I’ve noticed a lot of trends in the food an beverage world over the past decade. Some of those trends I love, such as the rise in availability of artisanal products. Some of them amuse me, such as the proliferation of foodies on Instagram. And some of them annoy me, such as cable shows where people go on and on, trying way too hard to be creative with how they describe some food they like to indulge in.
I guess you could say there’s been a massive foodie-fication of our culture.
One offshoot of this has been the “bourboning” of food. You can find all kinds of food and drinks with a touch of bourbon. Bourbon barbecue sauce, bourbon-glazed salmon, bourbon-filled chocolates, bourbon cheese and beer aged in bourbon barrels to name a few.
Given that I live in Cincinnati, just across the river from the heart of bourbon country, I might come across more of this than folks in other parts of the country. Nonetheless, I was curious when I heard Robert Mondavi Private Selection had produced a wine aged in bourbon barrels.
I didn’t know quite what to expect from this wine. When you hear about this, the idea that comes to mind is bourbon-flavored wine, and I’m not sure that’s something I want. Although I also know I don’t want wine that is over-oaked from too much “new” oak, which obviously wouldn’t be a problem here.
There’s only one way to find out what it’s all about, and that’s to taste it.
There’s not a giveaway on the nose to make me suspect it was aged in bourbon barrels, although the spices are pretty heavy — particularly vanilla and caramel. It also offers plenty of ripe fruit aromas, such as blackberry and black cherry. One thing is for sure, it’s intense (in a good way). It’s bright red in color, so there’s no noticeable color impact from the bourbon barrels.
The palate delivers bright berry flavors like cherry, blackberry and even a touch of blueberry. Spices appear on the mid-palate, such as caramel and coffee. It finishes relatively long with lingering berry and brown sugar flavors.
Nothing about this wine screams “bourbon” but that’s probably a good thing. The barrels add to the spice profile and help bring to life what amounts to a pretty darn tasty wine.
Wine: Robert Mondavi Private Selection, Cabernet Sauvignon Aged in Bourbon Barrels
Variety: Cabernet sauvignon
Disclosure: This wine was received as a media sample.