Veni, Vidi, Vino

This page is as much for me as it is for you. Too many times I’m introduced to a great bottle of wine while out or at a friend’s place but when I’m at the store faced with a million labels I can’t remember the name or vintage I like and end up purchasing the same bottles again and again.

Although I really didn’t get into wine until a few years ago, I grew up with it. My parents have been in the same wine tasting group for 40+ years and there was serious talk of opening a wine shop. This is a pretty typical scene when I go home now:

 

We conduct wine tastings for fun. Afterwards we feast on fresh-caught seafood.

 

Today, living in the Bay Area of California, I’m surrounded by the thousands of wineries and vineyards that dot Napa, Sonoma, Livermore, and the Santa Cruz Mountains. A little further south I’ve got Gilroy, Monterrey, and Santa Barbara wines. I’m in wino-heaven here! However, for all the tastings I’ve done I’m no expert. I simply know what I like and don’t like. When tasting, my scoring ranges from “Do you want to finish this one?” to “Ooooh that’s delicious I really like this!” This is what I want to keep track of here. This page is my cheat sheet that I’m going to be able to access on my smartphone while I’m in the wine aisle. And I thought I’d give you access, too!

Wines are listed by type and in order, #1 being my top pick but all wines listed are those I like and consistently purchase unless otherwise noted. Like the ones at the very bottom. Those are a few I steer clear of because I know I don’t like them want to avoid wasting more money. Check back often as I keep adding. Also, please comment with a few of your faves for me to try and add to the list!

Cheers!

Chardonnay

  1. 2008 Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay, Napa - $30 at Bevmo
  2. 2010 Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay, Sonoma – $12 at Costco
  3. 2009 Kirkland Chardonnay, Napa – $7.99 at Costco
  4. 2010 Kirkland Chardonnay, Napa – $7.99 at Costco
  5. 2009 Talbott Chardonnay, Carmel Valley
  6. 2009 Bernardus Chardonnay, Carmel Valley
  7. 2005 Louis Jadot Chassagne-Montrachet, France – $50 online
  8. 2008 Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay, Monterey and Santa Barbara – $11.99 at Costco
  9. 2007 Ridge Vineyards Chardonnay, Monte Bello – $40 at vineyard
  10. 2009 Shiloh Road Chardonnay, Sonoma – $12 at Bevmo
  11. 2009 Rapitala Piano Maltese Bianco, Sicily – $27 at Enoteca La Storia
  12. 2008 Far Niente Chardonnay, Napa – $65 at Enoteca La Storia
  13. 2008 Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay, California – $13
  14. 2009 Louis Jadot Mocon-Villages Chardonnay, France – $9 at Trader Joes
  15. 2008 Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay, Sonoma – $9 at Costco

Pinot Grigio

  1. Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio, Italy – $20 at Costco
  2. 2009 Kirkland Signature Pinot Grigio, Italy – $8 at Costco

Viognier 

  1. 2010 Clos LaChance Reserve Viognier, California – $22 at Clos LaChance

Sparkling

  1. Mumm Sparkling Pinot Noir Brut Reserve, Napa, CA – $13 at Target
  2. Fortino Winery Almond Sparkling Wine, Gilroy, CA – $12 at Cosentino’s
  3. Pol Clement Sec Sparkling Rose, France – $13
  4. NV Gosset Grande Reserve Brut, Champagne, France
  5. NV Gosset Brut Excellence
  6. Bellussi Prosecco Brut – $10 at Costco
  7. Martini & Rossi Asti Spumante Champagne – $10 (although I first had it in Italy where it was 2 Euro!)

Rose

  1. 2008 Savannah Chanelle Rose, Russian River Valley – $12 at Savannah Chanelle
  2. 2008 Peju Provence, Russian River Valley – $20 at Peju Vineyards
  3. 2009 Savannah Chanelle Rose, Russian River Valley – $12 at Savannah Chanelle
  4. 2010 Testarosa Novitiate Pinot Noir Rose, $13 at Testarosa

Pinot Noir

  1. 2007 Rex Hill Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, OR. $26 at Bevmo
  2. Kathryn Kennedy
  3. 2008 Bernardus
  4. 2006 Robert Stemmler Pinot Noir, Caneros, CA
  5. 2009 Savannah Chanelle Pinot Noir Insider’s Club, Sonoma Coast – $40 ($24 Wine Club)
  6. 2009 Savannah Chanelle Pinot Noir, Central Coast – $18 Wine Club
  7. 2009 Savannah Chanelle Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
  8. 2008 Paraiso Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands, CA.

Cabernet Sauvignon

  1. 2002 Snoqualmie Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley – no longer available.
  2. 2009 Clayhouse Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles, CA – $19.99 at Bevmo
  3. 2006 Jason Stephens Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Clara Valley, CA
  4. 2007 Layer Cake Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa – $23
  5. 2009 Bogle Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Graton, California – $8.99 at Bevmo
  6. 2008 Tre by Emilio Gugliermo Cabernet Sauvignon, California – $9.99 at Emilio Gulgielmo Winery
  7. 2008 Liberty School Caberbet Sauvignon, Paso Robles – $10 Costco

Zinfandel

  1. 2008 Layer Cake Primitivo, Puglia, Italy – $13 at Bevmo
  2. 2010 The Bucanner Zinfandel, California – $19.99 at Bevmo
  3. 2009 Castle Rock, Mendocino County, CA – $8
  4. 2008 Ridge Geyserville Zinfandel, Alexander Valley, CA – $28
  5. 2008 Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, CA – $35
  6. 2003 Battaglini Zinfandel, Twin Pines Vineyards Russian River Valley, CA
  7. 2008 Old Ghost Zinfandel, Lodi, CA – $36 at Bevmo
  8. 2007 Punta Aguila Primito Zin…. Puglia, IT
  9. 2010 Gen5 Old Vine Zinfandel… Lodi, CA – $14.99 at Bevmo (best after being opened for awhile)

Grenache

  1. 2007 Sarah’s Vineyard Nuits d’Enfer, Santa Clara Valley, CA – $19.99 at Sarah’s Vineyard
  2. 2009 Sarah’s Vineyard Estate Grenache, Santa Clara Valley, CA

Petite Verdot

  1. 2009 Jason Stephens Winery Estate Petite Verdot, Santa Clara Valley, CA

Syrah

  1. 2005 Black Oak Shiraz, California

Merlot

  1. 2008 181 Cellars Merlot, Lodi – $9.99 Bevmo

Steer Clear – Reds

  1. Toasted Head
  2. Barefoot
  3. Query Pinoit Noir
  4. Guenoc Lillie’s Claret ’09 – boring
  5. 2010 Layer Cake Shiraz, South Australia
  6. 2011 Buccaneer Zinfandel, California – too light, little flavor for Zin
  7. 2011 Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Steer Clear – Whites

  1. 2011 Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay, Sonoma
  2. 2011 Kirkland Chardonnay, Napa

2 thoughts on “Veni, Vidi, Vino

  1. trish says:

    Heavens! who were your parents??

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