Posts filed under ‘Wine Winners’
December’s Marin Magazine issue features a great article called Sommelier Favorites. It has a bevy of information about delicious wines, but, as a girl always on the search for inexpensive, great tasting wine, I especially took notice of the Best wine under $20 question that was asked of each sommelier.
The distilled idea:
David Lynch recommends J. Hofstatter Alto Adige Lagrein, Alto Adige, Italy 2007/2008, $18.00.
Dan O’Brien recommends Kunin Wines, Pape Star, Central Coast, 2007, $19.00.
Greg O’Flynn recommends Roots Run Deep “Educated Guess,” Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007, $20.00.
Are you, like me, looking for affordable wine that is still a yummy treat? I am on a quest to find some wines that can be staples on my wine rack. Yes, I have no wine cellar, no aspirations to buy fine wines that are worth more than my mini van. I just want to enjoy a nice glass of wine on a Friday night.
Some wines are totally drinkable and some deserve a dump down the sink. It seems like it doesn’t matter how much you pay for a wine, sometimes it just doesn’t live up to the delight of your taste buds. I’m not a wine snob who can taste cherry, anise, peaches, and softly worn leather on my tongue or nose. I just know whether I can drink it or whether it’s so bad I need to make pasta sauce.
Anyone want to join me on my quest?
Bonterra’s Cabernet Sauvignon is a great pick when you are looking for a tasty red wine that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. It never lets me down and I love it when you find a product that is not only cost efficient and delicious, but organic as well. Cheers!
I love Halloween. Friends all make fun of my costumes and hokey decorations. My husband even said our house looked like Target yesterday. I’m just going to take that as a compliment.
What I really want to talk to you about, especially if you live in the Bay Area, is combining a beautiful fall day, Halloween costume hunting and the glory of wine country.
Snuggled on a side street just off the town of Sonoma’s town square is The Laughing Queen. This little shop is cluttered with all kinds of gag gifts, costumes and accesories. It’s truly worth its weight in gold if you’re searching for that unique item that will be the central anchor or accesory to your costume.
On our last visit we found a leather nurse’s dress, a silver metallic trench coat and jungle man pants. All of these items were one of a kind–no pre packaged halloween costume in a can! You will come away from this shop with something creative and fun.
If you need it, ask for help. Queen Linda has fabulous ideas and knows her shop from top to bottom. She will be able to help you put some kind of stellar pieces together that will make you your own king or queen of the costume ball.
You can go a little crazy in her store, but most things are priced reasonably. You definitely will save, if not spend the same, on a one of a kind costume at her store than you would get by buying costume in a bag at other places.
The trick is, before you arrive at the store, taste some delicious Sonoma County wine and have a picnic lunch on the square. You could even visit a few of the picturesque wineries. A few personal favorites are the Schug Winery and Gundlach Bundschu–both beautiful places to sample some fruits of the Sonoma harvest.
Take a road trip. Enjoy some scenery. Treat yourself to wine and a fabulous Halloween costume at the same time! After all, it’s all about the treats, isn’t it?
- The Laughing Queen
- 122 E. Napa St. Sonoma,
- CA 95476
Sinskey’s 2004 SLD Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is admittedly a wine splurge at $85.00–but it’s one that you can do without looking back. Plunk the VISA down and do it. This is a beautiful wine with a beautiful black current aroma and gorgeous color. Our new friend at the vineyard, Caroline, said it best by calling it a “Big, sexy, cab.” And that it is. Yummy, yummy, yummy.
Caroline with POV, which is another great choice. Don’t forget it’s organic!
Castle Rock 2006 Medocino County Pinot Noir, the Go To Wine: Best Pinot Noir California State Fair, 95 Points
Hi Wine Lovers who like bargains,
This e-mail came to me today from Cost Plus. Check out the sale, if you want in on the deal. Otherwise, tuck Castle Rock Pinot Noir 2006 Mendocino County into your mental notes. This wine was introduced to me ages ago by my good friend, Pam. She calls it her “go to wine.”
It is a delicious, big pinot noir without the big price. Give it a try, and if you get it on sale, then it’s all the better. It’s a great wine if you are having a party and buying wine by the case. I’ve bought it at Safeway and Bevmo, too.
Read below for more info, and you can also see that it won the Gold Medal at the California State Fair.
I went to dinner last night at the French Laundry with a mission–I was going to order a margarita. Who drinks a margarita at such a fine dining establishment with a tome of wines that lacks rival? Me. I’m pleading guilty to that one.
In my quest for the ultimate margarita, I need to know how top shelf top shelf can be. If I am going to taste top shelf, French Laundry is high up on the tippy top of the top shelf, and seemed like a great place to look.
Sadly, as I had feared and many of you might know, the French Laundry has a limited liquor license. Although I could not order a margarita, the sommelier brought me a wine he described as a “margarita made with passionfruit, and drinking this wine was like having a Margarita in a Bottle”:
A 2007, Crocker & Starr Sauvignon Blanc. It was a beautiful, delicious wine, and if you can’t have the margarita, it is a good, maybe more respectable for fine dining, second choice.
It was so tasty, that I am going to pick up Margarita in a Bottle to enjoy later this summer. I recommend that, if you’re a margarita lover, you do the same. Have a little French Laundry Margarita experience right at home. Cheers!
Just a little note to let you know if you see a Sinskey wine on the shelf, give it a try! We recently visited Robert Sinskey Vineyards for some wine tasting. Not only were we treated to wine tasting bliss–it was organic wine tasting bliss. EcoMoms out there take note: if you want to taste some delicious organic wines, this is the place and these are your wines.
A delicious, gorgeous magnum of Pinot Blanc 2007!
- Pinot Noir Vandal Vineyard 2004
- Cabernet Franc 2004
- Pinot Blanc 2007
Find a bottle, or two, or even a case, and enjoy!
Info from their site: Robert Sinskey Vineyards is an organic farm. This means that all grapes used in making RSV wines have been certified Organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers. Robert Sinskey Vineyards is now one of the largest and most progressive organic vineyard operations in Napa Valley.
Long time ago, when I confessed I chose wine by the intrigue of its label, some very wise person (and I can’t remember who, forgive me, we must have been drinking at the time) gave me some very sound wine purchasing advice:
When you are in Costco, circle the wine area bins. When you see a bin almost empty, pick that wine. Hands down, the wine lovers of Costco have consistent good taste.
This is good because, there are many times the pretty labels fail me. I’ve also learned just because a wine costs $20 to $30 dollars, doesn’t mean it’s worth drinking.
Recently, we used the Costco trick and bought two of the Highway 12 red wines. Both the Merlot and the Cab Blend (equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot) were very tasty. We considered these affordable at around $15 a bottle.