1996 Vin Ordinaire Extraordinaire
by Donald Ray Burger
Attorney at Law

In the self-proclaimed wine event of 1996 I have completed my quest for a great California cabernet sauvignon vin ordinaire to drink on a daily basis for under $10.00 a bottle. Finding an acceptable white wine in this price range is not difficult. However, I longed for an inexpensive red that tasted good. Many bottles later, and just before year end, I came upon success. And the winner is . . .

Coast Ridge Cellars 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon.

Available at Specs for $3.93 per bottle.

This wine has a very pleasant red color, with only the slightest touch of purple. And I mean slight. The red is not deeply hued, but it is perfect for a wine so young.

As one might expect, there is only a slight bouquet here. But there is a bouquet, and it is characterestically cabernet. Clearly, one won't dwell on the bouquet, but there is nothing "off-putting" in it and what is there prepares one for the delight about to hit the tongue.

This wine is nicely balanced in the mouth and has none of the alcoholic harshness one often encounters in California reds in this price range. The tannins pucker the taste buds just enough so you know it is a red, even with your eyes closed.

And the wine has a nice finish that puts a tingle on the sides of your mouth and the inside of your upper lip and a smile on your face.

I like this wine.

And after all of this, one more thing: The wine still tastes good on day two, is acceptable on day three and drinkable on day four, with use of a Vacu Vin. Unbelievable. All this for under $4.00. Don't miss this one.

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