For the longest time, we’ve been toying with the idea of making a video series called “What Am I Drinking and Why.” We thought of it after realizing that, like us, there’s probably a lot of people who have been drinking more than their usual amount of alcohol during the height of the lockdown.
Unfortunately, we got too busy with travel preps (traveling during the pandemic is ridiculous, and I highly advise people not to do it unless absolutely necessary) that we never really got to focus on making more of the videos (although there were a couple, which I’ll share at the end of the article)… but I have all these drink photos and tasting notes from our 2 month absence so I thought, I might as well share them here.
First, let me explain the format of the WAIDAW series:
It’s basically about the interesting things I could find on the label: The drink, it’s origin, etc.
Why I Drank It
It would likely run the gamut from “I was bored that day,” to “It seemed great with the chicken,” or even, “That blasted TV series I was watching made me do it!”
In the spirit of deviating from the technical jargon and structure industry practitioners use, I’ll talk about exactly what I see/smell/taste from the wine… I’m positive I’ll scandalize so many people by using descriptors from “green apple” to “an old leather belt that’s been stored in an antique closet for upwards of 50 years.” Heck, I’m excited to use zingers like “it’s so coy, it made Maria Clara look easy.” To further emphasize, this isn’t the section for anyone looking for proper technical notes that would make their friendly neighborhood WSET instructor blush.
Tada… For the first time in my career, I’m planning to rate wine. Let me just stress that it’s going to be a combination of my preference, the unbiased way we’d evaluate wines from a quality standpoint in WSET classes, and the intent of the producer. It’s ambitious – and again, I’d likely annoy people for not sharing their opinion. The rating would range from one glass to five, one being “I’m never touching the stuff again,” and five being “I should hoard the living cr*p out of this.”
Food Pairing Suggestion
If my hips are any indication, I love food… and to be perfectly honest, the thing that excites me the most about drinks is the food that they pair with.
There’s gonna be plenty of these in the foreseeable future, since they’re easy-to-write, pocket articles and I’m going to be busy with a few pet projects.
So without further ado, I’d like to talk about the first wine of the (written) series.
Label: Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
I always think that one could rarely go wrong with a “Napa Cab.” Napa is a region that – through a combination of innovative winemakers and ideal climate conditions – has made a name for itself globally as one of the places to get good Cab. Over the years, it came with a corresponding price tag (and some would say a level of snootiness)… but most of the time, it’s worth the price.
Why I Drank It
My amazing sister decided to welcome us to SoCal with a bottle of this baby. After asking the wine store to give her “the best” wine from the selection, the sales guy gave her this. For a hot minute I worried that they’d sell her, say… an Opus One, but I’m glad they didn’t do that to her (good job, unnamed sales guy). I had it on our third day in LA and boy did that help with the jet lag.
It was an intense, rich, dark fruit forward, deliciously spicy, incredibly inky red… The kind that would stain your lips (but the when the wine is this good, I say… Stain away!). The hefty concentration called to mind huge, powerful reds that tend to be the calling card of the region. It had enough complexity to make me think of having it over a long conversation with a friend, and boy did it last in my mouth well beyond the one hour “proof of life” video call with my momma.
Four and a half out of five wine glasses. Maybe it’s partially the sentiment behind the wine, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I also understand that I have a predilection for big red wines, so this is perfect for people who share the same preference. Totally Hugh Johnson’s dream. Hoard if you can.
For chrissakes, get a fatty, salty slab of steak to go with this. Also, I know it’s a bit sacrilegious for the price point but man… It went well with the In-N-Out Burger I had.
Here’s a look at an old WAIDAW video. See y’all in the next, cheers!