Tuesday, November 4, 2014

“How To” Guide: Your Cabernet Sauvignon Survival Kit

Cab Survival Kit
September was emergency preparedness month and citizens were encouraged to make a kit to prepare for emergencies. This is actually important, and since Green Dragon is part of the Red Cross disaster response team, I want to provide the link so you’ll know how to prepare for emergencies.

Today, with a cold winter on the horizon, I want to focus on surviving a wine emergency. In the photo you can see the kit of my essentials for Cabernet Sauvignon.

Here’s what you’ll need for your emergency kit:

Decanter – Essential for allowing Cabernet Sauvignon to soften and open up to reveal its true character before consuming. An hour is a good suggestion for decanting time.

Aerator – This is my Zazzol aerator, which I recently acquired. Aerators work and can improve the taste of most wines. It accomplishes what a decanter does, but in a much shorter period of time. For especially tannic wines, I like to “double-decant” by pouring wine from the decanter through the aerator.

Padded 2-Bottle Wine Bag by Built – We’ve gotten a lot of good use out of this bag. It’s classier than arriving with a crumpled brown paper bag. It also helps protect the bottles from breakage and makes them easier to carry for those occasions where you are bringing wine, appetizers and maybe ping-pong paddles to a party.

Waiter’s Helper Style Corkscrew – At home we typically use a lever-style corkscrew, but for mobility and compactness, you can’t beat a waiter’s helper style corkscrew. The good ones will have a foil cutter blade and a two-part lever that allows you to easily leverage the cork out of the bottle.

High Quality Dark Chocolate – Cabernet pairs beautifully with dark chocolate. This Schogetten chocolate from Germany is a good choice because it breaks into individual bites. Avoid milk chocolate. I also stay away from chocolate with more than 70% cacao content – too bitter.

Napa Valley Cabernet 2009 and 2010 Vintages – You’ll find many great Cabernets from around the world, but you can’t go wrong with a Napa Cabernet from 2009. The 2010 vintage is also proving to be outstanding. Here are a couple recent favorites, both from the Spring Valley AVA of Napa Valley: 2009 Maroon Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2010 M by Martellotto Cabernet Sauvignon.

Foil Pouring Spouts – These handy devices, often given away at wineries, are disks of thin Mylar that you roll up and put in your bottle to avoid drips.

Favorite Music – To top off the evening, I suggest having your favorite CD or music download. For the picture I grabbed Passin’ Through by Honky Tonk Homeslice, which features my brother on guitar, vocals and major songwriting duties.

There you have it, a kit to see you through winter white-outs, floods and asteroid impacts. You’ll be safe and sound with this kit – just remember to close the bunker door behind you…

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