It was a bottle of 2007 RoxyAnn Claret that first made me stop and think about this interesting flavor I was tasting. I think I would describe it as "peppery," but what I knew for sure was that it was delicious. It was a flavor I ran into frequently in Claret-style wines, and I just couldn't figure out what it was. Clarets were delicious, but usually rather expensive. Why did they taste so good? Was I just paying for quality? These questions plagued me, and obviously deserved some investigation. So I put on my favorite battered fedora, pulled out my magnifying glass, and grabbed some Riedel stemware, and began to work on this puzzle.
My suspicions, therefore, immediately fell on Cabernet Franc. I went in search of it, and found my wine ambrosia. The 2006 Cabernet Franc from Abacela almost brought a tear to my eye. And I found more. Every blend containing a Cabernet Franc shined like the light of revelation upon my palate, and I reveled in the flavor. And now, over time, I have discovered that it's still pretty much the only varietal I can pick out of a lineup, and the only grape I can taste in a blend.
I am still trying to accept that I'll never have a good wine palate. To develop it would take lots of work, lots of dedication, and probably lots of money. And I do like wine; it is a great and refreshing drink when I need a break from beer. It does such wonders for the palate and the digestion that frequently I think it does better with food than beer does, and nothing beats a bottle of wine while watching French New Wave or Italian neo-realist cinema, a subject we will be covering later on this week.