All posts tagged: Wine

Wine Review – 2015 Opaque “Darkness”

I was feeling good.  I had tasted great wines and was having a fun, wine-nerdy conversation with Hector, a San Antonio veteran of over 30 years. “Do you want to try the wine my wife and I drink?” he asked. Of course I did! That’s when he brought out “Opaque.” He explained to me that he and his wife like bold wines, and this one was basically an “everything but the kitchen sink” type of wine. With a blend of six varietals, he was right!  I chuckled as he listed them off: Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Petit Sirah, and Petit Verdot. What an audacious offering.  I couldn’t wait to try it! Sure enough, it was everything it was promised to be: rich, dark, inky, voluptuous! This wine filled my mouth with a beautiful balance of tannins and acid. I tasted luscious fruit – ripe berries with hints of chocolate and smoke. It finished with a dusting of cinnamon, cloves, and a touch of pepper. The finish lingered, as the remaining wine painted the glass. …

San Antonio Winery Los Angeles Tasting Room

The San Antonio Winery Tasting Room in Los Angeles has a cornucopia of delicious things. Not only do they have their large portfolio of wines available for tasting and for purchase, but they also have (non-San Antonio Winery) distilled spirits for sale including a few brands of Japanese whiskey. There are gourmet food items and snacks along with wine-themed gifts. The on-premises restaurant, Maddalena, has a stunning “visual menu” of all the entrees that are available. The selection is huge! Selection seems to be the predominant theme at the San Antonio Tasting Room. There is even a selection of wine tastings, ranging in price from $5 to $15 for four tastes of wine. The $5 tasting is for the well-known San Antonio brand of sweet to semi-sweet Stella Rosa wines, while the $7 tasting is for the lesser-known and dryer San Simeon and Maddalena brands. The $15 tasting is for the Artisan wines. The guest is able to select the wines they would like to taste. While San Antonio Winery no longer grows in Los Angeles, …

San Antonio Winery – A Los Angeles Landmark in Winemaking

Did you know Los Angeles was once the main wine-producing region in California? The first grapes in the Downtown Los Angeles area were planted in 1833. By 1890, there were vineyards that stretched throughout the majority of the Southern California region, with over 80 wineries in the Los Angeles area. Unfortunately, Prohibition in 1920 wiped out most of these vineyards, since the production, sale, and transportation of alcohol was prohibited. San Antonio Winery was only three years old when Prohibition began.  The founder, Santo Cambianica found a way to adapt to the situation.  A loophole in the act allowed the production of sacramental wine. Cambianca, a devout Catholic, was able to stay in business by selling the wine for religious services. This was a turn of genius and actually established San Antonio Winery as the largest producer of communal wine in the United States. At the time Prohibition began, the winery was producing around 5,000 cases of wine.  By the end of Prohibition in 1933, San Antonio Winery was producing over 20,000 cases of wine. After …

One Last Hurrah for Merlot Month

It’s no longer Merlot month, but I did have this tasty treat during that time.   🍷2017 Bogle Vineyards Merlot from Napa Valley This was a good find at Trader Joe’s for under $10 – can you believe it? Under $10 from a 2018 Green Medal Leader Award winner, which honors the vineyard that best demonstrates environmentally sound, socially equitable and economically viable sustainable practices. Not only that, Bogle is a Certified Sustainable Vineyard and is Green Certified. Hooray for sustainability!! As for the wine itself, this Merlot has a deep garnet hue, which is almost black. Bright berry notes greet the nose, along with cherry and plum notes on the palate. This is drinkable now, but it’s a little young. I would recommend buying it now and laying it down for a couple of years to develop some more complex flavors. I paired this wine with a quickly made truffle gnocchi with cremini mushrooms, thyme, olive oil, lemon zest, and garlic. This brought out some beautiful earthy notes along with a creamy mouthfeel.

Furlani “Joannizza” Pét-Nat

Grown in the alpine city of Trento, Italy, “Joannizza” is created from Joannita, a grape created in 1968 from a cross of Riesling, Seyve-Villard, Rulander, and Gutedel.  This varietal is fungus and disease resistant…and rare. It is only grown in a few places, mostly in Germany and Switzerland. The Furlani family vineyard has 2.5 acres of Joannita. This vineyard is currently in the hands of Matteo Furlani, a 4th generation winemaker. While the family has always practiced organic farming, Matteo has also introduced some biodynamic techniques. Additionally, wines are fermented with no yeast or sulfur, in cement tanks and small glass jugs with no temperature control. The wines are placed outside in the snow to settle. This hands-off, small-batch approach is reflected in the wine. With a week of fermentation on the skins of the grape, the secondary fermentation is completed in the bottle with conserved grape must, resulting in lovely and persistent medium-sized bubbles. The hue is a bright and cheerful lemonade yellow, with strong aromas of yeasty baked bread, unripe apricot, and toasted …

2015 Predator “Six Spot”

A ladybug with six spots symbolizes a bountiful harvest. “Six Spot” is the perfect name for this enticing red blend from Predator Wines, by Rutherford Ranch.  With 48% Petite Sirah, 30% Zinfandel, and 22% Malbec, this wine fills the mouth with delicious flavors of raspberries, blueberries, ripe dark fruits, sugared plums, and mint. It is a cornucopia of luscious, silky flavors with an equally aromatic bouquet of perfumed cassis, red licorice, and juicy blackberries. It is deep, it is rich, it is bodacious! What’s better than that? Predator Wines is committed to sustainable farming practices, including introducing ladybugs to the Vineyards to keep out harmful pests. They also use reclaimed water (such an important practice in drought-prone California) and solar power. Cheers to that! Stats: 2016 Predator Wines “Six Spot” 48% Petite Sirah, 30% Zinfandel, 22% Malbec Lodi, CA, USA 13.5% Alcohol      

Left Coast “Cali’s Cuvée” 2016 Estate Pinot Noir

I like surprises.  I enjoy it when something is not quite what I was expecting – especially if it is interesting and thought-provoking.  This is what I experienced with Left Coast’s “Cali’s Cuvée” 2016 Estate Pinot Noir. It began with the color.  When I poured this Pinot Noir in the glass, it was a deep, rich color of purple, almost black.  The perfumed cassis aroma was intoxicating, and the flavors were unexpected. I tasted roses, violets, boysenberry and rich, dark fruit. It filled my mouth with a luxurious silkiness and left me wanting more. At $24 for the bottle, this wine is a steal. Grown in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, Left Coast Estate is known for its role in creating sustainability. They explain on their website: “We take a holistic approach to everything at Left Coast, sustainability being at the core of all we do. We received the largest USDA grant in Oregon in 2008 to go solar, and the vast majority of our estate’s electrical needs are supplied by the ground and roof …