Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon

Louis M. Martini

Cabernet Sauvignon


(Sonoma County)


On bottle:

* Website: http://www.louismartini.com

* Fresh, ripe flavors of black cherry, currant and spice

* Pairs well with beef, lamb, pasta marinara and rich cheeses

My notes:

Nose: spice, currant, blackberries

After 3 hour decant: spice, mellow

After 6 hour decant: currant, cherry

The nose changed considerable after being decanted. The difference in tannin was perceptible even in the nose.  I enjoyed the nose of the 6 hour decant the most.

Taste: heavy tannins, extremely astringent

After 3 hour decant: smoother, but still bitter mouthfeel

After 6 hour decant: smoothes, still a level of astringence

I was not a fan of this particular cabernet sauvignon.  I always thought that I enjoyed cabernet sauvignon, but I do not drink it often because I can rarely find someone who wants to split a bottle with me.  I did this taste test without food, so even though I wrote down in my notes not to purchase this particular wine again, maybe I will give it a shot with a meal.

I have seen this particular vintage and brand in many lists of solid cabernets, so either my tastes are very different than a lot of reputable sources or maybe I don’t like cabernet sauvignons as much as I thought.  More taste testing is needed to determine my final assessment.

312 Urban Wheat Ale

One of my goals is to try a new wine, beer or spirit each week.  Although I have seen 312 on tap often, I have never tried it.  As I sat in a local pub, reading and studying for my introductory sommelier course, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

This beer is produced by Goose Island and the name 312 comes from the area code of the Loop in Chicago.


Basic Info (via 312 website)

Brewer’s Notes: Inspired by the city of Chicago and densely populated with flavor, 312’s spicy aroma of Cascade hops is followed by a crisp, fruity ale flavor delivered in a smooth, creamy body that’s immensely refreshing.

Style: Urban Wheat

ABV: 4.2%

International Bitterness Units: 18

Color: Hazy Straw

Hops: First Gold, Liberty, Cascade

Malts: 2 Row, Torrified Wheat

Preferred Glass: Tall Glass

Food Pairings: Salads, Fish

Cheese Pairings: Fresh Chevre, Buffalo Mozzarella

Cellaring Notes:  Enjoy within 180 days

My Notes:

I drank a draft pint of 312 at a local pub.  A fresh keg was put in immediately after I ordered, as the tap was running out. The beer was light golden in color, with minimal foam after the pour.  There were small, fast bubbles rising to the top of the pint glass immediately after the pour.

The first drink was light, effervescent and refreshing, with mild citrus and pine flavors. The aroma was also filled with citrus and pine notes. I loved this beer while it was ice cold! As it becomes room temperature, the mouthfeel became bitter and astringent.

I will definitely be enjoying this brew in the summer.  Because of the lemon/citrus flavor, I think that it would be best consumed sitting on the deck on a summer evening after work, watching the sunset or grilling out.  Perfect for light drinking.

Red Wine Sangria

In an effort to will summer to appear quicker, I am organizing all of my summer recipes.  Last year I brought this to our family’s Father’s Day celebration, which included my parents, brother, both sets of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and significant others.  All in all, there were well over fifty people that showed up at my parents house for a lovely afternoon playing games, eating and drinking.  This cocktail was a hit! I can’t wait to make it again this summer. (And I have plenty of peach schnapps left since this recipe is the only thing I use it in!)


Red Wine Sangria

1 bottle of red, fruity wine (I find that the inexpensive varieties work well for sangria)

2 cups of vodka (more/less to taste or for potency)

1 cup of peach schnapps

2 cups of orange juice

2 oranges, sliced

2 limes, sliced

2 lemons, sliced

3 cups of grapes

Any other fruit you would like to include (peaches & apples work well)

Combine all of the ingredients in a large pitcher, mashing some of the fruit to release juices. Feel free to adjust the amounts of ingredients to suit your tastes. The key is to have a cocktail you enjoy! If you love raspberries, throw them in.  If you don’t want a drink that is as strong, cut out the vodka. Experiment to find your perfect combination/recipe.

Let sit for 8 to 36 hours.  The longer it sits, the fruitier the sangria will be and the more alcoholic the fruit pieces will become. Serve over ice.