My parents once told me that when I was just a tiny boy, they loaded me up in the back of their 1975 Honda Civic (which was bright orange, just so you can get a visual) and drove me across the country. Maybe it was one trip, or maybe it was several, but I’ve pieced together enough to know that in my infancy I got to visit some pretty awesome places, including Alaska, Baja, and Washington’s Columbia Valley, home to the Columbia Crest winery. Though I have no recollection of it, my parents and others have assured me that it is a stunningly beautiful place, and I quietly harbor hopes of seeing it for myself someday.
The other night, our neighbors brought this bottle over to share, and I was reminded of how much I like this wine. (I once tipped my hairdresser with this bottle, come to think of it.) Cabernet Sauvignon in the under $10 category can often be downright difficult to swallow, but Columbia Crest has produced an easy-drinking Cab that offers notes of dark fruit and mild spices. Not overly big, not overly bold, it isn’t a wine you have to think about, but rather, one that pairs well with conversation on a weeknight. I’d go as far as to call it food wine, after pairing it with charcuterie the other night. If you’re looking for a mind-blower, this isn’t it (check out CC’s reserve wines if you need that), but as daily-drinkers go, in my opinion it’s one of the best.
A friend on Vivino told me this bottle was on sale at Trader Joe’s for $7 not long ago, and I think it usually goes for $9-$10 USD, making it quite possibly the best QPR on a Washington Cabernet I’ve ever had. 89 points on my scale, and recommended.