Tablas Creek Vineyard 2014 Vermentino


A light-skinned variety traditionally found in Italian wines,  also grown in the Rhone Valley in France.  Grown in limited regions in the United States, it can be found at Tablas Creek Vineyards, Paso Robles, Ca.

In preparation anticipation of my upcoming trip to Paso Robles I am digging thru my wine cellar for interesting varietals to direct my palate for what I’ll be tasting there. Happily I selected this gem for tonight.

Tasting Notes

2014_VermentinoA golden-yellow color with dried floral aromas lead to gentle creamy melon flavors with a slight acidic finish. This is a white that has a depth of structure and flavor.  I will be pairing this wine with Pesto and Asparagus Ravioli, a nod to this varietal’s Italian roots.

100% Vermentino | 13.3% Alcohol | Screw-top closure


Posted in Tablas Creek, Vermentino, Wine | 2 Comments

Valley Fire Relief Charity Wine Auction March 20, 2016

In response to the devastating wildfire that swept thru Lake County last fall, #LakeCountyRising is presenting Valley Fire Relief Charity Wine Auction to help rebuild and provide relief to those effected.lakecountryrising

Tickets are available at Lake County Rising.  If you cannot attend the event but wish to participate and bid on auction items, absentee bidding forms and donations opportunities are available in the link as well.

Please join me is wishing them great success in their mission to help the thousands effected by this devastating wildfire.


Posted in Wine, Wine Auction | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Wine Review: Root:1 [The Original Ungrafted] 2012 Carménère and Rewined Candle

Have you ever traced your roots? I have. I found it fascinating learning about why and how my family immigrated to the United States. Mostly, they came here for a better life, and a chance to thrive. Well, even grapes have a story. And if the vines of this wine could talk, here is the story they would tell.

Carménère hails from the Médoc region of Bordeaux, France. Related to the Cabernet family, it is one of the original six red grapes of Bordeaux, France. Sadly, today, its plantings in France have diminished to just a handful of vineyards. Thankfully, Carménère was brought to Chile from France around the 1850’s just before the Phylloxera disease invaded and decimated the root stocks of European vineyards. The timing of Carménère’s  immigration to Chile essentially saved this variety from extinction.

Root: 1 Wine is a proud custodian of these vines.

Root: 1 Carmenare

Root: 1 Carmenare

The Wine: Opening with earthy aromas and winter spices; with flavors of dark fruit, warm and luscious blackberry, not jammy, but soul warming. This wine, with a touch of Syrah, is nicely balanced, drinking very well on its own but also paired nicely with my Sunday dinner of Beef Tenderloin roast. I left a bit of wine in the bottle to taste on Monday evening. I think an indication of a well made wine is not only how it drinks on day one, but how well it drinks on day two. Results: drinks better on day two! 85% Carménère | 15% Syrah | Alcohol 13.5% | American & French Oak |Natural Cork closure | Retails $12

Rewined Carmenare Candle

Rewined Carmenare Candle

I sampled this wine a few days before sitting down to write this article and I’m glad the good folks at WineBow saw to it to also send along a handmade Carménère candle. I’ve had the candle lit the last couple of hours and it’s filled the room with a delightful essence of Carménère. Handmade from  recycled wine bottles and hand poured with soy wax,  it’s a wine lovers dream hostess gift (along with a bottle of wine…of course!). Handmade by Rewined in Charleston, South Carolina and retails for $28

Many thanks to the good folks at Root:1 ,  Winebow and Rewined for the outstanding wine and candle.

Posted in Carmenere, Wine | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Thanksgiving Wine dilemma: White or Red? I say both!

There’s been so much chatter this week about “the perfect wine pairing for Thanksgiving”. We want everything perfect for our guests; the food, the table setting, the decorations and the wine. Well, not to bust your bubble but there is no one perfect wine pairing for the traditional Thanksgiving meal. Wine pairings (like families) are not perfect, but we can get pretty close to perfect on both counts if we put in a little effort. I was so happy when my cousin Kelly over at My Soulful Home suggested we collaborate on a Thanksgiving post. I’m happy to be able to share a coast-to-coast Thanksgiving toast with her!

Here are some wines I’ve tasted this year that are among my personal stand out favorites. My suggestion is to have at least one white and one red selection on the table and let your guests select their favorite.

