The Noble Writ in the Lion's Den of California Cabs

Following up on my post a couple of weeks ago about wine being fun, I decided to have some fun myself. I saw a post on the Wine and Cheese Place's blog about an upcoming tasting featuring the wines of Chateau St. Jean and Beringer. Regular readers of the Noble Writ will likely realize that these producers are outside my normal palate preferences. That we'd be tasting some high-end cabernet sauvignons from these folks moved me even further from my normal hunting grounds.

So, why did this fall into the category of fun for me? Once upon a time, a look at my cellar would have revealed a makeup much different from its current state. About ten years ago, it was largely composed of wines from California, with a disproportionate number of those being cabernet sauvignons of large scale dominated by names like Pride, Phelps, Beringer and Ridge.

Over time, either my palate preferences changed, or as I tasted more wines with more foods, I realized that these wines didn't complement the way I ate and drank in real life. Instead of continuing down the path I knew and had invested in, I shifted my cellar through consumption and, frankly, by selling off at auction a lot of wine that I was no longer crazy about.

The wines being offered at this tasting weren't something I'd buy today, but something I enjoy checking in on for two reasons. First, tastes are always evolving, as are wineries, so I like to explore things I don't think I'll like because it's very possible that I may find something I enjoy.

I also don't think it's fair to base criticism of particular styles or producers based on old experiences. That doesn't mean I feel the need to taste every new release from every winery out there, or that I'll be handing over my hard-earned $50 to $100 at a time to see if these wines cellar into something I like, but when an opportunity for a tasting like this presents itself, I can't resist checking in.