When the Wife’s Away, Jeff Don’t Play

A few weeks back, Kara was out of town for a get-together with some old friends. As much as I love spending time with with my wife, I don’t mind the occasional nights alone… It gives me a chance to get together with some old friends of my own…

“Hello, Cornerstone Cellars! Hello, New York Strip! It’s been a while!”

Cornerstone 2012 Black Label Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and a New York Strip

You know that I love me some Cornerstone Cellars. I’ve been sitting on this sample of their 2012 Black Label Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon for a while, and have been dying to taste it, but with Kara being pregnant, I have not had a chance to open as many bottles around her as I normally would (considering she doesn’t get to share it with me).

You should also know that I love me some beef. I’ve been dreaming of this juicy cut of grass-fed goodness a lot lately. My wife, however, has a “no mammals” policy when it comes to our meals. As a result, I don’t get a chance to indulge in as much red meat as I wish I could.

With Kara away, I had my chance to play…

Let’s get into this wine.

Cornerstone Cellars 2012 Black Label Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Sample provided by Winery):

Formerly known as the Stepping Stone series, these “second label” wines from Cornerstone bring some serious chops at a serious value.

Color: Inky deep purple.

Nose: Fruits of plum and blackberry up front, with secondary notes of leather, allspice, menthol, and pencil shavings. This is a nose a teacher can get behind (I’m talking about the pencils, not the Kool cigarettes, silly).

Palate: A nice, medium plus weight to this wine. Fruits of ripe plum, cassis, and high-toned red cherries on the front palate. There is solid structure here from the chalky fine tannins and long acidity. I love the transition of fruits to tobacco leaf and rich forest soil on the long, Earthy finish.

Score: This wine is friggin’ lovely! 93+ all the way. Kara should get out of town more often (Just kidding, girl. I love you).


While this wine would do perfectly fine as a stand-alone drink, the fine folks at Cornerstone believe strongly in treating wine as part of a meal. I could not agree more.

Here’s what I paired with it…

Pan-Seared New York Strip with Blue Cheese, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, and a Baked Potato

What did I say?

Jeff. Don’t. Play.

Stay Rad,


Be sure to listen to Jeff every week on the We Like Drinking Podcast (available on iTunes), and leave a comment below about your favorite Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and food pairing.



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4 Responses to “When the Wife’s Away, Jeff Don’t Play”

  1. jeffeckles Says:

    Great description of the wine, sounds delicious! But that meal, oh man, that makes the eyes happy!

  2. Ana Lelescu Says:

    Hey Jeff, First of all – congratulations on expecting your baby! Best wishes to Kara for an easy pregnancy. I am a big fan of Stay Rad – great job there. It is always refreshing, fun, and informative to read your posts. My business. California Passport Tours is doing well, 2016 is our 5th year in business. It is quite a ride. At the end of day, I am happy our winemakers are working hard to get their wines better. We mostly visit Morgan Hill/Giroy wineries and the ones in Carmel Valley. See http://www.california-passport.com Would love to get together with you (and Kara!) sometime for lunch to chat and share my latest business endeavors. Have a great weekend, and I am looking forward to hearing from you. Best, Ana Ana Lelescu, Owner

    California Passport Tours — Discover More http://www.california-passport.com https://www.facebook.com/CaliforniaPassport https://www.linkedin.com/in/analelescu 408-607-7590 (cell) 408-659-0050

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