Archive for the ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’ Category

The wine that popped my grape…

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

It was the summer of 1992  and I was a waiter at a very fancy golf / polo / country club  in Lake Forest, IL.  In fact, it was so fancy they didn’t even call it a golf or polo or country club - just a club.  To be sure, members had to be pretty darn rich (old money, of course), pretty darn WASPy and possess a style of speech that can only be referred to as “Lake Forest Lockjaw” (think Thurston Howell III).
I learned a lot about people and consumption that summer.  It turns out really rich people (the old-money kind) aren’t as snobby as I would have thought.  I had conversations with senators and congresspeople, CEOs and socialites.  I learned that really old really rich ladies often went to country clubs in the middle of the day and got sloshed on various interesting vodka concoctions such as martinis with vodka, Bloody Mary’s with vodka, Clamato with vodka and Bull Shots (beef bullion with vodka).  I learned from the same set of ladies that “sweetening up a drink” didn’t mean putting sugar in it.

What I treasure most is what I learned about food and drink that summer. I tasted a piece of prosciutto for the first time.  I tried caviar and cognac and cocktail onions.  And this was the first time I experienced a really good glass of wine.

A Gatsby-esque pair of couples with famous surnames came in (they must have been in their late 30’s or early 40’s).  They were gossiping and laughing and ordering food and wine.  Somewhere between the consomme and quail,  they must have put away three bottles of white wine before they ordered a final bottle of red to help end the meal. After they were gone and I was cleaning up the table, I noticed roughly a glass left in the bottle of red and thought I’d give it a try.

Stags Leap Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

Stags Leap

The 5/6 glass of  1990 Stags Leap Winery Cabernet Sauvignon I sampled that summer night on the club patio was amazing.  Hints of blueberries and leather mixed with back notes of earth and chocolate.  This wine was subtle yet thick.  It was oak and brick and polish.  It was spicy and rich and mature.

This was the wine that did it for me.