Why drink wine?

Why not? There are so many great reasons to drink wine. Here are my favorites:

1. Drinking wine actually could be good for your health Click to read more, it’s really great info!

2. Something about drinking from a stemmed glass is just sexy. Picture yourself taking a sip, your hair blowing back in the wind… Yeah. Sexy like that.

3. Choosing new wines each week is like a fun adventure that ends in drinking wine.


4. Some of the wine labels you find are really fun.

5. Sipping wine makes me feel sophisticated, even in my jammies.

6. wine with dinner makes the food taste better.


7. A glass of wine takes the edge off a stressful day.

8. You can make really cool stuff with the corks.


9. Enjoying wine can be very social and it makes me friendly.

10. How else can you make these without empty wine bottles?

wine bottle candles

Now go ahead and start up your own weekly wine time with friends and drink like classy people!

Here’s this week’s picks:

five new wines

~Rock Hollow Sauv Blanc ~ Heritage Ranch Chard ~

~Valentine Cab ~ Emma Pearl Merlot ~ Chianti Classico~


Rock Hollow Sauv Blanc

2010 Rock Hollow Sauvignon Blanc $8.99

elsewhere price $22.99

Larry started us off by announcing that he has really started liking Sauvignon Blanc (he usually prefers Chardonnay) He says It’s much lighter than most Chards. I thought I tasted crisp. Steve and Larry both tasted melon. Steve commented that it was very tasty and Larry said he really liked it.

86 points from Wine Enthusiast Magazine: Nicely crisp in acidity, this has a minerally scour that cleans the mouth. The pineapple, lime and guava flavors are strong, and the finish seems just a little sweet

90 points from Cellar Tracker: Excellent QPR


Heritage Ranch Chardonnay

2010 Heritage Ranch Chardonnay $4.99

elsewhere price $9.99

Terry noticed that this Chardonnay started sweet and Steve pointed out that it had a buttery finish. Larry tasted vanilla. I thought it would have more of an oakyness, but was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t. An enjoyable Chardonnay. Wow, we are really getting the hang of this!

84 points from Tastings.com: Pale golden color. Aromas of vanilla salt water taffy and dried pineapple with a dryish light-to-medium body and a pencil shaving and floral bath talc accented finish


Valentine Cab

2000 Valentine Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon $6.99

elsewhere price $24.99

I tried this Cab as I was getting ready for wine tasting. I was a little worried about it’s age, not sure if it held up over the years, lol. I didn’t even let it breath, and I immediately liked it even though it had a touch of oak and was on the dry-er side. Later, Terry thought it was bold and Larry really tasted the tannins.

92 points from Wine Enthusiast magazine: Bright yet plush, with black cherry, currant, sage, herb, spice, licorice, blackberry, chocolate, toast and smoke flavors all neatly layered for complexity. Firm, solid, ripe tannins add good structure. Finishes long and lush.

93 points from Wine & Spirits magazine: Long and sleek, this dramatic mountain cabernet has a reservoir of flavor at its dense core, a lovely fruit richness that keeps giving with overtones of the underbrush in a pine forest by the sea.

Awards – Valentine Vineyards 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon

June,   2004 Valentine   Vineyards 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon wins a Bronze Medal at the 2004 San   Francisco Wine Competition.Source:   http://www.valentinevineyards.com/or.html



Emma Pearl

2010 Emma Pearl Merlot $4.99

elsewhere price $19.99

I was excited to try this Merlot, the label was so pretty. Tiffany blue. Very elegant. I also, tried this one ahead of time and I think it may have ruined all the other wines for me. I liked it that much. But, I powered forward and tried them all anyway. Terry commented on the smoky-ness and Steve tasted the spicy finish. Larry liked the tart red cherry that he tasted and I really enjoyed how smooth it was.

89 points from New Hampshire Wine-man: In the glass, the color appears slightly more ruby than pomegranate and is quite clear, but is crowned with only a thin clear rim. Mildly aromatic, the nose is a sweet red cherry, light cinnamon and cedar, with just a whiff of alcohol (14.5%). Good acidity and mild tannin are carried by its medium body and a “normally” smooth and textured Merlot. Flavors of  tart red cherry, plum, with hints of smoke and alcohol trail long into a spicy finish. I was pleasantly surprised by this Merlot, and I would certainly recommend it, but the caveat is that great spice on the finish: some may prefer less of it.



2007 Chianti Classico $6.99

elsewhere price $21.99

Chianti is Arvin’s favorite, but we had to try this one in his absence as he and Connie were on vacation this week. We missed you guys, hope you thought of us while you enjoyed the tropical beach!

Arvins beach

I noticed right away how dry this Chianti was, which would definately make it go well with food. Larry said it made him pucker and Steve decided that this was his absolute favorite!

93 points from WineFetch.com: A vivid garnet red color with flashes of violet fading to the rim reveals an elegant bouquet of wild berries and violets with notes of roasted coffee beans and flinty minerality. The core of fruit is plush and caressing with notes of dried strawberry, Bing cherries, pipe tobacco, leather and violets and a long, silky finish. The silky tannins are ripe and integrated into the wines forward personality. This is textbook Chianti that will continue to develop for 5-7 years. Enjoy it with anything Italian, burgers and grilled meats.

Chianti 101 from WineWeekly.com: ‘Almost all producers of Chianti Classico belong to a consortium that acts as a watchdog and ensures that high quality is preserved in the wine. Wines made by these high standards are identified by a black rooster on the neck of each bottle. (Why a rooster? That’s a whole ‘nuther story…)’

What does the Rooster signify?: What makes unique Chianti Classico compared to other Chianti wines is the unmistakable pink label with the Black Rooster seal. This particular label is the symbol of the Chianti Classico Wine Consortium, founded in 1924 to protect, promote this wine and prevent wine fraud.

