Thursday, December 31, 2009

DECEMBER - IDAHO TRIP (4 0F 4 wines)

Keonig Vineyards
20928 Grape Lane
Caldwell, ID 83607
(208) 455-8386

2007 Cabernet-Syrah
(Cabernet Sauvignon 50%, Syrah 50%)
$21.50 for wine members

Winemakers Notes:
This special blend from the two best vineyards we work with showcases the structure and finesse of cabernet sauvignon and the richness of syrah in a rich, mouth-filling wine. With dark berry flavors and aromas of blackberries and fine oak, we hope you enjoy this limited offering. Pair with richly flavored foods like roast lamb, barbecue, and tomato based pasta.
242 cases produced.

A waltz and a glass of wine invite an encore.
~ Johann Strauss

VERY GOOD bottle! I definitely recommend this bottle of wine. I ordered 3 cases of the 2006 for my red wine selection at my wedding this year. Koenig Vineyards offers even more than just wine... Go online and check it out. They also distill brandy and vodka. My parents have been members of Koenig for over 4 years. They have very good quality wine. The owners are very friendly too! If your in the Caldwell area, stop in!

"The discovery of a wine is of greater moment than the discovery of a constellation. The universe is too full of stars."
~Benjamin Franklin


DECEMBER - IDAHO TRIP (3 0F 4 wines)

Bitner Vineyards
16645 Plum Road
Caldwell, Idaho 83605

2006 Merlot/Petit Verdot Reserve
Merlot 60% and 40% Petit Verdot

Winemaker notes:
International Bee Biologist Dr. Ron Bitner and his wife, Mary 3 decade old vineyards. Southwest Idaho's Snake River Valley appellation. This high mountain desert regions long hot summer days, short growing season, and cool evenings allow long hang time that result in intense, dark cherry flavors in the reds and crisp fruit flavors in the whites. Enjoy our wines in your home, while dining out, or on our deck over looking the vineyards, the Snake River, and the majestic Owyee mountains.

Like human beings, a wine's taste is going to depend a great deal on its origins and its upbringing.
~ Linda Johnson-Bell, Pairing Wine and Food

This wine was OK. It wasn't great and it wasn't bad. I would not recommend this bottle. For $22 I would have liked a better bottle of wine. If this bottle was $10 I probably would have like it a little more. I would however, keep trying other bottles of wines with Bitner. The wineries in that area all work together, so next bottle I choose wont have merlot in it. I didn't like the nose on the bottle... but, the longer it sit out the more mellow it became.

There are no standards of taste in wine... Each man's own taste is the standard, and a majority vote cannot decide for him or in any slightest degree affect the supremacy of his own standard.
~ Mark Twain


DECEMBER - IDAHO TRIP (2 0F 4 wines)

Keonig Vineyards
20928 Grape Lane
Caldwell, ID 83607
(208) 455-8386

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon (Bitner Vineyard, Snake Valley)
$17.00 for wine members

Winemaker notes:
Dark berry and black current flavors typical of this tiny vineyard block are enhancing by aging in fine oak barrels for 22 months. Smooth and enjoyable now, cabernets from this vineyard typically are well soften with additional cellaring.
250 cases produced.

"Wine is sunlight, held together by water!
~ Galileo Gallilei

Good Cabernet. I like Cabs and Pinots though... So, I will definitely buy this wine again! My parents are members at Koenig, so we bought 6 bottles of wine and got 35% off the 6 bottles! Great deal! This bottle was a winner at the house once we opened it. Our visitors and family drank this bottle and commented on it.
I got married in Boise back in April, and we had 3 cases of Cabernet-Syrah blend as well as 3 cases of Cardonnay. That went along with our open bar! :) Needless to say we had great wine and it was all due to Koenig. I recommend stopping in and tasting at Koenig. They are also a distillery and make their own brandy and vodka. They come in all flavors!

Wine is bottled poetry.
~ Robert Louis Stevenson


DECEMBER - IDAHO TRIP (1 0F 4 wines)

In my Wine Enthusiast Magazine for October 2009 there was an Idaho winery/wine mentioned. Thought it would be nice to add this in my blog:

Indian Creek Winery
1000 N. McDurmott Road
Kuna, Idaho 83634

Indian Creek 2005 Star Garnet (Snake River Valley)
85 (Good: Suitable for everyday consumption; often good value)
WE: Indian Creek Garnet offers rich leather, spice and pepper on the nose and a balandced, savory blend of red fruit, pepper adn warming spice on the palate. The tannins are smooth and the acidity good, through the wine could use food to soften its peppery character. Think spiced grilled ribs, burgers.

