Category Archives: Wine Reviews

Zonin1821 Dress Code Collection Prosecco

Any time of year is great to enjoy Prosecco but during the heat of summer, it is especially satisfying. I recently had the pleasure of pairing wines with a seven-course dinner for ten. Zonin1821 new Dress Code Collection of Prosecco wines was my choice to get the party started!

Zonin1821 Dress Code Collection

Zonin1821 Dress Code Collection

It was an early summer afternoon and Zonin1821’s Dress Code Collection seemed to be the perfect choice for what turned out to be a special evening of wine and food. Serving wine to guests at gatherings it’s important to consider the nature of the event such as; Formality, season, occasion, and food courses being served.

The evening opened with guests mingling on the porch of a beautiful University area home at which time I popped the first bottle of Dress Code bubbly. Clearly, no one does sexy like the Italians and this new collection of wines does not disappoint. The three bottles of wine from this collection may be the most attractive that I have seen. Gorgeous is what comes to mind and from an aesthetics standpoint, I was pleased to share these with the dinner guests.

The real litmus test though is the taste test and with bubbly poured and glasses in hand all my attention was focused on the eyes and body language of the people now tasting the Zonin1821 Dress Code Edition wines.

Prosecco is produced in the Veneto region of Italy at the foothills of the Italian Alps in northern Italy. Traditionally Zonin1821 produces Prosecco made from 100% Glera the grape varietal of Prosecco.

Wine today is not just Old World or New World but the style of winemaking must also be considered. Is the wine stylistically classic or has it been non-traditionally crafted?

With regard to their new collection of Prosecco wines, Zonin has reached deep down and produced a collection of wine that is very different for their brand. Their new Dress Code Collection of wines still adhere to the rules and laws that allow Prosecco to be blended with up to 15% of other grape varietals. The varietals used for blending are approved in this case by the DOC of the Prosecco wine region.

Zonin1821 typically is as traditional as it gets just as the name indicates this seven generation family owned and winemaking tradition has been producing Prosecco since 1821. The only tradition associated with the Dress Code Collection of wines is quality and distinction.

Continuing to produce traditional Prosecco was not what Zonin1821 had in mind for this Dress Code Collection of White, Grey, and Black. The winemaker obviously was intent on producing a Prosecco that those new to this delightful bubbly would immediately enjoy and those already smitten with Prosecco would stretch their palates also enjoying their favorite wine with a new twist.

Zonin knocked this new collection out of the park, not just on quality and taste but this flight of Prosecco parallels an evening of perfect entertaining. What do I mean by “parallel to an evening of perfect entertaining”?

Prosecco wines are typically simple and refreshing which is exactly why I like to serve them in summer. There is nothing more off-putting than trying to wrap your mind and palate around a heavy and overly complex wine when its 100°F on the deck.

This flight of three Prosecco’s from Zonin starts with their White Edition. The alluring look, feel, and color of these bottles speaks to your wine soul. Intuitively you know exactly which bottle to start, continue, and finish with.

Zonin1821 White Edition  

Zonin1821 White Edition

Zonin1821 White Edition

This first in the flight of three wines is comprised of 91% Glera & 9% Pinot Bianco grape varietals. For me, the Pinot Bianco just cleans this wine up making it invitingly enjoyable and crisp. This is a perfect way to start the evening, and the guests loved this crisp invigorating wine. This White Edition wine grabs your attention letting you know it is a serious contender, no flab here.

This wine exudes subtle notes of floral and fruit but that 9% of Pinot Bianco keeps it in check and sets it apart from another pedestrian Prosecco. This wine will get the party started, the right way.

Zonin1821 Grey Edition

Zonin1821 Grey Edition

Zonin1821 Grey Edition

Somehow you just know this wine is the second in the of flight of three that you are supposed to be tasting, something psychological with the color scheme of bottles from the Zonin1821Dress Code Collection.

This wine is a non-traditional Prosecco blend of 87% Glera & 13% Pinot Grigio. The wine harmoniously eases you into your evening but still manages to keep your full attention, crisp yet so effortlessly smooth.

