Funny thing is, it was totally inadvertent. I knew I’d be doing a wine post–Carhartt’s 2010 FourPlay, to be precise–and Fiancé and I were brainstorming what would make the perfect meal to go with it. And yes, at times, we prefer to build our menu around the wine instead of the other way around. What’s wrong with that?
FourPlay is a flavorful red blend from one of our very favorite wineries in Los Olivos. The 2010 vintage produced only 350 cases of the sweet, sweet nectar and Fiancé and I have been saving this bottle for a special occasion–something like, hey it’s Thursday, and we’re on our way to pick up more Carhartt wine this weekend, so let’s drink up. You know, that kind of occasion.
FourPlay is 35% cabernet sauvignon, 31% merlot, 24% cab franc, and 10% petite verdot. Four players working in balanced juxtaposition to get our juices flowing, and ready for the main event–in this case, a steaming plate of gluten-free fettuccine with Fiance’s crockpot marinara and huge, flavorful meatballs made of bison. Seeing as how the wine is described as a perfect partner to savory meats, hearty pastas, and aged cheeses, we figured this menu was a bull’s eye, and it gave me an excuse to buy some fancy cheeses to indulge in beforehand (for the first time since the Elimination Diet began–woot!).
I took one sip of this wine and told Fiancé that I want every glass of wine I ever drink to feel this way in my mouth. Holy velveteen, I’m in love. The blend has brilliant clarity, and a cherry red hue with rich intensity, belying its cabernet sauvignon component. It’s also fairly leggy, which makes me think of a great line from my favorite sommelier (and mentor–lucky me) Caitlin Stansbury, about how merlot, which she affectionately dubs the Sex Bomb, “shows more leg than Angelina Jolie.”
Stick your nose in the glass, and you’ll find a medium intensity aroma of ripe red fruits–cherries and cranberries, the very same that you taste when you take a sip. I also detected a hint of baking spices, and Fiancé noted a little smoke. What a delightful surprise on this celebratory Thursday, to find that I actually am a fan of merlot, which it turns out is the likely reason this wine feels so damned good to drink!
If you’re curious about how to zero in on your favorite qualities when wine tasting, and yearn to bring out your inner wine-know, you should check out Caitlin’s book, Wineocology. Watch out, this sassy sommelier has a mouth on her, which is why I could read this book and drink wine all the live-long day.
I hope you’re heading into the weekend with plans to do something delicious!