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What Cab is taking you for a ride?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It's always great to hear people say that they'll take a cabernet, because there are actually several choices that could be given to them.† Itís like when I used to play drums for a West African dance troupe in the 90s; if someone asked me to play certain rhythms, Iíd then have to ask them if they wanted one from one country versus another, and after that choice was made, which version of the bassline did they want.

Anyway, it all started with Cabernet Franc, a blue-black grape that makes a paler red wine and gives you aspects of pepper.† But Cabernet Franc is mostly given second-rate status after it's hyrid child, Cabernet Sauvignon came to be; damned kid!† Cabernet Sauvignon is the result of Sauvignon Blanc, a white grape, hooking up with Cabernet Franc, which weirdly enough, produces a darker wine than does Cabernet Franc.† Not too many people order a straight Cabernet Franc, and itís mainly used in blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as with Merlot to make the typical Bordeaux wine.† Iíve probably had less than five true Cabernet Franc wines in the past eight years.

Cabernet Sauvignon, the child:

Cabernet Sauvignon for red wine drinkers is probably the most wonderful grape that exists.† With the exception of dessert wines, fortified wines, and ice wines, the most expensive wines to find usually are made of Cabernet Sauvignon. †

I actually laugh at the concept that a blue-black grape mixed with a white grape produced an even darker grape that is loved by racists the world over; I guess they canít look at this example in nature, apply it to people, and realize that maybe they should be more accepting, if not exploring, of people.

Cabernet Sauvignon is a grape that can produce some of the most intense flavors of dark fruits (cherries, berries and plums).† Other flavors are that of bell peppers, which is caused by pyrazines, a molecular compound.† The more the grape sees the sun during the ripening process, the more these are destroyed.† Depending upon the growing region and clime, you might also get mint and eucalyptus.

White Cabernet et al:

Shalistin is the product of a mutation of a Cabernet Sauvignon vine that was producing bronze colored grapes; this time it was producing white grapes.† The bronze grapes were registered as Malian.† (I have a friend that does Golden Retriever rescue; every dog that she owns, their noses eventually turn pink from black; I should have her grown wine grapes!)† Marselan is the offspring of Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon

Ruby Cabernet:

A friend of mine brought me back a bottle of wine from Zimbabwe called Sabistar Red.† I took awhile before I opened it, but is was Ruby Cabernet blended with Cabernet Franc. †

The Ruby Cabernet grape was invented by the mad scientist Harold Olmo in 1936 at UC Davis by mixing Cabernet Sauvignon with Carignan so that it could put up with crazy amounts of heat.† As a result, this wine does great in drought environments.† One website said that it has a nice cherry flavor [at times], but is mostly blended with other things.

Well, that rounds out my article on Cabernet.† I would love for you to take the time to try some good Cabernet Sauvignons as well as try a couple of Cabernet Francs for reference.† I am going to have to get on some of my peeps to get me these bronze and white versions and soon.

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Our Mission: The Black Winer strives to expose African Americans [and others] to wines, without the flair, stuffiness, and airs of elitism and snobbery that you get from sommeliers and high level wine enthusiasts. We believe in finding something that you like the taste of, outside of the basic brands that you have been force-fed over the years through a combination of ethnically targeted advertising, and what people in your family have historically been drinking.

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