Sassie Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 California

This was an instance of an impulse buy based on packaging, and I admit it freely. While shopping at the Bargain Grocery Outlet in hopes of finding more Ciao Bella Sangiovese, I spotted the distinctive ultra-modern aluminum and plastic 750 ML bottle of Sassie California Cabernet Sauvignon 2006. I figured that for $3.99, it's worth a gamble. Sassie wines is a company started by South African born and raised Denis Sasman of SASSIE International Vintners & Distillers; he's announced plans to import and bottle Italian wine this year, and South African wines next year.

I'm not the only one to be intrigued by the packaging. The winemaker, Sassie Wines, spends more time on their Website explaining the virtues of their bottle than they do talking about their wine. The Sassie PET bottle is aluminum and plastic with a "Stelvin" (read screw-cap) lid. The lining, says Sassie, "preserves wine after opening for up to 2 weeks."

Frankly, even if it's true, I really don't see myself ever wanting to drink anything that's been sitting around, in or out of the fridge, for two weeks. This wine is absolutely no exception. It's not really Cabernet Sauvignon, it's a red wine blend of California Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Tempranello. The grapes came from Paso Robles, California, and the "North Coast," or so says the Website. It's not terrible, but it is noticeably fruit-forward, and there's a noticeable alcohol burn. It's better than Charles Shaw, but not something I'll ever buy again, even though I do see value in "drink it now" wine in a completely recyclable easy-to-open container. But, environmentally friendly or not, I don't see much point in wine that's barely acceptable. That said, I notice that others have enjoyed Sassie's 2007 California Chardonnay, and I might give Sassie another try.