Real Men Drink Darioush

Inquiring minds want to know– what do real men drink when they are in their own private spaces together? At a recent Editorial Board meeting here at Kitten Headquarters, we were brainstorming for our next post and my Charming Other Half began to tell me about a recent dinner he attended with a group of guys he gets together with regularly. He described the meal in glorious detail and raved over a particular wine that was served. No, this is not a typical Man Gathering. These guys love to cook. And they are chef-calibre good at it. We decided that this would be a perfect opportunity to write an exposé on the secret world of men. OK, we didn’t really decide that. We just thought it would be fun to share the Man Party report with the rest of you. We’ll leave the secrets and exposés to Reality TV.

Well…there you have it. I was informed the other night by my Beloved Wife that I would be responsible for writing this week’s post. Before panic set in about what topic to choose, My Darling Partner quickly chimed in and suggested profiling the Darioush Cabernet that I was so incredibly fortunate to sip with several guy buddies at one of our regular men’s dinner nights. Our Teenage Daughters and my Darling Spouse refer to these periodic gatherings as “man parties” or “bromances” but hey…we guys just need to get together once in a while for some laughter and male banter, while eating good food (usually some type of grilled mammal) and sipping a martini or two, or some good wine. 
In typical tradition, everyone pitched in to bring something and the meal was amazing. We dined on grilled flank steak, steamed asparagus with hollandaise, roasted potatoes, salad and a host of tasty appetizers from duck confit to homemade paté. Dessert was a luscious key lime pie.
When it was time to sit down at the table, our host pulled out two bottles of the 2008 Darioush Cabernet Sauvignon. My eyes immediately widened and I said, “Are you are really going to waste such incredible wine on this group??? Are you serious???”  He just smiled and continued pouring.  Needless to say the wine was phenomenal. Dark, ruby-purple with aromas of licorice and blackberry jam and just a hint of spice. Smooth as silk from the front of the sip to the back, it was like a velvet blanket the way it covered the palate. I had to stop mid-sip and savor the moment. The group was unanimous that this was likely the finest wine ever served at one of our Man Parties.  
The 2008 Darioush Napa Valley Cab received 90 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and contains a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 4% Malbec and 3% Cab Franc. Mr. Parker states that “this is a classic Cabernet Sauvignon to enjoy over the next 12-15 years.” (or how about now?!).  

For those who are unfamiliar with Darioush, the winery was founded in 1997 by Darioush Khaledi. Khaledi grew up in Iran’s Shiraz region, a wine-growing area until the Islamic revolution. Darioush’s father made wine as a hobby, and as a young boy, Khaledi used to sneak sips from the barrel. The Kitten would be proud! Darioush immigrated to the United States in the late 1970s and launched a grocery store chain in Southern California with his brother-in-law. This chain is now one of the most successful independently owned grocery businesses in the United States. The 95 acre winery, purchased in the early 1990s and located just off the Silverado Trail in the heart of Napa wine country,  produces red Bordeaux varietals and small lots of Chardonnay, Viognier and Shiraz. 

After dinner, we moved out to the patio where I enjoyed my last few sips of wine by the fire pit. The evening reminded me once again that the camaraderie of the gathering is what makes sipping wine such a fun experience. And I wondered why on earth I had tried to dissuade our host from opening this  fine bottle of wine in the first place.
So this week at The Kitten, we salute romance and bromance, Real Men Who Cook, gatherings of good friends and, of course, as always, good food and good wine.

10 replies »

  1. I am hereby saluting one of my favorite Geminis and Tom Cats. The only thing I was missing was whether a BGE was in use during the Man Party? Seems like more detail around the fire party of things would increase the manliness :) Lots of love!

  2. No, the host for that dinner does not own a BGE so it was not used for the grilling at this particular Man Party. And as for the fire pit report, we didn’t want to reveal too much since it is such a sacred Man gathering spot.

  3. Sadly, most of my friends are more in to micro-brews (which I do enjoy) than Napa Cabs or any wine for that matter. Sounds like it was a great night!

  4. Nick, great to hear from you. Maybe your micro-brew friends will come around after a while and delve into the wine world. I’ve always had a theory that people who like dark beer usually find big red wines appealing, too.

  5. Good to hear that events that we call a ‘mandez-vous’ are taking place in the great state of Minnesota as well! We have been known to incorporate the BGE when the MENage-a-many takes place out in the burbs. We also have been known to break out the cards and play a little poker….

    Great write-up!

  6. CellarTracker had a rating of 91.6, and that’s high for them as an average score, making me think this wine is better than RP’s 90 points would suggest!
    I have a 2007 vintage waiting for a special occasion: maybe when it’s not so hot!

  7. We love Cellar Tracker reviews. They mean more than a Parker score because they’re from wine appreciators whom we assume are a lot like us. We definitely think the praise is worthy. When the weather cools, we hope you’ll crack open your 2007 and blog it! Cheers, Dennis.


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