2007 Star Garnet
Indian Creek Winery
(Cabernet Sauvigon 72%, Merlot 15%, Malbec 8%, and Petit Verdot 5%)

Winemaker notes:
This red blend boast a beautiful ruby red hue similar to Idaho's State gem stone, the star garnet. Dense layers of rope cherries, plums and cassis linger with hints of vanilla, black licorice and well-integrated oak. Offerings of soft, velvety tannins create a wonderful mouth-feel and a long, smooth finish.

I have enjoyed great health at a great age because everyday since I can remember I have consumed a bottle of wine except when I have not felt well. Then I have consumed two bottles.
~ A Bishop of Seville

Since my parents moved to Idaho 5 years ago, I wine taste with them every visit. I have met the owners of this winery and they are good people. Their wine is good too! :) Since they were closed for the holidays I'm blogging about a bottle I bought at The Boise Co op! It was a bummer they were closed!
My take on this bottle is that its a dry, medium to full body red table wine. On the bottle it states to drink this bottle from now to 7 years. I thought that was kinda neat to have that on the bottle. It was a good bottle, and its an everyday drinking red. I got a tweet message from @ICwinery stating they were sorry for not being there, but they would set me up on a wine tour for my next visit! I will blog again soon about Indian Creek.

Making good wine is a skill. Fine wine is an art.
~ Robert Mondavi, Harvests of Joy


**SPECIAL**December - Idaho trip

This month I went to Boise, Idaho to visit my parents for the holidays. I actually wine taste every time I'm up there visiting. Since I am now blogging about wine I thought I should perhaps blog about the region that I frequent about 4 times a year. You may not know much about Idaho or even think they have wineries...but, they have very good wine! My favorite wineries there are Koenig Vineyards and Indian Creek Winery. Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season! Enjoy my blogs!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

December - $15 Bottle of wine

Sonoma: Southern California

Winery: Parkers Estate

2005: Parkers Estate (Riverside Crossing) Syrah: Sonoma County Private Reserve

Price: $13.99

Won SILVER in The San Diego International Wine Competition in 2009.

Wine makes a symphony of a good meal.
~ Fernande Garvin, The Art of French Cooking

Winemaker's Notes:
Ripe plum, raspberry and soy characteristics. Rich, ripe and opulent, generous fruit aromas and flavors, augmented by vanilla spice.

This wine is very good. I drank it with my family when we were having appetizers. This was my favorite $15.00 wine this month. If you like Syrah's this is a must pick for any dinner party. Affordable wine and extremely flavorful. I even enjoyed the aroma. Looks like you can go to their website, put your zip code in and it will tell you where the nearest location to purchase it is.

Hope you are all enjoying your Holiday Season!

Eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart.
~ Ecclesiastes 9:7

Love and Cheers,

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December - $30 Bottle of wine

Sonoma: Southern California

Winery: St Francis
100 Pythian Road
Santa Rosa, CA 95409
Phone: 1-888-675-WINE (9463)

2006: Cabernet Sauvignon: Sonoma County

Price: $27.99
Bought at VONS: $15.00

Wine to me is passion. It's family and friends. It's warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art. It's culture. It's the essence of civilization and the art of living. ~ Robert Mondavi, Autobiography, "Harvests of Joy"

Winemaker's Notes:
All the grapes in this classic varietal come from five Sonoma County appellations: Sonoma Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma County. Hand-picked from mid-September through early November, the fully ripened clusters are then crushed into temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and fermented from eight to fifteen days. The wine is then aged in different lots for fourteen to sixteen months in new American and French oak, and then blended. Once bottled, we hold the wine another four to eight months so that it’s fully developed by the time we release it. The result is a full-bodied Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon with rich mouthfeel, moderate tannins and deep color accentuating the taste of black currant, plum, blueberry and spicy oak.

I noticed that VONS like many other grocery stores are conducting wine sales. If you're a wine drinker, you can get great bottles at terrific prices right now. My local VONS was even selling Cakebread Chardonnay for 30% off marked price (Maybe I'll save that for my Napa region). :)

I didn't know much about St. Francis before I bought this bottle... But, I'm sure glad I picked it up. This bottle was smooth and flavorful. I definitely recommend this bottle of wine! And if your lucky, your local wine store or VONS might even have it on sale!

It's now time for me to branch into the expensive wines...@sonomawineries has given great suggestions, and I can't wait to go out there and try them out! Stay tuned for my next Sonoma region blog!

