Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon

We just celebrated Father’s Day in true American fashion: a reprieve from IPW13Iphone 210yard work and honey-do’s, and a big barbecue dinner. A hearty tri-tip on the barbecue called for a bold red in my glass, so I tried the Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon I found at Trader Joe’s for $7.99.

Dark Horse hails from California and “challenges the belief that premium-tasting wines must be premium priced.” You’ll find a slough of great reviews of this wine online, and consider this one more glowing review. This is a hearty cab that could easily land on the top shelf of any wine shop, but you’ll actually find it lower on the bargain shelves.

The wine is thick, the color of muddled bing cherries. The aroma is earthy with notes of vanilla spice. The flavor, however, is the most wonderfully rich mix of blackberries, vanilla, chocolate and espresso. The thick tannins give it structure without the pucker factor.

If you want to serve a solidly impressive cabernet without breaking the bank, this is a steal at $7.99.



Tonight’s homework: Enjoy!

I’m stumped tonight. I opened a Beringer 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon with every intention of reviewing it. But I just don’t have it in me. (Well, I suppose I can at least say that it has a slightly mocha flavor with soft tannins, a perfect match to my dessert of chocolate chips.)

Yes, you read that right. Chocolate chips for dessert. It’s the only chocolate I could find in the house, and I even raided my daughters’ nearly year-old Easter candy. I almost wish I were pregnant so I could send my husband to the store for ice cream and he’d have to say yes. But then I’d be pregnant, and craving chocolate ice cream, and not able to drink the open bottle of cab in front of me.

But I digress. I’ve spent quite a bit of time tasting and reviewing wines for this blog, which I love to do. But I haven’t spent much time writing about why I like tasting wine. I have great dreams of writing something truly significant about wine. Something that winemakers, tasters, writers and housewives will read and say, “Wow, that Beth chick just GETS it!” (you’re an eloquent bunch, aren’t you!)

But sometimes, the wine just needs to be about the experience, not the taste. Some wines pair perfectly with an aged steak, a seared tuna or a even a bowl of chocolate chips. And some wines pair perfectly with a lazy Saturday night. With settling into the couch, feet up and toes snuggly under a warm afghan. With turning on a classic Cary Grant flick, popping a bowl of popcorn and appreciating the sub-freezing weather outside because I’m warm and happy inside.

Yes, tonight’s Beringer is one of those wines. On another night I might comment on its peppery bouquet and smooth, coffee finish. I’d remark that it’s quite a steal, on sale this week for only $8.99 at Smith’s/Kroger. But not tonight. Tonight I am going to join my husband on the couch and see what’s on Netflix. I’m going to sip my wine and appreciate its tingly warmth and the slight grogginess it will bring as I near my bedtime.

Enjoying a Beringer 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, cozy in my homemade afghan.

So with that, I bid you goodnight. Turn off your computer, pour a glass of your favorite wine, and dig out that book you’ve been meaning to finish. Enjoy the purely hedonistic quality of the wine without nary a thought to bouquets, aromas or mouthfeels. For goddsake, don’t even think the words “fruit forward”! (If you want to decant before you pour, though, go ahead. That’s just good taste.) Cheers!