Tasting Notes

Tasting notes for individual wines.

Bottle shots Laverne wines and Notre Vue olive oil

Balverne Wines: An Elegant Expression of Russian River Valley and Chalk Hill

Notre Vue Estate & Winery sits on a 710-acre property south of Healdsburg straddling Sonoma’s Russian River Valley and Chalk Hill AVAs. 250 acres of vineyards cover the rolling hills, but 350 acres are protected as “Forever Wild” open space. Balverne is a sister label to Notre Vue and both are sourced exclusively from Notre Vue vineyards. We received these […]

Photo of BARRA Reserve Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon

New Wines, New Label from BARRA of Mendocino

BARRA of Mendocino continues their commitment to family farming and crafting delicious certified-organic wines with the recent release of their reserve wines. These new wines remain very reasonably priced and come with some exciting packaging changes. We received these wines as tasting samples. Charlie Barra began farming organically because that’s how he learned to farm from his parents, who emigrated […]

Photo of Sandro de Bruno, Zanon Boschera, Antonella Piatti Erbaluce di Caluso, Vigna Petrussa Schioppettino de Prepotto and Aldo Clerico Langhe Nebbiolo on a table in front of trees and a fountain.

VeroVino: A Taste of Northern Italy

This third group of wines curated by Sheila Donohue on her website VeroVino, and sent to us as tasting samples, is a treasure trove of unusual grape varieties and lesser-known (at least to us) wine regions in northern Italy. As usual, these VeroVino wines are made by small producers using sustainable or organic practices in their vineyard and cellar. I […]

VeroVino Spain and Portugal featured photo

VeroVino: A Taste of Spain and Portugal

Our wine travels continue to the Iberian Peninsula today with a tasting of three wines sent to us by VeroVino as tasting samples. Sheila Donohue has curated a collection of wines made by small producers following organic practices in the vineyard and low-intervention winemaking in the cellar. Many of the wines she sells are new to the US market. These […]

VeroVino Wines from Austria and Czech Republic featured photo

VeroVino: A Taste of Austria and Czech Republic

Last week we introduced you to wine merchant Sheila Donohue and her website VeroVino. This week we begin tasting the wines she sent to us as tasting samples. Sheila was the first to import many of these wines into the US and all have several things in common: small production, family winemakers following organic, biodynamic or low-intervention practices in the […]

Rías Baixas Albariño featured photo

Celebrate Springtime with Albariño from Rías Baixas

Who isn’t ready for a little sunshine after the wet, unpredictable winter most of us have experienced? If the weather still isn’t sunny where you live, maybe look for a little sunshine in your wine glass. Rías Baixas Albariño is at your service. Today we’re tasting three such sunny wines that were sent to us as tasting samples. Hello Rías […]

Uruguay wines featured photo

Uruguayan Wine: Tannat and So Much More

If you have had any introduction to wines from Uruguay it’s likely been Tannat, Uruguay’s flagship variety. I remember them for their firm tannins and complex, ripe fruit flavors. It makes sense that in a country where cows outnumber residents 4:1, and where grilling meat is a fine art (Uruguayans eat the most meat per capita anywhere in the world), […]

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 […]