The Whites

Imagine Winery 2010 Pearl Paradise Mountain Viognier

Imagine Winery
2010 Pearl Paradise Mountain Viognier

2010 Pearl Paradise Mountain Viognier, Imagine Wine, Santa Barbara County, CA
Pale yellow in color with green apple, floral and slight perfume aromas.  Lemonly tart mid-palate with a hint of caramel on the finish.
Viognier (vee-ohn-yay) pairs nicely with root vegetables, sweet potatoes and cream based dishes.

100% Viognier | $24 |Alcohol 14.5% | 50% new French Oak 50% stainless steel | Sample |

Thirsty Owl 2012 Riesling

Thirsty Owl
2012 Riesling

2012 Riesling Thirsty Owl Wine Company, Finger Lakes Region, NY
Lovely light straw color with kiwi aromas. Honeydew and cantaloupe flavors, the finish is vibrant. A medium dry Riesling that is palate-refreshing and will be equally at home on the dessert table as it is on the dinner table. I like this wine with apple pie.

100% Riesling | $15 | Alcohol 11.3% | Sample |

The Reds

La Rochelle 2009 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

La Rochelle
2009 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

2009 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir, LaRochelle Winery, Livermore CA
With a tint of brown edging around the glass and a deep garnet color mid-glass; this wine possesses a nice blend of earthy mushroom and dark cherry fragrances. A taste of raisin, blackberry and some earth mid-palate lead into a luscious well balanced finish. Pair with
herb crusted turkey and sausage dressing.

100% Pinot Noir |$35 | Alcohol | 15.2% | 100% French Oak 40% new | Sample |

Tablas Creek 2011 En Gobelet

Tablas Creek
2011 En Gobelet

2011 ‘En Gobelet’ Tablas Creek, Paso Robles, CA
This red blend of four regal grapes is a very special wine. Rich smokey aromas with flavors of blackcherry, currants and coco.  A kaleidoscope of fall flavors ending in a luscious finish. Pair with smoked turkey, duck, turkey drumsticks.

29% Mourvedre 27% Grenache 26% Tannat 18% Syrah | $45 (member discounts available) | 13.9% Alcohol | French Oak | Personal Cellar Selection |

If you are unable to find these specific wines in time for your holiday meal, bring the list to your local wine shop, find something similar and share with us what you’ll be pouring. Wishing you and your family all my best this Thanksgiving.

Special thanks to Imagine Wine, Santa Barbara County Vitners’ Association, Finger Lakes Wine Alliance, Thirsty Owl Wine Company, LaRochelle Winery,  and Balzac Communications & Marketing for providing wine samples. To Talbas Creek for making amazing wine, and to my cousin Kelly for for inviting us to My Soulful Home. Cheers!

Posted in Finger Lakes Region, food and wine pairing, Grenache, Mourvedre, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Syrah, Tannat, Viognier, Wine Pairing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

LaZy Sunday sipping Zardetto Prosecco

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Posted in Prosecco | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Wine Review: Fat bastard 2012 Pinot Noir paired with Coq au vin

Two of the most frequently asked questions I receive are:
1) What’s a good brand of wine to begin learning about wine and 2) How do I know what wine to pair with my meals?

I can answer both questions with Thierry & Guy’s Fat bastard line of French Wines. The Fat bastard brand is carefully sourced and crafted into consistently good varietal examples at a price point that allows us to enjoy them any day. I’ve often purchased this brand to introduce new wine explorers to the differences in grape varieties, and is often my go to brand for large parties.

Pairing wine and food has some basic guidelines; one easy to remember guideline is to match the region of food with the region of the wine. So, when I was asked to sample Fat bastard 2012 Pinot Noir I couldn’t wait to make this season’s first Coq au vin and pair it with this wine. Coq au vin is not as complicated as it sounds; translated it is Chicken with wine. Find a recipe from your favorite Chef and follow along. Note: You may need 2 bottles of this wine one for chicken dish and sipping while preparing and one for the dinner table.

Fat bastard 2012 Pinot Noir

Fat bastard
2012 Pinot Noir

    The Wine

Bright ruby in color and opening with aromas of candied strawberries and bright flavors of bing cherries; the wine has nice levels of acid with gentle tannin finish. While sipping this wine on it’s own is good, pairing it with a meal or a cheese platter enhances the enjoyment.