The Grey Edition Prosecco is not like a wine that has been over manipulated through a malolactic fermentation but is an exemplary reflection of experienced winemaking guiding two grape varietals to a perfect marriage in the bottle.

The Grey Edition offers refreshing elements of green apple and a subtle spice nuance of Ginger, the result is a wine that commands your attention, transcendentally transitioning everyone’s palates in an ever so soothing and smooth manner. Delicious!

Zonin1821 Black Edition

Zonin1821 Black Edition

Zonin1821 Black Edition

The third wine in the flight, the Black Edition, is dressed in scintillating black attire and after imbibing in the White and Grey Dress Code Edition Prosecco’s you are left with an insatiable desire to taste this last charmer from Zonin and believe me it does not disappoint.

The Black Edition Prosecco is a blend of 90% Glera & 10% Pinot Noir, perfectly suited for the progression of the evening. This sparkling Prosecco holds your hand and delivers a depth of character and simple sophistication with every sip. An aroma that delights and a mouthfeel of silky velvet on the palate the Black Edition delivers elegant fruit, floral, and subtle element of comforting spice. This wine was the perfect accompaniment with the amuse-bouche course of dinner.

No matter what you are serving with this flight of Italian wine, Zonin1821Dress Code Collection is a real crowd pleaser. Quality is high and these three wines are very affordable offering true value for any wine lover.

From my table to yours,



A Summer Wine all Dressed in Pink

Enjoying Rosé on the Clark Fork River in Missoula, Montana

Enjoying Rosé on the Clark Fork River in Missoula, Montana

Many American wine lovers are perplexed by Rosé wines due to an unfortunate misconception that all “Pink Wine” is sweet, poorly made, and should not be drunk.  I say simply not true!  Perhaps this article will alleviate concerns about what is actually the perfect summer wine and provide a refreshing, new wine experience.

The first area to produce Rosé wine was Provence, located in the southwestern grape growing region of France.  The Romans were the first to control this area of the world. It was during the later Middle-Ages that Monks re-established the vineyards that were originally common to the area.  The Monks produced Rosé wine for sacramental purposes and to financially support their various monastic orders.

During the early 1970s in California there was a glut of red grapes and a significant shortage of white wine grapes, so winemakers incorporated a winemaking technique known as Saigneé.  Translated, this means the bleeding of grape juice from the wine vats.  Consider for just a moment that gravy is made by separating fat from the juices in the roasting pan.  This also occurs in wine vats as heavy grape must that is on top separates from the grape juice, which is much lighter, in the bottom of the vat.

By using the Saigneé method, winemakers from this era would make white wine by using red grapes.  This winemaking method allowed the juice and the must to remain together for a short period of time and then a winemaker could “bleed” off what then becomes Rosé wine.

Traditional winemaking techniques where grape skins are left with the fruit for just a few days are also used to make Rosé wine.  This technique produces a beautiful, delicate pink color with very little tannin like that found in red wine.

The third method that is generally not acceptable in most regions of the world is to add red wine back into white wine until the desirable coloration is achieved.

The American term, “Blush” wine, dates back to the mid-70s and references a pale-pink wine.  It’s now reserved for a sweet pink wine with a residual sugar of 2.5%.  In America, most dry pink wines are marketed and sold as Rosé. Europe, on the other hand, refers to all pink wine as Rosé regardless of residual sugar levels, and it includes imports from America that are semi-sweet.

An important fact to understand is that Rosé is a wine style, not a varietal or type of wine.  There are up to 11 types of Rosé wine styles currently being produced around the world.  Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Grenache, Zinfandel, and Mourvèdre are just a few of the 11 types of grapes that Rosé is currently produced from.

Rosé wine may be viewed as seasonal – a refreshing wine emblematic of springtime’s revitalization or on a long summer’s day.  Bill Blanchard, national sales manager for Adelsheim Vineyards in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, pointed out to me that he likes to hold back a case of good Rosé each vintage.  Blanchard feels that quality Rosé can last up to two years, and he enjoys sharing it with family and friends at Christmas dinner.

