Even the Birds are angry about this one
Even the birds in this house are angry about this one

Cud-de-Sac Cabernet Sauvignon
California | Cul-de-Sac Wine Company.
I had a good laugh when I saw this one at Vineyard Wine Market. At first glance it looks like a French wine. Then it soaks in that the French on the label is Cul-De-Sac. The price was in the $3 range. I’m not sure what the exact cost was because I can’t find the detailed receipt. Based on the taste $3 something is about right.
I had to laugh when I thought of the only Cul-de-sac joke I know. When I was a photo-intern at the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot there was an ex-Navy photographer named Shelby Horatio Ringo aka Rocket Ringo. He earned the nickname after shooting off the ship like a rocket when granted shore leave. You could always count on him for two things: A constantly lit cigar (he said he started smoking cigars when he was serving on aircraft carriers in the Pacific during World War II. He said they kept his nose warm while on watch). The other fixture was a quick wit and a joke. “Did you hear about the Marine who thought cul-de-sac meant you had to send your girlfriend home.”
So tonight while cooking dinner, and waiting for the Apple Store to call about a Mini they are supposed to fix… they didn’t call … I opened the Cul-De-Sac. Immediately Mrs. Dan turned up her nose. “Koolaid.”
This wine has no vintage marked. It’s also the first time I’ve seen a return deposit marked on a wine bottle. If I haul this bottle to Maine I can get 15 cents or 5 cents from Iowa. I did a Google search and couldn’t find much more than a reference on one of wine sale sites and that didn’t even have a price.
This wine does not taste like a Cabernet Sauvignon or what I would recognize as a Cab. I would be willing to bet this is a blend which I’m free to say since the bottle has no indication. Whatever it’s blended with it’s a sweet grape. This wine has “Bronco Wine Company” written all over it. Funky shaped bottle, no vintage and a nebulous address of “Livermore and Ripon, CA.” Those towns are 40 mile apart.
The front label is kinda cute with a message “Friendship. Laughter, Skinned knees. Badminton on the lawn. BBQ on the deck. At Cu-de-Sac Wine Company, we raise a glass to good neighbors and good wines. “So on the front label they are “Cul-de-Sac Wine Company.” On the back label they are the “Cul-de-Sac Winery.”
Mrs. Dan poured what was left in her glass into mine and pulled out what was left of a bottle of Little Roo.
I waited a couple of hours after the first taste to see if the taste changes after breathing a bit. Instead of being sweet from start to finish the start is a bit more like a cab, some fruit, a hint of structure then it has a sweet finish. I taste cherries, but not dark cherries like most wines more like cherry Jello.
I tried it with some Irish Skellig cheese and it didn’t affect the flavor at all. I can’t say I love this wine but considering Mrs. Dan won’t drink it again I don’t think this one is a keeper. But on the bright side I spent less than $4 on this wine.
Cost: $3.99 or there abouts
Score: 2 Corks
Dan’s Rating System:
1 Cork: Don’t add it to the vinegar pot. You don’t want to make your mother go “yuck.”
2 Corks: Good for a one night stand but check your pockets before you leave.
3 Corks: Wish you had bought more than one.



  1. Picked up a bottle of this a few days ago. It’s not what you might call “good”, but I’ve paid a lot more for wines that are a lot worse. I’d give it a “not as bad as you would expect”.

  2. kingsmommy2013 Reply

    Although I have not purchased the Cab, I have purchased the Sweet Red and Sangria. They were not bad at all. As the previous post stated, I have tasted more expensive wines that were a lot worse.

    • Jason Marquez Reply

      Decent taste for the price point. Keep some on hand for those friends who think they know wine but don’t know shit!

  3. Not a great wine, but I’ve had worse that cost a lot more. I think that it is a variatal grape wine rather than a Cab. The Cab is drinkable, and I would not hesitate to use it as a cooking wine. I found it in Houston for less than 3 bucks.

    • Bottle Report Reply

      What’s up with this wine. I’ve had more comments from this wicked stuff that any other wine I’ve reviewed.

  4. This is just about the only wine that we buy now. I really cannot afford to drop 8-10 per bottle when we and the neighbors tend to suck down a lot of wine. Yes, they don’t taste like typical cabs or chardonnays, but I’ve paid so much more for some that are significantly worse. But, one of the biggest differences between this and any other “cheap” wine is that there is no hangover issue.

