Welcome to Swill or Swell, a weekly series where I taste grocery store wines and let you know if they’re worth the buck or just meant for the drain!
CAVEAT! As you read this, please keep in mind that wine is subjective! This means that everyone enjoys different things and something I like might not be something you like and vice versa. I’ll be as objective as I can with facts about the wine’s quality, but in the end if your opinion differs from mine...that’s perfectly fine! Wine is only worth drinking if YOU like drinking it!
LET'S INTRODUCE THE WINE
Today I'll be tasting the 2018 Canoe Ridge Vineyard Expedition Cabernet Sauvignon. I purchased this from Total Wine for $10.97. My guest today, @claudiamgebhardt, is in Utah where wine can only be sold by state run liquor stores, so we were just happy we found a wine that we both could purchase!
THE EXPEDITION CABERNET SAUVIGNON FUN FACTS
Let's start by talking about the Cabernet Sauvignon grape:
Hearty, thick skinned grape
Characteristics: medium plus body, medium plus tannin, AND medium plus alcohol
Most planted grape in the world
Why? It’s easy to grow!
Now let's talk about the region this wine comes from: Horse Heaven Hills, Washington (WA):
Most of WA’s wine is made in Eastern WA (east of the Cascades)
Cascades act as a barrier to rain, making Eastern WA essentially a desert
The Columbia Valley AVA is where most of WA’s wine grapes are grown. Horse Heaven Hills AVA is within the Columbia Valley in the South-central corner.
Fun Fact: The area takes its name from an early pioneer who said, upon seeing the region and its wide prairies and expanses, ‘‘Surely this is Horse Heaven!”
This region produces 27% of Washington’s total grape production and is the source of five 100-point wines produced in Washington.
Area is among Washington’s warmer growing regions and many vineyards are planted on south-facing slopes, providing for extended sun exposure. This tells me most Cabs from here are likely fruit forward with higher alcohol.
Only six commercial wineries and two tasting rooms here…but over 150 wineries source grapes from here.
WINE TASTING NOTES
Look: Medium garnet with a hint of purple Smell: Grape soda, plum, little bit of smokeyness, blackberry, graphite Taste: High alcohol, medium plus tannin, short finish, medium minus acidity Think: Food Pairing - Fast food burger or red meat dish of some kind, grilled pork chops could work really well. Occasion - When you need a wine to enjoy with your quick, cheap fast food burger! It's easy drinking and simple enough to work with your Shake Shack burger. Rating - Flavor was a bit dull and it was flabby in texture...I was expecting more from this WA Cabernet so it gets a swill.
Want to learn more? Check out my Instagram every Thursday at 5PM PST for a new episode of Swill or Swell! Have a wine you’d like me to taste? Write your request in the comments below or send me a message on Instagram!