Utah Bites

Bonanza California Cabernet Sauvignon

Bonanza Cabernet Sauvignon is an affordable and versatile multi-vintage red blend to enjoy with pizza, burgers, grilled meats, and meat tacos.


A venerable California institution, the Wagner Family of Wine – currently operated by Chuck, Charlie, and Jenny Wagner – has a long and respected history of making wines in Napa Valley dating back to the 1850s. Some 45 years ago Chuck Wagner founded Caymus Vineyards with his mother and father, Lorna and Charlie Wagner. Today, Chuck, his older son Charlie, and older daughter Jenny are Wagner Family of Wine winemakers responsible for wines such as Mer Soleil Chardonnay, Conundrum, Red Schooner, and Emmolo, among others. 

I recently enjoyed sampling an affordable Wagner Family wine called Bonanza Cabernet Sauvignon ($24.99). Produced by Chuck Wagner, this is a wine that the winemaker describes as “Calling back to a time when good wine with dinner was a simple pleasure.” And he’s spot-in: Bonanza is a very approachable, juicy, easy-drinking Cabernet with fine, smooth tannins, jammy blackberry and blueberry flavors, hints of vanilla and a touch of smoke. It’s not a wine to put away or ponder, but a versatile multi-vintage red blend to enjoy with pizza, burgers, grilled meats, meat tacos and the like. 

According to the Wagners, this wine “reflects the ‘bonanza’ of the great state of California – the discovery of land where delicious Cabernet can be farmed.” I particularly love the picture of Chuck Wagner in a Caymus pickup truck on the back of the bottle.  



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Food writer Ted SchefflerOriginally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.

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