Joel Gott aspires to make recession-proof wine.

The winemaker is behind our Wine-of-the-Week winner ? The Show, 2007 California Cabernet Sauvignon. In a blind tasting, the cab scored 4 stars, and while one contender surpassed it with a 4.5 rating, The Show won the contest because of its availability and budget-conscious price of $15.

The wine hails from the St. Helena company Three Thieves, which takes advantage of tasty surpluses from wineries and creates unique blends at prices most of America can afford.

?We find amazing lots of wine for sale on the bulk market and we acquire and blend to make the best, well-rounded wine,? Gott said. ?We buy amazing lots for a steal.?

Yes, affordable wine is his forte.

?We want to make great wine that people can afford to drink every day,? Gott said. ?We know we?re succeeding when sales don?t go down during a recession. It?s even better when they go up.?

The Show is created from a blend originating in all corners of California, including Lodi and the Central Coast, Sonoma County, the Napa Valley, Mendocino and Lake County.

?(The cab) is anchored by full-bodied cabernet, but it also features petite sirah, which gives it a deep ruby color and a hint of violets on the nose,? Gott said.

The 30-something winemaker is a multi-task wonder with a slew of side businesses, including Taylor?s Refresher in St. Helena and Palisades Market is Calistoga, to name a couple. What?s the secret to keeping one?s sanity with so many projects in the works? Gott said it?s simple. ?Hire great people who excel at multi-tasking.?

Being an irreverent, out-of-the-box thinker has opened doors and minds for Gott.

?Thinking about things a little differently has definitely worked in my favor,? he said. ?It has allowed me to see many more possibilities and opportunities than I would have otherwise. The hardest part is convincing people to go along with me. Luckily, I found (Three Thieves partners) Charles (Bieler) and Roger (Scommenga).?

Staff writer Peg Melnik can be reached at 521-5310 or at peg.melnik@<QA0>

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