A Chili companion: Clos Du Bios Reserve Cabernet
There are few things that go as well with a big bowl of Chili Con Carne like a glass of red wine. And luckily, there are many excellent recent vintages of Chili-pairing red wines from which to choose, with a meaty Cabernet at the top of nearly everyone’s list.
Of course, there is a disclaimer here regarding really hot Chili recipes. Once they start “torching out” like Uncle Jerry’s Texas Chili, all bets are off for the red wine. But for most moderately-spiced Chili dishes, a medium-bodied red will do just fine.
Because of the tomato base that most Chili dishes contain, it is good to pick a red wine that’s not too big in the fruity department and could be described as just plain “dry”. Many Italian reds will fill the bill, but an interesting alternative is a Cabernet Sauvignon from California’s Alexander Valley region. These Cabs tend to be lower in fruitiness with soft dry tannins and enough acidity to go right along with that bowl of Chili.
One of the often overlooked producers of very good Alexander Cabernets is Clos Du Bois. They are normally considered a high volume source for under $15 wines, but there are really incredible values to be had in their “reserve” series. A prime example of one of their real “Chili Partners” is their Alexander Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
It has a bouquet of dark ripe cherries and a hint a plumb. This straightforward wine does not stand in front of your Chili. With a body of soft tannins, balanced acidity, and a long berry finish, the experience is just perfect.
If you decide to add in other entrees along with the Chili, it’s not too hard to pair this flexible wine with the entire cadre of courses. This includes cheeses, salsa, and crackers. This Cab has enough character to enhance the flavors of these side dishes and turn simple Chili entrée into a culinary adventure.
You can get the Clos Du Bois Reserve Cab at most of the valley’s Total Wine stores or at Safeway for less than $18. If there are still some 2008 vintages available, snap them up. Their reserve Cab from that year is sure to surprise even your picky wine drinking guests.
Article by Tom Peiffer, Phoenix Wine Shopping Examiner at Examiner.com
View more of Tom’s articles on Examiner.com by visiting his writer’s page.