Cheers to blue teeth!

Planting flowers in the front yard makes me happy. Wait. I don’t mean the actual act of planting the flowers makes me happy. Because it does not. Not at all.

Maybe if I could effortlessly dig holes in fluffy dirt and plop the new plants in, but that is not how it works. My flower bed is full of tree roots. Big tree roots that grow right where my new flowering shrubs belong. Every year I try to plant in the same place, not remembering the roots are there. Then I usually give up and plant them somewhere else which makes the freakishly large flower bed look unfinished. This year I dug holes and cut right through any roots that got in my way. Take that tree roots! It’s a stupid looking tree anyway. If I accidentally killed it, no worries, I’ll plant an apple tree in it’s place next year 🙂

flower bed

(please excuse my thumb)

This year I also finally chose the proper plants. Evergreen, flowering and drought tolerant.

***fingers crossed***

that I won’t have to try to fill the whole giant flower bed anymore. Just the border. Which I’m okay with. I can handle border planting, that’s where all the nice fluffy dirt is.

Now, every day when I pull up the drive way, the flowers make me smile. It’s like a little glimpse of Spring. (Thanks for being there during my silly rant).

What else makes me happy? Wine.

I’ve learned that it only takes a small glass of wine to transition from stressed to happy. But, that rarely stops me…

Here’s this week’s wine picks:


Reynoso Sauv Blanc ~ Sonoma Landing Chard ~ Rockwall Sirah ~ Red Lie Zin



2009 Reynoso Sauvignon Blanc $6.99

Elsewhere price $12.99

Larry commented on the citrus/pear aroma being refreshing. Steve said it had a spicy finish, but he was eating spicy pasta snacks at the time :-/ Joe tasted peach; he said it was very light and not too strong.

On line review: The fruit character of this wine speaks of citrus with riper, tropical notes as well. In the mouth, the acidity has a softer profile than many Sauvignon and the fruit is freshly expressed.

on line review 2:

Suggested Setting Freshly-cooked lobsters   on the beach
Signature Scent Key Lime Blossom

She’s not shy in the least, an intensely flavored and layered Sauvignon Blanc that delivers tons of citrus and passion fruit with hints of tarragon and white pepper. Not quite as crisp or dry as some of her Sauv counterparts she’s still refreshing and pairs best with seafood. Next time you have sushi skip the sake and go Sauv instead.


Sonoma landing chard

2008 Sonoma Landing Chardonnay $5.99

Elsewhere price $12.99

Terry started us off on the Chardonnay, she thought it tasted clean and clear. Steve noticed a hint of apple. He said it was a cheerful wine. Becky really liked it especially the little twang at the end.

On line review: It was on sale for $8.70 (Regular Price: $12.99). Smooth, dry and fresh – loved it! Not agree with 88 pts. Five out of Five stars.

Winemakers notes: 88 PTS WILFRED WONG. Impressive and delicious, the juicy ’08 Sonoma Landing is a beautiful wine; fresh with finely ripened, core fruit flavors; dry yet easy in the finish.


rock wall sirah

2011 Rockwall Napa Petite Sirah $10.99

Elsewhere price $25.00

By far the winner of the night! Becky liked the fancy bottle and after tasting it said, ‘Wow, that’s good!’ She also noted that it was fruity and would go with anything. Joe said ‘Legs’O’Plenty’. Steve commented that he really liked this one and Larry & Terry agreed, saying it was very berry and really good. We all had seconds and we finished the bottle.

On line tasting notes from Williams-Sonoma: Rich mulberry and blue plum flavors form the core, surrounded by notes of spice, vanilla and seared meat. $35.00

From the Winemaker: Deep India ink in color, this beautiful Petite Sirah shows robust aromas of juicy ripe blackberry, fig, and pink cotton candy, followed by flavors of bright blueberry, Cajun spice, plum jam, white pepper and dark chocolate. Cheers to blue teeth!


Red lie zin

2011 Red Lie Zin Lodi Zinfandel $4.99

Elsewhere price $9.99

Joe noted the dry oakey aroma. He said it tasted tart and added, ‘I love that Zin’. Becky agreed that it was dry and noticed that it stayed on your tongue; she said this is a good dinner wine. Everyone else was still enjoying the Petite Sirah…

On line review on Vivino: Four out of Five stars


Enjoy friends, neighbors and good wine.

split wine pic

The chairs on the Front Porch have been full the last two weeks. We tried six different wines total, and I’d like to thank all the ‘volunteer’ tasters that have generously sacrificed their Wednesday evenings to help me take wine notes on the Front Porch. Your efforts are appreciated. 🙂

All the wines reviewed here can be found at Manteca Grocery Outlet while supplies last! 1391 E Yosemite Ave, Manteca, Ca. 95336. Open 8 am – 9 pm Monday through Friday (209) 239-4295.

