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De Moor Bourgogne Chitry 2017

Synopsis, Our Opinion: Very distinctive and delicious white Burgundy.

Producer/Winery: Alice and Olivier de Moor; Courgis, France.

Grape Variety: Chardonnay.

Geographic Appellation,, Region, Country: Burgundy, France.

Vintage: 2017

Price: $29.00 (with a 10% mixed case discount) [click to continue…]

Vallana Boca 2011

Synopsis, Our Opinion: OUTSTANDING Nebbiolo and a fantastic value.

Producer/Winery: Antonio Vallana; Maggiora, Italy

Grape Variety: Nebbiolo blend – 65% Nebbiolo, 20% Vespolina and 15% Uva Rara.

Geographic Appellation,, Region, Country: Boca; Alto Piedmont, Italy.

Vintage: 2011

Price: $31.50 (with a 10% mixed case discount) [click to continue…]

The best grocery store wines

This year while in California we reviewed 31 wines purchased in local grocery stores. We specifically looked in the under $10 price range and as expected we found quite a few wines we really didn’t think were even up to the quality of that low price point. We bought both imported and California wines, but had to search to find an equal amount of imported wines in the California grocery stores. Throughout our brief grocery store wine review we were quite surprised to find wines we thought had quality far above the purchase price. Following is a list (in alphabetical order) of the seven wines we thought were OUTSTANDING values (what we call the three and four thumbs up rating). if you can find these wines in your grocery store we recommend you buy all all you can get, especially if the purchase price is near what we paid for them. [click to continue…]

Synopsis, Our Opinion: impressive grocery store wine that should
be bought by the case…it was an AWESOME VALUE!!!

Producer/Winery: Jim Clendenen, Au Bon Climat; Santa Maria, California.

Grape Variety: Pinot Noir.

Geographic Appellation,, Region, Country: Santa Barbara County; Central Coast, California.

Vintage: 2017

Price: $16.99 (with a 30% mixed 6-pack discount) [click to continue…]

Layer Cake Primitivo 2015

Synopsis, Our Opinion: Simply a disappointing inexpensive grocery store wine

Producer/Winery: RI 16424, Italy.

Grape Variety: Primitivo (Zinfandel).

Geographic Appellation,, Region, Country: Puglia, Italy.

Vintage: 2015

Price: $9.99 (with a 30% mixed 6-pack discount) [click to continue…]

Simi Sonoma County Merlot 2016

Synopsis, Our Opinion: Another disappointing grocery store wine.

Producer/Winery: Simi Winery; Geyserville, California.

Grape Variety: Merlot blend – 87% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Malbec.

Geographic Appellation,, Region, Country: Sonoma County; North Coast, California.

Vintage: 2016

Price: $10.99 (with a 30% mixed 6-pack discount) [click to continue…]

Chleo Wine Collection Pinot Grigio 2017

Synopsis, Our Opinion: A clean easy drinking and inexpensive Pinot Grigio.

Producer/Winery: Imported and bottled by Chleo Wine Collection; Livermore, California.

Grape Variety: Pinot Grigio.

Geographic Appellation,, Region, Country: Valdadige, Italy.

Vintage: 2017

Price: $9.99 (with a 10% mixed 6-pack discount) [click to continue…]

Some Observations on Our Wine Drinking

Ramesh, our Sommelier on the Queen Victoria who discussed our wine and pairing with us each night

We recently had an epiphany drinking wines at a wine pairing dinner on Cunard’s Queen Victoria. We brought 48 different bottles of wine with us when we boarded the ship for a 57-day cruise around South America. We consumed one of these wines with dinner every night or occasionally with lunch. The wines we brought with us all came from The Caviste Wine Shop in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and were priced at roughly $25-100/bottle, about the price of most wines on the Queen Victoria wine list. We had to pay a $25 corking fee, but felt we were still drinking better wines than we could purchase on the ship for about the same price.

At a wine pairing dinner hosted by the Head Sommelier and Executive Chef (see, Wine Pairing: Lunch and Dinner on the Cunard Queen Victoria several French wines were served that were over $200 or the higher end of ships wine list, so we sampled and paired several of the best wines available on the ship. Now for the punch line. All of the wines we brought with us from home were better than any of those served at the wine pairing dinner or we drank at several wine tastings on the trip!!! So what’s going on here? [click to continue…]

Location: Verandah Restaurant, Cunard Queen Victoria

Host(s): Vellen Mootoosamy, Chief Sommelier, James Abilash Executive Chef and Maya Todorova, Head Waitress.

Vellen Mootoosamy

James Abhilash

Maya Todorova

Dinner Price: $250/person and Lunch $80 [click to continue…]

Predator Old Vine Zinfandel 2017

Synopsis, Our Opinion: A VERY disappointing Zinfandel.

Producer/Winery: Rutherford Wine Company; Predator Wines; St. Helena, California.

Grape Variety: Zinfandel.

Geographic Appellation,, Region, Country: Lodi; Central Valley, California.

Vintage: 2017

Price: $9.99 (with a 30% mixed 6-pack discount) [click to continue…]