I’ve been so busy lately with knitting group meet-ups, work parties, and other random appointments; my home cooking has really suffered as a result. Like some kind of harried mom or overworked career woman (of which I’m neither), I’ve been relegated to putting together quick and easy – dare I even say “30 Minute” – meals. As someone who favors calm and order and routine above all else, this has been a slightly stressful month for me. Things are finally starting to settle down, however, and I am gratefully finding myself able to return to a more normal cooking schedule. And, that means it is winesday time!

This week’s wine was a gift from our good friend Jason: Clos Pegase 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon. I think this is my first time featuring a Cabernet Sauvignon on winesday. I don’t drink too much Cab, not because I don’t love it (I do) but because I am usually looking for lighter, fruity reds that can be served with vegetarian fare. Cabernet Sauvignon is the opposite of light and fruity; it is gutsy and full-bodied with lots of tannins and powerful flavors, all of the qualities that go wonderfully with…a rich, juicy steak. But, for vegetarians, as well as everyone else, it should be noted that Cabernet Sauvignon can also be paired with many different kinds of cheese, particularly blue and aged cheeses (and who needs a steak when you could be eating lots of cheese instead!)

Clos Pegase Winery is located in Napa Valley, near the town of Calistoga. It was founded by Jan and Mitsuko Shrem in 1983 and is known for being somewhat of a landmark in the wine world. Feeling the need to create something above and beyond your average winery, Jan commissioned renowned Princeton architect Michael Graves to build a “temple to wine and art” on the grounds, a place designed to showcase Jan’s extensive art collection. In addition to Graves’ beautiful structures and the equally beautiful sculpture garden surrounding the buildings, 20,000 feet of aging caves were also excavated from the rocky knoll rising above the winery, including a dramatic Cave Theater where concerts and specials events are held.

Clos Pegase is an estate winery which means that they grow, vinify and bottle all of the wine that they produce. They sell approximately half of their grapes to other wineries in the area, but the best grapes of the harvest are reserved for their own wines. Over 15 different wines are produced at Clos Pegase; primarily this is Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. They also produce, in small quantities, other varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc and Zinfandel. Clos Pegase’s winemaking style has been described as balanced, with respect to tannins and acidity, and food friendly, avoiding high levels of oak and alcohol.

In keeping with the idea that Cabernet Sauvignon matches well with cheese, I decided serve the wine with macaroni and cheese. Now, I’m not talking macaroni and cheese from a box here (nothing against boxed mac and cheese; it certainly has its place, but I think it is much better suited to a fruity Beaujolais than a nice bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon.) No, for this winesday, I served up an ultra-deluxe homemade four-cheese macaroni and cheese (which I made with ziti pasta instead of macaroni just to separate it from its boxed counterpart that much more.) I used a blend of Maytag Blue and Beecher’s Flagship cheeses with smaller amounts of Havarti and Parmigiano Reggiano thrown in for added flavor and texture. On the side, I served spicy mustard greens. It was so delicious. Robert and I don’t eat too much cheese so this was a real treat.

The wine was wonderful. It was a deep, rich red color with aromas of dark cherries and vanilla. It tasted like black cherries, black currants, blackberries…all the black fruits! Unlike many Cabernet Sauvignons I’ve tried, this one wasn’t too heavy with the tannins. They were certainly there but, rather than drying your mouth out to desert-like conditions, these tannins were smooth and silky giving the wine a satisfying mouth-feel. This was a very nice bottle of wine, and a good match to my uber-rich macaroni and cheese. Thanks Jason!


  1. Yay! You’re welcome. I’m glad it was good…

    Comment by Ole Jasers — February 4, 2008 @ 2:00 pm

  2. That’s Great explaination, really wonderful life Thailand.



    Comment by Penny — April 13, 2008 @ 12:08 am

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