Tag Archives: Sonoma

DeLoach Pinot Noir

Cost: Average price $13.99

Where buy now: Cellars Wines & Spirits for $11.99

Grapes: Pinot Noir

Region: Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California

Vintage: 2009

DeLoach Pinot Noir

So many people have asked me for a budget Pinot Noir recommendation. I’ve tried a few Chilean Pinots, and they’ve been, well, “meh”. Since they don’t exactly taste like Pinot Noir to me, I think they’re a decent value. I’ll be honest and say I’m a California & Oregon Pinot Noir fan. That’s my own palate preference with this wine varietal. [That is, until my good friends at Familia Meschini come out with their Pinot.]

I’ve visited the DeLoach vineyard, located in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma, California. Typical of the Russian River Valley, this winery creates some primo Pinot Noirs, and with a price tag to match. So, when I saw a DeLoach Pinot Noir on sale for $11.99, I thought I’d give it a go. Now, a $12 price for Pinot is a bit like seeing a new Mercedes for $4000. However, with the DeLoach name on the bottle, I figured it wouldn’t be entirely useless swill.

I was right.

Now, this isn’t a $40+ bottle of Pinot Noir. It just isn’t as refined as others. In fact, you could say it’s a little rough around the edges. But that’s OK, because sometimes we like it a little rough.

Until then, I think this DeLoach Pinot at $12 and change is a great value. The grittier, rougher Pinots may just excite you in a way you never thought it could. It may not rock your world, but it also won’t rock your wallet like one quadruple its price.

Simi Sauvignon Blanc

Cost: Average price $13.99

Where buy now: Surdyk’s, South Lyndale Liquors

Grapes: 95% Sauvignon Blanc, 3% Semillion, 2% Viognier

Region: Sonoma, California

Vintage: 2010

Simi Sauvignon Blanc

The Simi Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma continues to be a staple I return to. It’s simply delicious with refreshing hints of citrus fruit: lemon, lime and grapefruit. It’s not all tart & pucker, however, as this wine isn’t 100% Sauvignon Blanc. There are tinges of Semillon and Viognier involved which adds up to a fuller, silkier taste. Don’t start thinking it’s heavy like a Chardonnay or Riesling though, this wine is fermented in stainless steel. It’s bright, vibrant and crisp with grassy notes, melon, minerality and balanced acidity. If you’re a big Sauvignon Blanc drinker, you’ll know what I mean when you give this a gulp. Wait, minerality, what’s that? www.winefolly.com/Wine Folly


Truthfully it’s one of the more difficult wine terms to describe and even winos have differing opinions. I found this video from my friend, Madeline, at Wine Folly who explains it best:

As with most wines out of California, the drinkability is great with food or solo. Finding fun foods to bring out the citrus zest and silky body, such as fish tacos, grilled salmon or a Caesar salad, would be a great idea. Think of any recipe that calls for olive oil and lemon. For instance, roasted chicken (shit, a rotisserie at the grocery store will do in a pinch) or boil up some pasta and toss with EVOO, basil, garlic, lemon zest and cheese. I implored the Fortify MN Food bloggers to give me a gazpacho recipe. I’ve always wanted to try a white gazpacho and so this week was a “Tale of Two White Gazpachos”. One from Fortify member, Diane: dianesfoodblog.wordpress.com/Diane’s Food Blog

Diane’s White Gazpacho

Another made without dairy, utilizing blanched almonds, old bread and green grapes: www.simplyrecipes.com/Simply Recipes

White Gazpacho[/caption]










You usually see this for around $15, which is a great price for this wine. However, right now it’s $10.99 at Surdyk’s during their Summer Sale. Yessssss. We are only halfway through Summer, folks- go ahead and stock up. You’ll be able to enjoy for months to come.

PS – If you are a Sauvignon Blanc fan, another must pick up at the Surdyk’s wine sale is not only the Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc at $12.49 but Angeline Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc for only $9. It’s tremendous!

Seghesio Rockpile Zinfandel

Cost: Average price $35

Where buy now: Pairings – $21.99, France 44, North Loop

Grapes: Zinfandel

Region: Sonoma, California

Vintage: 2010

Seghesio Rockpile Zinfandel

Nothing says, “Happy Birthday, America” like a big Middle Eastern feast, right! I kid, but really, it was great fun to pair different wines with ample amounts of delightful gyro meat, beef samosas, lamb kofta, grilled veggies and saffron rice. After we began the night with my choice of Prosecco [see this week’s white wine review for more about it], it was time to sit down and englut. My friend whom you may remember from the Merlot tasting, Mr. Encyclopedia, and his wife brought a couple reds, a Bordeaux and this gem of a Zinfandel from Seghesio, which he chose specifically to pair with lamb.


Seghesio Family Vineyards established itself as a winery in 1895. Throughout the years, they bought other vineyards and that is why you’ll see Seghesio wines labelled “Old Vines Zinfandel”, “Home Ranch Zinfandel”, “Rockpile”, etc. I won’t go into details, so you can read up more here http://www.seghesio.com

I’d had Seghesio Zinfandel a couple years ago and I remembered that it was great but couldn’t recall which vineyard it hailed from. However, Mr. Encyclopedia brought the Rockpile-grown Zinfandel, which proved to be exceptional. Rockpile is a narrow ridge about 1200 feet above Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County. This area along the hillside has well drained vines with shallow, rocky topsoil. What’s the big deal? Well, this terroir creates an intense and smokey Zinfandel that begs to be paired with BBQ and lamb.

The Rockpile Zin was opened for about an hour ahead of time. We poured glasses and clinked “To America!”

Cheers America

We piled meat upon meat and sprinkled said vittles with a smattering of hummus, baba ganouj, hot sauce and tzatziki. Each of us remarked how delicious it not only tasted but also how well it stood up to all the exotic grilled meats.


This wine is bold, but not in a “smack you on the face” sort of way. It has major fruit action, deep cherry and raspberry flavors, with smoke and spice. It wasn’t overly dry or tannic, just balanced and flavorful. I love Zinfandel but usually don’t buy one for more than $15. This one  is typically around $25, but it is sooooo worth it.