Wines made in a Rosé style are perhaps some of the most versatile food wines, pairing well with a wide array of foods such as Morbier and Mozzarela cheese.  Seafood, light pasta dishes, summer salads, soups, grilled or roasted meats, and poultry can also be a very tasty pairing.

Rosé on the rocks, on the Clark Fork River in Missoula, Montana

Rosé on the rocks, on the Clark Fork River in Missoula, Montana

What I love most about Rosé style wine is that it delivers the cool refreshment of white wine and humors one with subtle nuances of red wine.

Great Rosé presents a delicate sense of style, showing true restraint by the winemaker. Faint of color, aroma, and taste, as graceful on the palate as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing in the rain.

Summer favorites such as freshly picked strawberries, red raspberries, and a lingering finish of a savory nature are all mellow elements you can expect of a well-made Rosé.  At all times, Rose’ exhibits an exquisite balance of fruit, alcohol, and acidity.

Rosé style wines offer the perfect gateway while introducing red wine to lovers of white wine, and white wine to lovers of red wine.  Could there possibly be a better wine facilitator than the lovely Rosé?

Relaxing with Rosé wine on the river front in Missoula

Relaxing with Rosé wine on the river front in Missoula

“Be adventurous life is too short to not enjoy some great Pink Wine,” WineGuyMike.

Here are two great wine recommendations from WineGuyMike:

Adelsheim and Mulderbosch Rosé, two summertime favorites

Adelsheim and Mulderbosch Rosé, two summertime favorites

Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé:

Color – deep pink Rosé

Aroma – blood-orange, cherry-drops, black currant cordial, fragrant sandalwood

Palate – cherry, watermelon, lively acidity

Adelsheim Rosé Willamette Valley:

Color – gorgeous medium pink Rosé

Aroma – fresh strawberries, raspberries, peach, watermelon, subtle baking spices

Palate – rich, lush mouth-feel, nice acidity

From my table to yours,

Logo_WGM 180x180


A Father’s Day Celebration With Wine

Today is Father’s Day and I thought it would be a great opportunity to pay homage to some of the men who are or were father’s, whom I have really respected and loved, and have made such an impression that they have impacted my life.

President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day in 1966.  It was six years later, in 1972, when President Nixon made the day a permanent national holiday by signing it into law.

I thought it would be fun to share a little of my life with you, of course let us not forget this show is all about wine.  I put a great deal of thought into these men who have been important to me and thought about what wines that I have enjoyed recently that reminded me of these special men on Father’s Day.

First I’ll talk about my dad, his name is Frederick.  My dad grew up in a very poor family in Upstate New York, which is also where I grew up.  My Dad’s life growing up was not easy, he is a survivor who has had to scrap for everything in life, but my dad was a dreamer.  My dad went after his dreams and fought as hard as he could to live and achieve all that he could dream.  For my Dad I raise my glass and toast him with a great Syrah from Walla Walla in Washington State from Reynvann Vineyards.  For this toast I chose their Syrah “The Contender”, they make three great Syrah’s but this one that I think is one of the finest varietal examples seemed appropriate for my Dad.

My Father-in-law, Paul Wright who was one of the toughest men I have known, and not due to his physical strength.  He was tough enough to be a great man. Paul a recipient of the Purple Heart from the Korean War was hospitalized for nearly one year having been shot in the war, but he survived.  Paul was a Nuclear Engineer, the father of five children, foster father to over 2,000 children who needed emergency short term(Ha Ha) care.  These kids were raised alongside his own children wearing the same clothing, taking the same music lessons, and playing the same sports.  My Father-in-law just lost a long and hard fought battle to Pancreatic Cancer, he seemed to even beat that though, he lived nearly two years after diagnosis.  I raise a glass of Pinot Noir from Balletto Vineyards and Winery in the Russian River Valley.  This is a great Pinot Noir that expresses true and real terroir at the hands of winemaker Anthony Beckman, that is what my father-in-law was true, real, and an example of something to model oneself after.

