Posts filed under ‘Wine Winners’

Marin Magazine’s Sommelier Favorite Wines Under $20

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.

November 30, 2010 at 5:44 pm Leave a comment

Drink It or Dump It? The Quest for Affordable Fine Wine.


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?

January 6, 2009 at 4:50 am 2 comments

Bonterra Cabernet Sauvignon: Tasty Wine and Excellent Value


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!

November 10, 2008 at 3:55 pm Leave a comment

Halloween, Wine and Shopping: Get Ready for a Margaritaville Bay Area Road Trip!

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
  • 707-935-6611

October 21, 2008 at 12:09 am 5 comments

Robert Sinskey’s SLD Cabernet Sauvignon 2004: SLD? Sexy Little Delight???

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!

July 28, 2008 at 8:11 pm Leave a comment

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.


THREE DAYS ONLY Get this gold medal wine for $8.99
Castle Rock 2006 Mendocino County Pinot Noir, Reg $9.99
2008 California State Fair “Best Pinot Noir” Gold, 95 Points

YES! One of our favorite pours brought home the Gold at the most prestigious wine competition in North America and we’re popping 
corks to celebrate. 

This is no small feat. Over 3,000 California wines and 600 wineries 
were in the running, and this gem from Mendocino took the coveted 
top prize for Pinot. 

Join in the fun! For three days, we’re offering this luscious, juicy, 
berry-filled Pinot Noir at a simply astounding price. Stock up – this 
wine is a winner!

July 25, 2008 at 7:52 pm Leave a comment

THE French Laundry Margarita? Or Crocker & Starr Sauvignon Blanc: Margarita in a Bottle

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!

July 13, 2008 at 8:15 pm 2 comments

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No one is paying me to review any products or giving me any freebies. My opinion is honestly my opinion and is not influenced by anything or anyone.


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