Wine Review: 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Black Box

img_0505

 

This Cab is a little thin but it’s not bad. Cab from Chile is usually a good thing and this brew from Black Box is no exception.

Very smooth with notes of vanilla, chocolate, and oak. Pairs up nicely with just about any kind of dinner. We had it with Chicken Tikka Masala one night and pork chops on another night.

A nice wine to keep on hand during the week, I would feel confident serving it to my friends should anyone drop by demanding a taste of the grape.

It’ll getcha by until the weekend.

img_0516

 
Free Shipping on orders of $75 or more.

Wine Review: 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Smoking Loon

img_0610-1

I picked this up on Friday night to celebrate another week of not killing anyone at the nations largest retailer of staplers. One can only take so much stapling idiocracy before it becomes necessary to turn the down the volume on the situation.

Enter stage left: Wine, wine, and more wine.

Xavier and I killed this bottle during the pilot episode of Game Of Thrones (we’re starting over from the beginning), which was so enthralling that I forgot to get any photos of the wine in a glass until the show, and dinner, were over.

img_0613

You can bet it was good though. We paired it with  bread-less cheeseburgers and asparagus.

The tasting notes describe it as having an aroma of spearmint but whoever wrote that was clearly chewing gum at the time. Give this Cabernet Sauvignon a few minutes to air out and open up and it is a wonderfully full bodied and smooth, slightly smoky, cab that tastes like gone.

To be clear, there is nothing minty about it.

Xavier said it gave him a bit of the red wine headache. I, however, slept the night away unscathed.

Smoking Loon is located in Chile as are many of my recent favorites. I think I’m beginning to see what Kricket was saying about other parts of the world tasting better than California.

In any case, Game Of Thrones reminded us that winter is, in fact, on it’s way and on Friday Xavier told the head Staplers that we are moving to New Mexico at the end of the year, effectively letting the cat out of the bag and bringing us one step closer to making our exit.

I won’t mind leaving this place before winter arrives.


Free Shipping on orders of $75 or more.

Wine Review: 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Carnivor

img_0106
Man is a tool wielding animal.

This summer, I began a journey to earn a college degree and to embark on a more lucrative career because this little piggy wants more money.

To start things off I took Intermediate Algebra, which is not a particularly advanced level math class but considering that the last math class I took was in 1994, it proved to be very challenging. I also took College Writing but I can do that shit in my sleep so there was considerably less drama involved.

Anyway, this math class was kicking my ass and there were many times when I contemplated walking away from the whole ordeal.

Unfortunately (or probably fortunately) the voices in my head are super mean.

“Awwwww, boo-hoo, Barbie thinks math is hard. What are you gonna do? Are you going to be a big crybaby? Are you going to cry to your mommy? Are you going to quit? Awwww, poor you…”

So instead of quitting, I spent every last waking moment logged into ALEKS.com forcing myself to learn some math while Xavier crept around the apartment trying not to make a peep and watching TV with headphones on. He made me dinner every night and encouraged me to try one more time every time I would throw down my pencil and say, “Math is stupid!” (because clearly it was the math’s fault that math was stupid)

Anyway, ten days before the midterm exam deadline, I was two modules behind in the class. This is not a good position to be in because at that point I should’ve been able to spend the next week reviewing all the material instead of scrambling just to get caught up.

I really wanted to quit.

But I still didn’t.

I buckled down, got up early and stayed up late, and went nose to the grindstone even harder so that by the day of the exam I was caught up.

Still, I was very anxious about the outcome.

So that morning, I meditated, did Tai Chi, worked some other voodoo, and went to the testing center.

And then the most amazing thing happened.

I made that test my bitch and scored a 96%!

Damn right I did.

I bet you’re wondering about the wine.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I brought home a bottle of Carnivor Cabernet Sauvignon.

I’ve read wine reviews that use words like “leather”, but I always thought they were just making stuff up. I’ve never had any wine that tasted like leather.

Until now.

You know when you walk into the Overland Sheepskin Co. and are enveloped in the delicious smell of fine leather that can only mean the cheapest thing in the store is $400?

Yeah, it’s like that.

Carnivor Cabernet Sauvignon is a super smooth wine that tastes like caramel and the smell of fine leather. It is inky black, even under the light, rich and excellent.

It’s 13.8% alcohol so pace yourself.

img_0114
Paired with BBQ pork, baked beans and cole slaw.

I haven’t always liked every Cabernet Sauvignon that I’ve tried but this one is tasty and smooth, an excellent reward for defeating the numbers. 😉

 

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.