Wines tasted # 5

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Nardone Aglianico 2012
Baked plum, mushroom
Very clean minerals, bright to cloudy rim variation.

Traban(?) Chile 2009
Syrah, funk of earth and full of cream with oak

Tariquet 2012
Clean and crisp with some acid, fresh and very nice with some fruit, good gooseberry flavor

Chateau de Tracy Pouilly Fume

Boulder Bank Pinot Noir
Marlbo(?) 2010

Mary Hill Serendipity 2007

Joseph Merlot, San Perie 2012
Tons of stone fruit, peach, melon
Lime zest, candied lime
La Chatelnie

Antonin Rodet Chablis 2012
Clean, ripe melon, stainless steel
Acid is medium, fades to stone fruit, apricot, peach, and lemon zest.

Chateau Du Pavillon 2009 Bordeaux
Wool, cherry, soft tannins, baking spice, pepper, cherry on the finish.

Ch. Cantenac 2009, 1/3 Nevou(?)
Bolunt(?), plum, cherry, blanc hordes(?), currants, tobacco, leather, soft berry forward finish.

Domaine Berthet-rayne, Cote du Rhone
75% Grenache, 15% Cinsault, 10% Syrah
Full body, great soft acid, soft tannins

Chateau Des Karantes 2011
Very soft, supple flesh fruit, Grenache 60, Syrah 30, Mov. 10,

La Bal Ope. Cote Du Gascogne,
Herbacious, melon

Villa Floriano Pinot Grigio
Passionfruit, honeysuckle, fleshy

Seis Circles Vinera Chardonnay
Soft honey, baking spice

Categories: Tasting Notes, Wine

Wines tasted # 4

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Berfield Wine – Anistoda 2009
Full body, wow.  Tons of tannins, balanced and nice finish.

Tenuta Polvaro
Li son classic, 100% Tosca

Tenuta Polvaro, ORO
Chard, pinot grigio, very  220 Traminer
Soft peach, stone fruit, melon

Tenuta Polvaro Cab. 2010
Soft cherry, great tannins

Tenuta Polvaro Nero
Cab. Merlot, syrah, refosco, good round structure, soft fruit

Tenuta Palvaro Ducis
Soft stone fruit, good


Tantas – Temp Garnacha RD Duera
Fuller body, shock after, violets, dried fruit

Tola, Nero D’Avola
Wet forest floor, leather, earth, truffle, cherry, good structure, soft but great acid

Gens Merlot 2010 Clarksburg, CA

Categories: Tasting Notes, Wine

Wines tasted # 3

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Owen Roe Share Croppers Cab 2007
Ruby color, good cherry nose, light tobacco, strawberry, easy finish.

Dynamite Lake County
Plum color, ripe fruit good.  Tartness, nice smooth tannins, good easy finish.

Broadside Peso Robles
Purple color, not a lot of structure, lacking good fruit on the nose, vanilla oaky and not bad but currant on the end.

Ridge Santa Cruz Bordeaux blend
Dark purple, deep color, easy nose, good tannins, soft finish.

Edge Napa.
No nose, lacking structure, great color, plum, dark fruit, jammy fruit, 14.4%

Trefethen Oak Knoll
Dark rich, plum color, soft tannins, opened good tannins, jammy nose, tons on cherry and chocolate

Clava sauvignon blanc, Chile 2008
Crisp, clear, steel color.

Trullo Primitivio
Good dry, tannic, Rhone type, soil on the nose

Casa silva petite verdet
tannic, great berry forward and awesome color from a grape, normally used in blending.

Categories: Tasting Notes, Wine

The Best Omelette I have ever ate!

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At the end of a long trip  for me begins a mew journey usually home.

On this particular, Sunday I was joined in a rusty old Diner nestled in between two antique stores in downtown Santa Rosa California by Austin Beeman and Jennifer Nelson. The three of us had just completed a whirlwind tour of Northern California wine regions and two conferences. We were gearing up for one final day of wine touring, tasting and mocking people endlessly.

This is part one of a several part post about a two week period filled with wine. So much  wine! The trip began in Amador County, in the shadow of the Sierra Foothills.

If you have not been; go!

We begin with the end!

