Winking Owl Cabernet Sauvignon

74580$2.69, that’s right a $2.69 California Cabernet Sauvignon. The Winking Owl Cabernet Sauvignon is a non-vintage Aldi’s exclusive, Aldi’s is the parent company of Trader Joe’s and while Bronco Wines produces their low end wine, Charles Shaw (2 Buck Chuck, actually $2.99 in Illinois), Aldi’s bargain wine, Winking Owl, is produced by E & J Gallo. It is sourced from vineyards through out all of California, Gallo is the world’s largest winery and has access to a vast amount of grapes. The back of the bottle mentions flavors of “toasted oak and a hint of vanilla,” which would indicate some sort of oak aging, at $2.69 per bottle, oak barrels are probably out of the question, so oak chips or staves were probably added to the stainless steel aging tanks to give the Cabernet a little extra flavor. Ten years ago I was wary of $10 bottles of wine, you didn’t know what you were going to get, it was very hit or miss, today the average ten buck wine is a solid and enjoyable. Three years ago, I dreaded drinking $5 wine, there were some strange bottles out there, today I can think of 10 $5 bottles that I would recommend to friends. That takes us to the last cheap wine frontier, the $3 and under wines. This Cabernet Sauvignon has an alcohol content of a relatively mild 12%.

The color is cherry red in the center and it gets progressively lighter as it reaches the sides of the glass. The nose is strawberry fruit roll-ups, spearmint chewing gum and a very faint whiff of baking brownies. A very soft wine, there are no hard edges here. It starts off with strawberry and then blueberry, followed by a little non fizzy cola. There is a hint of chocolate and vanilla on the mid palate, with a late dash of sour cranberry. There really isn’t a finish, the main body of the wine goes on for a while then abruptly ends.

See also  Poppy Chardonnay 2013

This really isn’t a Cabernet Sauvignon, if Merlot was on the label you wouldn’t notice any difference. What it is, is a very drinkable, very inexpensive bottle of Red wine. It is slightly on the sweet side and the tannins are missing, so there is not a ton of structure, but it has a nice mix of flavors and no “off” flavor or odd textures. I can think of a couple of $5 wines that are far better wines, so the Winking Owl isn’t a home run, but it would make a very useful party wine. A couple of cases would get the party started for a wedding party on a budget or a backyard anniversary party.

About the Author
Don’t tell anyone, but there is absolutely no correlation between the cost of wine and the quality of wine.

12 comments on “Winking Owl Cabernet Sauvignon

  1. dianne says:

    Where can I purchase Winking Owl wine in Orange CA

  2. english says:

    This is my first time pay a visit at here and i am genuinely impressed
    to read all at one place.

  3. Sandra streets says:

    I discovered winking owl cab a couple years ago. Buying one bottle, I was skeptical. To my surprise, I found it pretty good for under three dollars. I went back to buy several. Working in the resturant business for over thirty years, I’ve tasted and had many wines. Of course, there are better at higher prices, but I’ve had some that have turned bad. I’ve turned friends on to this cab, so for informal parties when you’re on a buget,this is a plus and I’ve never got a headache from it. Once I got a horrible headache from Rothschild … Go figure

  4. Bobby McKnight says:

    Great very drinkable if you’re not into wine that much.

  5. Norma Delgado says:

    Where can I purchase winking owl wine in Orange, Ca.

  6. Domaine Dave says:

    Its an ALDI exclusive

  7. Sandra says:

    where can I purchase Winking Owl Cabernet Sauvignon, in Rochester NY 14624

  8. Domaine Dave says:

    It’s an ALDI exclusive

  9. Tom says:

    I picked up a bottle of this at my local Aldi yesterday thinking that the worst that could happen was that I was 3 bucks poorer. The reviewer nailed this one except for the “This really isn’t a Cabernet Sauvignon” part. It’s different from your typical California Cab, but very much like Washington Columbia Valley Cabs.

  10. FRANK DARIENZO says:


  11. Domaine Dave says:

    It is available only at an ALDI store, I am sure they can get you all you need

  12. chris g tucker says:

    Here in Tampa Florida, we have plenty of ALDI stores. I buy this wine, and also the Merlot from Winking Owl. Both are very good tasting wines, especially for the money.
    I hit the roof once when a 15 dollar bottle did not go down as cleanly as a bottle of this 2.99 wine.

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