October 2008                               


3R's - Rafik Samuel

Cabernet Sauvignon

What a great time of the year! I love the weather, it’s football season, the Phils are going to the World Series and I have completed both my medicine and ID recertification exams!!!! It’s also the time for heartier meals such as lamb, steak, pot roast or game meats. So what kind of wine goes well with these types of meals? You definitely need one with full body and flavor to stand up to the flavors in the meats or the sauces. There are many wines that fit this description, but Cabernet Sauvignon is the first one that comes to mind.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the king of the red wine grapes. The variety of wines this grape can yield varies from the merlot style I mentioned last month-fruity, with minimal tannin (the stuff that makes you pucker when you drink a red) to very full-bodied wines with fruit and heavy tannin. The flavors also vary and can include blackberry, currants, plum, chocolate, coffee, herb, oak, vanilla, pepper, and tobacco.
This grape is grown in France and is one of the 2 main grapes in Bordeaux wines (the other is merlot). It is also grown in the US and is the grape that is California’s claim to fame. It is also grown in Australia, South Africa, and South America.
I list a few of them below:

The lighter ones:
Avalon Cabernet usually runs under $10 is a really good buy from the US.
Pretty much any Cabernet from Chile or Argentina is decent and is under $10-20.
A little fuller bodied:
Clos du Bois, Estancia, Mondavi, and Sterling are a few very tasty ones in the 15-20 dollar range.
Full bodied, meaning you would like to age or decant before drinking (and also means they are going to be expensive):
Stag’s Leap, Franciscan and Apex are a few I have had that are over 20 dollars and worth it.
Full bodied ones I wish to try but I can’t afford on an ID salary:
Duckhorn Paraduxx ($50)
Caymus ($70)
Ridge Montebello ($95)

Wine lingo:
I talked about full body wines. Body is the texture and how the wine feels in your mouth. Another way to think about it is to think about milk. Skim milk has a very light feel while whole milk is much fuller and richer. That is the same thing as describing body of the wine. A light body wine such as Gamay (Beaujolais) is kind of like the skim milk while the Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, or Shiraz is like the whole milk. (I guess merlot, Sangiovese (Chianti) Tempranillo (Rioja), and Pinot Noir (Burgundy) are 1 or 2 % milk).

Well enjoy the season, the World Series and try a Cabernet Sauvignon this fall.
Go Phillies!!!!