Chateau Ste Michelle * Cold Creek Vineyard* Cabernet Sauvignon* 2012

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One gets a lot of questions working in the wine industry: What do you recommend? What is your favorite wine? How late are you open? Any happy hour specials? Do you carry such-and-such wine? So on my way home last week, I got a call from the Hubs asking what you use to top off a New York Sour. I say usually a Cabernet Sauvignon or what ever red we have open…. Much to my surprise, when I arrived home, he had opened Chateau Ste Michelle 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon.

The best thing about this wine: Tops off a New York Sour exceptionally well
Available at: Corkscrew Wine and Cheese
By the bottle: under $30
Pairs well with: Cocktail hour, heavy meats, pasta with red sauce and an upset wife whose bottle was opened unexpectedly….
Winery Website: www.stemichelle.com

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Chateau Ste Michelle * Cold Creek Vineyard* Cabernet Sauvignon* 2012

Old Soul * Cabernet Sauvignon * 2014 *

Louie came into my life in the spring of 2005. He was a Mini Schnauzer mix. White. The person I got him from gave me strict orders not to “humanize” him. I assured the man I understood a dog’s place in the home. He told me to crate him, not to give human food, train him to be alone for periods of time, and to teach him boundaries. I went home right away and was confident that I knew what I was doing. By night four, after many hours of no sleep and high-pitched crying and midnight snacks of bagels and peanut butter, I grabbed Louie and put him in bed with me and there he stayed happy and quiet night after night for 13 years.

The best thing about this wine: Smooth, easy drinking and pairs with or without food
Available at: Corkscrew Wine and Cheese
By the bottle: $20
Pairs well with: pasta, friends and memories
Winery Web Page: 
https://shoporw.vintegrate.com/old-soul

Check out Heather’s review of the Old Soul Pinot Noir here

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Old Soul * Cabernet Sauvignon * 2014 *

Merisi Glen Oaks Vineyard * Cabernet Sauvignon * 2013

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One of the first lessons I got when I started tasting wine—as opposed to, you know, drinking wine—was that there were no wrong answers. Just because the wine list said you should taste black cherry and cardamom doesn’t mean you will. Sometimes I even find those notes to be a hindrance to testing my own palate, so I generally ignore them, taste the wine myself, and then check to see if I was in the same ballpark. Even if you don’t use the notes, though, what they can do is remind us of the thought that someone else put into what’s in that glass. Every element of the winemaking process results in changes to the flavor profile of that wine, so it makes sense to know what’s influencing the wines you drink.

The best thing about this wine: Smooth, easy drinking, and good with food
Available at: Spirit World
By the bottle: $35
Pairs well with: chicken, beef
Winery Web Page: www.merisiwines.com

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Merisi Glen Oaks Vineyard * Cabernet Sauvignon * 2013

Forefront * Cabernet Sauvignon * 2011

FullSizeRenderThis weekend our lack of food options hit the tipping point. We no longer could stretch not going to the grocery store by pairing random options of whatever food was remaining together and still call it a meal. A lonely bag of baby carrots had survived, and I had decided they would be delicious on the grill for dinner. But simply eating grilled carrots wasn’t going to sustain our Saturday night appetites. At the grocery store grabbing a few grilling items to pair with the carrots, I made my way to the wine section in hopes of finding something new and pleasing. I set my sights on a 2011 Forefront Cabernet Sauvignon and with a quick scan of the label using the Vivno app, I had decided to give it a try.

The best thing about this wine: complex and unique flavors
Available at: Hy-Vee
By the bottle: $9.99
Pairs well with: Beef sirloin (and–of course–carrots)
If you like flavorful Cabernets, try this wine.
Winery Web Page: http://www.forefrontwines.com 

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Forefront * Cabernet Sauvignon * 2011

Gnarly Head * Cabernet Sauvignon * 2015

The intense heat of July in Nebraska has been paired with equally intense levels of work and competing priorities for me. Due to what seems as my increasing lack of time, this review is going to be brief and to the point. When I don’t have much time to be adventurous or browse for a new wine, I have a few go-to reliable picks. Gnarly Head’s Cabernet Sauvignon is one, and it fit nicely with the intensity of the past week.

The best thing about this wine: excellent value; drinkable
Available at: Hy-Vee
By the bottle: $9.99
Pairs well with: just about anything
If you like full-bodied, inexpensive Cabernet Sauvignon try this wine.
Winery Web Page: http://www.gnarlyhead.com
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Gnarly Head * Cabernet Sauvignon * 2015

Hess Select * Cabernet Sauvignon * 2013

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After a long week I simply want to settle in with friends to share a meal and a few drinks, in hopes the camaraderie and conversation creates closure so I can begin the next week anew again.

I brought the Hess Select Cabernet Sauvignon to a Friday neighborhood grill out with friends. Flank steaks were cooked directly on the coals. It was a pairing to be remembered, which was perfect because my work week was one needing to be forgotten.

The best thing about this wine: classic Cabernet flavor
Available at: Wohlner’s Neighborhood Grocery & Deli
By the bottle: $16.99
Pairs well with: steak
If you like deep and dry Cabernet Sauvignon, try this wine.
Winery Web Page: http://www.hesscollection.com

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Hess Select * Cabernet Sauvignon * 2013

Smoking Loon * Cabernet Sauvignon * 2015

Smooking Loon 2015

Sometimes you simply go with what you know.

Smoking Loon takes me back to college, many years ago, when I began developing an affinity for wine. To this day it’s a wine I can rely on when I want an inexpensive bottle at home for a casual drink or with dinner. While some may scoff at the $7.99 price tag and the fact each vintage can come from a different region around the world, I’m satisfied with this wine in a way those favorite childhood food dishes can still satisfy one long into adulthood.

The 2015 is a South American Cabernet. Full-bodied, well-balanced, and extremely fruit forward, this wine contains vibrant flavors. Dark blackberry, oak, vanilla, and spice marinate into an earthy finish. We had this one evening for dinner with a roast made in the slow cooker. It would also pair well with a grilled steak.

The best thing about this wine: Inexpensive
Available at: Hy-Vee
By the bottle: $7.99
Pairs well with: grilled steak, or slow cooked roast
Winery Web Page: http://smokingloon.com

The entire point of drinking wine is finding something you enjoy. For me, Smoking Loon is just that: a wine I love. Because it’s inexpensive. It’s unique (and maybe a little loony). It’s reputation is respectable for only $8.00. It requires no excuse, at least not from me.

Cheers to being “loony”,

TODD

Smoking Loon * Cabernet Sauvignon * 2015