Category Archives: What I’m Drinking Tonight

Grgich Hills 03 Carneros Chardonay

Grgich 03

Grgich 03


Sometimes you drink a special bottle of wine on a special occasion.  Other times…yourwine storagecooling unit breaks and you’re too broke to fix it, so you decide to get drunk on your best bottles.

This is special wine, it was made to commemorate the “1977 Tasting of Paris” where a bunch of upstarts from California’s fledgling wine industry took on the big dogs from France and won. White Burgundy—White Smurgundy!!!

14 years aging give it a gorgeous honey yellow color like the eyes of angry cat.  At 14 this kitty’s still got some swish in it’s tail.  Grgich wines don’t undergo Malolactic fermentation, so it’s a crisper style, lacking (but not missing) the buttery mouth feel of some more pedestrian Chards.  

The first impression on the nose is citrus blossoms and pear, those aromas accompany the bright acid when it hits your tongue like a kitten batting a favorite toy.  The mid palate is dominated by honeyed fruits, toasted almonds and vanilla curl up on your lap while lemon zest purrs this baby to sleep.

This ain’t no shelter cat, this is pedigreed purebred built to please and worth every nickle.  Best white wine I’ve ever tasted.


Suggested pairings

Roast Chicken


Evodia 2014 Garnacha


You’re never gonna find a better wine for under $10.00, this wine is an amazing value.

It comes on like an unassuming family car with a monster V8 hidden under the hood.  The deep plum purple color is your first hint that something unusual is happening inside this ordinary looking bottle of budget wine.

Crack the throttle and this hotrod ROARS to life, like a supercharged fruit bomb it lights up your palate with big juicy blueberry fruit.  Effervescent acidity and a little bit of white pepper show themselves as this beast hits it’s stride mid palate and storms toward the finish where gentle tannins  and mineral flavors pull the chute and coast into victory lane.

It’s aged demi-muid, which means it’s done in a larger wooden barrel, the greater wine to surface area ratio tones down the effects of the wood on the wine and allows slower maturation.  This results in a consistently yummy bottle of rotten grape juice.

Take this wine out for a drive and put some overpriced wines in their place.

Suggested pairings,

Blue Cheese
Game meats

Trapiche Broquel Malbec 2013



The black fruits on this wine stand out like a Gaucho on a golf course.  Stick your nose in the glass and you’ll see what I mean.  Proudly wearing his poncho and knocking the ball 300 yards without dropping his hand rolled cigarette.

This is a rustic wine, it has round corners like a madam in a frontier brothel.  If you like this wine you’ll call it “voluptuous” if you don’t you’ll call it flabby.  The tannins are softer than a basset hound puppy’s ears.

Give it a minute in your face hole and it starts to show some unexpected depth, smoky tobacco and leather dominate the mid palate with a green peppercorn finish. This wine will lasso your tongue with it’s rebenque and stick it’s hand up your achiripá (look those words up) to tickle yer sack with it’s calloused hands.

Suggested pairings:

Santa Maria Tri Tip

Grilled Mushrooms

Cattle Rustling

Terra d’Oro Chenin Blanc Viognier 2014

Terra d'oro




Do you like the smell of Lemon Pledge?  The mouth feel of a watered dish soap?  Pink grapefruit shampoo?   If so, this is the wine for you.

In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t like Chenin Blanc as a rule.  I find the oily texture off putting and it’s grassy sour acidity gives me the heeby jeebies.  The varietal tastes to me, like an unpleasant Sunday school teacher lacking in personal hygiene.  Oily, funky, and dour.

I do like Viognier, a good one puts me in mind of kissing a flower…intimately.

Curiosity got the better of me and I gave this wine a shot.  It’s not for me, I see where they were going with it, but the Viognier is OBLITERATED for me with the aggressive pink grapefruit flavors of the Chenin Blanc.  Let it warm up and you’ll catch a little bright tropical fruit.   Distinctly full bodied with substantial acidity.  But there’s just no “there” there for me.

This isn’t a “bad” wine, I just don’t like it.  You might.

Suggested pairings:

Shell fish
Other stuff I don’t really like




Buccaneer Zinfandel 2011


This wine reminds me of a puppy that notices you reaching for the leash and then just goes NUTS. It’s ready to go walkies all around your mouth.

Stick your nose in this little fella’s nether regions and you’ll be rewarded with ripe red berries. On the second sniff you begin to suspect it got into grandma’s jam and then sat in a plate of fresh ground pepper.

In the mouth it’s light to medium bodied and tends to scamper about with an almost effervescent exuberance. Jammy raspberry fruits play fetch with the heat from the (highish) alcohol. Moderate tannins give it a texture like the finest rawhide and provide plenty of chewy pleasures.

