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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…]


Synopsis, Our Opinion: A VERY EXCELLENT value grocery store Merlot.

Producer/Winery: Chateau Ste Michelle; Paterson, Washington.

Grape Variety: Merlot Blend – 84% Merlot and 16% Syrah.

Geographic Appellation,, Region, Country: Coumbia Valley, Washington.

Vintage: 2016

Price: $11.99 (with a mixed 6-pack discount) [click to continue…]

Bonterra California Merlot 2017


Synopsis, Our Opinion: A sweet California red wine that was filled
with easy drinking Merlot characteristics.

Producer/Winery: Bonterra Vineyards; Hopland, California.

Grape Variety: Merlot with small amounts of Petite Sirah and Malbec.

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

Vintage: 2017

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

Campo Viejo Rioja 2017


Synopsis, Our Opinion: “Not Bad” and a good buy.

Producer/Winery: Bodegas Campo Viejo; Logrono, Spain.

Grape Variety: Tempranillo.

Geographic Appellation,, Region, Country: Rioja, Spain.

Vintage: 2017

Price: $6.99 (with a 30% mixed 6-pack discount) [click to continue…]

Wine Tasting: Casas del Bosque

Winery/Producer: Casas del Bosque; Casablanca; Valparaíso, Chile.

Appellation: Casablanca Valley, Chile, South America.

Location: Casablanca, Chile
casasdelbosque.cl/ [click to continue…]

La Vieille Ferme Rouge 2018


Synopsis, Our Opinion: A fantastic understated red wine that’s an incredible value.

Producer/Winery: Famille Perrin; La Vieille Ferme; Orange, France.

Grape Variety: Southern Rhone blend – Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah.

Geographic Appellation,, Region, Country: Southern Rhone Valley, France.

Vintage: 2018

Price: $5.59 (with a 30% mixed 6-pack discount) [click to continue…]