The Paring: A Great Value!

The ‘Holy Grail’ of wine buying is quality at a modest price. This one fits that bill!  One of the ‘top notch’ wineries of Southern California is Jonata. Their wines are deep, rich and textured. The Paring is their second label that competes with many wines. I recently received an offer that I wanted to share with you. This offer is definitely worth considering given the portfolio and cost – just $25 per bottle for wines that are well rated. Purchase a case, and the shipping is only $1.

This is a value that I never pass up.  (Even my friends in Pennsylvania can now have wine shipped to them.) Check it out here:

“We are thrilled to release the 2013 vintage of The Paring Red!  For those who loved the 2012 vintage, this new release will not disappoint!  A pure expression of balanced black and red fruit, the Cabernet Sauvignon is prominent in this Bordeaux inspired blend.  A serious wine, the 2013 Red is one of the best Paring wines we have ever released.

In addition to the 2013 Paring Red, we are happy to offer 2014 vintages of the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Always a fan favorite, the 2014 Pinot Noir is quick to run out, so we encourage you to acquire it while you can. What can we say about the 2014 Chardonnay? The perfect interpretation of its cool climate origins, this wine continues to transcend with a fruit richness and vibrancy on the palate. Approachable and focused, these are the perfect wines to end up on your table this holiday season.


2013 RED BLEND (Bordeaux style blend), $25.00
48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot
90 Points  Antonio Galloni  Vinous Sept. 2016
“Classy and regal. A beauty for the cellar and the table tonight.” – Matt Dees, Winemaker

2014 PINOT NOIR, $25.00
90 Points Jeb Dunnuck The Wine Advocate  Aug. 2016
“Smokey, herbal and resinous with perfumed red fruit. The most elegant and fine Paring Pinot Noir to date.” – Matt Dees, Winemaker

2014 CHARDONNAY $25.00
90 Points Jeb Dunnuck The Wine Advocate Aug. 2016
Only 250 Cases!
“A pure and elegant Paring Chardonnay, it stays fresh and true to its cool climate roots.” Matt Dees, Winemaker

In addition to these new releases, we still have a small offering of wines that were released this past spring that are also available for purchase.


  1. 2013 SYRAH $25.00
  2. 2014 SAUVIGNON BLANC $25.00
  3. 2015 ROSÉ OF PINOT NOIR $20.00

We are pleased to offer $1 shipping on twelve (12) or more bottles shipping within the US.  Orders will begin shipping the week of November 7th, weather permitting. For further assistance, please contact me directly at 805-564-8581 or visit our website.”


Mumm’s the Word

You will often hear folks refer to sparkling wine as “Champagne,” but this is an accurate description only if that bottle is from the French region named Champagne. There was a time when no other sparkling wines could come close to the quality produced in France, but that’s not true today. California sparklers can deliver the complexity, richness, and length of finish to rival those made by the French.

Mumm is one such producer to try for your next sparkling wine. Located in Napa Valley and growing fruit in vineyards in the southern, cooler part of the valley, Mumm offers many different wines to please your palate. A visit to the winery is not only refreshing but also enlightening when it comes to the production of their wines. Just recently, I took their tour and found it well done and informative.

Predominately, Mumm uses Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes to produce their sparkling wine. Rarely, the blends include Pinot Meunier. Mumm also includes small amounts of Pinot Gris in some of their wines.

One of the most interesting aspects of sparkling wine is the process by which carbon dioxide is dissolved in the wine. Mumm produces their sparkling wine by the Méthode Traditionnelle, which is the same process used in Champagne. Secondary fermentation, which takes place in the bottle, is the beginning of the process to dissolve the carbon dioxide. The removal of the yeast “cap” is fascinating, as they freeze the neck of the bottle to remove it and then re-cork the bottle. Here is a link to their video on the process.

Have you ever wondered how many bubbles are in a bottle of sparkling wine? (Yes, it has been studied.) None, if the bottle is not opened, since the gas is still dissolved in the wine. Upon opening, a bottle contains about 100 million bubbles. The bubbles are significant in sparkling wine. It has been said that the quality of the wine is reflected in the size and quantity of the bubbles. A high quantity of smaller bubbles reflects a better quality.

Sparkling wine is not just reserved for special events and holidays today. It is a wonderful apéritif to start a meal and a perfect accompaniment to many dishes. Don’t hesitate to try some wonderful blends by a variety of producers. Mumm is a great example of the quality that is available in our marketplace today.


Cliff Lede Wines: Great Wine Leads to Big Crowds

Once upon a time, one of my favorite wineries was readily accessible. One could walk in, without an appointment, and enjoy their wide portfolio of wines in a relatively mellow atmosphere. On this past Saturday, my experience was noticeably different. Cliff Lede has been discovered, and it seems to be by almost everyone! The tasting room was filled with people all along the long bar and out on the patio, and there was an event going on in a seated private tasting area.

I had to inquire, what transpired? Clearly something had changed — and that’s good for them. It is known that quality can’t be kept a secret. People finally discovered the limited production wines. Most recently, their 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Poetry was awarded a perfect score of 100 points from Robert Parker. This seems to have opened the floodgates of individuals coming through the doors of Cliff Lede.

I should have known. The wine was too good and so were the prices across the portfolio. What I had always found appealing was their Stags Leap Cabernet. It was a solid wine with great tannic structure and depth of flavor. Today that wine sells for $78 and wins ratings of 93 points from Robert Parker and 92 points from Antonio Galloni. This is an excellent drinking wine for the price.

Cliff Lede offers several different tastings. They range from walk-in tastings at the bar to reserved tastings for their limited production wines. At the bar, you will have the opportunity to taste through their Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Claret and the Stags Leap Cabernet. The refreshing whites are a pleasant beginning to the deep flavors of the red wine. The Claret was a real winner on the day of our tasting as well! All the wines were well crafted and enjoyable.

Cliff Lede is a winery I frequently refer my friends to for a walk-in tasting that is hard to beat. Next time you get to the Napa Valley, give their wines a try and discover them for yourself. Wines are available for purchase on their website as well.