Memorial Day is a time of gratitude for all the brave men and women who lost their lives in battle protecting the rights each American enjoys today. It is a day of mourning and recognition but for many American families it is also an unofficial entry into summer; and summer means outdoor cooking! This year we decided to serve our Memorial Day dinner guests brisket slow cooked over hours, shredded and made into nachos and tacos. It was delicious! Furthermore, to accompany such a delicious meal on such a special occasion we had to select an equally delightful wine.
Cakebread Cellars produces some of the most popular wines selected by Americans; therefore, their wines usually don’t need to be reviewed for people to know they are perennially excellent. However, the Cakebread Cellars Rubaiyat is a lesser known Cakebread wine that actually changes each year so please read on to learn all about it, then order some for yourself.
Cakebread 2012 Rubaiyat, North Coast: This deep ruby wine met the nose with inviting scents of cherries, plums, blackberries and chocolate. We let the wine open up for about 30 minutes before taking our first sip. The wine was complex on the palate with an array of dark cherries, black plums, blackberries along with chocolate, baking spices, and pepper with hints of cassis and leather. As the wine opened up more over time, the long finish brought forward ripe strawberries to the mix. We paired the Cakebread 2012 Rubaiyat with brisket tacos in soft corn tortillas topped with homemade fresh mango salsa consisting of mangos, jalapenos, red bell peppers, purple onions, cilantro and fresh lime juice. It was a home run of flavors that all blended well with the complexities of the wine. We also made some of the brisket into nachos with refried black beans, white queso and the same fresh mango salsa; another great combination. Additionally, we had fresh fruit salad, deviled eggs, and coleslaw, all pairing nicely with the Rubaiyat. Finally, we concluded our Memorial Day feast with a crowd pleasing Strawberries and Cream Sheet Cake, from Southern Living Magazine, and Blue Bell strawberry ice cream. It was a fantastic meal. The Cakebread 2012 Rubaiyat is a hearty wine that pairs well with hamburgers, ribs, spaghetti and meatballs and braised lamb. Initially the 2012 Rubaiyat took some time to fully open but once it did the tannins softened and the fruit came forward. I suggest you buy a few bottles and cellar them for a few years for a well balanced, robust wine.
Cakebread Cellars 2012 Rubaiyat was a blend of 47% Anderson Valley pinot noir, 28% Carneros Napa Valley pinot noir, 17% Napa Valley Syrah, 7% Lake County Zinfandel and 1% Napa Valley Grenache. It contained 14% alcohol. Cakebread explained the “components of this delightful red change annually based on vintage conditions winemaker Julianne Laks’ assessment of which lots of Cakebread Cellar’s red wines will produce the tastiest blend. The 2012 vintage was one of Calfornia’s finest in recent memory, providing the ideal opportunity to harvest the Rubaiyat grapes with an ideal balance of sugar and acidity. Each lot of grapes were hand harvested at night to preserve freshness and purity, fermented in small, open top, stainless steel tanks using manual puchdowns; then aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 35% new, with the component wines blended shortly before bottling to capture the wine’s ripe, fruit forward aromas, rich, juicy flavors and smooth tannins. The 2012 Rubaiyat was a true testament to great wine making. It can be purchased directly from Cakebread Cellars for $30, a nice price for this wine. Additionally, I suggest you visit their web site to learn more about the winery as well as view their distinguished portfolio of wines.
My song selection: The song I have chosen to pair with the Cakebread Cellars 2012 Rubaiyat is Stone in Love by Journey. It is a great rock song from one of America’s great rock bands. The song was written by Neal Shon, Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain. Each of these men combined their own unique musical skills to create an excellent song with the iconic Journey sound. The same is true of Cakebread 2012 Rubaiyat; winemaker Julianne Lak combined the uniqueness of the grape varietals to create an original wine that was delicious and quintessentially Cakebread.
Get your own bottle of Cakebread Cellars 2012 Rubaiyat and let me know what song you would pair with it. Cheers!