Wine: Napa Valley Cabernets


wine tasting

Last night we had a wine tasting at my house with a bunch of friends—all wonderful, witty women. And because we all drink wine, what better excuse to get together than to do some wine tasting?

Plus, life’s been stressful for everyone, so we really needed to let our hair down.

wine tasting

That smile pretty much says it: Where’s the wine?


Here’s Ruth. Doesn’t she work it like a rock star? I love that coat she’s wearing.

It’s nearly April and it finally stopped raining so we sat outside as long as we could before moving indoors without breaking the chatter.

wine tasting

And then we moved on to some serious wine tasting. (Note: the following pics of the wine and food are shot at work the next morning. We had left overs from the previous evening with the ladies and so we brought everything to work for the entire staff to taste and enjoy as well. It was interesting to see what everyone liked, and didn’t like.)

wine tasting
Our resident wine expert, Julia, decided to lead us through tasting cabernets from various appellations in the Napa Valley so that we could compare and contrast them against each other. We started with six cabernets:

  • Chappellet Napa Valley 2003
  • Chimney Rock Stags Leap District 2004
  • Round Pond Estate 2005
  • Groth Oakville 2005
  • J Davies Diamond Mountain District 2004
  • Ledgewood Creek Napa Valley 2005

Julia gave out maps and writeups of the various appellations that we would be tasting from. What it shows you is that just a few miles in any direction will alter a vineyard’s soil content and thusly, the taste of the wine grape and resulting wine. You can literally taste the difference in soil: loamy, minerally, dusty … it comes through. Fascinating!

Before the wine tasting, we decanted the bottles for a couple hours before tasting. At work, we don’t have that luxury so we use a Venturi to aerate the wine on the spot. Wow, this little doodad makes such a big difference. A number of our staff own them and keep them in their purses or even around the office. How weird is that for you? Not that weird for us. Seems pretty normal, actually.

wine tasting

Typically, when wine tasting I don’t like to mix it with food because it alters the taste of the wine. But sometimes you just need to put something in your stomach, especially with big bold cabernets like we’re drinking. So, we had some breads, crackers and cheeses …

wine tasting

Again, we tend to fall on cheese like rabid dogs. It isn’t pretty, but it sure is good.

wine tasting

And of course, chocolate truffles.

wine tasting

And strawberries that didn’t last too long.

Out of all the wines that we tried, Groth was the clear standout, followed very closely by Chappellet, Round Pound and Chimney Rock depending on how much of sharp back note you like in your cabernet.

Overall, a wonderful tasting. And some pretty darn good company.


One response »

  1. Pingback: Food: Waldorf salad « Skipper’s Log

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