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The Bachelor on the Cheap guide to making wine selection and food pairing easier - Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine FunBy Mike Thayer

This is the second of an ongoing series of wines and food pairings

Wine, it's the perfect beverage for a romantic dinner, a go-to for a casual get-together/party and a holiday meal is complimented by it.  Whether it's a meal for two, a small party for friends or a gathering of family, having the right wine elevates the occasion. 

And while most people follow the basic rule of thumb - red wine for beef and white wine for chicken - selecting the right wine can still be challenging.  What KIND of red for that roast beef?  Or, What KIND of white for that lemon chicken dish?  Does dessert call for a different wine?

The choices are many and can be intimidating, with the reds there's Merlot; Cabernet Sauvignon; Zinfandel; Syrah/Shiraz; Malbec; Pinot Noir; Nebbiolo; Sangiovese; Grenache and all kinds of red blends to choose from.

With the whites there's Chardonnay; Sauvignon Blanc; Moscato; Pinot Grigio; Riesling; Gewurztraminer, Viognier, Torrontes, Albarino and yes, white wine has it's share of blends as well.

So you walk into the liquor store in need of a bottle of wine for a dinner date or special occasion... 

Sure, you can rely on the store attendant to help you with a selection but that can be hit or miss.  A good attendant will ask you if you prefer wines on the sweeter or dryer side and what you might be pairing it with.  But keep in mind the attendant's palate is different than yours, their sweet and dry preferences are different than yours and they might try to push a particular brand on you that's in the store's best interest, not yours.  So why not walk in the store knowing what you need?  That's what this guide is for, to help you with food pairings, what is sweet, what is dry and getting a good wine for under $15 a bottle.  That's the Bachelor on the Cheap wallet friendly thing to do, get something nice, without paying too much for it.

The first wine and food pairing article featured Merlot.  

Today's featured wine:  Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is THE most popular red out there, yes, even more popular than Merlot and why you see Cabernet Sauvignon selections typically outnumber Merlots 2 - 1 at your local liquor store. Classically paired with lamb dishes, Cabernet Sauvignon is also excellent with venison, a hearty meatball and spaghetti with a rich tomato sauce dinner, steaks on the grill, or pub style burgers.  If you're not into the meat thing, you can appreciate a glass of cab with Portabello mushrooms, braised cabbage or roasted root vegetables.  In pairing with cheese, think sharp cheddar, Gruyere or a baked Camembert.  TIP:  The more full-bodied the wine is - and a Cabernet Sauvignon falls into this category - the stronger the cheese you can pair with it. For dessert, stick with bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate options.  The flavor profile of Cabernet Sauvignon are notes of black cherry, blackberry, black currant, perhaps some veggie notes like green bell pepper and there can be hints of spice and vanilla from the aging in oak barrels.  A cab is higher in acid and has more tannins than a Merlot and that's part of the appeal to cabs, they age well.  Serve Cabernet Sauvignon slightly chilled, at 60 - 65 degrees (refrigerate for about 30 minutes before serving). And you've heard the phrase, "Let the wine breathe?"  Decanting serves this wine well (that means pour the wine out of the bottle and into a decanter for those of you who live in Haysville), as decanting helps to soften the strong tannins. 

Noble Vines 337Bachelor on the Cheap Recomendation:  Noble Vines 337 - $10.99.  Here's the description from the Noble Vines website:  This dark, dense, flavorful Cabernet Sauvignon fills the senses with aromas of black cherry, blackberry and peppercorn. Smooth tannins and balanced acidity allow the flavors of black fruit compote, clove and spice, to come through with a lingering finish.

Next Up in the series:  Zinfandel

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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