Light the candles, spread some rose petals, and turn on Cinemax, because we're about to get softcore.
Now we love big, bold wines, but also acknowledge that drinking wine need not always be an intense, relentless, pull you by your ponytail type of experience. Sometimes, it needs to be soft, slow, and sensual. So we went to Bertus and said, "We want a love-makin' wine," and to that, he said, "they're all love-makin' wines." But we piqued his interest and his mind opened to explore the genre even further.
Our softcore wine needed to be full of flavor, yet delicate, and packed with spice and passion. So we turned to our friends at Rorick Heritage Vineyard, who are experts in this field, who sourced us some amazing Grenache that we brought to life through rhythmic bâtonnage. With an erotic ruby color and rich flavors, Grenache makes the perfect foundation for a sexy wine. But it couldn't be all missionary, so we sourced some Négrette from the legendary Siletto Calleri Vineyard in San Benito to literally spice it up. Négrette is a grape from southwest France and carries a really complex zestiness. Then to round out the blend, we added two favorites: Cinsault and Mourvèdre.
To preserve all the fresh flavors and aromas, we turned to our old friend carbonic maceration. This technique is most widely known for Beaujolais Nouveau-style wines. While traditional maceration involves mechanical pressing, carbonic maceration is more delicate and natural. Rather than toss the grapes in a press, we seal them whole-cluster inside of a vessel and pump in CO2 to deprive the grapes of oxygen. Once that happens, the grapes release an enzyme, which starts a process of fermentation inside each individual berry, which eventually causes the grapes to burst and macerate themselves.
With a medium body in the glass, the first thing you'll notice when you smell this wine is the spice. White pepper and celery salt intermingle with ripe cherry aromas. Once deep (but not too deep) inside your mouth, flavors of wild cherries and blackberries wash over your tongue with a satiny texture and reveal notes of oak, earth, and...like...Chicago-style hot dogs...c'mon, that's sexy. The finish lingers, leaving you with a desire for more with every sip.
Softcore is satisfying on its own, but extremely versatile when it comes to food. It pairs well with everything from risotto, to rare chateaubriand, chocolate truffles...and Chicago-style hot dogs. Honestly, we've loved slightly chilling the wine.
So turn on some easy listening jazz, pour a bath, and give in to a softcore night of wine drinking.