Wine Review: Cabernet Sauvignon, Sutter Home

Sutter Home Cabernet SauvignonIf you’re out at a restaurant and see on the wine list that a glass of Sutter Home wine is $5.99, just keep in mind that you could stop on the way home and buy a whole bottle of pretty much any Sutter Home wine for the same price. I’m just sayin’… spend the extra money on dessert.

Coming from a place of expectation management, this Cabernet Sauvignon is not bad. It’s probably not the best Cab you’ll ever have but it’s certainly not the worst.

I found this wine to be very drinkable with lots of toasty oak & vanilla with a smooth finish. Pairs nicely with steak or pasta and red sauce.

13.5% alcohol, no headache after two glasses.

 

2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi

Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon

Don’t judge, it was on sale at Albertson’s for $5.99.

I had been wanting to try Woodbridge for a long time but in Maryland I could only find it in the big magnum size bottles. Even though the price was right, I was afraid to end up with a huge bottle of what might be terrible wine so I never bought it.

A couple weeks ago I found this cute 4-pack at Albertson’s in Los Lunas and brought it home.

I’m all about the expectation management but this Cabernet Sauvignon from Woodbridge turned out to be pretty darn good, tasting well above it’s pay grade.

Buttery and chocolatey, pleasant oak base and smooth finish. Nice at any price but especially pleasing for a budget priced wine. Paired great with pork chops, steamed okra and sautéed onions.

Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon delivers the usual 13.5% alcohol. I didn’t get a headache but Xavier said he woke up with one. Then again, it may have been the altitude.

Wine Review: 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Loft

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Well friends, the time has come to explore some new boxes. Enter, 2013 Loft Cabernet Sauvignon from Lodi, California. Loft is the most expensive boxed wine at my neighborhood shop, weighing in at $22.00 and 13.8% alcohol.

While the website is a little vague as to which Lodi vineyards the Loft grapes are coming from, the proof is in the pudding and the pudding is good.

This is a jammy Cabernet Sauvignon, lots of fruit and not much oak. Despite the fact that I capital “L” Love oak, I still thought this Cabernet was pretty good. The product of cool temperature wine-making, Loft has produced a nicely balanced Cab featuring black fruit, vanilla, and spice.

Make no mistake, there is no other single bottle of wine that could be bought for $5.50 that would rival this 4 bottle box of wine for $22. Environmental and pocket book friendly, this is why I love the boxes.

When you’re just trying to get through the week, it’s boxed wine to the rescue!

Wine Review: 2014 Shiraz Cabernet, Jacob’s Creek

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After seeing much praise for Jacob’s Creek on the Twitters, I decided to conduct my own taste test.

Aptly named, this Shiraz Cabernet from south eastern Australia is 66% Shiraz, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 13.9% alcohol. The bottle also features a clever wine-glass shaped QR code.

Peppery plums and cedary oak, smooth finish, pleasantly soothing after a long day of work.

I would claim that Staples customers drive me to drink but the truth is that they just give me something to rant about while I’m drinking – which I would do anyway because wine is delicious.

That being said, Staples customers are doing a great job of compelling me to quit Staples, which will be happening soon enough.

Anyhoo, Jacob’s Creek Shiraz Cabernet is a fine example of Australian Wine and, with recent events in California likely to adversely affect wine supply in the coming years, now seems like a good time to explore wine from other regions.

Wine Review: 2015 Decadence Cabernet Sauvignon, Menage A Trois

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If there’s one winemaker who can be relied upon to get something right, it’s Menage A Trois. Consistently excellent, every bottle, every varietal.

I picked up this bottle of 2015 Decadence Cabernet Sauvignon for Xavier because Menage A Trois is his favorite. That being said, I think I drank most of it. There are two kinds of wine drinkers in our house: the quick and the thirsty.

As always, Menage A Trois delivers an exceptionally luscious and smooth Cabernet that is blueberry and chocolate all night long except it won’t last that long – at least not if I’m around.  The wine is exactly the same color as the foil at the top of the bottle and the bottle made it through three episodes of Stranger Things.

No red wine headache and smooth like silk, this bottle was $13.99 and, for the price, it is certainly at the top of it’s class. Highly recommended!

Wine Review: 2012 Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, [yellow tail] Reserve

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[ yellow tail ] Reserve Cabernet Sauvigon.

By “Reserve” they mean it cost $8.99 instead of $7.99 so, you know, high rollers only.

While I’m not convinced that the extra dollar isn’t just spent on the fancy-pants label, this Cabernet Sauvignon isn’t bad. It’s definitely full-bodied with some upper-cut to the upper palate, gets ya with ole one-two if you know what I mean.

[ yellow tail ] reds are typically in your face, lacking volume control and the finesse of an indoor voice. It doesn’t make them bad, it just makes them bold.

Very woody with loud dark fruit. The label reads “… and a hint of mint”.  Apparently someone’s been chewing some super funky gum if they think this wine possesses a hint of mint which, clearly, it does not. But even if it did, “I like this wine because it’s refreshingly minty”, said no one ever.

14% alcohol and a touch of red wine headache.

Certainly not for sissies. Proceed with caution.

