I love history. Wait. I don’t mean like reading a giant dusty book then being quizzed on it later… More like as it pertains to culture and way-of-life. It doesn’t matter what era, 40’s – 50’s – 60’s or even older like pioneer days, I like to imagine what it was like to live back then. Getting a T.V. in the 50’s was a major event! Cars, the drive-in and school dances were the things to do. Not being around back then allows me to only consider the best parts of the times and leave everything else out. Like selective memory… without the actual memories. I gather some of my ‘memories’ from T.V. and movies, but my favorite is hearing people that were there tell stories.

Terry’s mom and sister came to join us on the Front Porch for Wine Tasting. Her mom, Leila, told me about how they used to have parties at their house after Terry and her sisters went to bed. Not like every night parties where parents celebrate their kids’ bedtime. It was probably an annual party for a birthday or anniversary or something like that. They had a four piece live Jazz band play right in the house and hired bartenders to serve the guests. Leila said that band played the pictures right off the walls! It’s a wonder that kids could sleep through a party like that. Hm. Yeah, they didn’t. Here’s a snapshot, courtesy of the artist Shag, of how it I picture this party as I listen to the story:


Terry and her sisters must’ve been just out of sight at the top of the stairs.

I imagine the whole town was at those parties. Towns were smaller then according to me. Everybody knew everybody. Life was slower, simpler. Going to a party involved getting dressed up & dancing and was probably the talk of the town until the next party. The world may never move at that pace again, but when we take the time to reminisce – I think it slows down just a little.

Have a glass of wine and reminisce with someone today 🙂

Ok, so the following reviews are from TWO wine tastings. I just wanted you to know that we didn’t drink ALL of these wines in the span of two hours. Don’t miss the Award Winning Wines at the bottom of the post!

stack wines

Your Choice $2.99!    Elsewhere price $11.99

Stack Wines are four individual glasses that are each sealed separately so you can have just a glass at a time. For instance, the movie theater seems like the perfect place to enjoy Stackers Wine, you can easily carry one in your purse. Purse wine is my favorite. The ‘glass’ is actually plastic, so no worries around the pool either.

Pinot Grigio:

Bob found this Pinot to have a fruity after taste. He thought it was a great summer wine. Larry also commented on the fruity-ness, Steve tasted apple. Granny Smith apple. Shirley thought it was dry at first taste, she tasted apple as well and said it was light – nice for summer. Caroline, our resident wine snob, said she liked it (I tried to hide the packaging so she wouldn’t judge the wine before she even got a sip). She tasted pear and lime and added that she was surprised that this tasted like it came from one of the wineries that she is a member of. High praise from Caroline!

Winemakers notes:

Color: Light straw yellow with flecks of green.
Nose: Delicate with honeydew melon, fresh meadow, and lime peel.
Palate: Grapefruit, key lime, and melon


Becky found this Chardonnay buttery and did not taste any oak. Bob commented that it tasted good. Larry and Steve did care for it, but I thought it was nice.

Winemakers notes:

Color: Medium light gold.
Nose: Medium with lemon cream pie, vanilla and toasted almond.
Palate: Lemon peel, apple and pineapple

Cabernet Sauvignon:

Becky enjoyed the aroma of this cab. Terry and Shirley thought it was grapey. Bob noticed the oak. Larry and Steve both (who must read each other’s minds before commenting on wine) said it had legs. Steve wasn’t sure if it was dry… Caroline confirmed for him that it was dry. She added that it was a smooth easy drinking cab; she tasted black cherry and plum.

Winemakers notes:

Color: Medium garnet, perfect clarity.
Nose: Medium/plus with cassis, blueberry, cedar and some black licorice, mint and black pepper.
Palate: Blackberry, cocoa and berry jam


 four wines

Alondra Chardonnay ~ Anterra Chardonnay and Merlot ~ Marchand Bordeaux



2010 Alondra Chardonnay Middleridge Ranch Vineyard $5.99

Elsewhere price $16.99

Larry said this ones got a little zip to it! Steve called it smooth and Ethan thought it had a nice aroma.

