Red Wine Lover? Sainsbury’s Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon (Valle Central) - Product Review

Are you a bit of a wino? Don’t worry: you can tell me, and it’ll be just our little secret. I won’t tell a soul! Just to start you off, I’ll admit to being totally all about the wine myself when it comes to choosing a tipple on the weekend, after a hard working week.

But what wine to choose? It can be harder or easier to make a decision, depending on what your requirements are. For me, I’m usually looking for something that won’t bust my budget. (And my budget is very modest, so that really means something under four quid, which limits the available options quite drastically, especially since an increase in VAT on alcohol has sent prices zooming in general.)

Also, for preference, I’m always looking for a vegan-friendly wine. Although I’m not vegan myself, my partner is, and it’s nice for him to be able to share a glass of the water of life with me. (Although perhaps even nicer for me to be able to glug it all down by myself. Just kidding!) This is a cool thing about wine from Sainsbury’s: their own-brand stuff tends to have explicit labelling clearly identifying a wine, whether it be vegan, vegetarian or otherwise.



Now, I know what you’re thinking: How on earth can wine not be vegan, anyway? Isn’t it basically just fermented grape juice, and, some foot pressing, and, er, yeast or something? Well, I will spare you the truly gruesome details, but let us just say that some wine’s production may, at some point, involve fish parts. Trust me, that’s as much as you want to know.


Even if there’s no fishiness involved in the making of your favourite bottle of vino, it may still only be vegetarian rather than vegan. Yes, milk products are utilised in the manufacture of some wines! Really, the mind boggles. I expect to find milk in my cuppa char, not in my wine glass. However, ours not to reason why…


So if you’re looking for a red wine as your tipple tonight, how does Sainsbury’s Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon (Valle Central) stand up? Well, at around £3.69 a bottle (give or take a few pence as prices vary over time), it certainly passes the budget test! Unfortunately the label doesn’t indicate that the wine is suitable for vegans, nor does it feature on the awesome Barnivore website (which provides some very handy information for those of us with a keen interest in this subject).


Other than price and animal ingredients, what is there to say about this wine? It has a proof percentage of 12.5 per cent, has a pretty label and bottle (hey, I’m a non-wine-buff girlie, I notice), and is corked rather than screw-top. According to the label, its aromas and flavours include blackcurrant and spice, it is suitable for serving with meaty or cheesy dishes and it is ‘smooth’ – ‘mellow’, even! I don’t know about you, but I tend to take label descriptions with a whole boatload of salt. I personally found it a little harsh (but not unreasonably so given the bargain price), but certainly not vinegar and fine to knock back after a harsh Friday! I’ll give it seven out of ten on my personal scale – go get a bottle now!

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