Monthly Archives: May 2014

A visual and palatable feast of elegance with Verde Sole wines

The label is inviting on its own, but once you open a bottle of Verde Sole Chardonnay, get ready for a taste of elegance. What’s atypical of this chardonnay is that its made in stainless steel – no oaking. What you’ll get is pure grape from Fiar Play in the Sierra Foothills, California’s gold country. This is a wine akin to Chablis, France. Pair it with appetizers of cheese and salami, or enjoy with grilled fish or chicken, fettuccine alfredo, and a caeser salad.

ImageSo, once you’ve tasted the chardonnay, you’ll want to explore more varietals, such as Verde Sole’s zinfandel, a blend of mostly zinfandel, some petite sirah, syrah and grenache. An exquisite blend aged 18 months in French Oak barrels, this wine goes with anything red sauce or grilled. Enjoy! Visit for more information on where to purchase these Verde Sole wines.


Turning Leaf wines: Low priced, yet flavorful


Turning Leaf Chardonnay

Without being pretentious, Turning Leaf wines score for spring sipping and affordability. Although each of the four bottles I tasted were priced at $7.99, the guess was about $15 a bottle when put to the test.

Take, for instance, the Turning Leaf Merlot, with its earthy tones and hint of mocha — great to pair with a BBQ. Its texture is smooth and creamy, and this is a well-balanced wine with a complex, good tannin structure. There is no vintage on the bottle, so assume this wine, and in fact, all of the four I tasted, are a blend of fine years gone by.

Easy and inviting, Turning Leaf Chardonnay is perfect to pair with Brie cheese and apples, or grilled pork chops with ginger pear glaze. This wine offers a moderate finish, and its a bottle to use as an everyday pick that you don’t have to contemplate opening. Just do it and enjoy it.

Now, about the reds. Turning Leaf Pinot Noir is simple, and expressively boysenberry and pomegranate, with a hint of cooking spice. Open a bottle with a homemade pizza or roasted portabella mushrooms – perhaps sushi would work best. You decide.

Finally, the Turning Leaf Cabernet Sauvignon proves a wine doesn’t have to sit in oak for months to be good. The grapes speak for themselves in this jammy, meaty wine that works best with a good grilled rib-eye steak or prime rib — both with potatoes.

Perception is everything, and these wines with the simplistic labels and winemaking process prove that it’s all about the grapes. Visit for more information.

Las Rocas: one Rose, one Garnacha



I’ve been a fan of Las Rocas wines for a long time, so when I received a few bottles, I could hardly wait to open them.

So I did.

The first one was a bottle of 2013 Las Rocas Rose ($14), which brought immediate thoughts of candy to mind. If you like candy and wine, you’ll love this rose. I wasn’t a huge fan and felt that with each sip I was drinking cotton candy. I love rose wines, but this one was a bit candy-rich for my palate.

Next, I opened a bottle of 2011 Garnacha ($14) and I have to say, this wine was quite enjoyable. Surrounded by my family, it was the only bottle of wine served with dinner and I enjoyed each and every sip. I read that the grape yields for this garnacha wine of Spain were less than expected, due to little rain and hot temperatures. Fortunately, the weather cooled right before harvest and the outcome is delightfully delicious! I would highly recommend a bottle of this Las Rocas Garnacha, made from grapes picked from 30-50 year old vines in Calatayud with mingled flavors of dark cherry and blackberry.