Alamos Malbec  - This nice medium-bodied red wine is from Mendoza Argentina ($10). It's a wine that's very smooth and easy to drink. It goes well with beef, duck, dark meat chicken, lamb and pork shoulder, roasted vegetables or most any type of cheeses.
  Layer Cake Garnacha  - A nice fruit-filled red wine from Spain. It is low in tannin making it a smoother wine to drink. And with a price under $10, it's a good value too.
  Chataeu St Jean  - This Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Coast is really a great value at $13.  It's delicate, as a Pinot should be, with the cherry, raspberry and cola flavors.  Pinot Noir pairs amazingly well with everything from Salmon to Steaks.
  Sobon Estate Rosé ($12)   This is a nice dry rosé from Amador County, Ca.  This rosé is made from 96% Grenache grapes and 4% Syrah. It is crisp, fruity and refreshing with a nice dry finish. Chill it and enjoy!
  Francis Coppola Sofia Rosé ($13)   This is a nice, light rosé that's dry (the 12.5% alcohol listed on the label should tip you off that it's dry).  This is a blend of Syrah and Pinot Noir with flavors of cherry, raspberry and citrus zest.  Chill it and enjoy!  A little trivia - Francis Ford Coppola named this rosé for his daughter, Sofia, who is an Academy Award winning screenwriter, director, producer and actress.
   Sextant Wheelhouse Zinfandel ($15)    This is a nice Zinfandel with flavors of blackberries, dark cherries and some toasted flavors that finishes well. It is a bold, somewhat jammy wine that works well just sipping by the glass or enjoying with a meal.
  Bear Boat Russian River Pinot Noir ($18)   A really nice Pinot Noir. It has flavors of cherries, raspberries and cola. This is a delicate Pinot Noir that can be enjoyed with most foods, but pairs really well with salmon.
  Layer Cake Cabernet Sauvignon   ($13)   Don't let the chocolate cake on the label fool you. This is a serious wine, from a serious wine maker.  Jason Woodbridge is the owner of Hundred Acre. His 2012 Hundred Acre Cabernet Sauvignon received Wine Spectator's 94 point rating and is a $450 bottle of wine!  He is also the owner of Layer Cake stating that he "Likes the idea of a young man putting 20 bucks on the counter and getting some change back on a good wine."  This California Cabernet Sauvignon is a great value and well worth trying. Enjoy!
  Justin Sauvignon Blanc ($11)   This Sauvignon Blanc from Paso Robles is a great example of a crisp, zesty and refreshing wine.   The winery describes this wine as having fruit elements of guava and pineapple with subtle orange peel, and fresh herbal notes including chamomile flower.  It is dry, crisp and refreshing with lemon, green apple, white peach and guava. The finish is bright and clean, with a slight mineral texture.  This is an excellent value and worth searching out.
  Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc ($15)   Originated by Robert Mondavi in 1966, this Sauvignon Blanc spends time aging in oak to give it a bit more of a rich, creamy taste along with the green flavors of pear, melon and mineral notes. If you are a Chardonnay drinker and not so sure about Sauvignon Blanc, then you need to try this Fumé Blanc.
  Simi Sauvignon Blanc ($13)   This Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc has zesty notes of tangerine, lime and grapefruit.  It is produced in stainless steel tanks that retain the refreshing, full and vibrant fruity flavors of the wine.
  Jacques Bourguignon Chablis ($13)   It's Chardonnay, but if you've become accustomed to California Chardonnays, this is a different wine.  It's a lot more subtle in its flavors, a bit tart and has definite hints of minerality.  Give a French Burgundy from Chablis a try!
  Louis Jadot Burgundy ($17)   This Red Burgundy (Pinot Noir) is widely available and moderately priced. A great medium bodied wine with flavors of raspberries and a bit of earthiness. This wine goes great with most foods.
  Château de Belcier ($10)   This Bordeaux is a blend of 69% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 6% Malbec.  This is very typical of the Bordeaux blends of the Right Bank with its focus on Merlot. It is from the sub-region of Bordeaux called "Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux."  As you can see from the label, it is " Mis en Bouteille au Château " meaning it was bottled at the estate or on the property of the winery. But, the " Grand Vin de Bordeaux " is an unregulated term.  It is most often used as a way for a château to indicate that this is their best wine, a step up from the second bottling.
  Tertre du Moulin Bordeaux ($15)   This red blend is from Saint Émilion which is an appellation on the Right Bank of Bordeaux in France.  Being from Saint Émilion, it is predominately a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. A great value for a soft, smooth mouth feel. Goes great with meats and cheeses.
  Chateau Bellegrave Bordeaux Médoc ($15)   This red blend is from Médoc which is an appellation on the Left Bank of Bordeaux in France.  Being from the Left Bank, it is a blend, predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon. An affordable Left Bank Bordeaux that is big and bold without being overly tannic. Great with a steak!
