The next review for California Wine Country Jerky will focus on a 4 ounce/113 gram bag of their Hot 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.
Ingredients: Beef, Wine, Brown Sugar, Soy Sauce (Water, Wheat, Soybeans, Salt), Salt, Garlic, Onion, Cayenne Pepper, Black Pepper, Red Chili Flake, Celery Powder. Allergen Warnings: Soy, Wheat
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 only liquids used in the marinade are a decent soy sauce, and Cabernet. Wine is known to be healthy if consumed in moderation.
Healthy vegetables garlic and onion are used. Black pepper is used, which some people call The King of Spices. The heat is achieved from cayenne pepper and red chili flakes, which are healthy if eaten in moderation.
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.
This jerky does qualify to have no sodium nitrite, or any other similar unhealthy preservatives. Instead, the main preservative used is sea salt. Admirably, there is also no MSG added.
Very Good (9/10) – Ingredient Rating
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.
Immediately it is apparent that this jerky is quite flavorful. There is a mild level of cabernet, which has a dry, earthy type of taste. Other flavors that blend in well are light levels of garlic, black pepper, salt, and soy.
There is only a light level of sweetness present, allowing a good deal of natural beef flavor. As for the spiciness, the heat would rate about a 2 out of 5 on the heat scale. In the background there is a subtle smoked flavor that compliments the flavor nicely. Overall, an enjoyable, well balanced flavor that packs a small amount of heat.
A 4 ounce/113 gram bag sells online for $11.00. That works out to $2.75 an ounce, which rates as an expensive price. This flavor is highly recommended if you enjoy the taste of Cabernet with a mild spiciness.
Very Good (9/10) – Taste Rating
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
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