Louis M Martini
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Region: Napa Valley

Year: 2014                                                                            Price: ~$32                                                                            Pair With: IN MY LIFE - THE BEATLES

My first experience with wine ruined me. I remember the bottle, I remember the night, and I sure as hell remember the hangover.

"What was your first bottle of wine?" 

It's my favorite question to ask at dinner parties because it reveals so much about a person. If they tell you it was some $700 bottle (I've heard 1968 Chateau Margaux), then they're probably not much fun. If they tell you it was Boone's Farm, and can accurately debate the merits of flavor selection vs. chugging, then they're probably a WHOLE LOTTA fun.

My first bottle was Mad Dog 20/20, a painfully-cheap and fortified wine. Usually reserved for winos and bums (hence "The Wine Bum"), I developed an unhealthy taste for the "Red Grape" flavor. Also, I've had the other flavors so don't even let me hear your shit - Red Grape for life. 

The best part about wine is seeing how far you've come. Each bottle a different stage in life. 

Fortified wines = College or that time you were living under a bridge

Moscato = Got your first job and now you fancy

Light Reds = In your Mid 20's and parties quit serving Moscato

Red Blends = Needed something stronger for all those Facebook baby pictures

Cabernet = I can afford steaks now and was once referred to as "cultured"

I made the drastic leap from bum wine to Cabernet, then back to sweet wine for WAY too long. My big sister was slinging wine at the time and brought home a few bottles of Louis Martini Napa Caberent.

At dinner, we drank each bottle dry. Somebody cried. We all made up. And the night ended in a friendly match of Indian leg wrestling.

Now, when I walk the wine isles and see a bottle of Louis Martini, I think about that night. I can’t tell you how much acidity, structure, or cherry that first bottle possessed. But I sure as hell can tell you where I was in life.  

I brought home this 2014 Louis Martini Napa Cabernet and enjoyed every sip. Lush blackberry and cherry with a rich mouth feel and long finish. Just a fucking well-crafted wine. A great buy for the price and one that I'll continue to think of fondly.