The first review for California Wine Country Jerky will focus on a 4 ounce/113 gram bag of their Cabernet flavored beef jerky. Their jerky is advertised as being naturally smoked for a unique West Coast flavor. This bag was kindly submitted for review by the owner, Glenn Loehr.
This California Wine Country Jerky brand is distributed by GJ Products. They are located in Clackamas, Oregon, and this jerky brand was launched in 2014. The parent jerky brand, Northwest Bierhaus, also carries Oregon and Washington Country Wine Jerky brands. Their jerky is thick cut with a soft and tender texture, and is marinated in wine or beer. It is advertised to use only natural ingredients, which is true.
The beef used is guaranteed to be ethically raised, meaning free of growth hormones or additional antibiotics. There is no guarantee that the cattle have at least partial free range access to graze on grass. As a result, the highest ingredient rating that can be awarded is a Very Good (9/10) rating.
The sugar level is respectable at only 2 grams of sugar per 30 grams of jerky. The salt level is high at 420mg of salt per 30 grams of jerky. However, that is negated because Northwest sea salt is used, which is high on minerals and trace minerals.
These strips of jerky are mostly traditionally shaped, being narrow and long. As advertised, this jerky does qualify to be thick cut. This jerky does have a soft & tender texture, which is easy to chew despite the thickness. There are almost no signs of fat, and handling this jerky leaves a light oily residue on your fingers.
The first main taste detected is really the beef itself. With only a light sweetness, you get a great deal of beef flavor here. For whatever reason, this beef is tastier compared to most other jerky makers. The saltiness is at a mild level. A mild onion flavor, and a light level of garlic compliment the overall flavor nicely.
As for the Cabernet “Cab”, it starts at a light level. As you consume more strips, the wine flavor intensifies. It does not much exceed a mild level, but still gives you the experience of drinking red wine if you eat enough. To top it off, there is an interesting smoked flavor in the background.
This narrow, clear plastic bag is not resealable, which is uncommon for a 4 ounce/113 gram bag. Worth noting is that this bag is vacuum sealed, the best way to keep jerky fresh. There is one label affixed to the front, and nothing on the back. There is a drawing of California wine country on the label.
Their slogan is “Made with California Wines”. The blurb displayed is “Hand-Crafted Beef Jerky Marinated in California Wines, Naturally Smoked for a Unique West Coast Flavor”.
There are a few bag categories missing such as allergen alerts, and the bag not being resealable.
Order their jerky online: www.northwestbierhausjerky.com