I won’t lie, I bought this wine because of the label.
Delicate silver lines depicting a crest-like symbol encircle big
block letters reading “C.M.S.” It’s pretty — makes me think of
French royalty and thus by drinking the wine I feel noble purely by
I’d seen the wine at Costco — that’s where the label first
caught my eye — but I didn’t buy it. Then one night I popped into
Safeway to grab a pizza. Of course I got sidetracked in the wine
There again was the beautiful label staring at me with a sale
sticker — the $15 bottle of wine was now $11. A Hedges Family Estate blend, I
knew we wouldn’t be disappointed. I grabbed a bottle and hurried on
my way home to my hungry husband.
Until my 30th birthday earlier this year, I didn’t know C.M.S.
is the abbreviation for grapes used in the wine blend. (Yes I’m a
rookie). I ordered a bottle of the Hedges C.M.S. white for my
birthday, and started reading the label — it too was intricately
beautiful like the red blend label. That’s when I realized C.M.S.
stood for “Chardonnay, Marsanne, Sauvignon Blanc.” (Picture a light
bulb igniting as I had this epiphany).
For the red blend, C.M.S. stands for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot,
We had the wine with our Safeway pizza. I’m not sure I liked the
two together — the sauce did something funky to the finish. But I
had a second glass after dinner and loved the wine alone. I had
another glass a couple nights later while cooking and it was still
The grapes are sourced from the Columbia Valley AVA. The wine
has fruity hints of the Syrah upfront that are balanced by the
minerality of the Merlot and the weight of the Cab.
Here’s what the Hedges family has to say about the wine:
CMS Red, Washington State’s original blended red wine, has
been produced and bottled by the estate since 1987. Consistently
recognized as one of the best values in Washington State, CMS Red
combines elegance and historic blending practices with top quality
vineyard sources in the Columbia Valley. A style consistent with
classic northern latitude wine growing, the CMS Red is known for a
more Columbia Valley AVA regionally driven style, giving way to
purity and structure over modernity.
I give this wine two thumbs up — it’s going on my list of wines
to drink on a regular basis.
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