Movie & Wine Pairing


The Essentials-Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Lodi, California

Bullitt (1968)

With its dark, brooding fruit and irresistible charm, this California Cabernet Sauvignon pairs perfectly with an all-American steak – and, with Steve McQueen’s cop movie masterpiece, Bullitt. Buckle up for a gripping, fast-paced drama and for a wine with loads of velvety texture and spicy, dark berry flavor. The wine’s finish isn’t quite as long as that famed 10-minute, 53-second car chase, but it’s close. (Charger and Mustang not included of course.)


Just as The Essentials from Turner Classic Movies showcases landmark films that have had a lasting impact on audiences, The Essentials wine range will help you disc over classic examples of the world’s leading grape varieties. The opening release had to be Cabernet Sauvignon – undisputed star of the reds. Thanks to the great connections our California expert has, we were able to secure this delicious find for you, from the excellent 2014 vintage and a leading grape-growing family in Lodi. With its berry-filled, lightly oaky character, it’s delicious with grilled meats and more.


Cabernet is the king of the reds, loved for its deep-colored, black currant-rich wines. Most famously, it’s the variety that powers Bordeaux’s legendary first growths, like Château Lafite and Château Margaux. However, you’ll also find plenty of world-class examples in California. The best known (and expensive) reds come from the Napa Valley and Sonoma, but Lodi (just to the southeast of Napa) is a top place to look for serious flavor and value.


The inland vineyards of Lodi have a grape-growing tradition dating to 1850. While the region's famed for its old-vine Zinfandel (celebrated at the annual ZinFest on Lake Lodi), it’s increasingly known for top-notch Cabs, too. Like Napa, Lodi’s warm summer climate is tempered by occasional morning fog, helping prolong the grapes’ ‘hang time’ on the vine, for extra-concentrated flavors.


With its firm tannins and rich berry character, Cabernet’s a classic partner for beef, from prime cuts of steak to juicy burgers. With its rich, ripe fruit character, this top-vintage red pairs well with a variety of burger ‘fixins,’ from bacon and BBQ sauce to creamy blue cheese and caramelized onion. If meat’s not on the menu, it’ll do just as well with hearty, tomato-sauced pastas.

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