Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Cabernet can make your day

Sips: Wine

By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

I didn't open my birthday present for six months. But the Silverado Cabernet Sauvignon was worth the wait - and the price ($35.99). So I'm recommending it as a holiday gift.

The 1999 vintage, which I uncorked last month and is still on shelves at some wine shops, includes small amounts of merlot and cabernet franc. Aromas of raspberry and black licorice carry through to the taste, while a touch of tobacco adds intrigue. This dry, full-bodied red wine is slightly sweet on the finish, though pepper dances on the tongue.

Silverado's 2000 Napa Valley Cabernet ($35.99) is also making its way here. It drinks well now, though it should lose astringency and gain elegance with cellaring. It has a rich aroma of cranberry and raspberry. The fruit is echoed in the taste, which includes a touch of smoke. A small amount of cabernet franc is blended into this vintage, resulting in a long finish with balanced fruit, tannin and oak.

If you're looking to spend less but still want to impress, consider presenting a dessert wine, such as the 2002 Jackson-Triggs Proprietor's Reserve Vidal Icewine ($20).

Vidal blanc grapes were picked in December while frozen on the vine in Canada's Niagara Peninsula. The aroma and flavor bring to mind honey-sweetened apricots. An intense delicacy, this full-bodied white wine pairs well with fontina and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

It comes in a 187-milliliter bottle. That's one-quarter of the standard size, which means the J-T icewine makes a perfect stocking stuffer.


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