Tag Archives: wine blogger

Substance Cabernet Sauvignon

Cost: Average price $18

Where buy now: Byerly’s Ridgedale, Saint Anthony Municipal Liquors

Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Columbia Valley, Washington

Vintage: 2013

Substance Cabernet Sauvignon is darkly opaque yet silky smooth. Like luscious berry, lightly oaky and toasty tobacco, it’s rich; not like old money rich, more like new money rich.
Substance Cabernet Sauvignon – Wines of Substance

Substance Cabernet Sauvignon is a Charles Smith creation produced and bottled by something called “Wines of Substance” in Washington’s Columbia Valley. I have reviewed some of his other [value] wines such as Kung Fu Girl and Boom Boom Syrah. I’ve been a fan of those so it stands to reason for about five bucks more, I’d be enchanted with this Savvy Wine “wallet-buster”.

You guessed it, this wine tips the scales around $16.99 so, by definition, I must label it a Savvy Lush “Snob” wine of the month. That said, between HBO Now, several ill-advised Amazon.com purchases, and ACL surgery for my dog, I’m pretty broke- yet I’ve splurged on this baby six times. (That’s half a case for you scoring at home.)

Plain and simple, this is divinely flavorsome Washington State wine. Substance Cabernet Sauvignon by Charles Smith is darkly opaque yet silky smooth. Like luscious berry, lightly oaky and toasty tobacco, it’s rich; not like old money rich, more like new money rich. It’s so yummy it just begs to be drunk unaccompanied. Don’t cloud it with succulent grilled meat stuffs before drinking it naked. Set aside 15 – 20 minutes, pour yourself a generous glass and enjoy it.

Some things are worth your time and money. Thank me later for my diligent research, as this is easily worth the investment.

Portada Rosé

Cost: Average price $8-9

Where buy now: Zipp’s Liquors

Grapes: Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Tinta Roriz. (Portuguese word for Tempranillo)

Region: Portugal

Vintage: 2014

Portada Rose
Portada Rose

Gah! It’s $7.99! I drank my first bottle in one sitting!


This Rosé is a blend of frolicking grapes that must have been BFFs growing up. Combined they create an easy drinking, refreshing beverage. It’s dynamic but soft; sensual yet practical. [Perhaps this Princess has finally found her Portuguese Prince?]. Okay so this wine isn’t technically a “Red Wine of the Week” being pink and all. However, it’s made from red grapes, so that’s good enough for me.


I should have just bought a case of the Portada Rosé. But no, I’m an asshole who likes to waste time by going back and forth to the liquor store on a daily basis. You know the people who claim their coffee barista knows both their name and beverage du jour? Yep, that’s my relationship with the liquor store sales clerks.  The only thing missing is my name on the paper bag.


Let me save you the trouble, buy this wine by the case, seriously. Pour yourself a glass and inhale the aromas of apple and strawberry engulfed in Portuguese minerality.  This stunner is _thee_ Rose of the summer (aka TROTS), as deemed by me, Thee Savvy Lush.


I just love it.


The Renegade Wine Company Red Wine

Cost: Average price $12

Where buy now: Zipp’s Liquors, South Lyndale Liquors

Grapes: 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec, and 2% Petit Verdot

Region: Columbia Valley, WA

Vintage: 2012

The Renegade Wine Company Red Wine
The Renegade Wine Company Red Wine

Renegade Wine Company, a value brand produced by Sleight of Hand Cellars, is a label made for the savviest of all wine lushes. From their website, “Sleight of Hand Cellars has two basic goals in its vision statement: to make world class wines and to have fun while doing it.” Since I like world class wine, and having fun while doing it, how could I refuse?

A big time score for us cost-conscious drinkers, I first had Renegade Wine Company’s 2013 Rosé, which I adored! Sadly, it appears our market did not receive the 2014, which is a huge bummer. If you do happen to see it in a store, swipe it up — just don’t tell me about it (unless you’re planning to share… With no one else but ME!).

So, I’m moping around the store like a spoiled, First World, teenager who just cracked the screen on her Apple Watch. Since I couldn’t find the Rosé, I settled for their Renegade Wine Company’s Red Blend instead. I didn’t drink this bottle right away. In fact, since I thought it to be such a consolation prize, I just threw it in my wine rack figuring I’d run out of bottles at some point and try it.

Fast forward five days, a cooler than expected evening had me craving a red wine. Hmmmph, I _guess_ I’ll open this… red… blend.

What?!? This vino is delicious! Could it be that my low expectations going into it are skewing my perception? Perhaps, but there is only one scientific way to find out – back to the lab. And? Long story long: I bought the Renegade Wine Co.’s Red Wine again and it still drinks like a dream. A beautiful, splendid red blended wine dream.

Renegade Wine Co.’s Red Wine is Washington’s answer to a Bordeaux Blend. Let me explain. It is Cabernet dominated followed by Merlot. This one-two punch gives the wine it’s main structure: dark red fruit with hints of cocoa and tobacco. The depth of flavor is livened up by the addition of Cab Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. These aid in it’s deeper dark color, hints of blueberry and coffee along with it’s moderate acidity. All in all, it’s a palate pleaser for everyone.

My dear friends, I deem this another bargain gem, my red wine of the week. Coming in around $12, we’ll gladly have these folks make world class wine, and we’ll have fun while doing it.