Wine Review: 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Fish Eye

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What can I say? I enjoyed the Fish Eye Merlot so much, I decided to try the Cabernet Sauvignon and, at $4.99, it’s not hardly a risky purchase.

Creamy dark fruit and a bit of pepper, it was terrific paired with pot roast. 13.5% alcohol and no red wine headache. Many wines in this price range are harsh and headache-inducing but this Cabernet Sauvignon is balanced and rich with a pleasantly smooth finish.

Compared to other wines in a similar price range, the Fish Eye wines that I have tried taste more expensive than they are. To be fair, I saw 750ml bottles of Fish Eye for $7.99 at a different store, it just happens to be on sale for $4.99 at the wine shop up the street from my apartment.

Still though, wines in this price range are usually not that great and the Fish Eye Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent value for the price.

I would choose to buy it again because it’s good, not because it’s cheap.

 

Wine Review: 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Black Box

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This Cab is a little thin but it’s not bad. Cab from Chile is usually a good thing and this brew from Black Box is no exception.

Very smooth with notes of vanilla, chocolate, and oak. Pairs up nicely with just about any kind of dinner. We had it with Chicken Tikka Masala one night and pork chops on another night.

A nice wine to keep on hand during the week, I would feel confident serving it to my friends should anyone drop by demanding a taste of the grape.

It’ll getcha by until the weekend.

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Wine Review: 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Smoking Loon

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I picked this up on Friday night to celebrate another week of not killing anyone at the nations largest retailer of staplers. One can only take so much stapling idiocracy before it becomes necessary to turn the down the volume on the situation.

Enter stage left: Wine, wine, and more wine.

Xavier and I killed this bottle during the pilot episode of Game Of Thrones (we’re starting over from the beginning), which was so enthralling that I forgot to get any photos of the wine in a glass until the show, and dinner, were over.

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You can bet it was good though. We paired it with  bread-less cheeseburgers and asparagus.

The tasting notes describe it as having an aroma of spearmint but whoever wrote that was clearly chewing gum at the time. Give this Cabernet Sauvignon a few minutes to air out and open up and it is a wonderfully full bodied and smooth, slightly smoky, cab that tastes like gone.

To be clear, there is nothing minty about it.

Xavier said it gave him a bit of the red wine headache. I, however, slept the night away unscathed.

Smoking Loon is located in Chile as are many of my recent favorites. I think I’m beginning to see what Kricket was saying about other parts of the world tasting better than California.

In any case, Game Of Thrones reminded us that winter is, in fact, on it’s way and on Friday Xavier told the head Staplers that we are moving to New Mexico at the end of the year, effectively letting the cat out of the bag and bringing us one step closer to making our exit.

I won’t mind leaving this place before winter arrives.


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Wine Review: 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Carnivor

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Man is a tool wielding animal.

This summer, I began a journey to earn a college degree and to embark on a more lucrative career because this little piggy wants more money.

To start things off I took Intermediate Algebra, which is not a particularly advanced level math class but considering that the last math class I took was in 1994, it proved to be very challenging. I also took College Writing but I can do that shit in my sleep so there was considerably less drama involved.

Anyway, this math class was kicking my ass and there were many times when I contemplated walking away from the whole ordeal.

Unfortunately (or probably fortunately) the voices in my head are super mean.

“Awwwww, boo-hoo, Barbie thinks math is hard. What are you gonna do? Are you going to be a big crybaby? Are you going to cry to your mommy? Are you going to quit? Awwww, poor you…”

So instead of quitting, I spent every last waking moment logged into ALEKS.com forcing myself to learn some math while Xavier crept around the apartment trying not to make a peep and watching TV with headphones on. He made me dinner every night and encouraged me to try one more time every time I would throw down my pencil and say, “Math is stupid!” (because clearly it was the math’s fault that math was stupid)

Anyway, ten days before the midterm exam deadline, I was two modules behind in the class. This is not a good position to be in because at that point I should’ve been able to spend the next week reviewing all the material instead of scrambling just to get caught up.

I really wanted to quit.

But I still didn’t.

I buckled down, got up early and stayed up late, and went nose to the grindstone even harder so that by the day of the exam I was caught up.

Still, I was very anxious about the outcome.

So that morning, I meditated, did Tai Chi, worked some other voodoo, and went to the testing center.

And then the most amazing thing happened.

I made that test my bitch and scored a 96%!

Damn right I did.

I bet you’re wondering about the wine.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I brought home a bottle of Carnivor Cabernet Sauvignon.

I’ve read wine reviews that use words like “leather”, but I always thought they were just making stuff up. I’ve never had any wine that tasted like leather.

Until now.

You know when you walk into the Overland Sheepskin Co. and are enveloped in the delicious smell of fine leather that can only mean the cheapest thing in the store is $400?

Yeah, it’s like that.

Carnivor Cabernet Sauvignon is a super smooth wine that tastes like caramel and the smell of fine leather. It is inky black, even under the light, rich and excellent.

It’s 13.8% alcohol so pace yourself.

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Paired with BBQ pork, baked beans and cole slaw.

I haven’t always liked every Cabernet Sauvignon that I’ve tried but this one is tasty and smooth, an excellent reward for defeating the numbers. 😉