89 Points from Medium-bodied, with a subtle flavor profile, full-on creamy from the malo; easily withstands oxidation. Really great paired with honeydew melon and smoked salmon.

From the Winemaker: Penetrating aromas of green apple, lemon custard and subtle tropical fruits of guava and melon. The palate is sleek and detailed, with just enough flesh and mid-palate presence for pinpoint balance with the natural acidity. The fruit gains momentum into an expansive finish, while remaining graceful and elegant


 Anterra chardonnay

2013 Anterra Chardonnay Italy $4.99

Elsewhere price $9.99

Terry got the first taste; she said it was crisp and refreshing. Larry thought this Chardonnay was very light and Steve agreed, of course. Scott said it was not too sweet, which is a compliment from Scott. Jose said he would buy this wine; it was juicy – almost not like wine – smooth and sweet.

Blogger NHWineman review: 89 points, poured a bright polished gold color, and smelled like the misty calm afterglow of a thunderstorm with hints of lilac and lemon.
The medium-plus body was crisp, slightly off dry (the label says dry), clean, had mineral notes with moderately acidic lemon flavors, and finished as it began, but with a touch of the 12% alcohol and ginger.
I loved this sleeper of a white wine, and I’m not the biggest fan of Chardonnay; this is not anything like a Cali Chardonnay (no butter here), but was produced in the Italian “traditional style” closer to a Chablis.


anterra merlot

2012 Anterra Merlot Italy $4.99

Elsewhere price $9.99

Larry gave this Merlot two thumbs up, he tasted berries. And Steve added: blackberries. Scott was turned off by the screw cap. As it turns out, screw caps aren’t just for cheap jugs of wine anymore. Read more here: Cork Versus Screw Cap: Don’t Judge A Wine By How It’s Sealed

3.5 stars from Black cherries and berries with toasty oak overtones, smooth finish and lush tannins


bordeaux    bordeaux 2

2011 Chateau Grand Marchand Bordeaux France $7.99

Elsewhere price $27.99

Concours General Agricole Paris Wine Competition 2012 Gold Winner Source

Terry commented that this one was full-bodied and yummy! She added that it just rolls right you’re your little throat. Steve said it was very smooth. Jose said it got looong leeegs.

86 Points from

On-line review from This firm wine has black-currant and red-plum fruit, nicely integrated with the dry core. Ready to drink, although capable of aging a year or two.


fish eye bottle fish eye

2013 Fish Eye Cabernet Sauvignon Australia $8.99

Elsewhere price $15.99


3 liter box = four regular bottles!

Bob noticed that at first sip this cab tasted a little acidy and needs to be aerated, which is kinda tricky since it’s in a box. Caroline agreed, saying she tasted unripe cherries. We let it sit around in the glass after pouring for about 15 minutes then tried it again. I found it to be dry and Terry said it definitely got smoother. Caroline said she didn’t care much for it, but I noticed she refilled her glass. Hm.

From the bottle: “Cherry and blackberry with a hint of pepper on the nose.”

On-line review from Garnet purple color. Aromas of dried currants, spice, and delicate peppercorn with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a whole nut, tobacco, and sour cherry finish with chewy tannins. A nice relaxed sipper.


I need my Mojo back!

I thought I’d gotten pretty good at ignoring Mojo, the tiny dictator in my head. You know the one that politely encourages me to tackle household projects.

I’ve spent some weekends lately just kickin’ it watching movies and as much Netflix as possible. I tried to get myself motivated, but the pull of the couch kept winning out. I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t really notice that he was gone at first. I knew something had changed. I even considered the possibility that I was coming down with a cold or something.

Then I got to thinking: Terry got Larry to clean out their shed, tear it down and build a new one.

Terry 3

You remember the free old wood I got to build this table, it came from their old shed. Terry decided to use the RV space on the side of their house to create a Secret Garden Patio.

Terry 4 Terry 5

She got Larry to cut a window out of the side of the house and install French doors leading out into the new patio.

Terry 2

What!?! That has my tiny dictator’s name all over it! I thought at the time that Terry was Larry’s tiny dictator. But, as you can see here she’s pretty handy too!


They also found the time and energy to re-decorate Terry’s sister’s master bedroom – hmmmm, suspicious.

