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Clif The Climber Cabernet Sauvignon

rated 3.0 of 5 stars
photo: Clif The Climber Cabernet Sauvignon drink

If you bring wine hiking this is a very good way to do it.


  • Light packaging
  • Very drinkable
  • 1% for the Planet
  • The bag holds 1500ml
  • Enough wine for two or three people to get a good serving
  • Stays fresh after opened for a month
  • Suitable for apres climbing
  • Makes me dance better


  • Dry, I like sweeter wines
  • Trying to finish it all on your own might end very badly

“Jeff likes climbing and stuff, let’s get him this.”

I can’t confirm it but I am confident that this conversation happened shortly before the family bought me a bag of Clif Climber Cabernet as a gift. I admit the concept is nifty, a bag of wine is much easier to carry than a bottle and weighs a ton less. Like Franzia without the box.  

Cool packaging anyway

Despite the fact that risky sports like climbing and alcohol are generally a bad mix I accepted the gift in the spirit it was given. The bag looks like it is made for a carabiner. Can you imagine seeing this hanging from a ‘biner on somebody’s harness?

1% for the Planet!

While cleaning the kitchen I stumbled on this two-year-old gift and, never having brought this bag of wine on any of my previous hikes I decided that Tuesday night was as good as any to give it a try.

I am, by no means a sommelier, I drink what tastes good to me, and even then I seldom partake. My drinking usually includes dark/stout beer and sweet wine. This is neither of those so I sipped with trepidation.

The usual problem I have with drier wines is the wicked aftertaste. The Climber Cab had a much more pleasant finish. However the first thing that came to mind when I tasted the Climber Cab was “paper.” The coarse, unbleached paper you drew on (and I nibbled on) when you were in 1st grade.  I tasted some oak and not a ton of bitterness and a little fruitiness but not enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.  The glass allowed zero light to penetrate and left a decent residue in the bottom. Heavy stuff but quite drinkable.

Leftovers in a rather large glass

I decided to give it another sip, which turned into another glass. Then the kids wanted to dance so we turned up the swing music, moved the furniture and tore up the living room, I was primed. I must say that the Cab made my dancing better, initially. Then I thought, “Well, better finish off the bag.” 

Did I mention that this bag holds the equivalent of two 750ml bottles?  The thing is bottomless!  Afterwards I also remembered that, being a bag, it can keep for a few days after cracking it open because it collapses as you drain it so no air gets in to spoil it. 

This is more than just one serving, oops.

I never did finish the bag that night, despite a gallant effort. I can’t post pictures of how the night ended but I made it to work the next day just fine, a virtue I will attribute to the wine. 

So, if you decide to tie one on in the backcountry (let's be honest) this is bulkier than spirits but the bag makes it pretty darn backpack friendly. Though it’s not fine dining I imagine it might pair nicely with something freeze dried and salty, maybe some oatcakes. Wash it down with some energy goo.  Drink responsibly. 

Source: received it as a personal gift

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