I have seen a Ghost

The Ghost of 413 a Red Blend from Columbia Valley. At first taste, all the moisture was pulled from my tongue. As I look at the bottle, it doesn’t say what the blend is. My guess is some sort of Cab blend – with the dryness and big bang flavor. I wasn’t sure of this wine, it took almost a half of glass for me to decide if I liked it or not. The smell and taste of this wine doesn’t match. The smell is full of berry and spice, but the taste has a woody, cherry, coffee flavor. It is a nice wine however, especially if you like a full bodied Cab. This isn’t my favorite wine, but if you are a fan of big, dry wines, or you like to try new things, you will enjoy this one.

Tonight Tasting:

The Ghost of 413 – 2007 Red Blend, Columbia Valley ($14.99  – QFC, Whole Foods, Metropolitan Market): 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 12% Syrah

Limited cases of this wine – very big flavor. Not a 100% Cab, but has the big bang of one. I do not eat meat, but I can imagine this would taste very nice with a grilled steak or juicy prime rib. It you prefer a lighter red wine, or not a fan of red’s at all, steer clear of this. But, if you would like to shake up your taste buds a bit – give this wine a try. And remember not to judge at first taste. This one takes a while on your taste buds.

Happy Tasting!


You can always have your cake.. and drink it too

I love cake…. I love all flavors of cake – as long as it is moist, fresh and lightly coated with frosting (you never want to take away the flavor of a cake). My most favorite cake of all, is not something you eat, but something you drink.  Layer Cake…a cake that will last on your tongue, is fat-free and will always leave a smile on your face.

Tonight’s Tasting

Layer Cake – Vintage 2008 Shiraz, South Australia ( $14.99 Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Ballard Market, QFC, West Seattle Cellars)

I was introduced to Layer Cake last year, and immediately fell in love with it. The problem with Layer Cake last year, was that it was limited. Once it was out, it was out for the year. Which was disappointing, but also a challenge  to try to find who carried the wine- which I am fond of challenges. Once it was completely out in the Seattle area, a Malbec was introduced by Layer Cake. All I can say about that, was Ugh. The taste was way to dry and peppery (which is not a normal Malbec flavor). It was no where near as smooth as their Shiraz.

A couple months ago, while I was grocery shopping at Trader Joes, I noticed the 2008 Layer Cake Shiraz was released – and they also released more cases. I snagged a bottle and was just as pleased with ’08 as I was with the ’07.

This wine has a cherry, licorice flavor with a hint of coffee and chocolate. This wine is smooth and velvety. A great wine to add to your collection – a wine to always keep on hand (along with your Stump Jump). Please, try a piece of this cake. It really does melt in your mouth.

Peace, love and wine…..

Layer Cake Shiraz Wine

I apologize for the delay… but I have new wines

Portuguese wines… have you ever thought about Portuguese wines? I have. Lately I have had my heart set on visiting Portugal’s wine region. And if you know me.. when I have my heart set on something, I usually go for it. Portugal has some amazing wines. When you think of Portugal however, you usually think of Port. But, Portugal has some dynamic, and affordable, wine regions. My dream is to take a week and explore Portugal’s wine region the summer of 2011 (if someone will take my kids for a week). I don’t know why I am obsessed with exploring it, but I am. When I became with obsessed with Spain, I moved there, ( I hope I have that same drive about Portugal except, I probably won’t move there at this moment) . I just wished while I was in Spain I visited Portugal, but I didn’t. I went the other direction to France. So now, I am on a mission to explore Portugal. 

At the moment, I am in Scottsdale AZ. Ian ran into a great little wine store/bar called Bacchus in North Scottsdale (for my AZ peeps, in Kierland Commons).  Ian knows what wines I prefer and grabbed this Portuguese wine that he read about – thinking I would really enjoy it. Ian scored BIG time. This is a delicious wine!! Take notes my fellow novices. This is a wine worth the price. I just hope I can find this in Seattle. 

Tonight’s Tasting: 

Animus – Douro, Portugal  2005  (Bacchus, Scottsdale AZ $14.99) 

Wow!! What a wine for a vacation…. just wish it was a vacation in Portugal. This is from the northern region of Portugal. Animus was a pleasant surprise. It is a very simple wine, yet a party on your palate. Animus has a nice blend of dark cherry and raspberry flavor. Very clean, soft and fresh tasting. It has an inviting aroma – wonderful conversation with your friends you are sharing this wine with. Great for a night sitting out on your patio. Please ask your local wine store for this wine. I promise it won’t disappoint. 

Animus, Portugal


Since I am on vacation, why not open another bottle!  I popped open another wine I think my fellow Novices would enjoy (and their wallets too). While I was visiting my girlfriend Caroline last week (she has a new baby,Preston – adorable), I noticed a bottle of wine on her counter called Cupcake (FYI- best gift to give a new mom.. a bottle of wine. I know from experience). She hadn’t tried it yet and I was very curious about it’s flavor. When I see wine’s on counters, I become curious… So, while I was in Scottsdale, shopping at the local Fry’s (a Kroger store).. I noticed that same wine. I grabbed a bottle since it was a nice price of $9.99. 

Cupcake Vineyards – Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007  Central Coast CA (Fry’s – aka QFC, Fred Meyers  in Seattle $9.99) 

Another decent wine at a great price. I had a glass of this wine, after Animus. I was prepared to be disappointed since I loved Animus and guess what? I wasn’t. This is a heavy wine, but with great flavor. A blend of Plum, Cherry and Mocha is what stands out in my mouth. No bite at all. Smooth, rich and sweet. Bring this bottle to your next book club meeting for sure. Then that way you can focus on the wine and not on the fact you never finished the book! 

Keep on enjoying wine my friends….