In an office cluttered with wine bottles, both full and empty, it’s hard not to think of myself as Mayor of Boozeville. Every once in awhile, an editor will stroll in and talk shop. Someone else will poke in to pour themselves a glass or two. Other than those few moments, it’s just me and the wine for hours and hours. It’s a lovely job writing wine reviews, but also a bit solitary: a drunken cage of corks, so to speak.
Today, there are more empty Cabernet bottles than anything else on my desk, and that is a very good thing. A mentor of mine once told me that the best way to learn about wine was to pick a grape and dive in. That’s what I have done.
I have been drinking nothing but Cabernet Sauvignon from across the world: from Tuscany to Bordeaux to Napa Valley to South Africa. They all tasted dramatically different, yet each retained a “cab-ishness” quality. One of the most important things I remember from wine school was that each grape varietal has a unique fingerprint. For Cabernet Sauvignon, that fingerprint is an aroma of pencil shavings and green pepper. Sounds gross, but that’s the funny thing about great wine: it unites crazy smells and flavor in surprisingly delicious ways.
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