We tried a few popular and widely-available Columbia Valley-sourced bottles from Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia Crest Grand Estates (both part of the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates collective). You can usually find Columbia Crest for around $10, whereas the Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley wines are closer to $14. But are the extra few dollars worth it?
'Cabernet Sauvignon' on Serious Eats
My brother is something of a serious outdoorsman. And though he's happy to go camping with just a tarp (who needs tents?) and toothbrush, he's also been known to jazz it up a bit, tucking a bottle of wine in his frame pack, despite the long hike ahead.
I've seen every season of the Bachelor, from the first limo filled with squealing girls to the last sponsored diamond ring. But this year, I'm watching the show for all the right reasons. Because I think I could see myself falling for Ben. We're, you know, on a journey, and I know the process works, and I'm not here to make friends. So what's-her-butt can just back off. Why am I so sure of this connection, when we've only known each other, well, a minute or two less than he's known the other 16 girls he's dating? Because Ben The Bachelor is a winemaker.
We weren't wild Costco's house brand Champagne, but we were curious about the less expensive options in the Kirkland wine line, so we picked up the Kirkland Signature Napa Cabernet, which sells for $12.89, and their $8.99 Sonoma Chardonnay. Did these cheaper bottles fare better than the Champagne?
This week, we're tasting Cabernet Sauvignon, one of the most widely produced red wines in the world. While it's grown in just about every region where you'll find a vineyard, we limited our selections to California (Napa and Sonoma), France (Langeudoc Roussillon), Washington (Horse Heaven Hills), and Argentina (Mendoza). What did we like? What did you like? Come chat Cabernet!
Last week, we kicked off the Serious Eats Amateur Wine Taste-Along with Chardonnay; this week, we're crossing over to reds and giving Cabernet Sauvignon a go. If you only learn about a handful of red wine grapes, this should be at the top of your list; it's one of the most widely planted grapes in the world. Come learn and taste (and drink) with us!
If you're planning to cook prime rib for Christmas, our Food Lab master, Kenji, has you covered. But here are a few wine picks to complete your festive meal.
There is a price to pay for eclecticism: you can forget to drink the six grapes that provide the backbone for wine production throughout the world. These six "noble grapes"--Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir--have been cultivated all over the world and been made into distinguished, even legendary wines.