2011 Chateau Coupe Roses Minervois La Bastide

Chateau Coupe Roses is an estate in the Minervios appellation in France with almost 100 acres of vineyards.  This family run winery takes pride in the wines they produce and are true to traditional winemaking methods.  There are no additives to the wine and minimal intervention in the winemaking process.   The 2011 Chateau Coupe Roses Minervois La Bastide is a blend of predominantly Carignan and Grenache with a tad of Syrah and it’s well worth sipping.    


Tasting Notes

Pours a deep ruby color in the glass with aromas of must and rich berries.  The palate is earthy and there are layers of tar, cherries, raspberries, blueberries, and black pepper with floral nuances.  Somewhat reminiscent of a Bordeaux…dirty and delicious! ($14)

My Wine Rating – B+

Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair with grilled swordfish, burgers, or lamb.

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Super Bowl Sunday Wine Picks!

The Super Bowl is only days away and I have been asked by friends and family which wines go best with Super Bowl party foods.  I have a few favorite combinations that will definitely be served at my Super Bowl party and I thought I would share them you guys!


Wings and Zinfandel

It is pretty hard to have a Super Bowl party without wings!  One great wine to pair with most wing varieties is Zinfandel.  Whether the wings are spicy or sweet, most Zinfandels can stand their own.  Look for a Zin with enough acidity and tannins to shine alongside the wings.  I just enjoyed a bottle I brought home from Unti Vineyards in Sonoma County that would go really well.  Their 2009 has big fruit and spice flavors with structured tannins…very delicious! ($28)

Chips, Guacamole, and Grüner!

In Southern California, no Super Bowl party is complete without a little bit of Mexican fare.  Chips and guacamole are my personal favorite football snack combo and I love pairing it with Grüner Veltliner (Grüner goes great with fish tacos too!).  Try a bottle of 2011 Grooner from Austria (the “house” Grüner at my residence…only $10).  The lively acidity of the Grüner cuts through the fat in the avocados and the citrus and apple flavors work in perfect harmony with the lime, onions, and cilantro in the guacamole.

Soft German Pretzels and Sparkling Rose

Every year I make soft pretzels from scratch.  While beer is an obvious pairing, I find that I really enjoy Sparkling Rose as well.  I recently tasted Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut Rose and it is a no-brainer pairing due to both the taste and price ($12).  Soft flavors of strawberry and citrus are lifted with crisp acidity.  Great with the pretzels and just about anything else!

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Domaine de la Janasse “Terre d’Argile” 2010

I was cruising through a local wine store last week and picked up a bottle that caught my eye.  Domaine de la Janasse “Terre d’Argile” 2010 is a red blend from southern Rhone that has garnered a lot of attention.  Full-bodied and bold, it is the antithesis of restrained wines but well-worth uncorking!

 Janasse Pic

Tasting Notes

Pouring a dark, inky purple in the glass, this Rhone has aromas of dark berries, licorice, and exotic spices.  The palate is full-bodied, powerful, and multi-dimensional with tastes of cherries, black raspberries, black currants, earth, spices, and charcoal.   I recommend that you let this wine age…it is fresh and has plenty of acidity to give it a long life in the bottle.   ($20)

My Wine Rating – B+

Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair with roasted lamb, game meats, or root vegetables.

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Weekend Wine and Food Pairing – Swordfish and Sauvignon Blanc

It is nice and warm this weekend so I couldn’t help but grill something delicious.  I stopped by the grocery store and they had some great looking swordfish steaks so I grabbed a couple and threw them on the grill.  They were excellent and the wine we paired was delicious as well!


One of my go to pairings with swordfish is a crisp and tropical Sauvignon Blanc.  The clean, fresh flavors really complement the swordfish and harmonize beautifully.  If you aren’t sure which Sauvignon Blanc to uncork, try a bottle of Cimarone 2011 3CV Sauvignon Blanc ($15.99).  Aged in stainless steel and full of citrus and tropical flavors, this wine is a great companion for swordfish.  So, whether it warm enough to fire up the grill or you are baking swordfish in the oven, grab a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and enjoy!