Alcohol 13% | 100% Pinot Noir | Stainless Steel fermentation | Vineyard: Languedoc-Roussillon | Retails $11.00

The producers of Fat bastard would like you to know that for the months of September and October, they are donating 25cents for each bottle of wine purchased to benefit Breast Cancer programs. So far they have donated nearly $700,000. They are truly remarkable people, giving back and making a difference.

Many thanks to the good folks at Winebow and to Fat bastard’s wine maker Veronique Torcolacci for providing the wine.

Posted in Pinot Noir | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Wine reviews: #WineChat with Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association

Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association recently gathered six Wineries and twelve Wine Bloggers to host their first Coast-to-Coast Wine Chat. Readers of Wine Everyday are familiar with the format, tasting and tweeting our impressions of the wines and then summing it all up for you. Here are the six wines featured:


Santa Barbara Wines

2010 Pearl Paradise Mountain Viognier by Imagine Wine

Imagine Viognier

2010 Imagine Viognier

Using grapes sourced from Paradise Road Vineyard in the San Yenez Valley, Winemaker Ross Rankin handcrafted this graceful Viognier. During our Twitter Chat, Ross remarked that “Santa Barbara County is known for their Pinot Noir and Syrah, but we grow over 65 different kinds of grapes here.”

The wine presents a pale yellow hue almost champagne like; and slight perfume and floral aromas; flavors of lemon tart and peaches round out the wine with a mild vanilla finish. While it drinks very nicely alone, this wine pairs well with a fruit salad or a bit of manchago cheese.

Alcohol 14.3% | 100% Viognier | $24 | natural cork closure

2011 Arneis Honea Vineyard by Palmina

2011 Palmina Arneis

2011 Palmina Arneis

This is a new-to-me grape variety, Arneis, is a white Italian grape traditionally used as a blending grape, now grown in Australia, California and New Zealand. Arneis translates to ‘little rascal’ which explains its propensity to be difficult to grow. The grapes for Palmina’s wine are grown at Honea Vineyard in the Los Olivos District of the Santa Yenz Valley.

Light yellow in color with dusty wet wood aromas; mouth-feel is bright, light with lemon citrus flavors. The wine has a clean mineral finish. This is a refreshing wine, perfect for summer sipping; I paired this wine with grilled cilantro pesto shrimp. If you’ve never experienced Arnies wines you should strongly consider adding it to your white wine line up especially at this price point!

Alcohol 13.5% | 100% Arneis | $20 | natural cork closure

2012 Sierra Madre Chardonnay Summerland Winery

Sourced from grapes grown in the Santa Maria Valley AVA this wine drinks in the classic French Chablis style. Light green apple color with steely aromas along with a mouth-feel of stainless steel and lemon rind, leading to a sharp finish with plenty of acidity.

This is a wine to try if you are looking for a Chardonnay that hasn’t been oaked & buttered.

Alcohol 14.1% | 100% Chardonnay | $35 | 150 cases made | natural cork closure

2010 Brewer-Clifton Gnesa Chardonnay

Grapes from Lee Gnesa (knee-sa) Vineyards are exclusively used in this Brewer-Clifton Chardonnay, the wine presents a Straw golden hue with aromas of lemon floral essences. A tart grapefruit flavor with a tart lemon finish. The theme of lemon and citrus flavors are woven into most of the wines from this evenings tasting, a great feature of this region.

Alcohol 14.2% | 100% Chardonnay | $48 | 150 cases made | natural cork closure

2010 Sauvignon Blanc Fontes & Phillips

Fontes & Phillips

2010 Fontes & Phillips
Sauvignon Blanc

Husband and wife wine-making team Allan and Rochelle craft small lot, single vineyard wines sourced from Santa Barbara County vineyards. Their personal touch continues to the hand application of the beautifully crafted handmade pewter label made in South America.

A ‘shy yellow’ color in the glass; aromas of fresh linen and grass; flavors of citrus rind and tart watermelon lead to a tart clean finish. This wine paired well with a fresh salad of spinach, strawberry and toasted almonds.

Alcohol 13.8% | 100% Sauvignon Blanc | $18 | natural cork closure

2012 Sauvignon Blanc Baehner Fournier Vineyards

Not just a ‘single vineyard’ wine, the grapes used for this wine are from one row of grapevines at the Vogelzang Vineyard in the Happy Canyon region of Santa Barbara!

Very pale tint of yellow color with aromas of a hay field and flavors of grapefruit with a crisp citrus rind finish. This wine drinks great on a hot day!

