kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits & lifestyle writer / wine educator

703.203.9463

Wine in the Sack

When I'm in the mood for a red wine, I rarely turn to Cabernet. It's not that I have anything against the grape, it's just that my taste tends to turn to other big reds, like Shiraz, Malbec or Zinfandel.

But a few weeks ago, I bought a bottle of Wine in the Sack 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon for 3 reasons: the wine clerk highly recommended it; the price was cheap enough ($10) to make me want to give it a shot; and the packaging and name were just too clever to pass up.

You see, the wine does come in a sack, (but of course you also can't overlook the double entendre...) Wine in the Sack is made in Chile's Colchagua Valley (value wine lovers, take note--there are great Merlots, Cabs and Carmeneres coming from here), and after glass bottles became the preferred vessel for wine back in the 1700's, winemakers starting wrapping bottles in burlap to protect against breakage. Today, it's a great marketing gimmick and conversation piece.

So how was the wine? Not bad for a Cab in that price range. Chewy but approachable tannins, dark cherry and plum flavors, and a bit of bitter chocolate on the finish. Great with a flank steak on the grill, or with perhaps the last beef stew of the season.