My Grandfather on my mother’s side, Alfred Gates, was a survivor of World War II.  He spent his time in the war on destroyer escorts, the support team for the big battleships.  His boat survived the war and all the unbelievable storms at sea.  This man taught me self respect, how to treat others, how to be a leader of a family.  Al was loved by everyone who ever met him, and he enjoyed everyone he met.  He is a person I miss a lot and think about from time to time even though he has been gone for over thirty years.  I’m grateful for this man who always had a twinkle in his eye, for him I toast him with no other than a great sparkling wine, Gruet Brut Rose.

Last but not least by any means, my Grandfather Tornatore from Sicily.  My Grandfather came to this country with nothing through Ellis Island in New York.  He eventually settled in a tiny place in Upstate New York named Mexico, New York.  This man was a bull of a man, as wide as he was short, he was a pheasant who worked in a steel foundry and raised everything on his land to feed his family.  I am forever grateful to this man for instilling my love and passion of wine, my grandfather also loved wine.  As powerful a man as he was, his hand for the vine was gentle.  He was a master of grafting fruit trees and grapevines, I followed him and learned a love of the land, a love of the vine, and he instilled his amazing passion for the wine to me.  For this I’m eternally grateful, to him I raise a glass of Boroli Quattro Fratelli

The wines reviewed today all receive the WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval™

From my table to yours,

"from my table to yours"

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Discovering The New Wine Frontier Of South Africa

South Africa

This new frontier of viticulture is not so new at all, for the last 350 years European settlers explored and put down roots quite literally.  In this case rootstock from the Vitis Vinifera species which is native to the Mediterranean region of Europe.

South African topography and geology is a direct result of cataclysmic continental activity. It’s a rare opportunity when you can actually see what the French call terroir, or sense of place.  But in this new frontier of wine country you can look at the topography and understand how it lends itself to “sense of place.”

There are three distinct types of vineyard terroir in South Africa, the Western Cape area that receives ample natural moisture while the mountains loom close to the sea.  The mountains rose up from the earth due to molten lava beneath the earth.  This Western Coastal region enjoys a Mediterranean like climate with constant wind.  Erosion from the wind and weather left sandstone on top of granite like rock from the eroding mountain sides, leaving idyllic conditions to grow grapes.  The constant winds blowing through the vineyards in this area are known as the “Cape Doctor.”  This ever present winds help vineyards to remain disease free by not allowing disease carrying insects to take up residence on the grapevine leaves.

This area which is rich in soil benefits from the Mediterranean climate.  In fact it produces perhaps the largest number of grape varietals in South Africa.

On the leeward side of the mountains rainfall is generally about half of what is normal on the coastal side.  This is still enough moisture to naturally irrigate the vineyards that line the mountain foothills.  Soils of the foothills are laden with decomposed granite and shale which lends itself to great drainage for grapes to grow.  Grape farmers pay great attention to elevation and direction of the foothill slopes.  These are important factors that determine what type of grape varieties are able to be grown and the characteristics that the fruit will produce.

The shape of the mountain faces and flat topped bluffs that look like what are referred to in Eastern Montana as “buffalo jumps” may be more interesting than any other grape growing region.  The actual shape of these mountains and bluffs serve as great mediators of climate, funneling in coastal moisture late in the day.  Heat from the foothills is greeted by cool afternoon wind currents that circulates through the vineyards, slowing the ripening of the grapes.  This allows what is referred to as proper seasonal “hang time” on the vines.

The vast inland valley areas are rich and fertile, perfect for growing grapes.  The vines are irrigated with water from the rivers that run through these inland river areas.  The soil is rich with alluvial soil matter that sits atop clay in these South African valley’s.  The result are grapes that tend to be more viscous than that of their counterparts from the coastal region and inland foothills located on the dryer side of the mountains.

South Africa is a new frontier for growing grapes with the constant discovery of new growing areas.   Winemaking is steeped in European tradition and the wines are fun, refreshing, and offer the wine lover terrific consumer value.


