Wine review: Glen Ellen 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Proprietor’s Reserve California

There are days when blind wine tastings (link) slap my ass and call me Sally. Like when a stereotypically derided wine brand like Glen Ellen actually represents well in the glass. It’s not a tempting bottle to reach for from the samples rack on a random weeknight, so blind was the *only* way to assess it without prejudice. And my husband sneaked it into the blind wine tasting mix so I had no choice. But it surprisingly didn’t suck. However, was it a ploy? Was this pretty drinkable $6 red wine actually made by Glen Ellen? It’s like if Steven Seagal made a movie worth seeing. It simply doesn’t happen, right? Well, it did.

Although not particularly complex, this California Cabernet wasn’t too bad for $6 a bottle. It might even give Two Buck Chuck a run for its money. Port-like in concentration and leaning towards the sweet, candied side, this medium-bodied grog  gushed ripe black cherry and raspberry, sported smooth tannins and had a lingering finish of meatiness. Not fantastic, but worth a taste if you’re on the budget. But beware the hangover.

Sweetness: 3 out of 10
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Price: $6
Occasion: Tasted a sample sent from the winery.
Availability: At grocery stores. Also come in the big 1.5 liter jugs.
Food pairing: Pepper crusted red meat, rare burgers, semi-hard cheeses like Manchego.

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