If, like me, your budget keeps you in the $5 wine range most nights, you'd jump at the chance to try a couple of nice California Cabernet's. Actually, who wouldn't? I recently had the opportunity to try two highly recommended wines... and ruined both tastings. The wines were a Jordan 2010 Cabernet ($42-$60) and a Josh 2013 Cabernet ($9.99). Both wines were delicious despite my mistake, but I can't help but wonder what I missed out on. Before I let you in on where I went wrong, here are the notes from my original tasting:
Now, there's nothing bad in these descriptions. And even if these flavor profiles were correct, I would still go back to both of these Cabs for more. But the mint and vanilla flavors were much stronger than I expected, even to the point of being overwhelming. As the tasting experience was still delightful, it took me quite some time before I realized what was going on.
I was in Nashville when I tried these wines. It was February, and the air was that special kind of dry you only get in the winter. So you guessed it: chapped lips. I was self-medicating regularly with vanilla mint chapstick.
That was the culprit.
I went into a great wine tasting having overwhelmed my senses with mouthwash flavored paraffin wax.
What do we learn from this? That if you really want to explore the flavors of a new wine, beer or spirit, make sure your palate is clean. On the other hand, with a little foresight (or luck), the flavors you introduce might complement your drink very well!
About the wineries:
Jordan Winery was founded in 1976 in Sonoma County, California, just north of San Francisco. Founders Tom and Sally Jordan set out to make the first Bordeaux style Cab in California. Originally from Denver, this francophile couple saw the potential of California reds at a time when 80% of the wine consumed in the U.S. was white. Today, they continue to make award-winning wines that can be tasted at their 50,000 square foot chateau overlooking their gorgeous vineyards.
What about you? Have you ever ruined a tasting? Share your story below.