    • Bottle Report Reply

      I find it odd that this one wine has received more comments than any I’ve reviewed lately. Hmmm. I wonder why? 🙂

      • You keep seeing positive comments because it really is a decent wine at a fantastic price. I got this one at Central Market in Dallas on a whim I occasionally have to buy a really cheap wine to see how bad it can be. I was pleasantly surprised and went back for more. Talking at CM with the wine lady, I told her how much I enjoyed it. She agreed and said she bought 10 cases to serve at her daughter’s wedding, but served it in carafes so that people wouldn’t see the label. She said many people commented on, and asked about the wine. Not bad for $4. I can’t spend $20/night on wine.

  5. TxGitSlinger Reply

    It’s ’cause it’s so got dam cheap and you expect it to be worse than Boones Farm. When the wine is drunk, you’re pleasantly surprised it doesn’t completely blow. At 2.98 a bottle it goes down just fine some leftover lasagna at 2:30 am!

  6. Not a great wine. But not a bad one either. For 3 bucks I’m not complaining.
    I got the white zin. I look forward to a Moscato or Riesling

  7. No, It’s not Bronco Wine Company – it’s Wine Group – the fine folks who bring you Franzia bag in a box. At least the Bronco wines are vintage dated and somewhat varietally correct. I think that’s why the Charles Shaw wines have some traction. This one is awful.

      • you get paid to tell us that $3 wine is swill, so who’s calling whom what?

        • Bottle Report Reply

          That is the funniest thing I’ve heard all day. Thank you for that comment.

  8. My wife and I recently visited Asheville NC where she found this very wine, on sale at a Ingles, at 3 bottles for 10.00. She loves it. I found your review while searching where I could by it in middle Tennessee. Nope, no one paid me to comment but I’m doing so since you found it odd people were commenting so much on a cheap wine. If you like it, you like it.

  9. Your reviewer doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Yes, this unvintaged wine is young yet, but ferchrissake, give it a little time. I declare that this IS a Cabernet Sauvignon, and after taste-testing a bottle on 8 or 9 people in New Hampshire where I was playing at a blues festival, I stopped at the liquor store in Peavine Tennessee and bought a case. Probably should have bought more.
    I am partners in a small restaurant here in Mississippi, and besides the price which is insanely low (I don’t know how Cul De Sac can afford to sell or ship it at this price), the taste and finish, and the potential in 3-4 years, are urging me to spring for a dozen cases. Who needs Mouton Rothschild or Chateau Leoville de Las Cases? Snobs, I guess. The most expensive wines I regularly buy are Barolo vintages from Italy, and once a year a Barsac (French dessert wine) for special occasions.
    I also bought a bottle of the Merlot when I first stopped in at Peavine (I buy my {legal} moonshine at this store also), and I will say that it is even younger for what it is than the Cabernet. But both varieties benefit by being opened and allowed to breathe. Young wines generally do. Both these wines are going to calm down nicely, with patience.
    Cul de Sac, for you non-Francophones, means “bottom of the bag.” I commend the company for its humor, but neither the Cabernet nor the Merlot belong there.

    • Bottle Report Reply

      Actually I would be offended if you accused me of knowing what I’m talking about. The challenge with cheap wines is that sometimes there they don’t receive the same care that more expensive wines. It hits 99 degrees here in June and stays that way until the end of September. Most of the distributors in our area use refrigerated trucks to deliver their goods but I’ve seen a few that done. Who knows how long it might sit in the grocery warehouse under not perfect conditions. I’m glad you found a good bottle. I love good cheap wine. This was also one of those one-time wines that I haven’t seen since. And who is to say how much the vintages change. Next time I see some I’ll try it again under your recommendation. Besides, at that price what do I have to lose. Cheers.

  10. Tried the Pinot Grigio and the Muscato, both were good!
    Better than mant more expensive wines in both categories.
    As a grandmother, with years od wine tasting, would buy these again.
    Have not yet tried to read, but will .

  11. I have been a connoisseur of fine wines for many years and I can attest that after purchasing and consuming over 20 cases of their Merlot, I have yet to find a match in the $12 to $15 range.

  12. SuperGoddess Reply

    Just bought the Pinot Grigio at 6.99 to add to a Fall Sangria. Wish me luck.

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