Wine: Joel Gott 815 Cabernet Sauvignon
Region: Napa, California
Retailer: Trader Joe’s
Since Californians are known for our laidback nature, I always found it odd that our most famous wine (aka the California Cab) is a complicated one that smacks you in the face with spice and intensity. Recently, I drank this mellow Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa and finally felt like we had a drink to match our ‘tudes.
On the nose, this wine is sweet cherries and raspberries. It doesn’t have much oak or smoke, which is typical of cabs. Instead it has notes of something sweet like chocolate or vanilla.
At first taste, you get jammy blackberries with a bit of blueberry. This quickly mellows out to a cola-like flavor with a small touch of vanilla on the aftertaste. It’s not a complicated wine but that doesn’t matter because it’s absolutely delicious and everyone seems to love it.
Cabernet Sauvignon famously goes well with meat dishes like grilled flank steak, wine-braised short ribs, lamb chops, or even a cheeseburger. Vegetarians might opt for something packed with umami like a pizza topped with mushrooms or a complex curry dish. If you are serving it with cheese, look for a mild gouda or creamy camembert.
Since it’s such a crowdpleaser, this is a great wine to serve at your next dinner party. The high alcohol level (almost 14%) is also a great way to loosen everyone up and get the party started.