The swaths of populations that read my biweekly take on wine (including the four of you who actually enjoy it) know that I'm not particularly a reddy; my preference for seafood and salads leads me in the whites' direction, although I'm obviously prepped to talk about a good glass of the crimson stuff when the time is right. Sometimes, the right time pops up when you least expect it—like one day last week, when I engorged on two honey-glazed pork chops at Hillcrest's Crest Café. Those chops are the best entry in restaurant history; if you aren't aware of their popularity, to say nothing of their taste, you probably haven't been born yet or something.
As I capitulate to the traditional prospect of red wine with meat, I thought I'd wash things down accordingly, only to cop to one of the finest reds it's even been my pleasure to report on. You must try the California Cabernet Sauvignon out of Monterey County's Mirassou Winery, and the sooner the better, especially if you're a meat-eater. The fruit factor is definitely alive and well in this one, owing to the county's marine-weather influence, which tends to fatten the fare. The blackberry and blackcurrant flavors come through with all the flair of a fire alarm; their staying power beckons you onto a finger food or two as you digest the main course. A dash of Sonoma County Merlot has been added to this guy to deepen the color and enhance the consistency.
The Mirassou family has been at this since 1854, so it's got the manufacture gig down-pat. You, of course, have been around at least that long, which means you're intimately familiar with your role in all this—namely the one that requires you to plunk down $17.95 at better wine stores before the cash register guy will even think about parting with a bottle. You'll soon stop fretting about the expense (that goes double for at least four of you), because you'll be settling into a taste you won't soon forget, especially for a red. Wow!