We decided to stop and have a solid breakfast for the first time in a week so that we had a base for all of the wines we were sure to taste throughout the day. Individually we had heard that The Omelette Express was a great place for breakfast and we were greeted at the door by a man who looked like he belonged in Donnie Brasco instead of at a diner. It isn’t often you’re greeted by a bouncer at a diner first thing Sunday morning but we waited outside and watched patiently as other people walked past us to try and get inside and were stopped by Don.

It’s the type of place that you would completely expect Guy Fieri to go to and make the many ridiculous and annoying sounds and dudes that he spews on his popular television show.

When I Googled whether he had ever been there or not I was very happy to know that the customers that were there were True Believers instead of triple D’ers.

Surprisingly I am not a huge breakfast person, rarely up early enough to experience breakfast with the rest of the world and even when I am my body is not prepared to eat such a big meal so early. Yet just after 9:30 we were seated and ordered Jennifer got the number 16 , Austin got the number one and I got the number 4 and added ham and bacon.

The # 1 Bacon, Avocado, Tomato and Cheese

The # 4 Ground Sirloin, Spinach, Scallions and Cheese

The # 16 Mushrooms, Herbs, Spinach and Cheese (Come on Jenn)!


Holy shit were we impressed to get three bloggers who bloviate constantly about everything just shut up for almost 10 minutes while we devoured the best cheese meat and vegetable filled omelets that exist on this planet and possibly others. It was a monumental feat!

Decadent doesn’t begin to describe the ground sirloin spinach scallions pepper jack cheese and ham filled cloud that I consumed along with Homestyle potatoes and the thick buttery piece of toast. Huge big as your face breakfast which normally bugs me that portions are so large. but this time it was awesome!

For me it was that moment that we realized that our journey was only beginning even though we already spent 6 days nestled in Sonoma County imbibing and tasting through hundreds of wines from all over California and the rest of the world. It was well into the trip and the last before I returned home to my fiancé who joined Jenn and I for the first leg. Now we began our journey from Sonoma back east!


The bill is paid and we left stunned only leaving crumbs on our plate and half of Jennifer’s omelet in a  to-go container that filled my car already doused in whiskey and cigar soot with the aroma of breakfast.

We hit the road for our first appointment satisfied and ready for the day but also wishing for a nap and a snort of something tasty to awaken our pallets for the day to come…First Stop….



You can check Austin and Jenn out below!


Categories: Hedonist Lifestyle, Wine

Mercer Estate Part 2

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“The terroir of the Horse Heaven Hills creates wines that are balanced and elegant with graceful power and structure.  These are the reasons that winemakers all over Washington state seek out fruit from the Horse Heavens, and why I count myself as one of the lucky few who get to work with it exclusively.” – Jessica Munnell

Mercer Estates Part 1

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“The terroir of the Horse Heaven Hills creates wines that are balanced and elegant with graceful power and structure.  These are the reasons that winemakers all over Washington state seek out fruit from the Horse Heavens, and why I count myself as one of the lucky few who get to work with it exclusively.” – Jessica Munnell


Wines Tasted # 2

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Here are some quick wine notes…. I drink a lot of wine. No scores just my thoughts! 

Smokescreen Chardonnay 2011
great mineral, crushed hillside, surlie, light malolactic, some untoasted French oak, very soft oak

Smokescreen Pinot Noir 2011
Anderson valley sweet cherry, very nice plum on the finish.  Light ruby color, nice body, and good fruit.

Plum, date, fig, lisove[?], no rim variation, baked plum, very young

Forefathers Sav. Blanc
Herbs and earth, nor tropical

El Pasaro Rojo
Coffee grounds, char old[?], Dried violets, good tannins, very soft plum

Lan Rioja  Reserva 2005
Bright and supple, tart cherry, blueberry, acid, spice on berry

LeCole  Chardonnay 2012
Very nice, good fruit, acid, minerals, apple, apricot

Taft Street PN. RR
Robust good structure, picot fruit

Left Foot Charlie – Riesling
Very interesting, good soil, decors[?] Structure

Robert Reynolds Chard 2012
Lodi Rocy’s Block
Not so much on the nose, but some

Ant Moore N2
Pinot Gris Malbac
Good silt, some stone fruit, tropical notes, baked tropical fruit custard

Schwibinger Riesling 2011
Bone dry minerals on the nose
Grass, some herb on the nose
Honey dipped stone fruit, some earthiness

Categories: Tasting Notes, Wine

Wines tasted # 1

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Here are some quick wine notes…. I drink a lot of wine. No scores just my thoughts! 

