VV | Fat Cat Pinot Noir
Name: Fat Cat Pinot Noir
Source: Fat Cat Cellars, Napa, CA
This week, I was in the mood for a red, once again. I don’t know if it’s because I’m enjoying the taste so much lately, or if it’s due to the lingering winter (seriously, it can leave ANY day now) that I like to think of as “red wine season.” Another reason could be the fact that I have not reviewed Chardonnay as of yet…and the reds are conveniently acting as a stalling device for this. (FYI: I despise Chardonnay; it’s the only variety I find completely repulsive. However, as many wine drinkers enjoy it, I feel it’s my duty to step outside my protective wine box—pun fully intended—and bear the heavy syrup-like bitterness for the sake of covering my subject well.)
Choosing Fat Cat Pinot Noir was easy. I wanted a Pinot Noir or Cabernet this week, since I’ve not written about either. My eyes skimmed over the selection and landed on this attractive bottle right away. Artwork? A CAT! The cat is wearing sunglasses, playing piano…red, gold, black…simple and classy…would look wonderful sitting in my dimly lit living room or on a dinner table. Done! I didn’t read the back label of the wine bottle until I reached home and got spaghetti sauce on the stove.
“This Pinot Noir is smooth. Smooth as jazz. Smooth as the word “lounge.” Marvel at this Cat’s medium ruby color. Ask your tongue to dance with the bright, well-balanced blend. Wild berry aromas and lively accents of plum and raspberry swing together with crisp acidity and light tannins for one finesse of a finish. Juicy, man, juicy. You dig?”
Well, if it didn’t already have me at “hello.” If there is one style of music I could spend my whole life studying, it’d be jazz. I love filling my ears with it and I love teaching my students about it. Sometimes I consider moving to a bigger city for the sake of neighborhood jazz clubs. Jazz language written on a bottle of red wine? Come home with me and shut the front door!!
Tom opened the bottle and found a real cork inside! I read about real vs. synthetic corks a few weeks ago, and discovered that synthetics are becoming more and more popular with wineries all over the United States. The rubber material is more durable than cork. It won’t chip or crumble into the bottle of wine, and it also prevents air from entering the bottle, oxidizing and ruining the wine, when re-corked and refrigerated. Real corks, however, are more authentic. They are easier to remove and pleasing to the eye. In the end, to each his own…they serve the same purpose.
Sniff, swirl, sniff again, sip. Good scent…nothing deep and complicated…dry and savory, almost like olives. Taste…it bit my tongue with a sweet and sour hit of grape. I glanced at the label (yup, crisp acidity is correct) and swallowed…mmm, that’s better…it had a nicer finish than I was expecting. Not too much heavy “tannin” (the woody, puckery taste that comes from the skins of the grapes), which always makes wine more palatable, in my opinion.
The label asks, “Do you dig?” I do. I dig this wine as a nice complement to a casual dinner. Cook with it, and have it alongside the meal. I’m envisioning pork chops or roast pork loin, seafood (tilapia or halibut, maybe) or even barbecue ribs. Don’t set it next to a pricey filet mignon or t-bone (please see Ulmen Malbec Dulce from February’s VV blogs for high-end pairing). The label suggests lamb, striped bass, or brisket…so I think I’m on the right track.
A very unique and fun feature from this winery’s website is the “ear drums” section of each variety’s review. Being a musician, I was all over this. From Pinot Noir’s page:
“Play this velvety number solo or play it with something equally as smooth. Try Kenny G, Keiko Matsui, or David Sanborn. Some Diana Krall will definitely groove, too.”
Kenny G? No way in Hades. David Sanborn? Who’s that? Click, Google, click…he’s a sax player. Nah. Diana Krall!!…one of my favorite singers…I’ll take that. Friends, take time to enjoy these reds before winter (hopefully) dwindles before our very eyes…and stay posted for the ever-so-dreaded Chardonnay (pray for me)!
Vino Vednesday is vritten by our Team Wine-o Betsy. Her column appears ever Vednesday right here on Eat.Drink.Repeat.