LCBO Sale Pick of the Week: Dec. 10

Jacob’s Creek 2013 Classic Shiraz Cabernet (Southeastern Australia)

Sale $10.95, Regular $12.95
Discount (until Jan. 3): $2.00
LCBO # 106377 | 750 mL bottle

Tastes like: Seductive, easy-to-love soft plum, blackberry, cassis, mint and earth with a grind of black pepper.
Pairs with: Anything on which you’d put black pepper.
Good for: Ten-buck Secret Santas. (So, who needs to know you splurged?)
Alcohol: 13.9%
Drink: Now!

ClubK. $119 all in. Six delicious wines to put the jingle in your bells.

Why we're drinking this
A less-then-$11 big, bright cab? You kidding? Rolling into holiday season — when you need a combat-ready Shiraz-Cab to lead you into Xmas battle — this baby over-delivers for the price. Jacob’s Creek is a maker of wine at a massive scale — by some accounts, oh, say 78 million bottles a year. (D’oh! Insert Duff’s Beer joke here.) And the creek from whence it got its name may be now a dusty trail (though it is still there). But with roots to the early 1800s, this brand deserves respect. Not least because they pretty much pioneered the smooth-big-red category. It’s the yacht rock of wine. Hey, don’t get me wrong. I love me some Michael McDonald and The Doobies. That stuff goes down easy.

Tasting note
Velvety blackberries with wild strawberry, jammy blueberries, red berries and coffee, with a dry, vanilla/earth finish. Soft? You bet. Super smooth, medium-plus body, the ripest tannins ever, and a nice tip of acidity. There’s a little nerve here, which is nice to have. But still, softness is the groove. Drink up on its own—it’s an ice-breaker of considerable ability. Or serve with stew, snack foods, burgers, pizza, cheesy pastas (lasagna), veal parm, hot dogs, fried eggs with tomatoes and onions, grilled cheese, poutine with beef gravy, tacos, burritos, nachos, cold sandwiches, warm sandwiches, roast red and white meats, osso buco, beef cheeks, steak tartare (or beef carpaccio) and stewed eggplant with tomato sauce. (So, pretty much anything.)

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This week's selection by kwäf Taste Bud Dick Snyder