It is time to address the Elephant in the room. McManis California Cabernet.

Woe to the restaurant in London Ontario who dares to omit this beast of a wine from their wine list. So …What’s The Fuss? McManis Cabernet is like a big lollipop. Without getting too carried away with that sucker analogy…as Woody Allen once said (after running away with his adopted daughter) “the heart wants what it wants” and London wants McManis.

Cabernet Sauvignon comes from Bordeaux where it is usually mixed with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. These grapes are fermented separately and blended after every harvest to create some of the most expensive and brilliant red wines in the world. The wines are taunt, supple, complex and very expensive. Sometimes they take decades to reach their peak. The terroirs (soil and climate) of Bordeaux and California are like night and day.  California has a much warmer climate which produces riper grapes whose bigger sugar counts (brix) produce bigger alcohol levels and more explosive wines. McManis therefore is a prime example of a voluptuous, more fruit driven wine-and therefore a real crowd pleaser- especially to those who have an adolescent palate. At the end of the day though if McManis turns your crank all the more power to you….at least you are drinking and enjoying decent wine. 

We all like to laugh….some like slapstick…some like satire.

Interesting though, these days, many winemakers in Napa are attempting to dial it down and capture the essence and character of Bordeaux Cabernet blends. And there is also a parallel push by many young winemakers in Bordeaux to adopt a more American style. If you would like to experience this attempt at a meeting in the middle try this excellent wine for roughly the same price as 

McManis Cabernet Sauvignon 

Kenwood Cabernet Sauvignon LCBO # 468157

 It is a well-structured fragrant red from Sonoma. Ripe cassis, and black cherry, dark chocolate with a dried fruit finish.