Alcohol 13.5% | 100% Sauvignon Balnc | $20 | 90 cases made | natural cork closure

I hope you get a chance to visit each of these wineries, their web sites are linked within the article. If you get a chance to get to Santa Barbara, be sure to stop in and tell them Wine Everyday said Cheers!

Many thanks to Bill Eyer Director of #WineChat , Morgen McLaughlin, Executive Director Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association and to the Wineries for sharing their time and their wine with us.
Posted in Arneis, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Pepi Winery 2011 Sauvignon Blanc paired with Emeril Lagasse’s Linguine with Seafood

Pepi Winery"A True California Original"

Pepi Winery
“A True California Original”

Since 1968 Pepi Winery has been producing white wines sourced from vineyards in California’s cool climate regions. I was delighted to receive a selection of their 2011 wines to review. I decided to prepare Emeril Lagasse’s Linguine with Seafood for this wine tasting event. The recipe calls for 1 cup dry white wine, so my first chore was to decide which of the four whites was the driest (in wine lingo dry means opposite of sweet.) Now, on to the wine line-up!

Emeril LagasseLinguine with Seafood

Emeril Lagasse
Linguine with Seafood

2011 Sauvignon Blanc

Sourced from vineyards in Clarksburg and Lake Country California there is an ever so slight grassy aroma along with delightful apple and pear essence. Flavors of citrus and stone fruit lead to a clean finish. The stainless steel is prominent in this dry, very quaff-able wine. This wine won as the best pairing with Emeril’s Linguine with Seafood. Alcohol 12.6%



2011 Pinot Grigio
Sourced from vineyards in Monterey and Sacramento Delta, the wine is almost crystal clear in the glass with essences of strawberries on the nose. The mouth-feel is semi sweet ~ think White Sangria ~ This wine would pair well with a Sunday Brunch menu of French Toast and Fruit Cocktail. Alcohol 13.0%

2011 Chenin Blanc – Viognier

When Chenin Blanc is done right, it can produce quality wines as is evident in its ancestral home in the Loire Valley of France. Unfortunately, Americans have witnessed Chenin Blanc being mass produced as jug wine. Let’s give this grape a break and see how it blends with the Viognier.
The grapes were sourced from vineyards in Clarksburg and Central Valley California. Using 66% Chenin Blanc and 34% Viognier; this wine has delightful floral honeysuckle aromas with sweet flavors of apricot and peach. This will pair well with a variety of salads and would be a good choice if you are just beginning to explore white wines.  Alcohol 12.4%

2011 Chardonnay

Sourced from vineyards in Arroyo Seco and Delta; fermented in stainless steel and aged in oak, this wine is not a typical overly-oaky-buttery California Chardonnay. Apple aromas with a sweet crème brulee flavor, this is a Chardonnay that Moscato lovers will enjoy. Pair this will spicy Asian dishes. Alcohol 13.4%

Leaving the best news for last, these wines are all priced at $10. Cheers!

Many thanks to Winemaker Mark Rasmussen, Pepi Winery and Balzac Communications for providing the wine.

Posted in Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, food and wine pairing, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, White California Wine, White Wine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Wine pairings for Thanksgiving Dinner

Wine Twits #WITS2012 Virtual Tasting

Wente | Garnet | Hahn | Franciscan
For #WITS2012 Virtual Tasting

We’ve all heard of Vertical and Horizontal wine tastings, but have you ever participated in a Virtual wine tasting?

It’s where you taste actual wine and share your experience via Twitter with others drinking the same wine; wine lovers united around a laptop sipping and sharing wine-tweets! It is a lot of fun. 

The good folks at Wine Twits hosted an event a while back featuring four wines which I thought would be perfect to pair with Thanksgiving Dinner. These are readily available, priced perfectly and crowd tested. I hope you enjoy them!

