Review: Andretti Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay

Andretti_Winery_Chardonnay_-_Six_Packyt4DetailWine: Andretti Selections, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009; Chardonnay 2010
Vintage: Cabernet Sauvignon 2009; Chardonnay 2010
Alcohol percentage: 14.3%
Found at: The California Wine Club

Did Hurricane Irene ruin anyone else’s plans last weekend? She sure did ruin mine! That thoughtless tropical storm stole my electricity and cancelled my dinner party! HOW DARE SHE! My children had made plans with my mother-in-law for the whole night, and we were going to have a dinner party! A dinner party sounds so grown up to me…I think it involves food that is not from a box with a powdered mix, and I think it also involves wine, not from a box! Unfortunately the uninvited party guest arrived on Sunday and we, along with just about everyone else in our town lost power, so we cancelled plans and hunkered down for what we thought would be a day of board games, house cleaning, and a family dinner by candlelight. However, things did not go quite as expected, and my husband and I ended up drinking both selections of this month’s wine club during a heated game of “Sorry” by flashlight.

We lost power at 10am on Sunday, and by 5pm I was ready to crack the first bottle. This month’s selection was from Andretti Vineyards (yes, as in Mario Andretti). The first wine I chose was the Chardonnay. (Lucky for me it was still chilled as the contents of our fridge did not spoil until Tuesday afternoon). To be completely upfront and honest, I am not a huge fan of Chardonnay, but that small little fact didn’t matter much, after I spent the day worrying that the forest of 50 foot pine trees that our home is nestled in would come crashing down. I set up “Sorry” and settled in. The wine smelled fruity and a teeny bit spicy when first poured. I took a sip and hoped for the best. Surprisingly, there was not a trace of oak, and instead had a buttery, clean and crisp apple-like finish. After round 2 of “Sorry” and a full chilled glass of Chardonnay I was ready to prepare dinner, thinking that my wine selections would go well with them. I was excited that I had pretty much outsmarted our lack of power situation. I had the bright idea to make pizzas and not only use up all the cheese in the fridge, but I was also congratulating myself over having a gas stove that was not affected by the power failure. Until I realized that the oven was digital and furthermore, required me to press the “on” button. I looked at my beautiful hand crafted pizzas and woefully finished off the Chardonnay. It was slightly warm at this point, but not at all unpleasant. My visions of being awarded the “Most Creative Dinner During Tropical Storm Irene” for my wonderful homemade pizzas disappeared into the ever growing darkness as we lit a few more candles and opened a few packs of fruit snacks for the kids while they argued over whether or not you can slide on your own color. (Too dark to read the directions).

The Andretti Cabernet Sauvignon was opened when things started to deteriorate in “Sorry” land. I was sorry that I was not better prepared with a back-up plan for dinner. The butternut squash lasagna was slowly coming up to room temperature in my fridge, and any possibility of grilling had gone out the window since we disassembled the grill and lashed it to the decking of the porch so it wouldn’t blow away. The Cabernet smelled nice. Fruity with trace amounts of spice, oak and an earth tone. It tasted smooth and not too heavy, and beckoned me back for more. I liked this one too. A nice medium-bodied wine with enough personality to stand out in a crowd, in a good way. Black fruits, with a little oak. Smooth. At some point in the evening we called it quits with the board games, right around the time I realized I had not finished doing laundry to prepare for the work week ahead. I wouldn’t call our 3-day “Pioneer Odyssey” an epic failure, like my Sunday evening family dinner was. But I did learn a few things. We can survive without TV and internet for 4 days. We are well rested when we go to bed at 8pm. And both Andretti wines pair nicely with shark shaped fruit snacks, graham crackers, peanut butter and lettuce.

Becky RT is a mother, wife, and a friend. She is married to Peter Pan and has two perfect sons; Buddy, age 16 and Mr. Pants, age 5. She enjoys multitasking, doing laundry, paying bills, keeping her boys focused and loading the dishwasher a certain way. She can wipe noses, pack lunches, vacuum and read her blackberry with the greatest of ease. Becky is currently the inventory manager for a wine distributor, but does not drink on the job. (ok, well, maybe every once in a while…)

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