It has been said of Thomas Jefferson, one of the great wine aficionados of his time (oh and he also founded our nation and wrote the Declaration of Independence and was our second president...), that he would find a wine he liked and BAM - that was his wine forever!!! Well, I think I had a Jeffersonian wine moment last week. It all started with a bottle of Cupcake Wine Red Velvet (2011, 13.5%, California). And it was on special. I had really enjoyed the Cabernet Sauvignon and not possessing the DNA that allows me walk away from a sale, I grabbed a bottle.
Now, I like cake, nothing against it at all. But I really just see it as something to hold the buttercream frosting off of the plate. The more frosting, the better. And don't even think of handing me something with that whipped cream frosting horror. If given a choice, I always choose a fresh white cake. Red velvet cake is a fairly new one in my taste repertoire, introduced by the dessert loving Winey Daughter. But hey, I decided to give this Red Velvet thing a go. It's in wine form, after all.
And wow oh wow! Was I ever happy that I did. This could be a new go-to favorite for me. Red Velvet is a blend of Zinfandel (the base), Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. The nose on this is cocoa. Not a bitter cocoa - it's that soft, wonderful, rich cocoa smell that could actually get you out of bed on an Ohio January morning. Underneath this blessed aroma were some berries. And the taste? Powdered cocoa and blackberry with just a hint of vanilla cake batter (yes, I eat the cake batter - and I'm still alive). It was so smooth in my mouth, too. Just like...ok, just like velvet. The finish was of creamy cocoa and some mocha coffee with a smooth tannic bite at the end. Oh my. This was: fantastic!!
I was so excited by this first bottle of Cupcake Red Velvet that I went back to the store and bought two more bottles of it. I never do that. I really had the Red Velvet fever. The second bottle was just as tasty as the first. So no, it wasn't my imagination. This was one awesome wine!
I could easily pair this with steak or lamb. But you really don't need a food with it. It's extremely drinkable on its own. This is one cake that packs a velvet punch. (Sorry, couldn't resist that one.) It's been a while since I sipped on a wine that I knew would absolutely enter into the Winey Mom Hall of Favorites (which exists only in my mind now, but someday I am hoping to break ground outside my brain). But this is one of those wines.
So run out and buy some. Proudly take it to dinner parties, housewarmings, and hostesses. And if you happen to be in my neighborhood (northeast Ohio), bring some to me. Thanks.
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