2010 Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay

2010 Wente
Morning Fog Chardonnay

Wente Vineyards 2010 Chardonnay Morning Fog | Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay

Very pale colors in the glass; with subtle lemon and pear aromas. Lemon vanilla pound cake flavors with a tiny bit of oak on the finish.  This wine was fermented in 50% French oak and 50% stainless steel; the oak doesn’t take over the fruit flavors of the wine, but gives it just enough to know you are drinking a California Chardonnay. Retails for $13 | Alcohol 13.5% |

Hahn Winery 2011 California Pinot Noir

Brilliant red in the glass with lavender powder aromas and flavors of dark cherry and candy essences. Aged in 33% new French oak and 67% neutral oak, it would pair well with grilled salmon as well as a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Retails $14 | Alcohol 14.5% |

Garnet 2010 Carneros Pinot Noir

Garnet 2010 Carneros
Pinot Noir

Garnet 2010 Carneros Pinot Noir

Translucent cherry red with a slight brown hue in the glass, gentle perfume aromas with a wisp of forest essence; dried strawberry flavors and a bright burst of cherry on the finish. Aged in neutral and new French oak, this is a very classy Pinot Noir and would be very welcome at the Thanksgiving table. Retails $20 | Alcohol 13.77%

Franciscan Estate ‘Magnificent’ Meritage

This red wine is a blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec. The Meritage label is only allowed if the wine is crafted with in the strict guidelines of the Meritage Alliance; making American wines in the traditional Bordeaux fashion. I encourage you to read more about it at their website. Winemaker Janet Myers crafted this complex wine; showing a very deep red color with intense smoked meats, tobacco barn and clove aromas. The flavors developed later in the decanter, suggesting you could lay this bottle down for another year or two to experience it in its full glory. Yet drinking now it’s a robust earthy wine which I would offer to those heading out to the firepit with cigars. Retails $50 | Alcohol 14.5%

Which wines will you be serving this Thanksgiving Holiday? I’d love to know if you tried something new!

Many thanks to the good folks at Wine Twits and wine makers Karl D. Wente, Hahn Estates, Garnet Vineyards, Janet Myers for providing the wine.

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, food and wine pairing, Malbec, Meritage, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir, Wine Pairing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

12 Most Pretty in Pink Wines for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Edward Sellers Rose - Paso Robles

Edward Sellers Rose
Paso Robles, CA

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Montha time that many take an active role to raise money and awareness for this disease. Pink has become its trademark color, so I would like to take this opportunity to raise a glass of wine in a toast of remembrance and thanks to all who have been touched by this disease and to those who have devoted their life’s work to treat patients and find cures.

Choose your favorite Rose wine, or pick from these 12 I’ve been sipping this year to toast your Hero!

1. Edward Sellers 2011 Rosé

Paso Robles, CA | 50% Grenache | 50% Syrah | 13.9% Alcohol | $20

2. Talbas Creek Vineyard 2011 Rosé

Paso Robles, CA | 58% Mourvèdre | 30% Grenache | 12% Gounoise | $14.5% Alcohol | $27

3. La Cabriole 2011 Cabernet De Saumur

Cabernet de Saumur, FR | Cabernet Franc & Cabernet Sauvignon | $10

4. Bessert de Bellefon “Cuvée des Moines” Champagne Brut Rosé

Epernay, FR | Champagne Blend | 12.5% Alcohol | $40- $50

5. Chateau de Nage Costieres De Nimes 2010 Reserve

Costieres de Nimes, Fr | 60% Grenache Noir | 40% Syrah | $10

6. Domaine Guy Mousset Côtes du Rhone 2011

Côtes du Rhone, FR | Grenache & Syrah Blend | Alcohol N/A | $10

7. Thanksgiving Farm 2009 Rosé

Harwood, Maryland | 53% Merlot | 40% Cabernet Franc | 7% Cabernet Sauvignon | Alcohol 11.6% | $15

8. Argyle 2008 Brut Rosé

Dundee Hills, OR | 50% Pinot Menunier | 40% Pinot Noir | 10% Chardonnay | Alcohol 13.5% | $35 – $40

9. The Crusher 2011 Rosé of Pinot Noir

Clarksburg, CA | 100% Pinot Noir | Alcohol 13.6% | $18

10. Chateau Ballan Larquette 2009 Rosé

Bordeaux, FR | 45% Merlot | 40% Cabernet Sauvignon | 15% Cabernet Franc | Alcohol N/A | $16

11. Santa Julia Brut Rosé

Mendoza, Argentina | 100% Pinot Noir | Alcohol 12.5% | $13

12. Charity Case 2008 Rosé

Napa, CA | Made with a blend of donated juice from dedicated Napa Winemakers | Alcohol 14.1% | $12 | 100% of proceeds benefits charities in and around Napa County California

Which Rosé wines would you choose to toast your Hero? I would love to know.

This article was previously published by 12most and is republished by the Author Eileen Gross
Posted in 12most, Cabernet Franc, Rose | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments