Posted by: Dallas Lawrence | January 31, 2010

What will $5 get you today? A Very Drinkable 2007 Five Rivers Cabernet.

Poor Abe Lincoln. After all, what does a five spot really get you in today’s economy? A Starbucks quad shot Americano (yes, now everyone knows the secret to my unhealthy morning energy)? One on-demand movie from Verizon?  Two gallons of gas – if you’re lucky?

The truth is, five bucks doesn’t go as far as it used to, and in the wine isle, it usually won’t get you past the boxed wine or the half gallon jug of Gallo.

Given the current state of discount wine these days, the 2007 Five Rivers Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon was a real surprise. After tasting a number of poorly crafted $8 and $9 wines lately, it was refreshing to come across a drinkable everyday California Cab for around $5 (it was on sale at Safeway, down from $8, but it can be found online for around $5). Right out of the bottle the Five Rivers Central Coast Cab, which takes its name from the “five elements which shape the vineyards…Air, Fire, Earth, Time and Water” was a bit tart and definitely tasted all of its very young 2007 vintage. Five minutes later however the wine opened up nicely, and, served at around 50 degrees (just slightly chilled), was quite enjoyable with our margarita pizza and caesar salad dinner. Not a great wine, and not even a really good wine, but a nice surprise for the price.  A tip for those heading to the store: be sure to pick up the “Central Coast” bottling versus the “Paso Robles” Cabernet. Both are enjoyable, but the Paso Robles is about 50% more expensive.

It is rare in today’s discount wine market to find an everyday red for around $5 that actually tastes like a California Cab. The 2007 Five Rivers Central Coast fits the bill.

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