The finish is long and tenacious like a game of tug with a terrier (that’s the little dog, not terroir as far as terroir goes this is straight Napa sunshine). The classic Zin varietal black/white pepper spiciness is the alpha dog in this pack.

I liked this wine a lot, it’s pedigreed mutt with a dopey grin.

Suggested pairings:

BBQ Ribs
Pizza with BBQ sauce
Turkey (especially smoked)
Spinach/Cheese Pastry Puffs
Old chewed up slippers and belly rubs.

MD 20/20 Electric Melon (Mogen David NV)

I love everything about this wine from it’s convenient screw top closure, to it’s rectangular bottle that nestles comfortably in a coat pocket and won’t roll away from you in a fit of pique the way the second or third conventional bottle might.

This wine deserves your full attention, start by observing the amazing color, the wine makers of Provence could never dream of matching it’s bright pinkness. This wine positively glows (especially under a black light). Then, take a moment to appreciate the opalescent clarity (give it a moment for the sediments to settle).

Next, take a deep breath and savor the glorious assault on your olfactory system. This wine brings a powerful current of melon scents. You can certainly tell why they named it “Electric Melon”. Hang in there past the initial melon blast and suck in an undercurrent of nuttiness, not unlike a Rhone Rose or a plastic jug left in the sun.

Normally I caution people against serving a wine too cold, many people take the suggestion “serve chilled” to mean ice cold that numbs the wine into near tastelessness. But, this wine seems to lose NOTHING in the chill, I did a direct comparison with this wine and even with my, dare I say, “experienced” palate I couldn’t perceive a bit of difference between refrigerator cold and out of the pocket room temp. A real testament to the wine maker’s skill and dedication I’d say!

The drinking experience redefines structure in a wine. Full bodied and distinctly off-dry this wine remains undiminished from start to finish. A singular experience with none of the pedestrian vinousness of most wines. The finish is reminiscent of a Hallows Eve treat (Laughy Taffy) and sure to evoke pleasurable memories. The pleasant heat from the alcohol(this is a fortified wine) roars down the throat like Promethean fire, illuminating the dark places inside.

Suggested parings:
Cocktail weenies
Escargot in garlic butter
Pickled eggs
Baked beans warmed over Sterno
Domestic violence


Stephen Vincent Crimson 2012

Stephen Vincent Crimson

This is a wine for people who have to be convinced to drink wine. There’s no pretense here, this is fermented grape juice.

Right out of the bottle the nose is assertive, like a used car salesman on the last day of the month trying to make his quota. Ripe blackberry and vanilla…vanilla that’s trying to be subtle, yet failing.

This wine jumps straight into your mouth with alacrity. The big fruit on the nose shows strongly in the mouth. Along with the big fruit there’s big acid that cuts the fruit nicely. Really, without the acid the fruit on this beast would hug your tongue like an over friendly aunt wearing too much perfume.

Then there’s the vanilla, clearly this wine has done some time on oak. Hard time! The vanilla and toasted oak stand out on this wine like a teardrop tattoo on a felon.

The finish is surprisingly clean, with a hint of green pepper.

This is an egalitarian wine, it won’t judge you, it’ll just get you drunk and taste good doing it.

Suggested pairings:
Dark Chocolate,
Lamb(with mint),
Grilled Sausage,

Foodies Red Blend NV (That’s “Non Vintage” you ignorant wretch)


Bought this wine for less than 10 bucks at Cost Plus. I am pleasantly surprised, much like the name implies this is a wine to serve with food. It’s simple fruit forward style and pleasing acidity will pair with anything you just want a “Red” wine for, a true steak to pizza red. But, this wine goes a little deeper than that, like a particularly promiscuous member of whatever gender you like to sex, this wine wants to get intimate with your mouth. And it’s willing to go the extra mile to get there.

Right up front, the nose greets you like a Barry White tune, all dark chocolate and ripe berries, with an earthy musk that aches of bad decisions gone right.

First impression on the palate is like a Jolly Rancher candy, bright fruits and lively acidity get you interested. This wine doesn’t need a second chance to make a first impression. It’s charms are on display like it’s wearing tight linen pants.

The initial sex appeal is just the beginning. I told you this wine was willing to go the extra mile. The mid palate on this tramp is dense and concentrated, it’s like reading poetry naked, if that poem consisted of jammy plum flavors and voluptuous tannins…just enough to fill out its jeans and no muffin top.

The finish leaves you wistful, but not disappointed. You’ll be aware of it on the pillow of your palate long after it’s made you coffee, breakfast and called a cab.

Recommended pairings:

Pasta with Red Sauce
Grilled Cheese
Grilled Mushrooms
Cheese Burger