The vineyards of South Africa are influenced by the constant confluence of ancient geology, coastal breezes, foothill slopes, and mountains.  The Western Cape is one of the greatest areas of floral biodiversity, in fact it is recognized as the smallest yet richest of the top 6 floral kingdoms of the world.  Translation; this area brings diverse benefits for the many varietals of wine produced in South Africa.

There are currently 25 different wine growing regions in South Africa, each one featuring various viticulture attributes.  Most of the regions are influenced by two of the world’s mighty oceans, the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean.  Mild Mediterranean weather, cool sea breezes, coastal fog, unique topography, and a variety of soil composition all come together to produce individual wines of character and complexity.


Winemaking in South Africa is nothing new, it actually dates back 350 years and has been driven by many different European occupancies and cultural influences.  For the wine drinker this is a huge benefit, you can expect Old World wine-making technique and New World focus of fruit, viticulture, and terroir or sense of place.


Shale and schist were deposited long ago in a marine basin at an elevation of 60 -700ft.  Due to tectonic upheaval this soil matter eroded into what is now foothills.  Plutons are intrusions of magma deep within the earth that rose up and cooled slowly resulting in the formation of Granite dome shaped mountains.  Some of the flat topped domes are located in the Paarl and Darling Hills, and Perdeberg Mountains (600-1,300ft.).  Erosion has covered many of these domes with sandstone like the Table and Simonsberg Mountan regions (3,300-4,300ft.).  The foothills of these domed hill and mountain ranges are rolling substrata’s composed of shale deposits.  These geological features make up what are the 3 most important geologic impacts of growing grapes; location, incline, and altitude.

In this southern hemisphere temperamental varietals such as Sauvignon blanc and Pinot Noir are grown on the cooler southern and eastern slopes.  Altitude and location impact the amount of the sun exposure, wind currents, temperature effect on grape vines.  The northern and western slopes are warmer due to the more direct effects from the sun’s rays.  The Eastern slopes warm faster and the Western slopes cool faster.


The soils of the Western Cape are diverse but today the coastal zone is mainly sandstone mountain with underlying granite, and at the base is shale.  Shale is predominantly found inland mixed with river deposits.

Sandstone is synonymous with poor nutrient value and low water retention while the granite is common on the foothill slopes and hills.  The granite rich areas are reddish to yellow in color, maintain good water retention and the soil is acidic in nature.  The shale based soil is brownish in color, has very good structure and water retention qualities.  Duplex soil is common in the lowlands of the coastal region, these soils are composed of sand and a coarse granitic material with clay under the surface.


Viticulture today in South Africa takes place between 27°S and 34°S latitude, as it has for the last 350 years.  This fairly narrow band of latitude exemplifies a Mediterranean like climate while the coastal areas weather is moderated by the ocean and its cool ocean breezes.  The climate is temperate, warm summers, cool winters with no frost.

Viticulture climate terminology is referenced with three different terms; Macroclimate, Mesoclimate, and Microclimate.  Macroclimate refers to the overall climate of a region, Mesoclimate identifies climatic differences from vineyard to vineyard, and these climatic variances are due to various components of terroir.  Microclimates reference climate variance potentially within the same block of land within a vineyard, this can be caused by circumstances of vine and canopy management.

The Wines

Mulderbosch Vineyards, as seen on ABC TV , is one of South Africa’s wine producers that have captured the very best of Old World technique and New World viticulture.  Click on this link to view the tasting notes of a flight of eight wines presented at a recent WineGuyMike wine show.  Great wines offering great consumer value; Wines of South Africa

It’s Thanksgiving – Celebrate with Affordable Wines

Well it’s that time of year again! There is no better time than Thanksgiving to enjoy wine and an indulgent meal with family and friends. But which wine is best? Especially when you’re searching for affordable wines? Here is some information to help you decide on an excellent wine to complement your holiday meal.