Quintan Petite Pierre 2009
Fleeting finish, not bad

Histoire Chapter 4 Cabernet
Aleyaber[?]  Sonoma County 2011
Young, lacking structure

Vending Machine Chard
Loula’s Revenge

Double Shotgun Cab Franc
Petit verdot.  Great do

Kuentz Bas Pinot Gris 2009
Tons of stonefruit on the finish, very clean, cotton candy

Artesa Meritage 2009
Soft tannins, soft chocolate, good stuff

Anaroo[?] Shiraz 2008
Silk wool and smoke and very fleeting finish and leads to soft plum

Giornata 2008 Barbera
Dates, figs, not much to the mid palette, no finish

Redcar Sonoma Coast Chard 2010
Nice malo, slight oak, red, stonefruit

Domaine de Pond Pinot Noir
Very nice, forward on nose[?].  Dry finish, excellent fruit, [?]

Slang Pinot 2012 Argo
herbaceous acid on  [?]
soft  fruit on the palette

Cypher Paso Robles, the Peasant
Nice body, good fruit, soft cherry, currant[?], blue-berry

Kenefick Ranch 2008 Napa
Chris Cuver – wow, what a gorgeous blend, tannins

Sierra Batyco – Reserva
Pinot Noir 2011, earth, berry forward, light fruit, good finish, soft tannins

Jane Ventura 2010 Vintage Cava
Riserva musica $10, biscuit, clay, flint

Madeby G. Sparkling Gamay
Very sweet, soft berry, nutmeg, baking spice

Genslabi[?] Cab Clarksburg 2010
Earthy, funky, dried leaves
great body, good tannins

White Oak 2007 Napa
86% Cabernet, 11% Merlot, Cab Franc 3%
Supertannic, soft fruit, very closed down

Montanori 2003
Amarone – Very Nice,  violets

Purple Malbec Cohors 2011
Full body, notes of baked mushroom, earth, dirty bark door

Categories: Tasting Notes, Wine

Maestri Vignaioli Chicago Feb 11th

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                The Maestri Vignaoili, or “Master Winemakers,” is a group of wine making families in Italy who have joined together based on their shared outlooks on wine production, each showcasing the distinct flavors and styles from their respective regions.  All the member wineries are independent and family owned and operated, and focuses on producing small batches of high quality wines made in traditional styles.

Meeting with this group of fine winemakers in Chicago and tasting through the wines was an quite an experience. The room was a little cold, given that the tasting was during the polar vortex, but it was still an amazing opportunity to taste some great wines. Marco Sebellico, who facilitated the seminar, was late in typical European fashion, which made the day even more interesting. He was charismatic, funny, and made attendees believe that winemaking really could come from the soul.

A great show, all in all.  Here are the wines that we tasted:

Dal Din Spumanti                                                                                                      Veneto

Valdobbiadene Extra Dry Vidoro  Crisp and clean, with fruit forwardness, melon skin, with a quick fading finish

Valdobbiadene Extra Dry Floral and dry, super crisp, 100% prosecco

Massimo Pastura – Cascina La Ghersa                                                             Piedmont

Colli Tortonesi Timorasso Timian 2009  Pale gold color, with some rim variation, full and rich complexity, good acid, a little lacking in fruit, but good aging potential

Barbera d’Asti Sup. Vignassa 2010 Dark ruby color, with very little rim variation, smoked meat, minerality and great acid, and some clay soil which gives it a beautiful nose

Bario Stroppiana                                                                                                   Piedmont

Barolo Gabutti Bussia 2010 Young vineyard, color of rust, amazing acid and minerality, round tannins, with spice and berry

Barolo San Giacomo 2010 52 year-old vines, full tannins and minerality, perfect for long term aging, the finish is bone dry, finish lasts forever

Rubinelli Vajol                                                                                                           Veneto

Amarone della Valpolicella Cl. 2009 Blue rim variation, dried fruit, dirt, soil, and clay, but surprisingly juice

Valpolicella Cl. 2012 Perfect color of dark purple, bright and fresh acid, with soft baked fruit

Fattoria di Rodano                                                                                                  Tuscany