Terry 6

Terry picked out some of the furniture that had been stored in the shed to decorate the new patio. They painted with over-the-top colors, which I looovve, and planted tiny succulents all around. Terry sewed curtains and Larry installed a retractable shade. It’s decorated with fun & quirky stuff that Terry loves and they created a great space to have a cup of coffee on a Saturday morning or a glass of wine in the evening. It held almost 20 Front Porch Wine Tasters at it’s debut.

When I saw their completed Secret Garden Patio I knew. It was so obvious now: Terry totally kidnapped my Mojo.

Terry 7

Thanks for having us Larry and Terry! Now, please send me my Mojo home. I neeeeed to finish my game-room before football season starts and my stairs are still torn apart.


Terry 12

Turn 4 White Blend ~ Red Autumn Chard ~ Discoveries Cab Sauv ~ Castro Oaks Cab Sauv


Terry 8

2010 Bennent Lane Winery Turn 4 White Blend California $3.99

Elsewhere price $18.99

Misty thought this white blend was a little tart, but good with salsa. Joe S. said it made him stop and say, “Oh, that’s good”. Scott and Terry liked it but Pat said she didn’t care for it because it was too sweet. But, she added that she’s the type of girl who drinks vodka straight. Neighbors Steve & Dara choose this one as their favorite. Becky said it was crisp and Jose gave it a ‘thumbs up’.

86.3 Points from

Wine Spectator – Offers appealing pear and fig flavors that are fleshy and round, with a juicy, ripe quality and details of floral and spice notes, especially on the finish. Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Drink now. 4,410 cases made.

Wine Enthuisiast – Sweet and forward in pineapple, peach and lime flavors, this is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. It has good acidity and a clean, spicy finish.

Tasting Notes – This refreshing California white wine is the perfect partner to our popular Turn 4 Cabernet Sauvignon. With aromatics of honeysuckle, white peaches and a hint of the tropics, this is an incredibly fruit forward and bright wine. On the palate there are rich flavors of mango and ripe peach, balanced by refreshing acidity and a lively clean finish.



Terry 9

2012 Red Autumn Chardonnay California $2.99

Elsewhere price $12.99

Steve and Larry liked this Chardonnay right away. Dean agreed, he said it tasted good. Brian commented that it was smooth and refreshing. Terry liked the white blend better, this one got her all flushed. Scott came into the store the next day to get a couple cases for his daughter’s wedding. Steve was able to bring in a second shipment, but at time of this writing – there is only about a case left of the second shipment.

The only on-line review I could find on this Chardonnay was not very favorable. Which just goes to show you that sometimes the wine snobs are wrong lol.



Terry 11

2012 Discoveries Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon California $4.99

Elsewhere $12.00

Pat noticed the oaky aroma from this cab. Steve and Jose found it to be dry. I tried it with dark chocolate which was a perfect pair. Misty said it was strong and it cleared her sinus’. Dara labeled this one as her favorite too, especially for winter. Scott got a case of this for the wedding as well.

87 Points from

Wine makers notes: Our Cabernet Sauvignon is deep red and violet in color with aromas of tea, cherry and blackcurrent accompained by toasted oak, almond, and a hint of cocoa. On the palate, concentrated fruit flavors give way to smooth, oaky tannins



Terry 10

2011 Castro Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon Sierra Foothills $6.99

Elsewhere price $18.99

Joe R. stopped by before his hockey game for a quick sip of wine, he found this one to be oaky. Becky described this one as a ‘burst of berries’ and liked how it stays on your tounge. Bob called this one his favorite and Brian filled his glass! Terry said it was excellent and I thought it tasted like Syrah – which is my favorite. Dean liked it and Jose found it to be smooth and would pair it with red snapper. Misty  and Larry agreed that it was dry, smooth and less fruity than they expected.

4.0 out of 5 stars from

Wine maker notes: This Cabernet Sauvignon is warm and smooth harvested in mid-October at 3000′ elevation near Yosemite National Park. Aged fifteen months in new American Oak. A full bodied Cabernet with excellent balance of fruit, oak, vanilla, berry, and much more. Drink now or hold.