Ranchero Cellars 2010 Viognier

We first tasted this wine when we visited with winemaker Amy Butler in 2012 on a visit to Paso Robles for Hospice du Rhone. We liked her wines so much we took home several bottles. Notes of Star Jasmine and honeysuckle on the nose,  grapefruit, peach blossom and creamy slate in the mouth with a lingering finish. 14.2% Alcohol by volume. Incredible with Caprese Salad with Parmesan and Salume crisps, and seared scallops. $30.00 She […]

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Elizabeth Chambers Cellar 2011 Willamette Valley Winemaker’s Cuvée Pinot Noir

Sometimes you just do not have time to prepare an elegant meal, but that does not mean you cannot have an elegant wine.  Elizabeth Chambers Cellar 2001 Willamette Valley Winemaker’s Cuvée is just that. Bright ruby in color with a nose of black cherry, cola and forest floor, this Pinot Noir is rich enough to hold up to a local farm duck egg yolk with plenty of acidity to cut through it. Dark cherry, vanilla […]

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Tudal Family Winery 2010 Napa Valley Cuvee

Vibrant ruby-red with a nose of dusty lavender, cherry, fresh thyme and a whiff of mint, this lovely Napa Valley Cuvee from Tudal Family Winery blends balanced tannins with cherry, white and black pepper and dusty rose petal flavors. We paired it with a beef roast with reduction gravy and carrot, broccoli and mushroom medley. This blend of 50% Zinfandel 40% Petite Sirah and 10% Malbec is incredibly priced at under than $25! Only 500 cases produced, […]

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Family Focus: Jericho Canyon Vineyard in Napa Valley, California

Our Jericho Canyon Vineyard wine dinner was not exactly what I had first expected. Jericho Canyon Vineyard and winery is in Calistoga. That’s in the Napa Valley of California. Some Napa Valley wineries have a reputation for snobbery. We know it is not an across-the-board indictment, because we know lots of warm, friendly people from Napa. But many of them we met and got to know before we knew their winery. Just hearing “Napa” takes me […]

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How to Pair Wine and Chocolate

Tis the season to answer Hallmark’s clarion call and spend our hard-earned money on their crap. Like lovesick little rats following a corporate piper we pay premium prices for already dead flowers, bad cattle call dinners, jewelry, and of course, chocolate. All supposedly in honor of some Christian martyr, and since no one really knows which Valentine we are pretending to honor, that should probably read “some Christian martyrs, and the made-up legends that surround […]

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I Found Out on Facebook….

There are lovers and haters of Facebook. For the haters, it can be more than you ever wanted to know about your adult child who hints he is destitute and then sends out an “I’m having a kick-ass party” status two hours after you sent him “gas money” and has posted pictures of said party on the night he allegedly needed the gas to get to work. It can also provide you more than you ever […]

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The Original Rib Shack Red 2012 Red Blend

Don’t let the Pinotage in the nose turn you away from this Red Blend (60% Pinotage 40% Shiraz) from South Africa’s Western Cape. The back label says “It’s a guy thing” but we think they are just talking about grilling meats.  We paired this with a juicy bacon cheddar burger on a poppy seed bun.  Dark berries and smokey oak will have you reaching for seconds. SRP $9.99 from Douglas Green (DGB)  Tasty! And great […]

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Sneak Peek: Soho Kitchen & Lounge in Seabrook

They say you cannot replace a good hairdresser or bartender. That also goes for a good restaurateur. Restaurateur extraordinaire Madeleine Griffin and son Christopher Janoušek have a new venture near Houston, Texas. It’s called Soho Kitchen and Lounge. Set up in the former Coffee Oasis location at 4950 NASA 1 in Seabrook, SoHo Kitchen and Lounge is now in the process of Madeleine’s magical renovations. She tells us a wrap-around bar and open kitchen concept […]

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2010 Hoopes Vineyard Oakville Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

We tasted Hoopes Vineyard 2010 Oakville Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and were impressed with its big fruit and sophisticated, nuanced tannins. Rhubarb, cherry, and black fruit aromas and flavors. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon hints of well-worn leather from a favorite old chair in the study. Quiet whispers of eucalyptus and green pepper with bright lavender on a lingering, supple finish. The 2010 vintage was aged for 32 months in 100% French Oak, 70% new. A […]

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