After over three years on the job, I am stepping aside as Parched No More’s spirits expert and leaving the task to Joe Shotkus, a close friend and confidant, who also happens to be doing our Cocktails and Ask the Bartender pieces. After reviewing more than 150 different spirits, the time for fresh eyes is now. As luck would have it, I’ve been enjoying more and more wine lately, and thus will be doing our wine reviews from this point forward. Although Brendan most definitely left big shoes to fill, I will most certainly try my hardest to both inform and entertain. Please be gentle.
California, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011
Perhaps my favorite of all the red varietals (although that honor swings toward Merlot, depending on the time of day), I’ve always been attracted to the Cabernet Sauvignon’s ruby lips, velvety texture, and its full bodied, often oaky flavor. Carnivor, my good friends, does not disappoint.
From the ornate, black label:
“Carnivor Cabernet is a unique combination — full-bodied flavors with finesse. Our rich blend shows hints of blackberry, caramel, roast coffee and toasted oak. Carnivor Cabernet finishes each bold sip with a refined smoothness.”
I wouldn’t necessarily go so far as to call this combination of flavors unique in the realm of Cabernets; however, it is indeed enjoyable. On the nose, this wine is fragrant — tart with berries and hints of oak. On the first sip, and with each subsequent sip, we’re delighted with an incredibly oaky, earthy elixir which is smooth and satisfying on the finish.
I’ve long been of the opinion that a wine is simply what you make of it, and I’m well over my initial foray into wine, a period during which most hobbyists will spend way more than is reasonable on any given bottle simply to try “good” wine. That being said, while Carnivor is certainly on the budget end of the spectrum, its expert composition commands respect.
Carnivor Cabernet Sauvignon pairs excellently with an aged salami and a rich, buttery cheese like Kerrygold’s Dubliner.