Think of wine as a three part act – fruit, alcohol, and acid.  Some grape varietals are naturally higher in acid than others and when made in a balanced style can complement food in an amazing way.

Acidity is the component of wine that brings out flavor in food.  Steak sauce is a good example – it’s the vinegar in the sauce that highlights and exposes the flavor of a particular cut of beef.

Pinot Gris and Chenin Blanc are examples of great wines to pair with food. They have a great fruit style and naturally elevated acidity.  When it comes to red wines, hold your glass up to the light. If you can see through the wine, it generally will have the right amount of body and texture to accompany your meal.

Now let’s talk on gravy. Is yours heavy, light, brown, or white?

If a gravy is creamy, white, and heavy, you will want a wine that has a little more acid as it will work well with a heavier style sauce – a great example is a Chenin Blanc.

If your gravy is light to medium texture, a wine with a richer fruit profile and balanced acidity will be just right –a un-oaked Chardonnay will likely be very nice.

If your gravy is light or thin, a nice creamy wine such as a blend, Grenache, Chardonnay, and Marsanne, from the Languedoc Roussillon region of France would be perfect.

When it comes to red wines, Pinot Noir, Sicilian Frapato, and lighter bodied Italian red wines are perfect to go with your Thanksgiving meal.

And what about Vegetarian Thanksgiving meals? Vegetarian meals for Thanksgiving are no longer an alternative afterthought, so we need some good wine options here, too. Perfect white wine companions are wines that display nuances of fruit, mineral, and a bit of savory elements. Riesling, dry or a little off dry, Pinot Blanc, or perhaps a Muscadet from the Loire region of France are terrific options.  Once again, light to medium body red wines will also do well with your vegetarian dishes.

Now here’s a common dilemma. What do you do if your guest brings a bottle of red wine that is full-bodied and you realize it may not be a good option to complement your Thanksgiving dinner?  As mentioned earlier, wine is a three part act and here is a fun way to work in different wines during the day.

For example, on Thanksgiving I really like to enjoy three wines: one that I sip on when I’m cooking; one to drink and share with my guests while visiting and waiting for dinner; and another specifically chosen to serve with my dinner.  The “while I’m waiting for dinner” wine may be a very special red wine that is bigger on fruit and alcohol than I would prefer to serve with roast turkey. This wine might be something like a beautiful Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG.  This wine can be heavier than the wine I will actually serve with dinner, so this can be a good option for when to serve a wine brought by a guest that is not necessarily a good fit to accompany the meal itself.

Open the attached PDF file for a list of exceptional, affordable wines for Thanksgiving. Do note that while I normally recommend wines in the $12 – $15 per bottle range, due to the special occasion of Thanksgiving, some of the wines on this list will sell for up to $25. I know you’ll find a wine on this list that is perfect for your holiday gathering!

Please remember how blessed we all are this Thanksgiving to be with our friends and family as our loved ones are by far the most important part of this day. The food and wine – while wonderful – are simply delectable “side dishes” on this very special day.

From my table to yours,


WineGuyMike’s Triple Treat Italian Wines

Caution!  These three recommended wines offer extreme value. So if you don’t like great wines at great prices, please don’t read this blog post!

All kidding aside, I hope you’re enjoying a beautiful fall like my wine friends and I are here in the Rocky Mountains of Montana.  All three of my triple treat Italian wine recommendations are wines that will warm your heart and are excellent wines to pair with food.  I have included my suggestions for best food pairings, but you might have better ideas. if you do please share with me on Twitter or Facebook.

Remember wine is always better when you share it with friends or family.  Always drink in good health and moderation.

