100 Days, 100 Wines – Day 8 – 2009 Sicoris Red Wine

This is a pretty exciting little Spanish red blend – Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo Merlot and Syrah. It sees about 10 months in French and American oak – and really showcases an array aromas and flavors. I got lots of cedar, vanilla and some cola (yup – as in “Coca Cola) on the nose. Lots of darker or black fruit on the palate (dark red cherry, some blackberry) and just a hint of spice. Plush, fruit forward but still has a savory edge to it. This is one of those wines that with each sip you will be engaged by a different flavor or nuance. Under $15 – this is a great one to try any time!



100 Days, 100 Wines – 2010 Minchin Valencay Le Claux Delorme Blanc


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This is one of those completely gorgeous wines that you may not pick up right off the bat without a little guidance, a big reason why I chose if for today’s post. It needs to be seen and heard….and tasted! The label is a bit mystifying –  the region of Valancey is within the Loire Valley but actually found along the Cher river, rather than the Loire River as most of the Loire wine regions. Typically you will only see Sauvignon Blanc produced here of white varietals.

This wine is 100% Sauvignon Blanc, yet it shows a real softness and roundness on the finish which almost makes you think there is something else blended in there. Citrus, some pear, and some floral notes on the nose. Really fresh and inviting. You get lots of that pretty citrus fruit (orange), on the palate along with the pear and hints of citrus zest. Good acidity and a totally mouth-watering appeal. The finish is smooth and has a slight creaminess to it. I literally haven’t been able to stop thinking about this wine since I tasted it! I am sure it helps that the weather is 60 degrees in February in Ohio and I am thinking about the end of the summer when I will finally be able to indulge in wine again. <<SIGH>>

It’s under $20 – a great wine to serve with any sort of seafood, or with light appetizers. Your guests will be thanking you for introducing them to something cool and new.


100 Days, 100 Wines – Day 6 – Santerro Fragolino


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We’ve been featuring this tasty little treat for the upcoming holiday (yes, love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is next up), and while it is really tasty, it has also proven to be a bit mysterious. Most of us have never heard of Fragolino. I for one hadn’t, until recently when I tried this wine. I have found after doing a bit of research that Fragolino is an Italian grape varietal that derives its name from the Italian word for strawberry – fragola. With good reason – once poured the intense aroma of fresh strawberries is very apparent. The color is the other thing that is really striking – imagine mashing up a bowl full of ripe raspberries.Pretty, light, bubbly and fresh with that sweet but not too sweet allure that keeps you coming back for another glass!

A fun little wine to pop open if you are celebrating Valentine’s Day with your loved one. Having a girls night instead?! Again, pretty delicious option. So either way you sort of can’t go wrong.

100 Days, 100 Wines – Day 5 – 2010 Tussock Jumper Chardonnay


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I tasted this little value Chardonnay last week and loved it! That simple! The wines are part of a sort of co-op project – each varietal coming from a different region. They are meant to be inexpensive, fun, solid value wines. I got to taste the line up and while there were a few nice options, the Chardonnay was what jumped out at me as the best quality for the money.

The labels are fun and quirky but it’s what is inside the bottle that counts. This is a great option for those that love a lighter style of Chardonnay – lots of bright, crisp, juicy fruit on the palate (think crisp green apple, melon, some lemon zest) – but with a softer, rounder finish. Just a hint of oak gives it that bit of vanilla and creaminess which is nice. I believe  the fruit is sourced from southern France.

Really solid Chard for $10 – great find for our Values Under $15 Fixture!


100 Days, 100 Wines – Day 4 – 2008 David Girard Vineyards Rive d’Or


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I had to bust out my map of Califonia for this one. David Girard Vineyards is located in El Dorado County – right in the Sierra Foothills. They focus on small production wines with a focus on Rhone varietals. Another cool thing – David Girard Wines are actually made by a woman. Actually, aside from their vineyard manager, the David Girard Vineyards is run by a female staff. Gotta love all that girl power.

The 2008 David Girard Rive d’Or is their Bordeaux style blend – composed mainly of Cabernet with additions of Merlot and Malbec. I was really impressed with this wine – full bodied, layered – lots of red and black fruit, spice (clove, nutmeg), some hints of vanilla and chocolate. Pretty long finish – it leaves an impression.

Great winter time red – nice with steak. Would definitely give this one a try, at $20 it’s well worth the money.


100 Days, 100 Wines – Day 3 – 2008 Joel Gott Pelkan Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon

Finally on to a red – and a delicious one at that. We hosted a California Cabernet tasting this past Friday with what I would consider a pretty solid line up – ranging from great value wines to some that are for maybe a bit more of a special occasion. The clear-cut winner in the line up was the a nice, fruit forward little $10 Cab. And why not. I’ll admit, the one thing that always bugs me a little with a category like California Cabs is that there can be a certain air of snobbery with these wines – they have to be from Napa, they must have a certain rating from a certain publication, blah….blah….etc…

Let’s be honest – was the $10 Cab my favorite option of the evening based solely on taste? No. Was the most expensive Cab we poured my personal favorite? Um…nope! For most of us out there, a good, tasty $10 wine is exactly what we are looking for. Spending $30-$40 on a wine for a Tuesday isn’t an option when you have ballet lessons to pay for, a broken furnace to fix and when you still want to indulge in your occasional Starbucks habit. Trust me – I love wine – but I also like to enjoy it pretty regularly so that’s where a great $10 value wine comes into play. Finding a really nice, very enjoyable $10 Cab is a bonus.

