Chocolate Cherries – Barnard & Griffin Cabernet Merlot

Yay!  My first “real” post!!

 Chocolate cherries are my inspiration.  No, not the actual chocolate covered cherries ubiquitously pushed at the corner drug and grocery store every Valentine’s day -oh no! We’re talking the description of the latest bottle of wine I bought at Ballard Market (affectionately called “Bal-Mar”, which also happens to be the name of a local bar on Ballard Ave…but I digress!). 

 As sad as it is, my method of picking wine is much the same  as picking out books; the method being a complex formula in which I rate the attractiveness of the cover/label and divide it by the blurb on the back (cover/label) and come up with the overall  impression which can often times be finalized by the price/value… I’m sure it’s a bit too complicated for most of you, so I’ll try not to obfuscate my message by delving any deeper into its mysteries.

 BUT – back to the wine!  It’s the Barnard & Griffin Cabernet Merlot (Cab Sauv. 53%/Merlot 44%/Cab Franc 3%) and it was described as tasting like chocolate and cherries.  Now, I am a big fan of the Cherry Garcia – how could I go wrong with a ten dollar bottle of it?  I know you’ve seen the Barnard Griffin family of wines at your local grocery store – it’s the label with the photograph of the frilly tulips – and yep, it’s local.  Richland, WA.  The back label considers it a good pair with red meat, richly sauced pasta dishes or spicy Cajun cuisine.  Although their statement may be spot-on, I chose to drink it after dinner solo.  And absolutely loved it.  I really *could* taste the cherry and chocolate notes, with the barest hint of sweet and dry countering each other.  I have to say that although I feel I own the basic terminology and understanding of wines and their many, many facets… I cannot necessarily tell if that really is a note of blackberry, raspberry or plum (pencil shavings, tobacco, dirt, so on and so forth).  It was refreshing to actually discern these two fabulous complementary notes… Chocolate. Cherry.  ‘Nuff said.  Oh, and did I mention this is a “bottom shelf” wine?  It’s a good value, people – not to mention, I can guarantee your significant other will be enourmously pleased when the “chocolate cherries” you purchase this year for Valentine’s Day turn out to be in a bottle, and not in a box. 

 Barnard & Griffin Cabernet Merlot – Ballard Market – Approx. $10.00