10/24/07 – Inexpensive Cabernet Sauvignon

By Jesse on October 22, 2007


About 86% of you missed an awesome tasting this weekend at Moe’s in Brentwood. Five of us tried a decent flight of wines for ten bucks each, including the delicious Stickleback white and Stickleback red from Australia. Both were blends, both were delicious, and both were on sale — for $7.99 a piece! (As an aside, about 97% of you missed an awesome tasting at Vendome of Studio City afterwards. Emily and I tasted about eight different wines, a couple of which weren’t part of the regular flight and were instead bought by customers a la our De La Montanya experience — including a freakin’ $165 bottle of 1964 Madeira that one of the regulars just randomly decided to share with us! Oldest wine I’ve ever tasted by far. Oh, and Emily totally got hit on by that Joseph Drouhin rep that always hits on people. Good times.)

Back to the Moe’s tasting — we were so inspired by the Stickleback that we decided to devote this week’s tasting entirely to inexpensive Cabernet Sauvignon ($15 or less). This can be a challenge, since good Cab tends to be expensive, so I implore you, please, not to just grab a bottle of Meridian at Ralph’s on the way here. If you actually do a little legwork, you will find some good bottles. Go to your favorite wine shop and present the challenge to your regular salesman: “I need you to sell me a quality bottle of Cabernet for fifteen dollars or less.” Every wine dealer likes to be tested now and then.

Feel free to bring any Cab you want, from anywhere in the world, including blends. Here’s some info about Cabernet Sauvignon…

Cabernet Sauvignon is often considered the “king of grapes.” The genetic offspring of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, it is best known for providing the legendary structure and body to the world-class reds of France’s Bordeaux region. Subsequently, it has found great success in the New World as well, and Cabernet is grown in almost all of the world’s major wine regions. It has surpassed Zinfandel as the most widely-planted grape in California; a red that loves warmth, it thrives in the Napa Valley and warmer AVAs in Sonoma such as the Alexander Valley. Cabernet does quite well in Washington State, where the Bible says they’re “infused with the primal, lush berryness of Northwest blackberries, boysenberries, raspberries and cherries,” and “at once supple and seamless.” It’s also well-made in Australia; Cabernet “was the first red to put Australia on the map back in the ’60s, before those crikey bastards had really figured out what they were doing with Shiraz” (quoted from a previous e-mail I wrote you). In Australia, in fact, Cabernet is sometimes blended with Shiraz… they’re a strange bunch of alkies down there. Finally, it’s big in Chile and Argentina. It’s also big in South Africa, but we didn’t seem to like those South African wines, did we? That seems to be the Young Winos sole across-the-board prejudice.

This week we’re at Noah and Sasha’s family pad over in Santa Monica. Pregame at Father’s Office beforehand. Bring a delicious bottle of Cabernet — into which you put much thought and effort — or a $10 donation, and we’ll see you on Wednesday night at 9:00.