Cabernet Day

My lovely wife and sons are on a plane, coming back from two plus weeks in California. Thus, Cabernet Day would be a solo effort for me, but I still passed part of the day deliberating over the wine to sacrifice for the event.  After choosing the wine, I also determined that I would head to our local restaurant, Hickory Lane.  I was under a bit of a time constraint–unless I wanted to extend my time as a bachelor indefinitely, I needed to straighten up a bit around the old homestead.  I do not consider myself a slob, but I am male, so draw your own conclusions.

The only question was what I would order.  I vacillated a bit, but in the end, despite being tempted by the burger that I have championed more than once here, I opted for the NY strip steak (over the duck breast, too).  For no other reason than to switch it up a bit.  I also was thinking about the best pairing for the wine: 1996 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Unfiltered.


The steak was cooked exactly the way I like it (a little beyond dead) and it came with fries!  The wine as well, was sublime.

1996 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Unfiltered: I bought several of these a few years ago and I have been making my way through them.  With only two left, I was a bit hesitant to open this one without my lovely bride, but I would rather go through them too early without her then wait too long for her (yes, a bit of justification/rationalization going on here).  Many wiser and more experienced wine folk have opined about Mr. Mondavi and his influence on the Napa wine world, so I will not try to tread upon that well worn path.  The wine, though, was exactly what I wanted–it was not big, it was not bombastic.  It did have nice red berry fruit with a touch of earthiness.  Above all it had balance–the fruit, alcohol, and tannins were working perfectly together.  Sure, it was ‘old’ (16 years worth), and thus had some ‘maturity’ to it, but a youthful exuberance was still evident and I delighted in every moment (check back with me if I feel the same way when my boys are 16).  Excellent.  90 points.

About three quarters of the way through the steak, we had some visitors head up the little lane in our neighborhood.  While I am certainly not a fan of their product, the little kid in me took over, snapping picture after picture of the really big ‘horsies’.







About the drunken cyclist

I have been an occasional cycling tour guide in Europe for the past 20 years, visiting most of the wine regions of France. Through this "job" I developed a love for wine and the stories that often accompany the pulling of a cork. I live in Houston with my lovely wife and two wonderful sons.
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15 Responses to Cabernet Day

  1. NubianOR says:

    That steak looks delish. Never have been a fan on Mondavi wines. Maybe I haven’t tried the right one.


    • Welcome to my blog Nubian! This wine was made before he sold the winery, so I like to think of it as more ‘legit’. I have had some older Mondavi Reserves that truly rocked. Welcome to my blog Nubian!


  2. PSsquared says:

    LOVE the horses! I can’t drink their stuff either, but it’s not the horses fault. And I need my steak to moo just a little bit as I cut into it. That looks delicious! I’m glad your family is on their way home. Cheers!


  3. German brewery horses are way bigger…:)


  4. HA HA! When you said you weren’t “a fan of their product”, I thought you were talking about their poop! I work for a city with a wastewater treatment plant and “product” is what they call the poop! I crack myself up! Thanks for the giggle! And the steak looked delicious!


  5. thefoodandwinehedonist says:

    I have a special place in my heart for Bud. See? I am a true Hedonist. I think I have a bottle or two of 02 Mondavi reserve I’m itching to bust open. Assuming Boom Boom hasn’t opened it already whn I wasn’t around.


    • In the interest of full disclosure, I might have a Bud at a Phillies game now and then since options are limited. Would much rather have a nice chard, but it is difficult to appear manly drinking white wine at a sporting event. Still, I would do it if they had something else other than KJ. As for the reserve: nice! Better go check, though, don’t want Boom Boom going behind your back–it’s a slippery slope!


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