Cellar Notes

Notes about the wines we have tried recently.

White Bordeaux Wines Perfect for A Summer Meal

Bordeaux is best known for its dry red wines, but Bordeaux is also home to delicious dry white wines. With temperatures soaring this summer, here and in much of the Northern Hemisphere, a crisp white wine is just what I want in my wine glass. We recently tasted three dry white Bordeaux wines, sent to us as tasting samples, that […]

2018 Smith-Madrone Riesling photo of bottle and wine glass on table in front of lemon tree

Smith-Madrone Riesling: It’s Perfect for a Meal

When planning a meal do you start with the food or the wine? I may have just given away my approach by listing food before wine, but honestly sometimes we begin with the food and sometimes the wine. And, some food is more challenging to pair with wine, and some wine is more challenging to pair with food. But one […]

Pam's UN-Oaked Chardonnay and Cabernet featured photo

Pam’s UN-Oaked Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from Ron Rubin Winery

Unoaked Chardonnay is fairly common, but the same cannot be said for unoaked Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet is almost always made by fermenting and aging the wine in oak barrels of various types and ages. Winery owner and beverage specialist Ron Rubin is clearly not following the crowd with his line of UN-Oaked wines; Pam’s UN-Oaked Cabernet Sauvignon recently joined Pam’s […]

Spätburgunder and Pinot Noir featured photo

Why You Should Sip German Spätburgunder, AKA Pinot Noir

Germany is certainly better known for its white wines, Riesling in particular, than it is for its red wines. But Germany’s cool growing conditions can result in red wines with lively flavors that are food friendly and have very modest alcohol. Chill them during summer and enjoy them at room temperature in winter. Today we’re sipping two such wines that […]

2021 Kono Sauvignon Blanc featured photo

Kono Sauvignon Blanc: A Reflection of Māori Traditions

New Zealand may produce only 1% of the world’s wines, but that small volume of wine is very well known among wine enthusiasts; especially its zesty Sauvignon Blanc. According to New Zealand Wine, Sauvignon Blanc represents 72% of New Zealand’s wine production and 85% of its wine exports. It is made in a range of styles using both stainless steel […]

Tangent Albarino featured photo

Tangent Albariño: Sip Something Different

Albariño has its origins in the northwest corner of the Iberian Peninsula along the Atlantic Ocean near the border between Portugal and Spain. In Portugal’s Vinho Verde region, Alvarinho is often made in a lighter style and bottled with a bit of effervescence. In Galicia’s cool, wet Rias Baixas region the wines are known for their complexity and brilliant acidity. […]

Esporão Monte Velho White and Rosé photo

Esporão Monte Velho White and Rosé: Sunshine in your Glass

White wine with bright, sunny flavors and rosé loaded with berry flavors pair as well with cozy sweaters as they do with a warm afternoon on the patio. We know this firsthand as we have just finished sipping two such wines from Esporão. As an added bonus both wines are an extremely good value. We received both wines as tasting […]

BARRA of Mendocino and Girasole Vineyards featured photo

BARRA of Mendocino and Girasole Vineyards: Family-Owned and Organically-Certified Wines

There is so much to respect about the Barra family’s commitment to growing grapes and making wine in Mendocino County. In a business climate that is seeing family operations gobbled up by large corporations at an alarming rate, BARRA of Mendocino and Girasole Vineyards remain family owned and operated after nearly seventy years.  In the vineyards, the Barra family have […]