’Tis a bargain, indeed

This one earned a half glass.The Tisdale Wineries’ Cabernet Sauvignon of California is pretty good right out of the bottle, and better once it breathes a bit. In fact “pretty good” — especially on sale for $3.99 — is an excellent description of this middle-of-the-road vino from Modesto. After all, you can’t spell Modesto without “modest.”

The first sniff of this dark cranberry colored cab is fruity, heavy with blackberry and plum, but the taste is mild. This is no sweet red, nor does Tisdale bear the spice of its more full-bodied cousins. It’s like the ordinary bird resting in the unremarkable tree on the label: pleasant and unassuming.

Tisdale Cabernet SauvignonDeb bought this bottle at Smith’s Food and Drug on a recent trip to her parents’ place, and that seems like just the right place to pick it up. This is an unpretentious, everyday wine that will come in handy for numerous situations.

The nervous (and broke) young beau trying to impress his date with a home-cooked meal will do well to pick up a bottle while cruising the grocer’s deli for a precooked pot roast and mashed potatoes. It’s an ideal starting point for mulled holiday wine or a girl’s-night-in sangria.

Keep some on-hand for that dinner party where one of the attendees always invites himself to the wine rack after the main course. It makes a good second (or third) bottle for those “sit at home after the breakup” nights, after the Häagen-Dazs is gone and before the second Lifetime movie begins.

Like the label says: “Life is full of quality experiences.” Well, it can be full of suck, too, and long stretches of soul-crushing boredom. Fortunately, this wine won’t bring memories of either. It’s more like a nice quiet evening on the patio, with a good book and a minimum of flying insects.

In our view, that’s pretty good.

Aromatique: Ripe plums and sweet berries that mellow as the wine rests.

SipQuips: Medium-bodied, not too sweet, very smooth finish.

Kitchen couplings: Leftover spaghetti, garlic bread, deli pot roast and mashed potatoes.

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