Five tomatoes constitutes a successful harvest in our family
Five tomatoes constitutes a successful harvest in our family

CK Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
California | CK Mondavi.
I ‘m a procrastinator. For the past three years I’ve taken photos of the abundance from our garden with a wine I wanted to review. A celebration of the harvest so to speak.

Now I use the term abundance tongue-in-cheek. Each year we spend hundred plus dollars on soil, wire cages, the latest fertilizer and bug poisons to make sure this is the best garden ever. We get all excited when the first tomato or squash is picked only to have the illusion of success shattered as the bugs ignore the poisons or blossom rot finally kicks in and tortures us the rest of the season. The only thing that really survived the bug onslaught was the okra. Which was unfortunate because we kept forgetting to pick it and by the time we did they would be little green rocks.

So the first vegetables we pick are literally worth $150. With each veggie we pick (and eat) the price gets cut in half. I’m praying we can at least get down to $5 per veggie eaten this year.

Two years ago we had an slew of cucumbers and we actually canned pickles. I had a nice photo of the pickles with the wine we enjoyed that night. Never got that one published.

Last year we picked our grapes and made grape jelly. Nice photo and nice wine. Never finished that one either.

So this year I’ve decided that if the garden pops something out I open a new wine I review it and get it over with. (I have to admit that we had a really nice foot plus zucchini 2 weeks ago that we ate and forgot to get a photo of ). Tonight I picked our first Yellow Pear and Cherry tomatoes. Brown Report Mark gave us plants again this year from their green house.

So tonight I pair CK Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon with the Yellow Pear tomatoes. (Mark gave us heirloom varieties this year, including Black Krim, of which only 3 tomatoes avoided blossom rot last year). These are cute little tear drop tomatoes. Cute right now. Little do they know that they have to succumb to blossom rot. They do not understand that we are doomed to suffer all the other tomatoes and peppers. I keep my fingers crossed each year and look hopefully to my Big Boys making the perfect “mater sammich.”

In the past as they start to ripen the black spots appear and I sadly pluck them from the vine and toss them. Okay, I’m trying to be an optimist. I will grow perfect tomatoes. I will slice big beautiful red orbs of pleasure and lay the resulting slices across squares of white bread with mayonnaise and a hint of salt applied.

Yeah. And monkeys will fly out of my butt.

I’ll settle for some small victories. I have a handful of Yellow Pear Tomatoes and I will enjoy them for the $100 they cost me. Damn if they have to pair well with the wine. The wine is part of the harvest celebration. And it’s not even July.

Oh yeah. I guess I’m supposed to be reviewing a wine here. I just recently reviewed CK Mondavi’s Scarlet Five. I had already reviewed their Field Blend. At $9.99 for a 1.5 Liter bottle this could be come my favorite vineyard.

I was at a tasting at Vineyard Wine Market and knew I needed something for the weekend so I grabbed a bottle of their cab (why grab the Scarlet Five or Field Blend when I can try something I haven’t reviewed). Now under full disclosure I maintain Vineyard’s website Vine11.com. I’m not reviewing this wine because Roger carries it but because it costs under $10 and I like it.

It is as fruit forward as a California cab can be. Wine snobs would call this a sweet red. I call it a crowd-pleaser because Mrs. Dan likes it. Domestic tranquility is a good thing.

CK Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
CK Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

This wine has some nice fruit flavors unencumbered with a bunch of oak. No chewy tannins. Well maybe a little dry on the finish. I would like to say I smell ripe strawberries on the aroma. The taste reminds me of sweet blackberries I found on the roadside in the wilds of Botetourt County, Virginia, when I would roam around as a news photographer looking for feature photos. Nothing like those factory raised nasty blackberries you buy at Kroger.

Now for the ultimate test. Does it go well with my few precious Yellow Pear tomatoes?

Yes. Thank goodness. The taste of these sweet little gems match the fruit forward nature of this wine. The tomatoes didn’t turn to the acid side like many Aussie Cabs do when paired with red tomatoes. I also tried it with some mashed cauliflower Mrs. Dan made tonight. This brought out some of the spiciness of the wine because she adds something from the garden that did survive last Summer ….. ground peppers. We did manage to grow some incredibly hot peppers (nothing eats those), dry them and grind them up. We use it in a lot of dishes. I also tried it with some roast chicken sprinkled with a bit of the spicy peppers on it. That paired well as well.

I thought I better check their website to see how they describe their wine. “Our Cabernet Sauvignon has a classically deep red color and is rich with cherry and blackberry flavors that are perfectly balanced with a hint of oak and a long fruit finish.” If there is a hint of oak I missed it.

So if you like a very fruit forward Cab, not needing to taste oak and don’t want to pay a fortune then give it a try.

I’m in heaven. My harvest of abundance pairs well with the wine I picked off the shelf. I’m just praying that my next veggie-based review isn’t an obit for the “brave young tomatoes who fought gallantly against blossom rot.” I think I’ll have another glass.

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1 Comment

  1. Bought the CK Mondavi Scarlet Red. Nice aroma…tasted horrible. No one could drink it so we had to dump it down the drain. Now I know why it was on sale. ;-(

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