Friday, January 25, 2013

My Half Full Glass - January 24th, 2013


Celebrating Cabernet Franc

Celebrating Cabernet Franc on #WineWednesday. Except that I didn't or not at least with the rest of #winechat gang I had planned on joining in with. Between a busy workday, home winery/brewery tasks after that and lingering allergy symptoms I was asleep before #winechat even started! But I did enjoy a glass of Cabernet Franc with dinner that night and then finished the bottle after a winter hike in Vermont a few days later.

I opened something I had only tasted once during the 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference in Virginia, the Barboursville 2008 Cabernet Franc Reserve. I recalled it being particularly elegant and polished with an inviting nose. It was mellow with plentiful flavors in each sip. Did my recollections hold up?

Yes, and both my wife and I very much enjoyed that elegance and polish with our post-hike snacks (cheese, bread, fruit, nuts) this past weekend. The wine is moderately full bodied but finishes dry. Both the aromas and flavors are dominated by red fruits and a balanced dose of spices and other notes from wood aging.
Of course I checked and found that I had only ordered one these, and it is a lucky thing that I didn't drink it soon after I got it in 2011. With so much wine on hand I won't be placing an order with Barboursville again soon, but I would definitely include the Cabernet Franc Reserve if I did!

Tito's Handmade Vodka

I'm not a vodka guy. I just never developed much of a taste for it. Most of the occasions where I have consumed it the vodka was all dressed up in some cocktail and lost in the shuffle of flavors. There may have been a few part-vodka martinis in there, but I can say with surety that I never really paid that much attention to the vodka. Why am I telling you all of this? Because I bought a bottle of vodka with the specific plan to try some of it straight to see what all the fuss was about.

I've seen the advertisements for Tito's Handmade Vodka in beverage magazines for years. Not being much of a vodka guy I didn't pay much attention to them, but I kept seeing them everywhere. After I recently emptied a couple partial bottles of vodka to make two tinctures I put vodka on the shopping list for the next trip to the liquor store. I checked the current price list, as I typically do, for the state store before I went and lo and behold Tito's was on sale. So I bought it.

This vodka is smooth! At 80 proof, normal strength for vodka, I expected a little burn but there really wasn't any. I'm not sure what vodka is supposed to taste like, yes I know it is supposed to be neutral but that doesn't mean completely tasteless, so all I can say is that it is delicious. A little sweet, likely from the corn, with no harsh or bitter flavors at all.

I also made a vodka tonic with it, something I don't think I have ever made for myself, and it really was one of the best tasting simple, white liquor cocktails I had ever had. So I guess you could say I am now a huge fan of Tito's Handmade Vodka.

Tito's is made in Austin, TX from 100% corn. It is distilled six times and is gluten free.

Cheers!

Jason

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