Month: December 2016

2016 Wine Countdown

It’s amazing to me that my website is now 8 months old. It’s still quite young — I’m still developing how best to present my posts — but at the same time I can see how far I’ve come in my wine and food knowledge. Just by the very nature of writing things down, having to look things up, explain things in my own words, I’ve learned so much. And since starting this website I’ve had some very special opportunities to engage with wine industry professionals — whether online, at events, or one-on-one in-person interviews. I’ve been able to go behind the scenes of big-name wine brands and boutique wineries alike, and I am grateful for every wine moment this past year has brought me.

So to celebrate my joy in becoming a part of the cool kids club (aka the wine industry) I want to count down a few of the reviews that have truly impacted my perspective on wine and winemaking. These are not listed in any order (so number 10 is just as important as number 1), and just because a wine or product isn’t listed doesn’t mean that it hasn’t impacted me in a positive way. These are simply the 10 that, over the course of the last 8 months, have truly left a mark on my wine life. Cheers and enjoy!









Kunde Family Winery Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

I picked up this Kunde Cab around the same time I picked up their 2014 Chardonnay. Initially intrigued by a well-known Sonoma family name, I soon realized they have a good rep for a reason. So with such a good experience with their white wine, I was eager to bust open a bottle of red. I’ll tell you right now that the level of complexity in this wine is astronomical. But don’t be to eager to bust as I did. When it comes to Kunde Cab, patience is a virtue.


Zenaida Cellars 2014 Fire Sign

I am a Fire Sign. Born in the heat of the summer, I am an August Leo — my planet is the Sun, my element, Fixed Fire. There is not one aspect of my personality that strays from a textbook description of my astrological birthplace. I am a culmination of those bright-light qualities as Zenaida Cellars Fire Sign is the accumulation of warm-weather grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Zinfandel. The difference is while Leo’s can have a tendency towards the lavish, the dramatic, the extreme, this Fire Sign is full of grace, delicacy, and refinement.


Balletto Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 2013

This is just another story of me discovering Sonoma wines. There are just so many — the adventure will never end (that’s a good thing in my book). Balletto is a name I’ve hard around in my world of wine chatter, but have never had the opportunity to taste. So when I found this reasonably priced Chardonnay at the local grocery store, I thought — well, why not?


Banshee Wines Marine Layer Pinot Noir 2014

Located in the heart of downtown Healdsburg is a casual, fun, if not a bit hipster, tasting room: Banshee Wines. It’s basically a Sonoma Valley startup by three friends from various sectors of the wine industry. Well, their collective knowledge has cultivated some of the most notable new wines — new wines with an Old World refinement. Banshee Wines Marine Layer Pinot Noir displays such maturity, speaking exclusively of the vineyards’ time and place in Sonoma, that you’d think the winemaker had decades of traditional training.