Remember way back when we decided to try a little blog-buzz experiment with Macari's Cabernet Franc? I sent samples to several food & wine bloggers. Some enjoyed the wine; others - not so much. One of the intended recipients of said samples was Sir Andrew of Spittoon. I was curious to see how his British palate would take to this wine, which in my opinion, is a unique representative of Long Island vino. And Long Island is where this wine's incredible journey began..
From Long Island, Macari's Cab Franc flew coach to Utah (shhhh. Don't tell anyone). This was in October, mind you. A few week's later, the wine & I took a drive to the local Ship-It Shop. It was packed, wrapped and taped for a long, 3-4 week voyage to Britainia. I expected it would arrive at the Spittoon household sometime around the Christmas holiday. After contacting Andrew a few times, and fearing he felt I was full of fiction regarding the 'tale of the supposedly shipped bottle,' I began to suspect the wine had missed its intended recipient. Perhaps it had found a home with one of Andrew's neighbors. Perhaps, a courier, driver, or ship's captain had discovered the parcel somewhere along the route and treated themselves to a nice glass of Long Island's finest for dinner. In any event, My Macari was missing.
Then, yesterday evening, I noticed a semi-crumpled box lying on the welcome mat. Hurray! A package. However, upon closer inspection, I saw that the parcel, was in fact, Andrew's Cabernet Franc - but much the worse for wear. Why was the package returned? I could find no explanation, other than a label which read, "Returned to Sender. Reason: Unspecified." A few other stickers indicated that the package had traveled back to New York, seen a bit of New Jersey, and even touched down on the U.K.'s shore. And then it was shipped all the way back to me for unspecified reasons. This bottle of Long Island Cabernet Franc had traveled roughly 10,000 miles. And it must have traveled roughly - by truck, boat, truck, boat and truck again. Surely it must have suffered extreme temperatures and extraordinarily rough handling (the box was nearly crushed and the cardboard had become quite pliable).
So, with apologies to Andrew (I owe you one, mate), I opened the package with the intention of testing the wine's condition. The label had become a little ragged. Fortunately there was no leaking. The cork was still intact and remained tightly sealed. Had the wine been cooked or frozen? I poured a small sample, took a whiff and found that the wine smelled like a well-made Long Island Cabernet Franc - cherries, mint, peppery-spice and a little leather. The wine's flavors were still mostly intact. Although it finished a bit hotter (a possible loss of acidity and/or high-temperature Madeira-like treatment) than a less adventurous bottle I enjoyed several months back. Andrew's Macari paired splendidly with a grilled gruyere sammy accented with two shakes of herbes de Provence.
Suggested slogan for Long Island Cabernet Franc: Our wines take a licking and keep on ticking.