Winery for Christmas.

Being absolutely candid, this is the best wine I’ve ever had……ever.

That being said, I’m hardly an educated wine connoisseur but what I can tell you is that it’s silky, rich, and smooth; lacking that feeling of being punched in the throat right at the moment of swallowing. It is very good when paired with dark chocolate.

Prior to this, I believed that I did not like red wine and mostly drank $7 bottles of Moscato.

Adam Conover claimed on his show, Adam Ruins Everything, that there is no difference in taste between cheap wine and expensive wine and, to be clear, Adam is wrong.

The Cabernet Sauvignon from Tarara Winery is a $45 investment and, take it from me – a drinker of cheap wine, you can absolutely tell where the extra money goes.  I mean, I can’t say precisely where it goes; fatter grapes, Miracle Gro, aged longer in better barrels, more fairy dust and magic beans for all I know, but the difference in quality is undeniable.

In fact, it was this wine that peaked my interest in doing something creative on this blog that involved wine and writing and photography.

So stay tuned, more wine reviews are coming and very soon we’ll get out to visit a local winery!