My wife and I recently celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary by spending some time in a nice country inn in Connecticut (US). The place (The Birches in New Preston, CT) is actually better known for its restaurant than for its accommodations, and we ate there one night. And let me just say, my god, the food was fantastic. Sometimes you go out for a posh dinner and you spend, oh, $140 for you and your date and you come away thinking, "Well, that was good, but maybe what I really wanted was a burger." At this place, the food is so incredible that you think you're ripping them off.

They only had a mediocre wine list, though, and my first choice (a Cabernet from Paso Robles) was out of stock—as was the LBV port I asked for with dessert (and they "surprised" me with a tawny port—can you believe it?). Whatever. I settled on this wine, since I'd had the 1997 vintage and that was quite good—so good, in fact, I haven't seen it on store shelves, otherwise I would have bought more.

The wine was a classic Napa Valley product: deep red color, aromas of oak and understated fruit, and a full-bodied taste. I tend to like the more straightforward Cabs from Sonoma when it comes to taste (since they're right up front with the fruit), but for pure "mouthfeel," you can't go wrong with a wine like this—lively tannins gave it a firm but not edgy body, and the finish was long and pleasant. And yes, it went very well with my tenderloin, thanks for asking.

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