Fall is in the air - and this year, I have had many wonderful summer outings and memorable events. One of the best of the year was Memorial Day weekend with friends John and Susan Worley - we "road-tripped" to Arnold, California which is a quaint little mountain town located near Murphy's California, which is a fledgling new wine growing region. Both are in historic Calavera's County, the home of the famous Mark Twain inspired "Frog Jumps"; a yearly event that draws thousands into this usually quiet area of the world.
Susan and I were wandering the streets and shops of downtown Murphy's when we happened across the Frog's Tooth winery. It is a bit off the beaten path, but we couldn't miss the large green frog beckoning us in for a taste. Once inside the tasting room, we got the answer to the question of the hour - yes, frogs DO have teeth. According to the Frog's Tooth Winery signs, frogs have very small teeth - hey, how else can they chew all those yummy insects?
We also discovered a wonderful Cabernet - full of jammy berry flavors, Thanksgiving cranberry overtones, and what the winery refers to as "whispering tannins" - which is a fancy way of saying that the wine gave evidence of structure and its 24 month aging in French oak without tasting like a picnic table. The fruit was forward, approachable, and "in-your-face", just like a bullfrog moving towards a tasty fly.
The finish was smooth but with a "zing" that actually enhanced the overall experience.
This wine is only available to wine club members - but would be well worth the investment and time.
Food Pairings: I would serve this Cab with a steak salad dotted with dried cranberries and crumbled blue cheese. It would also be lovely with Stroganoff crepes (simply make crepes from any recipe,stuff them with Beef Stroganoff, top with shredded Mozzarella or Gruyere cheese, and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees) Yet another suggestion, given the fruity character of this wine, is to serve it with marinated salmon steaks - try a marinade of sesame oil, garlic, fresh mint, seasoned salt, white wine, and freshly ground pepper. A nice cheese plate with a pungent Stilton cheese and a creamy Camembert would be another pairing option.
Music Pairings: Hints of complexity peer from behind a cloud of sweetness and light with this wine, just like Claude Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun. I also see this as a great wine to reminiscence by, while listening to How High the Moon, or I Left My Heart in San Francisco by Tony Bennett.
Other Pairings: Would love to enjoy this wine while sniffing samples of new perfumes from Sephora, or looking at the latest patterns for wine glasses by Waterford. This wine would also blend well with Christmas shopping by catalog, as it hints of holiday flavors to come. I see it as a great scrapbooking with friends wine, or a crafting while listening to light classics wine.
Where to Buy: This Cab is only available at the winery, at http://www.frogstooth.com/cabernet-sauvignon.asp , to wine club members.