Last week I got my wine brackets down to the Sweet Sixteen. To recap, I did a complete 64 wine (team) bracket. I faced off the different wines until I came to my winner! The best wine in the world—at least according to me! I am not an expert—but I love to drink wine! Go to my Facebook page for the complete bracket and a quick breakdown of each matchup!
The Highlights of my bracket were a few showdowns between classic reds and some up and coming white wines! One of the biggest upsets was Albarino beating Merlot in the round of 16. Albarino is a great wine from Spain. My tastes have been evolving over the years and I am constantly looking for new and different flavors to tantalize my taste buds. Albarino fits the bill. It is a white wine with light fruit flavors of peach or apricot. But is not cloying and will go amazingly well with most seafoods. Merlot is a great wine and is used around the world in many great wines. Don’t discount Merlto—but Albarino won the day.
Another Great battle between Red and White was in the Sweet Sixteen where New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc faced off against Classic American Zinfandel. Zin is one of the North American Continents indigenous grapes. Most Grapevines in California and the US came from rootstocks brought over from France and the rest of Europe. But Zinfandel is the American original! However Sauvignon Blanc is a little more versatile and better for a party. It has luscious tropical fruit flavors and is crisp and clean making it awesome to sit outside in the summer and sip! Zinfandel with its rich high alcohol flavors is a great barbecue rib wine—but a little too much for everybody!
The cream eventually rises to the top and my final four of the world’s greatest wines shows that sometimes you can’t beat the traditional wines of the world! Pedigree, Terroir, experience, and just plain awesomeness can’t be overcome! My Final four consists of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon versus Shiraz and French Bordeaux versus Italian Chianti.
In the first matchup Napa Valley Cab should overpower Shiraz. But Shiraz is my wife’s favorite wine so it had a big push and the crowd was behind the feisty underdog! I usually listen to my wife in all things—but this time Napa Valley Cabernet Wins. Napa Cabernet is so rich and so powerful it typically can overcome anything. It is a great wine to age and also to drink now. The best of them have great balance and amazing flavors. When you are having a Steak dinner—nothing can touch it. I will hear about this at home for a while!
The other matchup featured two European Heavyweights. Bordeaux and Chianti. Bordeaux is a blended wine, of Cabernet, Merlot, Petite Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec, while Chianti is Sangiovese! I typically like blended wines from anywhere. I feel that it gives the wine maker more tools to work with. If a winemaker has only one grape, he can only do so much. But by having the freedom to add a little more or less of a certain wine varietal you can get the true vision of the winemaker. Just as you wouldn’t hamper a great chef with one ingredient, why would you limit a wine maker to one grape? But Chianti is such a great wine. It is the perfect wine with food. The Italians make food and wine such a big part of their culture that they have perfected the art of wine and food pairing. You cannot have a lasagna or veal Parmesan without Chianti. The rich flavors and great acidity hold up so well with food that it boggles the mind! Chianti is also typically a better value price than the better Bordeaux’s. So like most great historic battles, the French end up on the losing end. Chianti wins over Bordeaux!
Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon wins it all! It is too good and the five star combinations of Terroir, Grape quality, amazing winemakers, and American ingenuity are unbeatable! It is a little more expensive than most everyday wines, but when you are having a great steak, lamb, venison or any other rich full flavored meat dishes, Cabernet can’t be beat! Treat yourself once in a while! You won’t be sorry! Cheers!!