This is part of an ongoing series called Become A Better Taster! Each post will illustrate the essential aromas and tasting notes associated with a specific grape varietal. Use this post as a baseline when tasting your next Cabernet!
What do you smell and taste when you're swirling a dark red Cabernet Sauvignon in your glass? Not sure?
Below is a handy visual guide to the classic aromas and tasting notes you might find in any Cabernet Sauvignon. There will be differences and nuances in texture and flavor depending on the origin of the wine, how it was grown, fermented, and stored (more on that below). Did you know, by the way, that Cabernet Saugivnon is a product of crossing two popular grapes: Cabernet Franc + Sauvignon Blanc? Cabernet Sauvignon carries a touch of both grapes aromatically and on the palate - due to its parentage.
Here are a few more basics to help you find your footing when exploring a new-to-you Cabernet. Clink, clink!
SOME NUANCES YOU MIGHT TASTE
• Old World...
Photo: Kalineri Designs via Unsplash
We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again: MUSHROOM season is upon us! And there are plenty of reasons to get excited about it! As the fall colors come in and the temps cool down, we’re finding ourselves getting crafty in the kitchen, with a glass of wine in hand (of course).
Speaking of vino, one of the many reasons we love the wine + mushroom combo is the health aspect. At Sip Better, we truly are sipping better with wines low in calories, sugar and made with organic and biodynamic processes. Mushrooms are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Due to their anti-inflammatory effects, mushrooms are also natural immunity system boosters. We love all things that TASTE good, but to also FEEL good is really the cherry on top.
From stuffed mushrooms as an appetizer or side dish to pair with the main course, creamy mushroom soup for those chillier nights, or a classic pasta and mushroom dish, the list is never ending. So now that your wheels are spinning on how to...
Photo: Jo Jo
Sure, you could have beer at your next barbecue. But why not play the wild card and pair your smokey outdoor eats with WINE?
Pairing wine to grilled meats and vegetables is a lot easier than you think. Just make sure neither the food nor the drink overpowers the other. So, if you've got a super savory marinated steak, you'll need a heartier wine--like a Cabernet or Zinfandel--to stand up to its big ole flavor. Similarly, try a lighter bodied wine that's full of fruit when enjoying the more delicate flavors of grilled zucchini or pork chops.
Pro tip: Try chilling light-bodied reds (Pinot Noir, Gamay, Frappato, lighter Nebbiolos) before serving them. They'll taste extra fresh and keep you cool while you man the grill.
Below are some of my favorite red wines to grill and chill with in the summertime, complete with some handy little pairing ideas:
1. Elk Cove 'Estate' Pinot Noir Rosé | Willamette Valley, Oregon
This sunset-colored rosé of Pinot Noir is all juicy, tart cherry and rose petals...
Photo: spotted at Black Sheep Coal Fired Pizza
When you first start learning about wine, it can feel a little freaky to drop $20 or $30 on what you’ve heard is a “nice” bottle.
Wine labels aren’t always forthcoming (or even in your own language!), so you could be left fending for yourself, taking anyone and everyone’s advice and just defaulting to what’s most expensive. Because what the heck do YOU know?
But that, my friend, is no way to live. And! There are plenty of affordable wines out there (like, cheaper-than-a-cocktail affordable!) that are truly delicious and compromise nothing in the way of value. I’m here to clue you in! Once you’ve got these 3 wines in your back pocket, you’ll start developing your palate and gain the confidence and courage to continue learning and seeking out other wines. Maybe even some of those “nice” bottles? It’s all up to you.
Here are 3 wines under $12 that you should try:
1. Evolúció (Dry) Furmint | Tokaj, Hungary
Furmint is the most prolific grape in Hungary, and you’ll usually find it featured...