Sipping with Grace: Intrinsic Cabernet Sauvignon with an eight-cheese pizza

For those looking to elevate their pizza night.



This is the Intrinsic Cabernet Sauvignon and the eight-cheese pizza I made with it.

JARED GRACE, Evergreen columnist

Cabernet Sauvignon is probably one of the most popular varieties in the wine industry. Being high in acidity, alcohol, body and tannins, this wine is very robust and fulfilling.

This variety isn’t just acidity and body, though; it is also dry and fruity, giving it huge versatility in pairing. This gives it an advantage over other wines and is probably why so many people like it. Most people aren’t aware of pairings and just choose wines that they like with dinner, so when a wine pairs with most things, people are more likely to like it.

Intrinsic 2016 has notes of blackberry, plum and blueberry with heavy flavors of cherry, raspberry and red fruit. It has an oak vanilla finish with a light chocolate taste as it goes down. With 13.5% alcohol, this wine contains 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Cabernet Franc grapes.

The wine’s aroma has scents of smoke, earth and leather while also having a good mix of flowery scents. These scents make pairing this wine with something like meat or pasta very easy. One thing that I find very rare and characteristic of this wine is that the aromas give it a very light peppery taste that seems to tie all of the flavors together in a bow.

I paired this wine with an eight-cheese pizza. As a college student, I find that pizzas are always an easy-to-make and reliable dinner.

I used a basil garlic sauce that I made, and then eight white cheeses: mozzarella, sharp white cheddar, smoked provolone, Asiago, Parmesan, Romano and fontina. Any white cheese can be used, but I would recommend at least one creamy cheese, like mozzarella, and at least one hard cheese, like romano or parmesan.

This pairing works by using the acidity of the Cabernet Sauvignon to offset the heaviness of the creamy cheeses. I found that this also works to enhance the hard cheeses by bringing out their tanginess.

When first tasting this wine, it was quite astringent, and the tannins were very noticeable. Once I took a bite of the pizza, the acidity of the sauce and the creaminess of the cheese made the wine taste and feel buttery in my mouth, making the wine exponentially more enjoyable to sip throughout the meal.

This is the Intrinsic Cabernet Sauvignon and the toasted garlic rosemary french bread with a Bocconcini.

I also made toasted garlic rosemary French bread with a Bocconcini in olive oil, balsamic vinegar and prosciutto as a bonus pairing this week. My partner and I did this pairing the next day over dinner and used the wine and food as appetizers as we cooked together.

The cheese and oils mitigated the acidity and thickness of the wine while also enhancing the garlic and prosciutto. The fat from the prosciutto also brings a smoother texture to the pairing as it melts in your mouth.

To consume this wine at its best, it is very important to open this wine two to three hours before serving. It is best to serve this at a little below 60 degrees Farenhweight as well. The best way to achieve this is to open the wine, put it back in the fridge, and then take it out after around an hour and a half.

Winery: ēlicit Wine Project (made by St. Michelle Wine Estates)

Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage: 2016

Locations: Outside of Seattle, Washington

Price: $17–25

Pairing: Eight-Cheese Pizza

I would like to emphasize that this column is not a review; my purpose for writing this series is to provide as much information about a wine as I can so that you can find your niche.

If you would like to inquire about anything I have talked about in these columns or recommend wines for me to pair in the future email me at [email protected]

Drink up!