Sipping with Grace: J. Lohr Cabernet Sauvignon with oyster mushroom Birria tacos

A meal for those looking for a sweet and spicy dish with a savory pairing



This is the J. Lohr Cabernet Sauvignon and the oyster mushroom Birria tacos.

JARED GRACE, Evergreen columnist

The 2020 J. Lohr Cabernet Sauvignon is very bold, with medium tannins and acidity and a low sweetness. With an ABV, or alcohol by volume, of 13.8%, this wine opens with notes of red/black fruits, chocolate and vanilla, finishing with notes of oak.

The composition blend of this wine is comprised of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petite Syrah, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petite Verdot. This allows this particular wine to have a lot of notes characteristic of a Cabernet Sauvignon while combining the bolder aspects of the added grapes like Cab Franc and Syrah.

I think this particular blend works especially well because it keeps the tannins in the intermediary or medium range while allowing that boldness to really take hold of the wine.

I paired this wine with King oyster mushroom Birria tacos. I originally found this recipe from @fitgreenmind on Instagram.

This meal consists of sauteed onions and garlic, as well as oyster mushrooms, tortillas and a Birria sauce.

The butteriness of the mushrooms mitigates the acid and astringency of the wine, but not all the way. This leaves for an acidic, yet fulfilling mouthfeel that gives the pairing as a whole an extra level of flavor intricacy.

The mushrooms, in my opinion, work much better than chicken would; this is because the mushrooms don’t contain quite as much fat as chicken does. The added sauce gives its own fat and acid, making for a more balanced meal and pairing.

The sauce was made with maple syrup and all types of spices, such as paprika, oregano, cumin and cinnamon, making it a great balance between sweet and spicy.

This pairs well with this particular cabernet because of the body. The spiciness of the sauce and the heartiness of the mushrooms is a perfect match for the full-bodied fulfilling wine.

To consume this wine at its best, it is best to serve it at a little below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The best way to achieve this is to open the wine, put it back in the fridge and then take it out after around an hour, giving it time to properly aerate.

This is the oyster mushroom Birria tacos.

Winery: J.Lohr

Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage: 2020

Locations: Paso Robles, California

Price: $16–19

Pairing: Oyster Mushroom Birria Tacos

I would like to emphasize that this column is not a review; my purpose for writing this series is to provide as much information about a wine as I can so that you can find your niche.

If you would like to inquire about anything I have talked about in these columns or recommend wines for me to pair in the future email me at [email protected].

Drink up!