Drink your wine! Don’t dust it!

March 18th, 2011

 When I first started exploring wine, my wine closet (ok, more like a wine rack) rarely made it over 5 bottles. Why? Because I drank them. Switch to today, where my wine closet is stacked floor to ceiling with great wines. A wine lovers dream, right? Yes, if I were actually drinking them. Unfortunately, I’m dusting them, not drinking them. Maybe it was the process of collecting them like little treasures of grape goodness for that “perfect” moment of uncorking, but now I can’t bring myself to actually open them. It’s true…I have become a wine hoarder.

What’s the fun in that?

That’s exactly what Brian Loring of Loring Wine Company (our featured winery at next Thursday’s Night Tasting) asks in a great two part episode on Vaynerchuck’s Wine Library TV. Among other industry and vintner insights, Loring pleas with wine geeks everywhere: “Drink your wine!” (Check out part 1 and part 2 here.)

We agree and offer up a couple young goodies that are tasting well now for your drinking (not dusting) pleasure.

  • Beckmen ’09 Grenache
    Bright and bold for its age, this 100% Grenache brings together fruit from two exceptional clones planted on Beckmen’s estate vineyards meticulously farmed with a focus on low yields to achieve high quality fruit with great concentration. Intensely aromatic, this Grenache displays bright red berry fruit and spice layers, underscored by a plush, silky texture. 475 cases produced. Get it.
  • Palmina ’10 Pinot Grigio
    Freshening things up, this new kid on the block brings beautiful aromatics with notes of nectar, green pear, quince and a hint of sesame seed. Lively and yet round on the palate with lemon curd and more pear flavors mingling with lychee, marjoram spice and a gravelly earthy streak of flinty summer rain. The color of diffused sunlight on an early summer morning, Palmina’s ’10 Pinot Grigio is versatile with food and lovely on its own as an aperitif, picnic wine or as a well deserved glass of wine after a hard workday. Get it.
  • Forefront ’08 Cabernet Sauvignon
    Born a deep thinker (or drinker), Forefront’s ’08 Cabernet Sauvignon brings a blend of multiple varieties and appellations giving this bottling tremendous complexity. Syrah delivers the wine’s modern profile lending a luscious fruit-forward character that is a soft counterpoint to the Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa. Aromas of blackberry, red cherry and raspberry leap from the glass, enlivened by intriguing notes of spice, cedar and toffee. The palate echoes the nose with a juicy swirl of dark and red berries and plum, supported by solid yet smooth tannins that prolong the delicious finish. Get it.

Also, get to know our featured winemaker on Vaynerchuck’s Wine Library TV for some poignant industry, wine making and wine history insights. It’s an oldie, but a goodie.

Brian Loring on Wine Library TV, part 1
Brian Loring on Wine Library TV, part 2
Thanks Wine Library TV!

Davina DaVino

Wine for St. Patrick’s Day? Why not?!

March 11th, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Wine PairingsPerhaps it’s the Irish red head in me, but I’m going rogue this St. Patrick’s Day. Don’t get me wrong, I love a great beer just as much as the next person (after all, we’re offering a great beer flight and $4.00 black-and-tans in the shop at our St. Patrick’s Day tasting), but I’m thinking, why not try something new this year? Why not wine?

We put our wine-o and foodie crew to work to come up with some not-so-traditional pairings for traditional St. Patrick’s Day dishes. Give them a go for your day of green, and who knows, you might find a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow!

Corned Beef and Cabbage? Pick a nice Pinot Noir.

An Irish-American version of the traditional bacon and cabbage, corned beef and cabbage takes its place as the King of St. Patty’s Day Plates. Created by brined beef boiled with cabbage, vegetables, and traditional seasonings, corned beef and cabbage pairs best with a Pinot Noir or a Grenache which brings fruit and acidity to the dish, but not overwhelmingly so.

  • Our recommendation: Melville’s 2008 Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir

    Sure it’s from famous Santa Rita Hills, but more importantly, it brings to the dish a aromatics of black rasberry, black cherry & fig mixed in with spice nuances of pink peppercornss able to stand up to but not bowl over your corned beef and cabbage.

Bangers & Mash? Bring on the Syrah!

Traditionally an English dish, these bold and spicy sausages and mashed potatoes need a bold and spicy wine. A Syrah or Zin with their combination of fruit and spice will match up nicely here, and complement the flavors in the dish.

  • Our recommendation: Jaffurs 2009 Santa Barbara County Syrah   From our local Syrah specialists, Jaffurs, the 2009 SBC Syrah offers a chewy mix of spice, wild berry, pepper and blackberry fruit ending with a long, zesty finish that will leaving you looking for a second sausage.

Fish & Chips? Lighten up with Pinot Grigio.

There’s nothing wrong with serving a crowd pleaser on a holiday. Lighten it up with a fresh Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc or a Riesling that cuts through the oils with citrus and mineral tones.