Chianti Classico is a DOCG wine and shows unique peculiarities and characteristics. To be named “Classico” is not enough to be produced within the Chianti region. In fact Classico wine has to respect specific rules. Its blend is 80% for Sangiovese, red grape typical of this area, 20% for other grapes that can native grapes such as Canaiolo and Colorino, as well as other international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

The BEST way to enjoy a rainy day!

Five fun things to do on a rainy day. GO OUT IN THE RAIN! We have been waiting for the rain all winter, it’s finally here, so let’s actually go out and get wet. WHAT? You may only think of indoor activities on a rainy day, but wait, there’s more to life… Bundle yourself up in your favorite raincoat and grab an umbrella. Here’s my favorite things to do in the rain:

1. Walk the entire Tidewater bike trail through town, don’t forget to stomp in all the puddles. Click here for a map.

2. Go Geocashing. Geo-what? It’s a super-secret-world-wide scavenger hunt! Watch this quick video to learn more:

3. Browse the thrift stores in town for unexpected treasures.

4. Take the Manteca Historical Tour down town. Click here for details and larger map.


5. Test-drive a new car. I know! Border-line Genius. You don’t have to buy a new car to enjoy it. BUT, you do have to give it back (that part is kinda important) Just be ready with your exit line (I think we’re gonna look around some more before we commit).

new car

When you get home, I guarantee you will appreciate lighting a fire in the fire place, baking cookies or making homemade soup, and cozy-ing up on the couch with a glass of wine and starting a movie marathon more than if you’d stayed in all day.

Here’s this weeks wine picks:


~ Yellow Door Sauvignon Blanc ~

~ Clearwater Creek Chardonnay ~

~ Goofy Foot Chardonnay ~

~ Stonefly Syrah ~

~ Echelon Cabernet Sauvignon ~


2010 Garden Row Yellow Door Sauvignon Blanc $4.99

elsewhere price $10.99

Yellow Door sauvignon blanc     tomato-feta-bites-cl-l

We paired this wine with a basil and tomato feta cheese on a cracker with a slice of tomato. Larry commented that this Sauvignon Blanc tasted citrusy, grapefruit maybe. He got a burst of citrus. Terry said it was very smooth. Misty thought it was light and she liked it. Scott said he’s not much of a Sauvignon Blanc drinker, but it’s nice – it’s a nice change.

This wine got 4 out of 5 stars on Vivino – but there were no reviews that I could find


2009 Clearwater Creek Chardonnay $4.99

elsewhere price $17.99

clearwater creek chard 2       dill havarti

This wine paired well with a Dill Havarti cheese on a buttery cracker. Terry thought this Chardonnay was very bold. Larry noticed the oak and Steve tasted citrus. Scott said he liked this one, it would good well with seafood.

On-line review: Bright, fruity and crisp, this Mendocino Chardonnay is a perfect summer wine Aroma: Pear, apple and papaya. Tasting notes: Nutmeg and allspice over pineapple and pear. Serve It well chilled. Pair It with Vietnamese or Thai cuisine, fish and shellfish.


Goofy Foot Chardonnay $2.99

elsewhere price $9.99

goofy foot chardonnay

Misty liked this fruity Chardonnay, she said it’s not as bold as the last one. Larry agreed and said it was much lighter. Joe S commented that is was good and light. Scott noticed the nice fragrance and agreed that is was very light for a Chardonnay.

This wine got 5 out of 5 stars on Vivino – but there were no reviews that I could find


2011 Stonefly Syrah $4.99

elsewhere price $20.00

stonefly syrah

cheddar smokies     chocolate truffles YUM!

We tried two separate pairings with (my favorite) Syrah. Cheddar smokies and then chocolate truffles. (separately, of course). Larry tasted berries and Steve argued that it was cherries. Joe S said they were both wrong, that’s definitely Fruit of the Forest. Terry said mmmmm, I like that and Misty added that it’s really good with chocolate truffles. I noticed the light ruby color and how light of a Syrah it was. Steve thought a white wine drinker would actually like this red.

On-line review: A fragrant and flavorful Syrah, bursting with dark fruit flavors. Starting with floral aromas on the nose, herb and violet notes complement a hint of spice on the finish. This lighter-bodied Syrah develops into a mild flavor of lavender jam and anise.


2011 Echelon Cabernet Sauvignon $3.99

elsewhere price $9.99

Echelon cab     peppered salmi and cheese

I chose to pair this wine with a sharp cheddar cheese and peppered salami. Scott announced that this Cab was his favorite of the night (he also couldn’t believe the price!). Larry said it made him warm and Steve commented about how well this would pair with beef.

Tasting Notes from the Wine Maker: Bursting with aromas of Dutch cocoa and ripe black fruit, Echelon Cabernet Sauvignon is sumptuous with flavors of juicy blackberry and black cherry and a hint of black pepper spice. Soft tannins accentuate the deep, dark fruit flavors for a long, supple finish

On-line review: Another Cabernet built along classic lines, this bottle has some green pepper aromas and flavors among the cassis and cherry. There is good acidity, and tannins that area bit astringent in the mouth–which will make it a great partner for juicy beef dishes. Very good QPR (though if you find it for $7, consider this excellent QPR!)

sidebar: I have no idea what QPR is