Cabernet Sauvignon & Backyard BBQ

Spring is here; and for some parts of the country, it’s more than a welcome sight. It’s the perfect time to fire up the grill and spend some time outdoors. And what goes better with a backyard barbecue than a juicy, grilled steak with a lush side of big, bold Cabernet Sauvignon?  So we fired up the grill and I opened a 2005 Firestone Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.

Firestone is on the Foxen Wine Trail, located in the Santa Ynez Valley AVA. The wineries here are located in close proximity to one another, making wine tasting easy and less-time consuming. I purchased this bottle on a visit in 2012.

Foxen Wine Trail
Foxen Wine Trail-Santa Barbara

I love the switch to Daylight Savings because it doesn’t get dark until much later.  So my wife, Stephanie and I took advantage and fired up the grill after work.  She seasoned our rib eye steaks with a rub mixture of salt, pepper and garlic powder. She believes that simple seasonings are best for steaks.  Once the steaks were on, we could sit back and enjoy the evening.

I opened the bottle and poured us each a healthy-sized glass of Cab. The wine color was garnet and brackish. I was impressed to find this ’05 still had a nice aroma of cherry. Frequently, as wine ages, the aroma becomes more subdued; but that wasn’t the case with this Firestone Cab. It was equally impressive to see the wine wasn’t past its time. I love it when that happens!  This Santa Barbara County-produced wine is age worthy.

The aroma also triggered a memory of newly picked and freshly ground nutmeg from St. Lucia. Upon the first sip, I tasted low-hanging fruit of black cherry and deep, red plum.  But the finish. Wow! It was extended and tannins so chilled out that I wanted to do a happy dance. The finish was as pleasingly smooth as a comfy bed decked out with 900-thread-count sheets. I got up from the table and ran to my computer to check my wine database; hoping I had purchased more than one bottle.  Unfortunately, I didn’t. But I was content to savor this fine glass.

Rib Eye Steak
Grilled Rib Eye Steak

Stephanie whipped up a creamy, brown mushroom gravy. We also had cauliflower mashed potatoes and some miniature heirloom tomatoes. With each bite, I tried to get a bit of steak, gravy and mushrooms. It was beautiful. The Cabernet stood up nicely to the creamy gravy and mushrooms. And of course, the great structure and tannins of the Cab cut through the marbled, rib eye steak without either getting lost on my palette.  The nutmeg also sneaked in a sip or two.

I always try to save a glass of wine for after my meal. It was difficult in this case but I managed. Sitting outside on our patio sipping the last of this incredible Cab Sauv just make me thankful for all I have. It was the perfect end to a work-week day.

I can’t wait until next time.