Lots of California Cabernet Sauvignon wines are “big, bold, tons of tannins, oaky and structured” which is great, especially with a big rib eye steak. However for those occasions where a softer, more refined and gentler Cabernet Sauvignon is required this Wood Family Vineyards “Viva” Cabernet Sauvignon is spot on! Rhonda Wood does make your bigger and heartier Cabernet Sauvignon’s (“Especial”, “Clone 30”, “Woody’s Cab”) for those characteristics and for heavy food and wine pairings. She calls those Cabernets “fork & knife Cabernets”. I call them “chewy Cabernets”. Each has its place and found a perfect home for Wood Family Vineyards “Viva”.
This wine reminds me of the 60’s and early 70’s with a mellow and laid back attitude. It is a perfectly good wine to enjoy with or without food. On the eyes a deep and bright purple stands out in the glass with a medium viscosity. On the nose aromas of raspberries and cherries waft gently into the senses. On the palate this wine cuddles up like a down comforter on a cool winter evening. No harshness of tannins or overwhelming oak or layers upon layers to debunk. Vanilla, raspberry and a hint of blueberry swarms about to provide a compelling wine to sip and enjoy. The finish is medium and harmonious. Alcohol percentage is 14.1%, aged 20 months in French oak and 500 cases were produced. It is listed on their website for $38/bottle.
The Food & Wine Pairing
Paired with BBQ Country Ribs slow cooked (baked) in the oven. The pork boneless ribs were prepared with a rub consisting of chili powder, brown sugar, BBQ sauce, smoked paprika, cumin, dried oregano, kosher salt, crushed red pepper flakes and black pepper. So originally I was thinking of a Merlot or Malbec to go with the spicy and flavorful ribs, but then remembered this “soft and gentle” Wood Family Cabernet Sauvignon. It was spot on with the meal, caressing each delightful morsel with this wine. A baked Yukon potato was also served. A great food and wine pairing.