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Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut Rose NV

If your pockets are empty after the holiday season but you still want to indulge in a tasty bottle of sparkling wine, I definitely suggest you uncork a bottle of Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut Rose.  This Washington state sparkler is 100% Pinot Noir and retails for around $12.  It really delivers an enjoyable experience that is hard to beat for the price.


Tasting Notes

Aromas of fresh strawberries and slightly creamy in texture.  Soft tastes of strawberry and citrus are lifted with crisp acidity.  Refreshing and super food friendly!  (12% alcohol)

My Wine Rating – B

Food pairing suggestions – Enjoy with a turkey burger, eggs benedict, or as an aperitif.

*Media Sample

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Trader Joe’s Wine Pick – Coppola 2010 Rosso

I haven’t bought much wine from Trader Joe’s lately so, when I realized a new vintage of Coppola Rosso was out, I picked up a bottle.  It has generally been a pretty good buy amongst many of the wines that under deliver at TJ’s.  A blend of 33% Zinfandel, 26% Syrah, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Petite Sirah, (not on the bottle but found with some searching) 13.5% alcohol, and $7.99 at TJ’s (in CA).


Tasting Notes

This blend features aromas of red cherries, dark berries, and spice.  The palate is jammy with flavors of strawberries, red cherries, and black pepper.  Smooth tannins and a short, clean finish.  A nice overall value…especially if you prefer fruit-forward wines!

My Wine Rating – B

Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair with pizza, barbeque ribs, or grilled sirloin.


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Weekend Wine and Food Pairing – Dungeness Crab and Viognier

I have been overindulging in seafood lately, which is definitely not a bad thing!  Last week I enjoyed some fresh Dungeness crab from Northern California and tried a few different wine pairings with it.  One pairing that really stood out was Viognier.

All mine!

Viognier is generally very aromatic (think floral and peach aromas) with tastes that can include peach, citrus, or tropical flavors.  Viognier from cooler regions tends to have lots of acidity.  The acidity makes it a great match for seafood, in particular crab.  One cool-climate Viognier a friend uncorked during our Dungeness crab feast was from a small Oregon winery called Quady North.  Their delicious 2008 Steelhead Run Viognier was fantastic with the crab.  While I am pretty sure this vintage is sold out, keep an eye on their website, www.quadynorth.com, for the 2009 vintage.

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2010 Domaine Monpertuis Côtes du Rhône

I am a sucker for Rhône wines and came across a great find last week. Domaine Monpertuis is a winery in Chateauneuf-du-Pape that has been run by the Juene family for six generations.  Their 2010 “Vignoble de la Ramière” Côtes du Rhône is organically farmed, unfiltered, and a great value. 


Predominantly Grenache with a touch of Syrah, this Rhône has aromas of cherry, herbs and earth.  A nicely structured palate shows tastes of black cherry, blackberry, spice and herbs followed with a juicy finish.  A sophisticated wine for the price!  It pairs nicely with pork or salmon.  (13.5% alcohol, $14)


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Value Pick – Tilia 2011 Malbec

I am going to start the week off with a great value I picked up at a local wine store.  Tilia 2011 Malbec is sustainably farmed in the Mendoza region of Argentina.  It is relatively easy to find and retails for around $7. 


Pouring an intense violet in the glass, Tilia Malbec has pleasant aromas of dark cherry, plum, and herbs.  The palate is smooth and super easy to sip.  There are tastes of cherry, raspberry and pepper with soft tannins and a hint of vanilla.  Nothing complex about the palate but, if you are looking for a good everyday value, pick up a bottle!  It definitely beats out most of the competition at this price point.  ($7, 13.5% alcohol)

Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair this Malbec with simple fare like sirloin, pizza or bison burgers.

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Mini-Review – Mud House 2009 Riesling

I have been tasting through a lot of “winter whites” lately and some have been fantastic and others mundane.  Mud House 2009 Riesling was one of the wines in the line up and it definitely provides an interesting experience for your palate.


Rich gold in color, this New Zealand Riesling has aromas of pineapple, honey and flowers.  The palate has some unique notes of tangy lemon, tangerine, rose petal and ginger.  Tart lemon lingers in the finish.  A great wine to pair with sushi or teriyaki tofu!  (13% alcohol, $12)

*Media Sample

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