  Opolo Vineyard Summit Creek Cabernet Sauvignon ($20)   This wine from Paso Robles CA is a great find. This Cabernet Sauvignon is described by as having  defined tannins with flavors of cherry, blackberry, toasted almonds and vanilla.  A super wine to enjoyed grilled meats, cheeses, or just by itself.
  Layer Cake Primitivo ($13)   This wine from  Puglia Italy is a Primitivo, but as stated in the blog, is also allowed to be labeled as a Zinfandel by European laws. This is a very accessible Italian Primitivo that is made very much in the style of California Zinfandels.  It has nice bright fruit and a smooth finish,  with just a hint of earthiness and minerals from the ancient seabeds of Puglia Italy.
  Stags' Leap Merlot ($20)   This medium-bodied wine from Napa Valley is an excellent wine at $20. Nice big red flavor of berry fruit with soft tannin and a smooth finish. Can't go wrong with a wine from Stags' Leap.
  Kenwood Jack London Zinfandel ($16)   This is a great one that I enjoyed with a short rib dinner. From Sonoma Mountain, this wine is described by the winery as having " fruity aromas of raspberry and fig combined with subtle notes of vanilla and white pepper. With its delicate and well-structured tannins, it provides an elegant mouth feel and a long finish ." Another great one to try!
  Columbia Crest Chardonnay ($8)   This week's wine is Columbia Crest Chardonnay. A great value at $8!  While the pendulum of Chardonnays has swung away from the heavily oaked "Big Buttery" Chardonnays, the Columbia Crest still gives buttery-oak Chardonnay lovers a viable option.  While the oak is bold and rich, it is not over-the-top. This is a great wine with seafood, chicken or a salad.
  Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel ($8)   This is a really nice wine and a great value. It's got intense fruit flavors without being a big 'jammy' Zinfandel. It is nicely oaked and smooth.
  Cantina Del Grifone 1967 Red Blend ($6)    This week's wine is Cantina Del Grifone 1967 Toscana. This is an Italian blend from Tuscany that is comprised of 85% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Syrah. You probably know Sangiovese as the grape used to produce wines from the Chianti region of Italy. This a nice red blend that goes with big flavored foods. And, at the price, it's one you can enjoy often.
  Charles Smith The Velvet Devil Merlot ($12)   This week's wine is one of many wines from winemaker Charles Smith.  In 2009, Food & Wine magazine awarded Charles “Winemaker of the Year.” You'll recognize his other wines by their simple, yet distinctive, black and white labels.  The Velvet Devil from the Columbia Valley is so named because of it being a smooth blend of 83% Merlot, 8% Malbec, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Syrah.  A nice easy and enjoyable Merlot from a great winemaker.   
  Wild Horse Central Coast Pinot Noir ($15)   This week's wine is a real nice Pinot Noir from the Central Coast of California. Wild Horse delivers with Pinot's great flavors of dried cherry and some earthiness. One of the great things about Pinot Noir is that it goes well with so many meals including salmon, poultry and grilled vegetables.
  Hanna Russian River Sauvignon Blanc ($14)   This week's wine is a great, crisp and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc from Hanna Winery & Vineyards. Summertime is a great time for a Sauvignon Blanc with its bright acidity and hints of lemon, grapefruit and peach. And, as is becoming increasingly available, this wine is Vegan Friendly. 
  Louis Jadot Beaujolais ($12)    This week's wine is a light bodied Beaujolais from France. This wine is made from the Gamay grape that results in an easy to drink wine with fresh fruit flavors including hints of strawberry and cherry. Chill this one slightly and enjoy with chicken, salmon and light cheeses such as Brie or Gruyere.
  Alexander Valley Vineyards Merlot ($15)   The Alexander Valley in Sonoma County turns out some terrific wines, including this Merlot.  This is a fine example of a medium bodied red with soft tannin and good fruit flavors of black cheery, blackberry and plum with a a touch of oak. The finish is long and lasting.
  Michael David Petite Petit ($14)    I always passed by this cartoon character label with the two elephants sipping wine. But Wine Enthusiast named this Petite Sirah their #2 pick on the 2015 top 100 wines, giving it a 94 point rating.  That caught my eye!  So, as Wine Enthusiast says "  Don't let the cartoony label fool you, this is a fantastic wine  ."  This is dark red wine with big rich fruit flavors. But, as Wine Enthusiast goes on "  For all its density and depth, however, this is not an overpowering monster.  " A really good highly rated wine at a terrific price.  You need to try this one!
  Boeger 2012 Barbera - El Dorado ($15)   This Barbera is from one of the oldest wineries in the Sierra Foothills. Barbera is a grape grown throughout Italy. It's a grape known for high acidity, soft tannin and dark fruit flavors.  The Boeger Barbera certainly has flavors of plums and spices, with velvety texture but its acidity is restrained, while the body is full and finishes very nicely. Seek this one out if you have never tried a Barbera.  You'll enjoy this great value.
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