From my table to yours,

Chianti DOCG Querceto 2010

  • Querceto_ChiantiStyle – Old World
  • Region or Area – Tuscany, Colline del Valdarno
  • Grapes – Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Trebbiano
  • Designation – Chianti DOCG
  • Vintage – 2010
  • Color – Bright ruby red
  • Nose – Red raspberry, cherry, fruit
  • Palate – Red raspberry, cherry, refined tannin, balanced fruit
  • Finish – very smooth refined Chianti, lingering dry cherry and berry
  • Process – Macerated with skins for 7 days
  • Pair with pasta dishes and white meats

Luisa Cabernet Franc 2011

  • Luisa_Cabernet_FrancStyle – Old World
  • Region or Area – Friuli-Venezia Giulia
  • Grapes – 100% Cabernet Franc
  • Designation – Isonzo DOC
  • Vintage – 2011
  • Color – Ruby red
  • Nose – Ripe fruit, grassiness
  • Palate – Lush, full mouthfeel, with a grassy flavor and nice iron minerality
  • Finish – Smooth long lasting fruit, dry
  • Process – Fermented in stainless steel tanks & barrel aged 8 months on the lee’s, 3 months in the bottle
  • Pair with spicy courses, grilled beef, beef stews, boiled beef dishes; excellent with venison

Pecchenino Dogliani San Luigi DOCG 2011

  • Pecchenino_Dogliani_San_Luigi_DOCG_2011Style – Old World
  • Region or Area – Piedmont
  • Grapes – 100% Dolcetto
  • Designation – DOCG SAN LUIGI
  • Vintage – 2011
  • Color – Deep Ruby
  • Nose – Rich red fruit
  • Palate – Lush raspberry, boysenberry, plum, dried herbs, charcoal, and tobacco
  • Finish – long, lush, very balanced finish
  • Pair with grilled beef, burgers, pasta with red sauce, pizza

Four Exceptional, Affordable Wines

For all of you who love great wine at an affordable price I have selected four wines that I chose to be served at a recent event.  The attendees had rave reviews for all of the wines that I am sharing with you.  All of these wines are available in the $12.00 – $15.00 price range, are great with food, are of good structure and balance. Most important, they are very nice quality and delicious to drink!

Hedges Independent Producers Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Hedges Cabernet 75x250Style – New World
  • Region or Area – Sagemoor Farms Vineyard, Columbia Valley AVA
  • Grapes – 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Designation – Certified Sustainable , single vineyard
  • Vintage – 2012
  • Color – Deep Ruby
  • Nose – Dark Raspberry, sweet candied cherry, toasted French oak, caramel, vanilla, cocoa powder
  • Palate – Dark and rich, slightly tart, sweet toasted oak, caramel covered cherries
  • Finish – Refreshing and slightly tannic
  • Special Notes – Fermented to dryness on 100% American oak and aged in 100% French oak

Killka Malbec

  • Killka Malbec 75 x 244Style – New World
  • Region or Area – Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
  • Grapes – 100% Malbec
  • Designation – Uco Vally AVA
  • Vintage – 2012
  • Color – Purple red
  • Nose – Plums, blackberries, hint of vanilla
  • Palate – fresh, fruity, lush, silky tannin
  • Finish – lush lingering fruit
  • Pair with grilled and roasted red meats, pasta with red sauces, and semi-hard cheeses

RouteStock Chardonnay Route 121

  • RouteStock Chardonney 65 x 237Style – New World
  • Region or Area – Napa Valley, Carneros
  • Grapes – 100% Chardonnay
  • Designation – Carneros AVA
  • Vintage – 2012
  • Color – Light golden
  • Nose – Nutty, honey, guava, white peaches
  • Palate – creamy, fuji apple, pears, lush citrus notes
  • Finish – creamy, balance of ripe fruit and citrus
  • Pair with grilled salmon or double & triple crème cheese

Babich Sauvignon Blanc

  • Babich Sauvignon 65 x 260Style – New World
  • Region or Area – New Zealand
  • Grapes – 100% Chardonnay
  • Designation – Marlborough AVA
  • Vintage – 2013
  • Color – Pale white
  • Nose – Fresh, clean, tropical fruits
  • Palate – Bright herbs, blackcurrants, citrus, leading to lush fruit driven by apples
  • Finish – creamy mid-palate, mineral followed up by citrus
  • Pair with seafood and oysters

Remember to enjoy in moderation and in good health.

From my table to yours,