La Brat review of Mumm Cuvee M Red
For those that don’t feel like sorting through my pedantic rambling, feel free to skip to the end for a quick summary. Normally, I don’t like to post buzzed, but because of the short week don’t want to make you fence sitters wait too long. So, forgive the typos. Forgive the repetition. Forgive the feculence. Here’s my report, stream of conscience-like, uncensored (except by that damn Woot filter) and unedited. Deal with it. I are Labrat and thus do I spake:
Let me make one thing clear: when I asked (okay, begged) WD to make me a labrat, I never thought he’d do it. I mean, I’ve asked dozens of times before, and he never deemed me rat worthy. So, I did not make prior preparations. My pantry was bare.
Alas, when that beautiful package arrived on my desk, I knew I had to cut out of work early and get some grub in the house. In order to correctly labrat this bubbly, I knew a trip to the supermarket was in order. Since this was my first red sparkler, I didn’t know quite what to expect, so I decided to play it safe.
So, we’ll start with the menu:
Sautéed chicken breast in a garlic mushroom sauce. I deglazed the pan with some of the bubbly, as well as used it to finish the sauce just prior to removing from the heat.
Side dish was Onion and Rosemary Roasted red bliss potatoes.
When I got home, put the bubbly in the fridge immediately, and let it chill for 2 hours. Approximate serving temperature was 55 – 60 degrees. Since this was a red wine, I figured it would need to breathe a bit, so upon opening I promptly decanted and waited 2 hours.
Just kidding. I’m a kidder.
Color was a beautiful and surprising dark blackberry. Yes, I knew this was a red sparkler, but I was still expecting something more of a rose hue. You don’t want to spill this on the carpet (but if you do, make sure you blame the kids). The bubbles were not overpowering…just right. Enough to tickle, not enough to annoy.
Initial nose was that of Welch’s grape juice, but in a good way. It was a familiar scent. As my wife said “this would be really dangerous around children.” First sip for me was a fruit-forward burst of cassis and berries, with a dry tobacco finish. Assertive at first, but with a mellow, smooth end. My wife thought of bubbly Ocean Spray.
To Mrs. Stiff it seemed the perfect drink to serve at a bridal shower. I can’t relate.
Back to the wine. Always a sucker for Mumm, particularly the Cuvee M blue, I really enjoyed this. It was familiar to me, yet unexpected. Does that make sense? It will, when you taste it.
I tell you one thing, it sure made that mushroom sauce sing. Then again, I don’t usually use $30 wine when I cook…but since WD was paying, I figured…why not? (I used about 4 ounces total…just enough to lend flavor.) I’d do it again, even on my own dime.
The wine was a perfect complement to both the potatoes and the chicken. It cut the richness of the sauce. While I didn’t have any desert around, I was able to scrounge up a chocolate chip cookie. And you know what…it really paired well. Better than milk, even, and much more potent. Milk is for mortals. Sparkling wine…that’s what Labrats eat their cookies with. (Do not hate. Your jealousy only makes us stronger. We are Labrat.)
Other desserts I can see going with this wine include Strawberry shortcake, berries and ice cream, and, of course, anything chocolate. I liked the fact that this could make the journey from dinner to desert and not only stand up well to both courses, but complement all food pairings I tried.
Now, while I did not sample this with cheese, I really don’t see this as a good choice when looking to pair a wine with cheese. Well, maybe a baked brie with fruit, but that’s about it. Then again, I could be wrong. If WD wants to send me another bottle, I’ll gladly try it with cheese. It’s the least I could do.
At the moment, I have enough left for another glass and a half. I was going to wait until tomorrow to see how the bubbles hold up, but then realized that tomorrow will be too late…the deal will be gone. So now, 2 hours after opening, I will venture to the fridge and do a pour, in the name of science. Bottle was sealed with a standard wine topper…I did not pump the air out. Flavor is a bit more rounded, subdued, but that could be due to the fact that it is being served colder now than before. Regardless, I think I’ll need to finish the bottle tonight. I’ll wait another hour, and if still awake and alert, will post an updated bubble report.
For those of you who want to skip to the good stuff, and didn’t want to read the above (God knows I’m not gonna sit here and read through all that blabbering…once I write it, I’m done!), here’s a summary:
Color: Blackberry/Dark raspberry. Almost opaque.
Nose: Welchy, familiar, but in a good way.
Flavor profile: Sweet at first, with a smooth, dry finish. I taste cassis, berries, tobacco, and a slight cranberry tartness.
Overall score: On a scale of 1-10, I give it a solid 8.5.
Goes well with: Seemingly everything, from rich to sweet. Would definitely like to try with sushi. Do not think this would go well with cheese, but could be wrong.
Overall impressions: Fun, tasty, different yet familiar. It’s a great way to have red wine on a hot day. Would buy again. Good party wine, as long as you have scotch guard.