My beloved Cabernet Sauvignon,
I write this love letter to Cabernet Sauvignon out of frustration. You are the king and have always been the king. You sit almighty at the bottom of every wine list and to your right you have the highest price. You don’t flaunt it, but you don’t have to. You have every one under your reign and control. The winemaker and sales team at the winery have no problem charging more for your juice than that of your best friend, Merlot. The distributors have a dozen or more Cabernet Sauvignons and don’t bat an eye at selling you over $50/bottle. The sommelier has come to expect to pay top dollar for you to sit in his cellar. And the consumer believes that your name is a synonym for red wine. You have really done it…you have supreme power over all.
I used to date another grape you may know, his name was Nebbiolo. In his homeland he is known as the king. But can there really be two kings? You and I have been acquaintances for many years. Even from our first encounter, I knew that there was something very special about you. You were strong, firm and so so manly. You gave me chills when I sipped and swished your wetness in my mouth. Those tannins were engaging, leaving my mouth dry and screaming for more. Your fruits were of plums, blackberry and Cassis. Yes, purple fruits, which match your majestic robe. I must say, Nebbiolo is absolutely delicious, he has his own great attributes; however, in my heart you will remain my king.
I started this letter by telling you that you have caused utter frustration in my sex life, and it is true. Let me take you back to when I started dating you. If you can remember I was a girl below legal drinking age, but that didn’t bother you. I ran into you at the local supermarket on the bottom shelf while my friends and I were trying to find a libation to drink before our high school dance. Your erect slim bottle with a price tag of $4.99 was exactly what I was looking for. I ran outside the store and handed my money to a homeless man. He went into the store and came back with you. We were so excited! My friends and I took you to the park, next to the tennis courts where no one would see us. How inexperienced we were back then, we couldn’t open you! Your enclosure was a cork. But that didn’t stop us. We broke the tip of the bottle against the concrete, although we lost some juice, it was enough to reach our goal, we got tipsy. We poured you into plastic cups and began to drink. Although my friends would never admit it, but I think you de-flowered them as well that day.
Now here is my frustration. My first in counter with you was under-whelming. All the hype and that was it. I did get a buzz, but there was no real satisfaction. From what I remember you were really aggressive, the taste was blah and the finish was quick. There was nothing majestic about this king. My first experience with wine was you, and you drove me to drink white wine. For the next several years I indulged in whites and kept you out of mind.
As I matured and began to get more experience, I decided to try you again. This time I ordered you from a restaurant wine list, my boy friend at the time was trying to impress me and ordered you by asking the server for a Napa Cabernet. My date that night was not that memorable. He was a lawyer type who spoke a lot about himself and made several trips to the restroom. That night was a re-awakening for me. You were sumptuous. The tannins were generous, masculine yet elegant. Your musty aroma of berries and dark fruits mixed with what I remember as the smell of my father’s cologne. Each time my date went to the bathroom, I sipped more and more of you. I went so far as to order another bottle without him knowing. My date that night was not with the guy across the table from me, but with you. I remember hearing him talk. All I could hear was Blah, Blah, Blah coming from his mouth. What I listened to were your aromas and flavors which burst in my mouth.
That experience was great. However, again I felt frustrated. When I went to the store to buy that same bottle of wine I had indulged in that evening, I saw that it was way out of my price range. Cabernet Sauvignon you were way too expensive for my taste. It reminded me of the difference between a prostitute and a call girl. At that time I did not have the money to indulge, but my wonderment led me to seek you out in a different form. I trusted in some of my fellow women for wine for advice. I went online and read Becca Yeamans’ blog, the Academic Wino’s who’s your daddy.
She taught me that you were the son of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. I decided to go and meet your parents and I drank Chinon and Sancerre. Boy were you different from your parents. Your dad was aromatic and tart and your mom was super racy, she made me blush. I then went and asked another female friend for advice. I read Karen MacNeil’s book, “The Wine Bible”. There I learned that you were the predominate grape of the first growths of Bordeaux. This only made me feel more helpless. When I went to buy a Chateau Latour, I almost fainted. My king was unattainable. At this point I felt that I may have to sell my soul and continue to date lawyer types so that I could experience your tannins and fruit.
Before I sold my soul, I came across another woman while reading an article in the New York times. Her name was Alexandera Marnier Lapostolle. She was a Chilean winemaker who was making Cabernet Sauvignon at a price I could afford. I went on-line and ordered a bottle of Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon. I was so anxious when it arrived. I immediately opened the bottle and took a big whiff of your aroma. Wow, plum, red berry, black fruit, eucalyptus, mint, chocolate and mocha were jumping out of the glass. Your body was full, big and tannins were strong. I immediately felt my womanhood swell and my saliva began running like a river. I looked again at the invoice, and my heart skipped a beat. I found my king! You were a burly yet a sensitive man who could meet all my needs and you only cost me $20. I never believed it before, but I guess there really is a difference between a lover and a Latin lover.
For many years I trusted mans’ opinions about wine. I read Robert Parker, I read James Laube and a whole other slew of prominent male wine writers. I drank their choices but many times the Cabernet Sauvignons they recommended was too big, too alcoholic and left me plastered. It took me back to my first experience with you. You looked the part, talked a big game, but lacked sensuality. As my financial situation improved, I began to trust in women again. I drank the Cabernets of Heidi Barret-Peterson, Cathy Corison, Mia Klien, Karen Culler and Zelma Long. They knew how to tame you. Their wines showed your manliness yet refined your tannins and gave you a majestic elegance. I thank my women friends for allowing me to continue this relationship with you.
I wrote this love letter to Cabernet Sauvignon with the intention of letting go of my feelings. I feel better now. Although I am not able to experience you in all your forms, I now know that I can still indulge. I have learned to be creative and search for you in different areas. I trusted my female friends for advice and they led me to the right place. Cabernet Sauvignon I love you, I lust you and I will forever be at your mercy…my king.
Your once frustrated, and now at peace Cabernet Sauvignon lover,