Wise Acre Cabernet Sauvignon | Napa’s Most Exclusive Cabernet?
I believe there’s a lot of significance in a name, and in my opinion Wise Acre Vineyard couldn’t be a more appropriate namesake for what is arguably Napa Valley’s smallest commercial winery. Measuring in at a mere 1/2 acre, there isn’t much room for error, is there?
Kirkland Signature Reserva Rioja | A $7 Costco Rioja?
I’ve been Shopping for Wine at Costco for years now, and by now I’ve enjoyed more than few examples of Costco’s own private-label Kirkland Signature wines. While not always home-runs, more often than not they are compelling values – much like many of the under-priced wines coming out of Spain at the moment.
Spanish wines are often my go-to when I want something interesting, with a true sense of place, at an affordable price point. So imaging my excitement when I see two of my reliable go-to’s combined in one bottle: Costco Rioja, and a Reserva level at under $7 no less!
I have received quite a few e-mails for Kosher wine recommendations lately, so I will make an effort to include a few more Kosher wine reviews when possible. Taking into consideration the surging popularity of Moscato wine at the moment, I thought it might make sense to try out an affordable Kosher Moscato wine option. Meeting both requirements is the Sara Bee Moscato, economically priced at just under $6 in the Trader Joe’s Wine Section.
At 5.5% ABV, I fully expect that the Sara Bee Moscato will fall on the sweeter side of the spectrum (during fermentation, yeasts convert alcohol to sugar, so a higher alcohol rating translates to lower sugar levels). While sweet wines aren’t exactly my cup of tea, my goal is to help readers determine if this is indeed a Moscato Kosher wine bargain or one to avoid altogether.
Cairdean Estate Winery | The Complete Package in Napa?
I have driven past the Cairdean Estate Winery several times yet never fully appreciated the scale and quality of the project. The modern structure that’s visible appears relatively understated and unassuming from Highway 29. Simply passing by you would never guess that newly completed Cairdean Estate Winery is actually a fairly expansive compound replete with one of the more complete, all-encompassing visitor experiences in Napa Valley.
Sure, you could come just to taste their award-winning estate-grown Cabernet Franc, or to grab a gourmet coffee (or bloody mary for that matter) at Butterscots Cafe, where the warm, welcoming aesthetic draws inspiration from a European kitchen. You could also do your best to resist the carefully curated, luxurious, checkbook-draining temptations on display at the Redolent Mercantile.
Seavey Caravina Cabernet | Second Wine, First Rate Quality
My adoration for the wines produced by Seavey Vineyard began years ago when I tasted their 2000 Estate Cabernet. Despite being considered a relatively weak vintage by Napa standards, Seavey managed to produce a distinctive wine that was still showing incredibly well at over 10 years old.
Their family-run, boutique winery emphasizes quality over quantity and the wines impress for their power, structure and refinement in their youth as well as their graceful evolution in the cellar. My fondness for Seavey Vineyard was cemented when I visited the estate in the fall of 2013.
Castello di Amorosa | Wines as Impressive as the Tour?
A visit to Castello di Amorosa, or “The Castle” as it is often referred, is a must when visiting Napa Valley. Sure, it’s can be crowded and quite touristy, but it’s nothing short of spectacular to tour this sprawling, 121,000 square foot, 13th century era medieval Tuscan-inspired architectural masterpiece crafted from handmade materials, many of which were actually imported from Italy.
But what about the quality of the wines Castello di Amorosa produces? Today I’m on a mission to determine whether Castello di Amorosa’s wines are as medieval as the towering castle in which they’re made! You can check out more from my previous visit to Castello di Amorosa here.
Lokoya is a place that’s quietly tucked away along the Mayacamas Mountains in Napa Valley, in-between Mount Veeder and Spring Mountain. Meaning “the place where the geese fly over”, the area is remote and serene. There isn’t much happening here… unless of course you know where to look.
I had the good pleasure of meeting Suzanne Phifer Pavitt of Napa Valley’s Phifer Pavitt Wine this past week in Washington, D.C. Despite juggling a rather busy schedule (having just left a meeting with superstar restaurateur Jose Andres and his Master Sommelier Andy Myers) she took the time to personally introduce me to her Date Night Cabernet and the story that inspired it.
Suzanne has become quite adept at not just tackling a busy schedule, but also overcoming obstacles. She spent 14 years working for Chicago tech firm Comdisco in high tech equipment leasing, as one of only two women on a team of over 70 men. Needless to say, she is no push over and oozes an endearing combination of passionate determination and southern charm.
Apothic Dark Red Blend | How Does it Compare to the Apothic Red?
My recent review of the immensely popular Apothic Red Blend was met with an interesting response. On one side, many readers reacted positively and remarked that it was one of their favorite inexpensive red blends on the market. On the other hand, several readers commented that the Apothic Red was more of a ‘wine cocktail’ loaded with residual sugar and tainted with wine additives.
While I can’t speak to the issue of wine additives in either the Apothic Red or Apothic Dark wines, I completely agree that the Apothic Red tastes somewhat confected and like a ‘wine cocktail’ to a degree. I wrote that it tasted morelike a wine that was made in a laboratory than a vineyard, but that its uncomplicated and approachable sweet, ripe fruit flavors would be quite popular amongst many consumers.
Apothic Red Blend Reviewed | Top Red Blends Under $10
Have you visited the Costco wine section lately? I have, and triumphantly came away with a pretty solid Napa Cabernet under $20. Luckily not much has changed… as their selections continue to focus on value and are strongly oriented towards highly commercial options with a few gems from more boutique producers laced in there. Something else that has remained constant? The prominent positioning and suggestive placement of the Apothic Red Blend.