• Two Thumbs Up
• Bold aromas of black licorice and something akin to a plum cobbler. It has intense flavors of cola, ripe plum, spicy black licorice and darkly caramelized sugar. It is full bodied, but not overpowering with aggressive tannins.
As anyone at my alma mater, The Oscar Madison School of Wine Writing, will tell you, I’ve got no monopoly on good taste. I admit this because one of the most gratifying aspects of working in a wine shop has been all the tasty recommendations I receive from customers (sorry, boss lady, I know it’s supposed to be the other way around).
One wine my customers have been fairly raving about has been the Grayson Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon. The California wine comes in a non-descript bottle that you easily might pass by. While the bottle may not be stylishly packaged, the wine inside, with its full-bodied, dark berry fruit and spicy black licorice flavors is a fashion runway hit. And as most frugally minded shopper-hunters point out: “It’s only 12 bucks!” as they raise their trophy wine in the air.
I had it the other night with a meatloaf-style hamburger, although it should have been a rare beef steak or pepper-crusted lamb chop, and it was delicious. My wife, Eleanore, who appreciates a full-bodied wine but can be picky about them, agreed on the wine’s yumminess quotient and thought it was a much higher priced bottle.
Sometimes the taste leader must be the follower.
Gil Kulers is a certified wine educator and a wine consultant for Tower Beer Wine Spirits. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Wines are rated on a scale ranging up from Thumbs Down, One Thumb Mostly Up, One Thumb Up, Two Thumbs Up, Two Thumbs Way Up and Golden Thumb Award. Prices are suggested retail prices as provided by the winery, one of its agents, a local distributor or retailer.