Man, it is hot outside! I landed in Dallas last night to find my former home sitting in the sweltering heat of August in Texas. This time of year, we may opt to think lighter, cooling white wines. However, if I learned anything living in Texas for over 20 years, it’s that Texans love a good glass of Cabernet Sauvignon on any day, any season, with any food, or on its own. Cabernet paired with a tasty cut of Prime beer, also known as “Cab and a slab” is king.
As we prepare for National Cabernet Day this week, I raise a glass. This morning I joined KXAS/NBC DFW at 11am to share some tasty options to enjoy on holiday, as well as throughout “red wine week,” which we are experiencing now. As I say, “Red Wine With Breakfast” is the perfect way to start the day. A link to the segment is here. More on some of the wines from the program below. Happy sipping. #Cheers!
If you disagree about the power and passion found in a delicious glass of red for wine lovers, a few statistics confirm. Recent studies have shown that 60% of wine drinkers prefer red vs. white, and 72% of drinkers prefer to sip at home vs. out. In a survey conducted by one of our featured wines, Columbia Crest in Washington, with Wakefield Research, the winery found that 60% of wine drinkers consider Cabernet Sauvignon their go-to wine. And, 76% of wine drinkers look to spend less than $15 a bottle. Affordable wines that are so good quality are required though, making many of the wine made in the northwest ideal. Sure, I would love to drink $100 bottles every night, but realistically, that’s just not possible. And, it is often more exciting to find a delicious option and then realize it is less than $20 a bottle.
Columbia Crest Grand Estates from Columbia Valley, Washington began over 40 years ago in pristine Horse Heaven Hills. Dedicated to reflecting the history and heritage of the land Columbia Crest has been producing quality, varietally correct wines from throughout Columbia Valley that are also affordable for their consumers for decades. Their Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon is fruit-forward and lush, layering dark cherry, blackberry, dark chocolate, and toasted spice. And, the wine is a bargain for around $15 a bottle.
The Horse Heaven Hills AVA within Columbia Valley sits along the Columbia River with well-draining soils, requiring roots to dig deep into the earth to find their nutrients and water. Wines from the area are concentrated, structured, well-textured. By using both stainless steel, new and neutral oak, H3 Wines delivers layered notes of earthiness with a truffle filled mineral note, melding with ripe blackberry, dark cherry, and licorice notes.
Though often misunderstood, and often unrespected, Merlot is one of the premium varieties of Bordeaux’s Left Bank. Since Chateau Ste. Michelle began they set out to set a premium standard for Bordeaux varieties in the US, setting a standard for Merlot in particular early on. Their Columbia Valley Merlot highlights the density of fruit from the region, seeing little rainfall, very sunny, high-temperature days create fruit-forward wines with concentration and structure. Adding a hint of spicy, jammy Syrah and dark chocolate filled Cabernet Sauvignon creates a complete wine with harmony and balance.
Earthy, wild strawberry and juicy cherry-filled Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley will bring Pinot lovers to tears. I am a fan of the variety, particularly those from Willamette, the premier growing region of Oregon. Filled with volcanic soils throughout, hot days, cool evenings, influence from the Pacific, Willamette Valley established itself as the region for Pinot over 40 years ago, led by early founder like Dick Erath. Today Erath Willamette Valley Pinot Noir reveals the history and story that Dick Erath hoped to tell of the land when he began in the late 1960s. Slightly yeasty, layering red cherry, red berry, baking spice, and woody herb, Erath Oregon Pinot Noir is the ideal wine with anything from grilled salmon to Thanksgiving dinner.