Lake Tahoe Drink of the Week: Everhart Cellars’ The American |

Lake Tahoe Drink of the Week: Everhart Cellars’ The American

"The American," a 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon from Everhart Cellars, is only available in limited supply.
Rob Galloway / Lake Tahoe Action

One of the largest components of Tahoe’s nightlife is the mix of countless breweries, bars and restaurants that offer unique drinks difficult to find outside the basin.

In our Drink of the Week segment, we’ll showcase one type of beer, wine, cocktail — you name it — to try around the basin.

While Lake Tahoe doesn’t have any wineries that call Big Blue home, there are more than enough just a short drive down U.S. 50 to fill that void. This week’s drink is a 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon from a local El Dorado County winery: Everhart Cellars.

To talk about this magenta mama, let’s start with the wine cocoon where it builds its flavor before bottling. It’s aged in new American oak barrels and with a name like “The American,” even I could have pulled that one out in the final Jeopardy round.

Needless to say, it’s that wood bath that gives this wine a pleasant aromatic profile for the nose and a deep richness for the taste buds.

If you’re not one for sticking your snout in your wine to smell the flavors, let me help by telling you there are hints of plum and blackberry with a touch of spice. Those flavors carry through to the tasting and it becomes even more complex, opening up dark chocolate and expanding the spice characteristics.

There’s probably more flavors dancing around in here, but dammit, Jim, I’m a drink of the week writer, not a wine sommelier.

The palate has a really balanced acidity, which makes this wine Rob Thomas and Santana smooth. While that song spent 12 weeks at No. 1 on the charts, I’m not sure this wine will last that long. At only 127 cases produced, they may not last through the summer.

At 14.3% ABV, it’s maybe a little higher than your average cab, but it’s not like that’s a bad thing, right?

As a lover of red wines, and a proponent of local county wines, do yourself a favor and check out the region. As Optimus Prime likes to say, there’s more than meets the eye.

Everhart Cellars is located on the West Slope of El Dorado County at 5821 California Route 49 in Pilot Hill, California. For information about their winery and wines, visit them online at or by phone at 530-885-WINE.

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