One of the first lessons I got when I started tasting wine—as opposed to, you know, drinking wine—was that there were no wrong answers. Just because the wine list said you should taste black cherry and cardamom doesn’t mean you will. Sometimes I even find those notes to be a hindrance to testing my own palate, so I generally ignore them, taste the wine myself, and then check to see if I was in the same ballpark. Even if you don’t use the notes, though, what they can do is remind us of the thought that someone else put into what’s in that glass. Every element of the winemaking process results in changes to the flavor profile of that wine, so it makes sense to know what’s influencing the wines you drink.
The best thing about this wine: Smooth, easy drinking, and good with food
Available at: Spirit World
By the bottle: $35
Pairs well with: chicken, beef
Winery Web Page: www.merisiwines.com
Merisi Glen Oaks Vineyard is in Sonoma, at the base of the Mayacama mountains that you’ll see in Napa and Sonoma.This is the terrior that helps set the grapes apart. It was barrel aged in 40% new oak for 21 months and naturally fermented—three more decisions that each impacted the development of the wine. Merisi uses organically grown and sustainably farmed grapes with minimal processing—something I like to see in my food, and is a logical expectation of my wine, as well.
I tested the Merisi Glen Oaks Vineyard Cabernet with the Omaha Wine Review staff at our meeting this week, and then dove into the rest the next night with dinner. This wine drank nicely while I prepared dinner, and paired well with the chicken and potatoes I had on the menu. I was glad I took the time to slightly chill this wine—the thermostat at home read a surprisingly comfortable 75 degrees, but that is 8-10 degrees too warm even for red wine. I got spices and chocolate on the nose, and the first taste hits you with rich fruits. Plum stood out, along with dark berries, in this dry and almost chewy wine. The flavors mellowed out into a long, smooth finish.
And, in the end, the wine that took so much to produce didn’t take long at all to disappear. Luckily, I think that’s what this winemaker had in mind!
This wine was provided for review, but all opinions are my own.