I’ve been on a diet – sorry, that should be present tense. I am on a diet. Or perhaps I should say I have the backbone of a jellyfish so the diet is “intermittent”.
Best laid-plans, eh.
I also craved a meat-friendly red wine. There didn’t seem to be a better option than King Cab – a cabernet sauvignon.
I had a bottle in the house; so on my round-robin trips to shops, buying said steak, (oh and cheese for afters, did I mention the cheese?) I picked up a couple more cab savs.
Here we go. (The diet starts again tomorrow.)
Vina Ventisquero Grey
Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
I loved dipping my nose in this wine – ooo this I did over and over; swirling and sniffing and forgot to taste it (now you know that’s not true ).
OK – so its not 100 per cent cab sav – there are tiny amounts of cabernet franc and petit verdot too – but all the grapes blend to deliver aromas of blackcurrant, raspberry and cranberries which tease with a lick of vanilla and a spark of black pepper.
The flavour is full of berries, with a tight bite of acidity which is the lasting sensation at the back of the mouth.
- (£13.49, slurp.co.uk)
Casillero del Diablo
Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
I bet Casillero del Diablo is a familiar brand to many of you; and for me, it has always been a reliable buy when you’re overfaced with scores of bottles on creaking wine shelves. Early last year, the Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon became the UK’s biggest selling wine in this grape variety.
This is a fellow countryman to the Ventisquero – both from Chile. It is rich with cherry and plum aromas with an additional crispness of singed toast.
To taste, a dryness of tannins in the mouth is swept away by a tight acidity, with both clothed in flavours of cherries, red berries and the tiniest hint of coffee. A peppery note is the calling card left behind.
- (RRP £8, Tesco, and other retailers)
Asda Extra Special
Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Now we’ll pop over to France and the Languedoc, home of sun-drenched vines. By contrast to its Chilean brethren, this wasn’t as outspoken on the nose with fruit; it leans to a spicy edge with dry twigs, and blackcurrants nudge those aromas to one side.
The more you swivel the glass, the more the fruit wins the aroma challenge. It’s much the same when you taste; the dryness of tannin ( … and twig? Not sure I’ve ever tasted a twig ….) is at the forefront, then the black fruit edges through.
- (£6, or two for £10 deal)
First published in Raise a Glass, Trinity Mirror regionals April 9, 2016