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Cambridge & Sunset

My neighborhood is full of people that take daily walks with their kids & dogs or ride their bikes along the bike trails, you know healthy people. I love to gather friends on the porch to drink some wine and watch them go by. The people who make Cambridge & Sunset California wine agree… the labels read: ‘After 25 years in the wine industry we have learned that we all want our wine to taste great, be affordable, and available for all those wonderful nights when we can gather and reflect on the good deeds we have done while enjoying some R&R in our neighborhood.’ Cambridge & Sunset 2010 Chardonnay $5.99 and 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon $3.99 were both a big hit on the Front Porch.

The Chardonnay was light and crisp and had a very light coloring which indicates a quality chardonnay. Caroline tasted a hint of apple, maybe even pear. Becky thought it was very dry (in a good way) and we all noticed a bit of fizziness on the first sip. The Cab had a solid dark coloring. Terry said it was yummy with a burst of fruity flavor.  Becky commented that it stays on the tongue afterward with a nice finish. Caroline tasted black cherry and thought it would go well with red pasta or dark chocolate. (did somebody say chocolate tasting? YES, we will taste chocolate in the very near future…) And good ol’ Steve said it tasted chocolaty-plum and would go well with a hoagie. SMH Steve, hoagies go with everything.

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2009 Patianna Estates Mendocino Chardonnay  ~made with organic grapes~

Very clear color, I like that in a chardonnay. Clean and mild, tasting of tropical fruits. Not oaky (which I also like). Larry said it was mild and Arvin and Terry agreed. Very drinkable, and Organic!



San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 2012

Wine Enthusiast, September 1, 2011


Expert review: Tremendously pretty with honeysuckle and apricot highlights and memorable texture as well as a bright, crisp finish, this Chardonnay makes for a very good food wine, its cool-climate grapes grown organically along the banks of the Russian River. Source

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2009 Robert Hall Central Coast Red Wine $8.99

This is a blend of hand-harvested Grenache, Syrah, Cinsaut and Counoise grapes. I love a wine made with a blend of grapes (even if I cannot pronounce them) and this wine did not disappoint! Arvin said it really captures your senses (what a great addition of adjectives Arvin, Thank you!). Steve said it started good, but got even better after it was allowed to breath. And Larry (who only really likes white wines) said it was hearty – not bad at all and he didn’t need to pour it out. Lol. A big hit on the Porch!

The label reads: ‘A rich, mouth filling red blend, the aroma is reminiscent of fresh cherries with hints of black pepper and spice. This is what wine is meant to be – flavorful, approachable and honest.’

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2010 Epilogue Chardonnay North Coast $3.99

The label was very fancy, don’t forget to run your fingers across it lightly! I really enjoyed this Chardonnay, very light and crisp. I tasted the citrus and definitely pear. It was too light for Caroline; she would make sangria with it. It had hints of oak and Caroline and Larry agreed that it would be great by the pool on a warm day. Steve says he tasted apple pie and vanilla, but he’s a cheater so I’m sure he read the label first. Shame on you Steve.

Wine Enthusiast Magazine scores this wine at 86 points . Expert review: Simple and straightforward, this Chardonnay has notes of vanilla, caramel and oak. A bite of sweet baked apple is most pronounced on the finish.

The label reads: ‘Offering up delicate notes of citrus, ripe Anjou pear and warm baked apples, this wine finishes beautifully with hints of vanilla and measured oak.’ Check out the winery page here: Envolve

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2011 Zinsanity Lodi Zinfandel $5.99

Who doesn’t enjoy a good local Zin? They are sought out in the wine department on a daily basis. In the past, I have made a gift out this particular Zinfandel, Zinsanity. It’s a solid wine choice, but the name really brings it home! Caroline thought it was spicy, and it was too much for Terry (maybe she’d like it better in the fall, it was a pretty warm evening). Steve and I both enjoyed it (as we have in the past) and it’s always a good seller when we can get it. It pairs well with pizza, grilled red meats, but specifically a spicy tri-tip would be Zinsane!

Maybe someday some of the neighborhood passerbys will stop and join us on the Front Porch to taste some wines, until then we will toast them from afar from behind the white picket fence that contains the Infamous Front Porch.