Recently my wife and I went to Washington wine country. Yes, Washington State is the #2 wine producing regions in the US beyond the Napa valley region with a lot of great wine producers. Over two days we went to 19 wineries, tasted over 100 different wines, and bought 79 bottles. If the wine was good and expensive we bought a bottle or two, if it was good and cheap we bought a few bottles. Yes, instead of spending our money on Hawaii hotels and plane flights we drove and stayed at Best Westerns in order to buy wine. In order to really get something out of this we also decided we would take notes on the wines we bought as we drank them in order to gain some education along the way and know what to buy more of in the future.

The first bottle we opened was the 2001 Silver Lake Cabernet Merlot. The acids and tannins give this wine a dry aftertaste on the tongue. It' s not bold, but rather smooth to drink and a little watery. I've been enjoying it on it's own to relax in the evenings after dinner. In all it is pretty good for $12 a bottle. In case you are curious, here are the wine tasters official notes with highlights of what we agreed with:

CABERNET-MERLOT (official) The blending of these Bordeaux classics, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, has produced a wine with fresh and lively blackberry fruit aromas and red raspberry and cherry overtones. The ripe fruit flavors are supported by the subtle nuances of vanilla and cedar. Produced in a light refreshing style this is the perfect wine for casual entertaining and everyday enjoyment.

Update: Also good with spicy foods.

josh