Now on the occasion that maybe you scored extra big savings couponing for the week, or if decide that this Friday instead of heading out for dinner where you are inevitably paying for the “experience” over the food, and you decide staying in and making your own experience is worth while, I would highly recommend this next wine – 2008 Joel Gott Pelkan Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon.

This isn’t a rip your tongue off with tannins sort of Cab – although I would say it is full-bodied and rich, but not overpowering. This is one of Joel Gott’s single vineyard offerings from Pelkan Ranch in Knights Valley (Sonoma County).  The result is a  full-bodied and  lush wine with dark fruit (think ripe blackberries or even maybe some black raspberry jam), a nice balance of rich fruit and acidity and smooth, sweeter tannins. There was an elegance and drinkability to this wine that made it super approachable and delicious. At $34 it wasn’t a total bank buster. We tasted this next to the Joel Gott ‘815’ Cabernet  – also a solid selection – however the Pelkan was the showstopper.

Great wine to enjoy next to your warm, toasty fireplace over the weekend – worth cutting back on some of your regular, possibly slightly frivolous expenditures to snag this for the weekend.

100 Days, 100 Wines – Day 2: Firriato Etna Bianco

I am on a bit of a white kick right now, despite the frigid temperatures – maybe because I am wishing it was warm and sunny, and daydreaming about sitting out on my deck enjoying the sun and a glass of white wine. Of course I will be waiting until sometime in August to be enjoying this scenario – post baby. Only two trimesters to go!

I have a weak spot of interesting Italian whites and this one is no exception. From the producer Firriato of Sicily – and this is not the only wine from this producer that we stock which says a lot to the quality of their wines. Firriato Etna Bianco comes from vineyards at the base of Mount Etna – an active volcano on the eastern coast of Sicily. It is made from two varietals – Catarratto and Carricante, both lesser known indigenous varietals  to this region.

The perfect way to describe the first sip of this wine is “golden”. Floral on the nose – beautiful ripe fruit on the palate – think juicy pear, white peaches, and maybe a hint of ginger. It definitely has a richness to it that would appease those that love Chardonnay or Viognier; this is no thin white wine.

No need to wait until summer. This is a great winter white – have it with roast chicken (our Sunday staple), with a four cheese flatbread or with fish. Delicious and a bit more unique; give your guests something to talk about over dinner!Image


100 Days, 100 Wines – Day 1 – Lone Birch White

So here we are – Day 1 of our 100 Days, 100 Wines blog posts and I decided to kick it off with a great value wine I tasted last week that I just can’t seem to stop thinking about. I am such a fan of almost any wine coming out of Washington State, so it wasn’t really a surprise that I was so excited about this wine. The other part of my excitement was over the awesome price. At $12 retail, this is one of those wines that could become a staple, go to white to have on hand year round.

2009 Long Birch White Blend (Yakima Valley, Washington)


I expected this to be a super fruity, sort of simple wine right off the bat (cute name, nice label, super affordable….so I kind of had in mind, how good could this really be?) but was surprised. It was kind of like biting into a ripe, juicy pear – and then taking a bite of a juicy orange, and then a hint of lemon. A combination of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Semillon, Roussanne and Marsanne…this white blend shows a lot of dimension for such a great price point. Super fresh and floral aromas, juicy and ripe on the palate with somewhat of a tropical influence with nice, bright acidity. Definitely a lot of bang for your buck – this would be a great party wine. It would appease lots of different palates from those that like things on the sweet and fruity side to those that prefer something a bit drier and more complex. This would be a great match to one of the curry dishes from Thai Grille over here in Uptown – I regularly get the chicken in the red curry sauce with vegetables and brown rice and this wine would be a great partner to that dish. For those that haven’t checked out the Thai Grille, this is my plug. Great little family owned and operated business, delicious, authentic Thai food. Grab a bottle of Lone Birch White – some Thai curry takeout, and you will be in for a treat.

Spit Bucket

First blog post in quite some time, the holidays always do this to me! It’s such a whirlwind in the world of retail and before you know it, its January. Not that I am complaining about a busy holiday season! Amidst all the holiday chaos this year, we are experiencing some other additional excitement in our family – we are expecting our second baby in August! Jason and I are both beyond excited (as is big sister to be – Laila), but this does pose the question of how will I do my job?!

The answer is in the bucket.

The dump bucket (or now affectionately known as the spit bucket). Sorry it’s not very glamorous to say the least. However the show must go on – there are many great wines to taste and explore and while my husband can do his share to taste and explore, the ultimate decision is on my shoulders of what exciting new wines will line our shelves, and as we get ready to start our glass pours, etc… there are many decisions to be made! So from now through August I will be “tasting” (and spitting) all of these wonderful wines, in an effort to bring our customers what they want!

In the mean time, we are taking this wine drinking hiatus to read more – learn more – plan more wine related trips for the future. Not drinking wine doesn’t mean I don’t get to enjoy it!

We will be starting a new blog series – 100 Days, 100 Wines. There are so many exciting, hidden gems in our store – new wines we are bringing in, and what better way to get the info to you than to do a brief blog post on each wine, what we love about it, what we would serve it with (if anything at all). They may not be exactly consecutive – but they will be consistent, and a great way to easily reference what is new and fun and on our radar!

So check out our first post, coming soon!!