Tag Archives: Cycles Gladiator wine review

Cycles Gladiator

Cost: Average price $5-6

Where buy now: Around town

Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: California

Vintage: 2010

Cycles Gladiator Cabernet Sauvignon

“Never judge a book by its cover,” they always say. Ain’t that the truth? I’m sure we’ve all seen some gorgeous beauty across the room, only to have it ruined when you hear him or her speak, leaving you recoiling in horror. The same holds true for just about everything in life, wine included. Exhibit A: Cycles Gladiator wine. Beautiful Art Nouveau label, flowery copy- surely, if they’ve invested time in creating such beautiful artwork to house their wine, it must be worth the $5 gamble.


My husband stopped at the municipal liquor store [aka “The Muni”] near us and picked this bottle out. When he came home with it, he was so excited for us to try it. Did he find the next great cheap-o red?

I should mention that I love my husband, but I do not love this wine. The biggest disappointment was seeing his zealous face slowly slump in disappointment. I wanted to lie, but alas, that wouldn’t be true to him, myself, nor to all of you.

To clarify, it’s not that I hated this wine- it just didn’t have much personality. I felt a bit duped. When I went to write this review, I initially referred to it as “table wine” (which was a stretch), because I completely forgot that this is technically a Cabernet Sauvignon! You should know when you are drinking a Cab: big, bold flavors of currant, spice and oak with great tannic structure- just begging you to go primal on a rare piece of steak. This Cab is like when you shake a person’s hand and their wrist goes limp, fingers hardly squeezing back. Lackluster. Boring. Meh.

Sad to say, Cycles Gladiator was all show and no go for this Lush. At around $5, I’m deeming this wine as the Skank bottle of the month. Buy it when you’re pert near hammered, and just need something more to take you that next level. Or better yet, just spend a dollar or two more and get something you’ll respect in the morning.