  • Our recommendation: Di Bruno’s 2008 Pinot Grigio

    Straight from our local Santa Rita Hills, this Pinot Grigio is fresh, bright and bold with forward citron and minerals and a strong finish.

Shepherd’s Pie? Hook a Shiraz.

This traditional meat pie made with beef mince and a crust of mashed potatoes may have started from humble beginnings, but today it graces the plate in many a pubs. If digging into this “formerly known as” cottage pie, try the bright fruit and spice of a Shiraz or Syrah to stand up to the crust.

  • Our recommendation: Mollydooker 2008 “The Boxer” Shiraz

    With 91 points from the Wine Spectator, this Shiraz offers a bright and jazzy cherry, pomegranate and spice flavors with strong aromas, density, but without the weight to balance even the heaviest of pies.

Potato Soup? Cool it off with a Chardonnay.

Soup for supper? Yes please! We recommend topping off the simplicity and sublime of traditional Irish potato soup with the butter and oak of a full bodied Chardonnay.

  • Our recommendation: Rombauer 2009 Chardonnay

    We tasted this in the shop at our special Fat Tuesday tasting the other day, and it was a definite crowd favorite. We recommend its rich palate of peach, apple and tropical fruit mixed with oak undertones to bring the brightness and butter to your dish.

Until next time wine fans…cheers!

Davina DaVino

Keep up with us on Facebook or meet up with us 3/17 at our St. Patty’s Day tasting!

Chronic Cellars Dead Nuts

January 26th, 2011

The brand new release of Chronic Cellars Dead Nuts Zin is on the shelf at $21. This is a blend of 85% Zinfandel and 15% Petite Sirah. Chronic Cellars wines are extremely popular so get yours while you can.

2008 Orin Swift Saldo

October 6th, 2010


Just got in Orin Swift’s new blend at the wine closet www.wineclosetinc.com


2009 Melville Viognier

September 30th, 2010

This just in…  We have recieved the 94 point Viognier from Melville Winery 2009.  You can get it here:


90+ Point Wines

September 28th, 2010

This Thursday 9/30, The Wine Closet (www.wineclosetinc.com) will be hosting a 90+ point wine tasting.  Come support The Wine Closet and taste some great wines.   Food will be included.

We have 61 wines that are greater then 90 points, some of the wines will be:
Barrel 27 High on the Hog

Guarachi 08 Pinot Noir

John Anthony 06 Cabernet Sauvignon

Maldonado 07 Chardonnay

Mollydooker 08 The Boxer Shiraz

Mollydooker 08 Two Left Feet

Bourassa Vineyards

September 24th, 2010

Last night we had a great time doing a blending party with Bourassa Vineyards. He brought several wines and we had ~20 people show up. They all were able to make their own blend, very cool.
We sold lots of the Harmony3 and are now carrying it in the shop


07 Cannonball Cabernet Sauvignon

September 23rd, 2010

New wines are coming soon to The Wine Closet (www.wineclosetinc.com)

We just placed and order for the new Cannonball Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a great wine that we carried for a long time. The new vintage is now released. 

“The 2007 Cannonball Cabernet Sauvignon presents a lively, dark ruby color, like burgundy velvet. Aromas of fresh berries, spice, and pepper with a faint background of vanilla oak are very much reflected in the mouth. Full and rich with bright acidity, the berry and spice flavors are boldly presented along with racy, red
fruit and vanilla-cherry on a layer of cocoa. The finish is classic Cannonball, smoothe, long, delicious. I recommend enjoying between now and 2011 to really get the most of the big fruit., but really let the wine open up in your glass to experience all the layers and complexity. For those preferring a more mature and
mellow style, decant for one hour before serving.”

09 Chronic Cellars Wine

September 22nd, 2010

Chronic Cellars is making awesome wine. Check it out at The Wine Closet. www.wineclosetinc.com. We have the Sofa King Bueno, Sofa King Suite, Purple Paradise, and Stone Fox!!!!


McPrice Myers Cuvee Kristina -$43.50

September 21st, 2010

’08 Melville Chardonnay Santa Rita Hills – $25.50

’08 Melville Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills – $33.00

’08 Melville Carries Vineyard – $48.00

’07 Stolpman Hillops Syrah – $48.00 http://www.wineclosetinc.com/store/p1359/Stolpman-07-Hilltops-Syrah/product_info.html

’07 Villa Creek Avenger – $36.00 http://www.wineclosetinc.com/store/p1453/Villa-Creek-07-Avenger/product_info.html

’08 Herman Story Nuts & Bolts – $36.00 http://www.wineclosetinc.com/store/p1460/Herman-Story-08-Nuts-&-Bolts/product_info.html

Also, the Wine Closet is offering special pricing on:

McPrice Myers Cuvee Kristina -$43.50. Check it out!!!