White

Ventana Vineyards 2011 chardonnay

Let me be up front with you. I like chardonnay. I don’t care that it’s what the masses drink (No. 1 varietal in the country) or that sophisticated enophiles roll their eyes at the mention of it and have gone so far as to form a satirical ABC club (Anything But Chardonnay). And I don’t…

Drew Barrymore, wine-starter

The wine-drinking world is made up of three kinds of people. Those who think the idea of a Drew Barrymore wine is just peachy; those who wouldn’t be caught dead, dead, drinking Drew Barrymore wine. And me,  whose first thought on getting a sample bottle (which came with a delightful little handwritten note) was, hmmm, can…

Sauvignon Blanc, Three Ways

My views on wine are ecumenical. There’s room in my life for a big, buttery chardonnay and a steely, unoaked version. Ditto a big, lively zinfandel (esp. if served alongside a chilly day and a warm fire) and, at other times, a refined and delicate pinot noir. So, I was tickled when a wine importer…

Frenzy 2011 Sauvignon Blanc

It looks like the era of trying to sell wine with cute critter labels has given way to an edgier trend of names that are unconventional if not shocking. Sometimes this works not at all for me. Although I know some women find all those “Bitch” wines amusing, I don’t. (But do let me know…

Down Under Cellars Chardonnay

down under chard

  Does expensive wine taste better? It may if you can see the price tag. This study famously showed that when people were given the same wine at different prices they thought the higher-priced version tasted better. Today’s wine, one of several produced by Bronco Wine Co., the home of Two Buck Chuck, might have had…

Conundrum 2010: A white wine blend that stands out

We’re used to buying wine by the grape variety _ cabernet sauvignon, merlot, sauvignon blanc, and that’s fine. But a blended wine can be very good, too … we’ve come a long way since the days when jugs of generic red and white were bywords for plonk. A recent wine I tried, Conundrum 2010, was…

Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Did you ever have to drink your words? For some reason, I had Kim Crawford wines pegged as overhyped. But then I tried the 2010 Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc sample that was sent to me and … wow. The wine starts with a refreshing aroma of grapefruit and pineapple, which continues with the taste…

Quivira: Sassy Sauvignon Blanc

“Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May/And summer’s lease hath all too short a date,” says Shakespeare in his Sonnet 18, and, boy, does that seem truer than ever this year. I cannot believe how quickly the summer flew past. Fortunately, we have winemakers standing ready to store summer in a bottle, which…

Happy cat’s pee day! #SauvBlanc

I knew I was getting into a weird area with this wine writing business when I learned that “cat’s pee” was a relatively common tasting note term when assessing the aroma of  sauvignon blanc. I mean, you know going in that tasting notes are a bit odd, if only for the full bodies, insouciant noses…

WOTW: Benessere Vineyards

I’d like to say I discovered Benessere Vineyards by driving around the Napa Valley and exploring a wildflower-lined lane. But the truth is I learned of them by getting a box of samples delivered to my door in Berkeley. So, not so much with the romantic backstory, but that, as it turns, out doesn’t matter…