Jan 18, 2007

Red Winter
Priya Singh

January and the cold are undeniably lovers. They’re moody, chilly and sometimes terribly unsociable... and for all of you reading this there is a way to make them slightly more approachable…

So, please sit back and enjoy with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. This is the perfect wine for a cold, chilly winter evening...sip after sip warms the gut, kindles the taste buds and the evening is converted into a warm, candlelit, cozy and romantic memory.

Cabernet Sauvignon along with Chardonnay and Merlot is one of the most widely-planted of the world's grape varietals. The principal grape in many wines from the Bordeaux region in France particularly those from the Medoc, it is grown in most of the world's wine growing regions. Many of the finest red wines regarded as among the world's greatest, are predominantly made from this grape.

California Cabernet is usually characterized by being denser, usually darker and with more blue and violet highlights. Alcohol levels are also higher and the flavors can be more fruit forward; jammy blackberry preserve, cassis, stewed plums, roasted meat, cherry and toasty oak. The wine is also much more approachable and welcoming in its youth.

Unlike most people I find it a great waste of time comparing California Cabernet to wines with those from the Bordeaux region or from South Africa or from Australia or wherever else! Can you compare Handel with Tchaikovsky or Salman Rushdie with W. B. Yeats? Even if the wines may be based on the same grapes, differences in geography produce very different results and that is the beauty of it all, the difference. The next step is which style is most suited to you, or like me it depends on which ever particular style is your favorite for the moment!

If you like trying something very different I recommend the Cab from Ceja Vineyards. With bright fruit, berries, leather, anise and some dark chocolate on the nose, it shows a toasty earthiness with a concentration of dark fruit, blackberry, plum and cherries on the palate. This wine can be enjoyed alone or with chicken, darker fish or meat dishes. And I find it goes beautifully with anything chocolate!

And if you are in the mood for something bolder, bigger, true to the spirit of California than go no further than the Cabernets from Phelan Vineyards. This is a boutique winery located in the Mt. George area of Napa Valley dedicated to producing premium Cabernet Sauvignon. The Phelan wines are characterized by their elegant texture and huge aromas of smoky wooden barrels with hints of coffee, earth and dark berries. And this one demands a juicy steak or roasted lamb with lots of sauce and gravy! Please drink responsibly…!

Priya Singh
Lilliput Enterprises, Inc
9 Desbrosses Street
Suite 525, NYC 10013
Tel: 212 343 4202, Fax: 212 343 4204

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