Home > Cabernet Sauvignon, Experiences, Food, Food and wine pairing > Waterstone Cabernet Sauvignon Experience, And A Few Words About Food

Waterstone Cabernet Sauvignon Experience, And A Few Words About Food

If I’m not mistaken, last week was literally the first week in Connecticut when evenings became enjoyable – which also meant that we could have a family dinner outside!

Dinner outside is one of the little pleasures of suburban life, when you can get to enjoy the food twice. Not that cooking the food on the stove is not enjoyable – but somehow, doing it outside on the open fire creates the whole separate feeling. And then the whole process of having food outdoors also brings different level of pleasure – I don’t know about you, but whenever possible, in a restaurant I ask for the table outside, to be able to enjoy both food and the weather, and here I don’t even need to ask anyone to get the table outside!

Yes, I will get to the Waterstone cab in a second (after all, that should be the subject of the post, right?) – but let me talk about the food for a moment. Our local Fairway had jumbo shrimp and fillet Mignon on sale, so the menu was a no-brainer.  Of course you have to have something green on the grill, so I think asparagus is one of the best greens you can grill:

I have a feeling that the recipes’ page is coming up in this blog – little by little, I learned to make a few dishes consistently well, so I think sharing the recipes makes sense (but let me sleep on it). One important thing about my recipes – more often than not, I don’t use the exact measure. I can’t tell you to use a quarter of teaspoon of salt, a half of it or the whole one – I just rely on a “gut feeling” for “enough or not”. For the asparagus, I use a dash of salt, black pepper, granulated garlic, olive oil and a splash of balsamic – mix it all together and let it “marinate” for 30 minutes or so. And then of course the key part is not to overcook the asparagus, so it will retain the crunch. I typically have a grill at 400°F and put the asparagus down for 1 minute, turn around, and keep it for another minute – and it is done.

I made shrimp on a skewer. You need to clean the shrimp, and marinate it for 30 minutes to an hour in the fridge (don’t marinate for too long, or it will become a mush). For the marinade ( considering I had 1 pound of shrimp) I used about 1/4 of a cup of olive oil, 4 -5 minced garlic cloves, juice of one lemon ( you can add wine vinegar also, if you want) and a couple of Penzey spices – I used Cajun and Lemon Pepper. About 2 minutes on each side at the same 400°F grill, and … voila:

This shrimp was probably one of the best I ever had ( and made) – I also think kids were in the violent agreement with me – no shrimp survived the evening.

And the steak – everybody can make steak on the grill, so there is not much to talk about – here is the picture for you:

Quite honestly, I should’ve used more salt – but this you probably can’t tell it from the picture. I rehabilitated myself the next day by generously using Montreal seasoning mix, but I don’t this is important in the context of this blog.

And then, of course, there was wine. First I read about Waterstone Cabernet Sauvignon in the e-mail from the Benchmark Wine Company, where it was listed as one of the “stuff favorites”. Further checking on internet seemed to be hinting at connection between Harlan Estate, producer of one of the absolute top (“cult” is the word) California wines and Waterstone Cabernet Sauvignon – the rumor which Jancis Robinson unequivocally dismisses.

Whether the rumor is true or not is not that essential – Benchmark’s recommendation along with unpretentious label was enough to build my expectations (okay, I’m lying about the rumor – of course I want this wine to be made out of Harlan’s juice, at about 1/30 of a price of the bottle of Harlan Estate). Interestingly enough, if you will read about the Waterstone Winery, which was established in 2000, it doesn’t own any vineyards, which means that grapes should be sourced from the other vineyards, so the whole idea of  wine being made out of Harlan juice, entirely or at least partially, is not that impossible. Anyway, with all those expectations, I was still taking my time, until Zak (owner of Cost Less Wines) told be that he only has about 10 bottles left, so … (he took a pause after “so”) I realized that the time has come.

As you can see from the picture below, I approached entire matter of experiencing the Waterstone very seriously, using my “special occasions only” Cabernet set from Reidel (we have enough glasses for the regular use, and those Reidel glasses don’t last long):

Every time I use these special Reidel glasses, the first smell sensation I get is the one of a wet dog – I guess I don’t know how to use them properly… That smell has nothing to do with the wine, and it disappears after a few sips, but it sure gets in the way of your first impression. Well, let’s talk about the wine. This 2007 Waterstone Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley (14.5% ABV, $27.99) has 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 3% Cabernet France and 1% Petite Verdot, and it was aged in french oak barrels for 22 months. The wine had a perfect nose of blueberries. Not blueberry pie or blueberry jam, but a clean, perfect, balanced nose of fresh berries. This was followed by nice dark fruit on the palate, luscious and round, with some eucalyptus and touch of licorice, excellent balance of tannins, acidity and fruit. Drinkability: 9-. It is interesting to note that the wine was a bit all over the place on the second day, and I had nothing for the third day ( while I expect that it probably would taste better). Here is an artistic rendering of the event by my daughter:

There you have it, folks. I think this is the wine to buy by the case, if you can find it, of course. If you tasted this wine, I will be glad to compare notes. If you didn’t taste it yet, try to find it – and then I will be glad to compare notes. Cheers!

P.S. you can also consider this post as an early contribution for #CabernetDay which is coming up on Thursday, August 30th.

  1. PSsquared
    August 28, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    The recipe page is a great idea! I’m jealous that you can already eat outside. We have another month, at least, before the weather tolerable. I will live vicariously through you in the meantime. And your daughter is a talented artist! Cheers!

    • talkavino
      August 29, 2012 at 9:49 am

      Thank you for encouragement and your kind words! Cheers!

  2. August 29, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Third Day?!? You broke out the nice stems and it lasted for three days? You did not mention it was a magnum….

    • talkavino
      August 29, 2012 at 10:56 am

      No, it was a regular bottle – I only decanted half, and the other half was tucked away with my trusted vacuvin : ) And we had a bottle of Riesling before …

  3. August 29, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Your daughter’s rendition is priceless, by the way.

    • talkavino
      August 29, 2012 at 10:56 am

      ahh, thank you!

  4. August 29, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Looks like a fabulous summer meal! I will have to try that Cab. Cheers!

    • talkavino
      August 29, 2012 at 3:37 pm

      Thanks for the comment! And I will be interested your opinion about this Waterstone Cab!

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