Discovering More Than Two Buck Chuck

I’ve come to realize that Trader Joe’s is surprisingly polarizing. You’re either a Trader Joe’s fan, or you’re not. Those of you that fall into the latter category may already be rolling your eyes, desperately clicking off this page out of disinterest, or maybe even annoyance. No problem, it’s not for everyone. For all others, I wanted to share my latest TJ’s wine experience, which has turned up a fantastic white, a surprising Brunello, and a couple bargain-priced Amarones that I would buy again.

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The Baby Amarone

We can find any reason to celebrate with a bottle of wine. Today, we acknowledge Ferragosto, a national holiday in Italy that marks the start of its vacation period, spawns an array of local festivals, and sends Italians flocking to the beaches and mountains to celebrate. So, for this, we honor our Italian brethren and open something from Italy.

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Farewell Stryker…Thanks for the Memories

Last month, I received an e-mail notification from Stryker Sonoma. “After 17 years of successful operations, Stryker Sonoma’s proprietor, Pat Stryker, has sold the Stryker Sonoma winery…So it is with gratitude to you, our loyal customers, that we say goodbye. The property sold this week to Foley Family Wines, and the Stryker Sonoma brand will be discontinued.” 

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Hecho en Mexico (Made in Mexico)

If you think Tequila and Corona Light are the drink of choice in Mexico, think again! We just returned from a week-long vacation in Cancun and we found ourselves pleasantly surprised with our introduction to Mexican wine.

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And Then There Were Three

Whittling down 35 or more wines down to three favorites is an art and science. That is what we did at a recent wine tasting at Morton’s in Fort Lauderdale that featured wines representing multiple varietals and regions. We tried just about all of them, initially narrowing down our preferences to about eight, but then we ultimately landed on our top three faves to whom we wanted to give a shout out.

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Walla Walla – So Nice they Named it Twice

A couple of months ago, we were at a local wine shop and tried a Petit Verdot from Seven Hills winery in Walla Walla, Washington. For us, finding a Petit Verdot we love is like a treasure hunt—it requires a laborious search but the booty is worth the effort. So, when Wine Watch, one of our favorite local wine retailers in Fort Lauderdale, posted a tasting event featuring Seven Hills, we were game despite having a cross-country flight home earlier that day. Anything for good wine, right? Continue reading “Walla Walla – So Nice they Named it Twice”

Feeling InSPIREd

Last night was St. Patrick’s Day so what other way does a wine enthusiast spend the evening other than at a wine tasting? Luckily, we planned ahead and had our traditional Irish fare the night before, feeling lucky to get two of 14 spots available to experience the Spire Collection.

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Over the Moon for Repris

Tonight we found ourselves opening a 2012 Moon Mountain Zinfandel from Repris, a unique winery nestled high up on the western slope of the Mayacamas Mountain range in Sonoma. The bottle was in our Fall 2014 club shipment so we thought it was ready to drink and we felt deserving of a splurge-worthy wine.

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It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s Bunny Foo Foo

On one of our last nights in Bend, we had dinner at Jackalope Grill. Our group had received an inside tip from a Bend local, suggesting that we call the restaurant in advance to order its famed elk tenderloin. We heeded this advice, and with our menu selection confirmed, we got to the restaurant early and decided to sit at the bar. Our goal was to order a bottle of wine we could enjoy a glass of while we waited for our table, and one that we could finish with the elk.

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The Light and Dark Side of Pinot

We recently took a group ski trip to Mount Bachelor, which is outside of Bend, Oregon. Sadly, we just didn’t have time to add on a side trip to the Willamette Valley, but we did manage a pit stop at Safeway to grab a couple bottles. Although it seems embarrassing to admit we settled for the grocery store in such a wine-rich region, we appreciate Safeway for its localized selections. Since Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir are two noteworthy varietals in this region, we opted for these. We grabbed a bottle of the King Estate Pinot Gris, one of my personal favorites, and Willamette Valley Whole Cluster Pinot, both 2014.

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