“The time of year for getting into cabs.”

Issue #9   December, 2019

In 1961 the velvet voiced and gifted songwriter Mel Tormé, nicknamed The Velvet Fog, penned the words ‘Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose’ to begin what would become probably the most well-known (and quite lucrative for Mel) Christmas tune of all-time. Nat King Cole’s silky vocals took Tormé’s words and etched their warm sentiment into hearts everywhere.

Needless to say, this month more than any, we all head out with Jack Frost nipping at our noses, to visit and celebrate alongside friends and family. It is also the month to rely a little more on taxis and uber rides to get us where we’re going and bring us back home safe.

So for this festive December issue of Jim’s Affordable Cellar I thought it would be appropriate to call three Cabs to our attention. And they’re lined up waiting for us to get into them.

Welcome back to the cellar.

Our first Cab has come all the way from the Maipo Valley; mid-way down South America’s very own sunset strip, Chile. Wine-making began there in the 1600’s thanks to the Spanish conquistadors. French wine varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon were introduced in the mid-1800’s. So the Chileans have had a few years to perfect the many terrific wines they now produce.

Perez Cruz Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon is certainly one of them.  


Pérez Cruz Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon
Maipo Valley, Chile
750 mL bottle VINTAGES#:  694208

It’s definitely proof that inexpensive can be elegant. And in this case elegance comes with aromas of cassis, black cherry, and tobacco.  This is a steal of a wine you can always find in the store and always find yourself satisfied for having brought it home. Introduce it to a burger and you’ll find they get along famously.

Our next Cab is waiting, so let’s take our taste buds for a smooth and easy ride. Our driver is Mr. Tom Gore of Sonoma County. I have a weakness for Cabs from California. This one is made beautifully with grapes Tom sources from vineyards on the Central and North Coast.  


Tom Gore Cabernet Sauvignon
California, USA
750 mL bottle VINTAGES#:  451336

When you pour it, your glass is transformed to deep, dark red. Vapours of black berry, raspberry, plum and orange fill the air and your soul begins to smile.

It’s rich and round. Uber-smooth, oaky and smoky with some mocha and vanilla. And it has tannins you can taste on your teeth.  A glass of Tom Gore tastes like, ‘I’ll have some more.’

As always, as is our tradition here in the cellar once a month we go under the radar to a place where perhaps we’ve never gone before. In this case we’re going not so much to a country but a region, found at the most southern tip of South America. Patagonia. It’s surrounded by three oceans; the Pacific to the West, the Atlantic to the East and the Southern Ocean to the,…well you get it.  

Although Patagonia is shared by Chile and Argentina, the Argentines claim bragging rights for this Wapisa Cabernet Sauvignon.


Wapisa Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Patagonia, Argentina
750 mL bottle VINTAGES#:  10970

Wapisa is deep, deep purple in the glass. It casts off aromas of dark berries, smoke and cinnamon. It’s medium to full bodied with lots of dark, fruity tannins and a bit of spicy attitude. For me, Wapisa isn’t as round and rich as say, a California Cab like the Tom Gore we just tried, but then Patagonia is practically a hemisphere away from California. I’d have this Cab in a heartbeat with spicy wings or a peppercorn steak.

There you have it. Our three Cabs have delivered us to the end of this month’s issue. I guess that means it’s time to leave the cellar. So in parting I’d like to thank you for visiting the cellar this year and wish you all the best of the season with these words from The Velvet Fog.

‘And so I’m offering this simple phrase.
To kids from one to ninety-two.
Although it’s been said many times,

Many ways: Merry Christmas to you.’

Hope to see you back here in the new year. Until then, keep your glass of wine close and you’re friends even closer.


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