Chianti Cl. Ris. 2007

Chianti Cl. 2008

Terralsole                                                                                                                 Tuscany

Brunello di Montalcino Ris. 2007 Milk chocolate, with creamy tannins, berry forward, full and bright, with dark fruit on the pallet

Brunello di Montalcino 2008 Meant to age, very bright, full tannins, forest floor on the nose

Guado al Melo                                                                                                         Tuscany

Toscana Rosso Jassarte 2006 Soft and dried fruit, very nice

Guado al Melo Bianco 2011 Wow!  Beautiful bright fruit, green apple, made in the old world style

Trappolini                                                                                                                      Lazio

Lazio Rosso Paterno 2010 Ruby color, perfect fruit balance, raspberry, and excellently structured  tannins

Lazio Grechetto 2012 Soft, pale straw color, citrus notes, clean and crisp

Conti Malacari                                                                                                          Marche

Conero Ris. Grigiano 2008 Funky socks, augusta, lush berry, this is an awesome monte pulciano

Rosso Conero Villa Malacari 2009 Good tannins, with a fruity structure

Cantine del Notaio                                                                                                Basilicata

Aglianico del Vulture La Firma 2010 This wine is closed down.  Very little fruit, but some floral and spice notes

Basilicata Rosso L’Atto 2012 Wheat, cherry, raspberry, milk chocolate, very jammy

Ferreri & Bianco                                                                                                           Sicily

Sicilia Nero d’Avola 2012 Roasted game, gamey, smoky, not very giving on the fruit

Sicilia Catarratto Brasi 2011 Some white floral notes, lemon peel, crisp and almost clear

Check them out below and be on the lookout for their handcrafted wines…


Categories: Wine

How Wines are rated on this site…

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How the rating system works:
Each product is tasted twice to ensure that no external factors influence the score.  Products are tasted under the same conditions; using the same glasses and the same light.  Nothing is different that can be helped.  It is very important that scores from any website or magazine not stop you from buying a bottle. While reviews may help influence which products you try, please make the final decision yourself.
There are those who think the 100 point scale is inadequate and lacking any sense of creativity.  For the most part I am among them.  What is important is that, when tasting wine, it helps to have a rubric to assist you in finding what you’re looking for, and to enhance your enjoyment of the sample.  I strongly encourage people to host their own tastings with friends and use this rating system as a guide to pick favorites.

KEEP IN MIND that scores are not the only way to determine a product’s worth.  As the old adage goes “if you like it, drink it!”

100 point scale

Nose=25 Points   Body=25 Points    Balance=25 Points Finish= 25 Points

                                 Total =100 Points

95-100 exceptional – highly recommended

89-94 superior quality –distinctive, recommended

80-88 good value – definitely worth trying

70-79 nothing special but try it

69- Or below may lack balance, and character but don’t let it stop you from trying a bottle

Nose:  Look for the aromatic notes that tell you the story of each bottle, and even each sip.  Scent tells the life story of the liquid

Body:  Texture, how it feels in the mouth, and richness

Finish:  How the flavors fade away on your tongue and how it feels going down

Balance:  How complex the flavors are, and how the balance of acid, alcohol, and sweetness combine to make a great sip

Color:  This is a much bigger deal with wine than it is with spirits. It can indicate age, complexity, and quality.

Categories: Wine

It’s Zinsanity, It’s Zintastic It’s ZAP!!!!

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Recently I spoke with Rebecca Robinson who is the Executive Director of ZAP which stands for Zinfandel Advocates and Producers a non-profit educational organization dedicated to the Zinfandel Grape. My Kind of organization.

They specialize in getting people educated and excited about Zinfandel by showing the unique history of the grape that made California.

Rebecca was especially excited to tell me all about the Zinfandel Experience, which I am sadly miss by one week.

The event is all about education, passion and drinking an abundance of Zins.


January 23 – 25


The Presidio and Four Seasons Hotel, San Francisco

The schedule includes trade only tastings, winemaker dinners, pairing classes, tasting tracts and flights. All about Zinfandel, all and all not a bad way to spend a few days.

The winemaker dinner includes, Braised Oyster Mushroom Risotto and Slow Cooked NY Strip and Short Rib I am guessing paired with some amazing Zins.

Now those reading this, if you have the same love of Zinfandel that I do, please go to the link below…Join and become an advocate.


Categories: Wine