Palate Pleasers

Archive for the ‘Wines’ Category

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had a few good bottles of wine that I’d like to write about. 

The first is CASS 2006 Paso Robles Grenache.  Mike and I went to Paso Robles in November 2008 and went to quite a few good wineries that I’m sure I’ll eventually write about.  Cass Winery was recommended to us and I’m really glad we went to it.  Cass had a nice tasting room that opened onto the Vineyards.  Each wine we tried was really enjoyable – but I really loved the Grenache.  It was 90% Grenache and 10% Mouvedre for structure.  Grenache has always been a blending wine, but more and more wineries are taking these blending wines and creating stand-alone wines.  It had great fruit (Strawberry & Cherries) with a little pepper and vanilla notes in the finish.  I loved it!  This wine would go great with Roasted Turkey (think Thanksgiving) and Cherry Salsa.  (

Last weekend, I opened up a Forefront 2007 Cabernet, this wine is a second label by Pine Ridge Vineyards.  Pine Ridge Cabernets are some of my all time favorties or I figured this off-shoot should be really good too.  It was a nice easy drinking wine.  The first day was great and then it opened up more on the 2nd and 3rd days.   Yes it took me 3 days to drink this bottle…since I’m the primary wine drinker in the family, I don’t guzzle a bottle of wine down by myself in one sitting, but, I do enjoy it over a few days.  This wine is a Bordeaux blend which adds to the structure of the wine and it also has an addition of Syrah which gives it some really good jammy fruit and hints of vanilla and toasty oak.  It runs about $29.00 for a bottle and is well worth it.  (

Mike bought be a serving tray kit where you add your own cork collection to create the tray.  I came across these corks with “Z” on them and couldn’t for the life of me figure out what wine this was until I saw it at a wine store recently and it all came back to me.  This wine is “Z” for Zinfandel – I did find it at a local wine store and ended up buying the bottle.  When I opened it up Saturday night it was light in color – similar to a Pinot Noir; however it had good flavors – Blackberry, toasty oak and vanilla – it was very enjoyable and Mike and I finished the bottle that night.  This bottle is from Amador County which is in Central California and is $19.99/bottle. 


Right after Christmas I was sick and pretty much had no taste in my palette.  I couldn’t taste food or wine.  So, once I got that back I found myself enjoying the seasonings on the food so much more and could really appreciate some of the flavors in the wines I opened.  Going back to January 8th, these are some of the wines I’ve had during that time.

  • Scherrer 2006 Russian River Valley Syrah.  After having been sick for a couple of weeks this is one of the first wines I tried.  I received this as a gift at Christmas and thoroughly enjoyed it.  On my first sip, it coated my entire palette with nice rich fruit flavors, pepper and some earthiness, plus a finish that lingered and made me wanting more.  It was sufficiently better the 2nd day as it had time to open.  I loved this Syrah and am in the process of ordering more.  I went to a wine tasting in Long Beach on Saturday and had a chance to try more of Scherrer Wines and meet Fred Scherrer the Owner & Winemaker.  His Zinfandels and Cabernet are among my favorites as well.  Can’t wait to get my wine shipment next week.  (


  • The Following Thursday (Jan 14) I opened a 2007 Charles Creek Malbec.  It is from the East Soda Rock Vineyard in Alexander Valley.  Alexander Valley is a cool climate area that produces excellent wines.  This Malbec is no exception.  I had never heard of the winery before and received it at Christmas as a gift.  Most of the Malbecs I have tried from the Napa & Sonoma Valley are made in the traditional bordeaux style and are not as Jammy and Fruit forward as its Argentinian cousins.  This Malbec was amazing – lots of good fruit and hints of mocha in the finish.  I really enjoyed it.  (


  • For the Pork Chops I opened a French Pinot Noir, which was nice and had a good balance of minerals but didn’t over power the flavors in the pork.  Personally, I’m not a Pinot Noir fan as they are too light for me.  I tend to like a nice full-bodied Cabernet, Zinfandel or Syrah.  The only time I drink Pinot Noir is with Pork.  I have a few in my wine cabinet so I’m sure I’ll be talking about them in the coming year.  The Russian River, Carneros and Central Coast regions all boast some amazing Pinot’s.  I’m sure you’ll find one that pleases your palette.

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June 2018
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