Saturday, January 29, 2011

When I started this blog it was my sole intention to share the myriad food adventures, both at home and otherwise, that I experience as I was able to document them photographically.  This has not been as frequent as I would like it to be due my demanding schedule of classes.  However, this semester seems to be more conducive to documentable epicurean escapades then the preceding. Plus, I have found new blogging inspiration (I am actually quite surprised that I did not think of this sooner).  Wine!!

I love wine.  In fact my passion for wine is comparable to that of my passion for food; as one would expect any epicurean's to be.  However, I don't think I fit the stereotypical idea of what we might think of for a self-proclaimed epicurean.  I am a vegetarian on a poor college student budget.  This doesn't make food or wine adventures any less...well, adventurous.  In fact, it really only adds to the excitement.  Finding and making great food for even better prices, and discovering cheep bottles of wine that masquerade as pricey ones is a skill I have spent the last three years honing in on.  And it is my latest find that has inspired me put wine on the table (pun intended).  While I do fervently express my abiding love of wine, I do not claim to an expert.  So, I promise to my best when describing the wines I choose to share with you.  Please feel free to correct me as I'm certain not one of entries are perfect.  Now that my very long, and arguably unnecessary preface is over, let's get down to business....

On one of my recent shopping trips to Trader Joe's for the usual fair, my roommate and I stopped to partake in the day's wine tasting.  We always find this enjoyable even if the wines aren't to our liking for a couple of reasons.  First, if we don't really care for the tasting selections, the employee working at the counter is always able to make a suggestion of something new for us to try.  Secondly,  and perhaps most importantly, Trader Joe's employees are always cheerful individuals with whom conversing is  easy and enjoyable.  However, this particular trip was unusually fruitful as we walked away with two new bottles to try.  One of which we tasted who's details I will save for a future post, while the other came highly recommended after a short exchange about some of the recent additions to our favorites list.  The friendly fellow offering tiny plastic cups of fermented grape juice explained that if we are looking for a Cab. under ten dollars that drinks like a $40+ bottle then we must try the 2008 Familia Nueva Vineyard's Cabernet Sauvignon Liberte.  So, we did.  And we fell in love.  
To give you and idea of what my novice palate looks for in a good bottle of wine in the $10 range, typically you'll find dry, full bodied, foreign reds in my "cellar."  In my opinion this is one of the best Cab's I have had (albeit you could count them all on a hand or two).  I don't even want to attempt giving you my description of the tasting notes so I'll leave it to do it for me:"This is a well-made, reasonably priced Cab from Paso Robles. The nose is dominated by ripe (but not overripe) dark fruit, particularly plum. With the restrained tannins, this could easily be a Merlot/Cabernet blend. In any event, it’s good."I feel this is a decent description of it, although far too understated in my opinion.   If you try it and would like to share your description in the comments, please do.  I'd love to read about your experience.  

Addtionally, here's what the vineyard says:  "With its elegant red hue and powerful palate this 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon deliver an exceptional bouquet of blackberries, autumnal leaves and backing spices followed by opulent flavors of clove and marzipan."
 Basically, I'm saying:  Try it!  You'll be happy you did.