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SutterHomeCabernetSauvignon Picmonkey

N/V Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Sutter Home

California

Alcohol: 13.8%

Suggested Retail: $7

“Wine reviewers don’t necessarily drink more wine than average citizens. They do, however, tend to taste a much broader array of wines. And they’re often sipping better wine than they can afford (at least afford on a regular basis), because they’re attending industry tastings or pulling corks on bottles sent for review by the producers (It’s not a bad gig, but not as good as many would assume).

“But they shop for their own tables, too. And when they do, they often consider price. Such was the case when your reviewer remembered he needed a wine for a dinner last week. It was not a special meal, but I believe wine should be at least an option with most post-breakfast events in my household and that night’s entrée was meat. What to do?

“Sutter Home had bottles of non-vintage (NV) Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon on sale. They’re a reliable label and the price was right. Done deal; a bottle of their Cab went into the basket.

“What a pleasant surprise. I expected the wine to be palatable, but in that generic, too-jammy and sweet style that characterizes most inexpensive American wines (and many of the more expensive ones, too!). My Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon was a tad sweeter than I would have preferred, but not so much that it didn’t nicely accompany that night’s grilled pork chops.

“Cabernet Sauvignon is said to reflect the personalities of many fruits other than grapes. Currants are frequently mentioned, as are berries—both red and black--and cherries. We found that our bargain-priced Sutter Home Cab seemed to evoke currants, all right, but also cherries. Red ones, if we must be specific—Bings, rather than Rainiers.

“Our Cabernet also exhibited, albeit in subtle fashion, some toast and vanilla in the background. These are ordinarily contributions of some oak ageing, which tends to be a time-consuming and expensive part of the business. The Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon is a simple wine, but that doesn’t mean insufficient. There were no winemaking flaws we could discern. The flavors were clean and appropriate to enjoy with food (surprisingly, this is not always the case for wines at this level and even at higher prices). There were some hints of more nuanced wines, yet this one is only $7 (we found ours on a sale at Fiesta Foods for less than $5). A few days later we shopped at another supermarket. Yokes had Angus beef T-bones at $5.99 a pound and magnums (1.5L) of Sutter Home Cab for $8.99 (normal retail is $12). Both were deals we couldn’t pass up.”

Food Affinity: “Pork chops and T-Bones having already been established, we’ll propose medium-rare ground sirloin, accompanied by corn on the cob or thick onion slices—all grilled over charcoal.”

 

Editor’s Note: Wines reviewed in Taste California Travel are encountered by our staff in several ways. They can be discovered at trade tastings or visits to wineries. They may also be purchased by staff members for their own tables or be those sent by wineries for possible review. This is an editorial feature, not advertising, and appearance cannot be secured by payment. More information can be had by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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