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

New Holiday on February 14

I am not a fan of Valentines day. I actually find it the most pointless day. It is a throw-it-in-your face day if you are single or an I am disapointed in you day if you are married/dating. We all know this is just a Hallmark holiday, yet we still fall for this need to be romantic, buy a gift, pass out candy (that we don’t need) day. I would like to change this day. My challenge to you, fellow novices, is not to fall for this silly holiday by purchasing a gift for your loved one, but treat them to a FABULOUS bottle of wine. Or for all the single ladies or men, no need to stress over this pointless day – treat yourself to a wonderful bottle of wine. I am turning February 14th into Wine Day – anyone else in on this with me??

I would like to recommend some of my most favorite wines that will leave you feeling happy. I will have a wine in almost every price range. Take notes, grab a bottle (or two) and enjoy!

DeLille Cellars D2 (Columbia Valley) – around $32.00 – you can find this at local grocery stores such as Whole Foods, Ballard Market, Greenwood Market and most local wine shops.  This wine is worth the price, hands down. If you feel the need to splurge on this day, splurge on this wine!!

Wineglass Cellars Zinfandel 2007 (Yakima Valley) around $22.00 – if you are out of WA state, this will be a challenge for you to find For those in WA,  check your local wine shops, however I have seen it in Whole Foods, Ballard Market and QFC. Check Winecellars website, it tells you the places where their wines are sold. This Zin is dark, rich, chocolately and heavenly. If you can find it, grab as many bottles as you can find. It is amazing!

FYI to my out-of-state novices, if you are looking to join a wine club for WA wines, Wineglass Cellars will not let you down. I belong to their wine club and I have NEVER been disappointed with any of their wines.

Stump Jump Vintage 2008 Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre (South Australian)  around $11.00- I have mentioned this wine on many occasions, but I have talked about their pure Shiraz. This blend is also a very nice wine – and a little fruitier. For the price, you cannot beat this wine!! It tastes delicious. This wine is pretty easy to find – Costco, Whole Foods, many large grocery store chains and local wine stores.

Rigoloccio Rosato (Italian – Tuscan region)- $9.75. This Rose is refreshing and romantic. A Rose doesn’t have to be saved for summer time. This wine is perfect for any occasion. I have only seen it at West Seattle cellars, but take the name into your favorite wine store and I am sure they can find it for you.

Guenoc – 2007 Petite Sirah (California). Is around $8.00- good wine for a “can’t beat” price. I have seen it at Trader Joes, West Seattle Cellars and a few chain grocery stores.


My recommendation list could go on for days, I have so many favorites… however these 5 wines I think are perfect for this Wine Day holiday. They will compliment almost any meal you cook and will taste divine with chocolate. Please don’t look at February 14th as another annoying, stupid, marketing holiday. Look at it as a day to explore and try new wines. Remember this is now Wine Day!

Happy Wine Day!!

A Stump Jump….

My girlfriend Natalie and I have many similarities. We have a similar style in clothes, we have similar political views, we have similar jobs (both work in elementary schools in the same school district) and we even have similar tastes in wine. So when she raved about this Australian wine called Stump Jump, it intrigued me to try it.  As I was at the grocery store tonight, trying to figure out dinner, I stumbled upon Stump Jump (well, not really I always peruse the wine section of grocery stores, I have even perfected this skill with child in tow!). And as I am writing this, I am happily tasting the wine. I think Natalie and I have another thing is common…

Tonight’s Tasting:

The Stump Jump – Vintage 2008  Shiraz ($10.99 Whole Foods – however it was found at Costco for $8.00) – Wine Spectator 90 points.

McLaren Yale – Australia

When first smelling this wine, all sorts of berries jumped out at me. As I was tasting this wine I realized it is full  of cherry, plum and raspberry flavors. Not too sweet, surprisingly a little dry- and not overpowering at all.  The after- taste at first sip left an oily flavor on my tongue. After a few more sips, the oil flavor disappeared. You have to give wines a chance, don’t judge on first sip!

 This is a good, middle of the week, I need to escape the reality of my life, wine (while of course watching the Office or American Idol). You can’t beat the price either. Good find Natalie!!

* Note from my husband who is tasting Stump Jumpp as well – Stump Jump is a good starter red wine, for new red-wino’s. It is not overpowering to the palate.

Here is a little fact I found out for you on Wikipedia (hey, you may need to know this for Trivial Pursuit someday):

It is called Syrah in its country of origin, France,  as well as in the rest of  Europe, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and most of the United States. The name Shiraz became popular for this grape variety in Australia where it has long been established as the most grown dark-skinned variety.

Happy wineing everyone!