2016 The Walking Dead Cabernet Sauvignon, California (Alcohol 13.5%, Residual Sugar 13g/L) LCBO $24.95 (750ml bottle)

I lasted until around halfway through season four of the television series The Walking Dead; Rick et al. just got a little too much for me.

I barely got further than one glass of this insipid concoction; I seriously wonder who enjoys wine like this?

Admittedly taking swipes at a mid-priced Californian Cab licensed to a zombie apocalypse TV show is pretty low hanging fruit for the wine critic, but I would like to draw your attention to just how crap this is so as you don’t make the mistake of picking some up even as a novelty gift for an avid fan of the show.

On the plus side, the label’s gimmicky augmented reality feature kept my four year old son amused for a little while. With the aid of an app the label comes to life and a slow zombie breaks through the bottle, attacking your phone and eventually “smashing” the screen. Admittedly he did think it was pretty cool… but as I mentioned, he’s four years old, and even he was back to his drawing after a couple of minutes.

One has to wonder how much of the producer’s cost of this wine went into both the Walking Dead licensing and the augmented reality component, as the liquid contained within this bottle is utter muck…. seriously bottom-of-the-barrel stuff.

The bouquet appears been concocted in a 1980s high school chemistry laboratory, and bears little to no resemblance to the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes reportedly utilised to make this wine; it’s like a dollar store Halloween candy aromatic nightmare. In the mouth the sickly sweet, cheap/reject candy profile continues, but this time it works in parallel with a disgusting heave-inducing bitter component that is strangely reminiscent of hastily chugging way too much cough syrup from the bottle in the middle of the night when you are half asleep and cannot locate the measuring cup. We’ve all been there… admit it.

The tannins have been managed to within an inch of their lives, and are basically non existent by design. The same can be said for any notable acidity, completely MIA, leaving the wine remarkably flat and lifeless. Which leads us to the sugar content… What is it with all this bloody sweetness? This wine comes in at 3g of residual sugar more than the current version of Meomi Pinot Noir. 13g per litre! Good lord. I had to brush my teeth right after that first and last glass.

In short, this wine is decidedly sub-par plonk that isn’t even enjoyable to greedily guzzle whilst binge watching The Walking Dead, but as the old adage goes, there’s a sucker born every minute.

Don’t be that sucker.

(Zero apples out of a possible five, even with the augmented reality gimmick)

Jamie Drummond

Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And… just no.