Good wine is a necessity of life for me.
~ Thomas Jefferson


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December - $15 Bottle of wine

Sonoma: Southern California

Winery: Rodney Strong
11455 Old Redwood Highway
Healdsburg, CA 95448

2006: Cabernet Sauvignon: Sonoma County

Price: $16.99
$11.99 - $2.50 (coupon @ Costco) = $9.49

Tasting Notes
Aromas of blackberry, cocoa and earth lead to a rich, layered mouthfeel, replete with black cherry, cedar and cassis, and structured with lush, mature tannins. Enjoy this seductive cabernet sauvignon now and over the next several years.

Vintage Notes
The 2006 vintage began with a rather late bud break during an unseasonably cool and wet spring. March rains slowed shoot growth down considerably, and set the timer for a late harvest. After a fine May and June, much of July was a scorcher, including a 10 day stretch where every day saw temperatures over 90 degrees, and several days topped out at 110! Fortunately, the delayed development of the grapes kept sun scorch to a minimum. Harvest began the third week of September, and continued throughout October. This ripening period was accompanied by mild weather and promoted excellent flavor development, with the last of the cabernet harvested on November 1st.

Great bottle for the price! This bottle is good for an everyday wine... You can pick it up in the grocery store as well as at Costco. I lucked out with a coupon the girl handed me at the door. I was there for Christmas presents and walked out with wine... WHAT A SHOCKER! HAHA. Anyhow, go and pick up a bottle!

Even more importantly, it's wine, food and the arts. Incorporating those three enhances the quality of life.
Robert Mondavi


Thursday, December 10, 2009

December - $10 Bottle of wine

Sonoma: Southern California

Winery: Fife Vineyards

2007: Zinfandel: Sonoma County

Price: $6.99

winemaker's notes:
-Rich, dark berries, dried cherry, cloves and spice, well balanced with an exceptional finish.
-Pair with BBQ Beef, grilled chicken, sausage, and pizza.
-Vineyards with sun drenched days and crisp, cool nights. Aged in French Oak.


Love the following quote:

"Wine is sure proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
Benjamin Franklin

This is a pretty good zin for $7. I got this wine at Trader Joes, and drank it at a dinner party I hosted. It was a good bottle to drink in between my expensive bottles. Biggest advice with this bottle... Let it sit for a little before drinking it.

Off to another bottle to taste!


Monday, November 23, 2009

Where is Waldo?

How about... WHERE IS WINEGIRL15???

Or perhaps I should say, "Where is winegirl15 going to taste next"? I need your help in choosing! What California region should I taste next?

After I receive your emails or posts, I will choose next Monday!

Thanks for your help!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Quiz I found online... Part one!

Q & A (part 1)
1. How many acres are planted to grapes worldwide?
2. Among the world's fruit crops, where do wine grapes rank in number of acres planted?
3. How many countries import California wines?
4. What was the primary fruit crop in Napa Valley during the 1940's?
5. How many gallons of wine were lost in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake?
6. When was phylloxera first discovered in California?
7. How many acres of Napa County vineyards have been replanted in the last 15 years because of phylloxera?
8. How many more acres of Napa County vineyards will need replacement?
9. How long does it take to harvest a commercial crop from newly replanted grape vines?
10. How many varieties of wine grapes exist worldwide?
11. How much does it cost per bottle to age wine in a French oak barrel?
12. How much does it cost per bottle to age wine in only new French oak barrels?
13. How much white zinfandel is consumed in this country?

1) 20 million
2) #1
3) 164
4) Prunes
5) 30 million
6) August 19, 1873
7) 10,450
8) 4,450
9) 4-5 years
10) 10,000
11) 90 cents
12) $2.50
13) Too much!

November - $60 bottle of wine

Paso Robles: Southern California

Winery: Turley Wine Cellars
2900 Vineyard Dr
Templeton, CA 93465
(805) 434-1030

2005: Zinfandel: Pesenti Vineyard

Price: $61.99

winemaker's notes:
"The impressive, powerful 2005 Zinfandel Pesenti Vineyard exhibits a dark ruby/purple color, plenty of minerality, loads of bright, savory, black cherry and black currant fruit, and notions of pepper and crushed rocks. This is one of the deepest, richest, most full-bodied 2005s in this portfolio." 91-93 Points
Wine Advocate
December 1, 2006

critical acclaim:
"91-93 points "The impressive, powerful 2005 Zinfandel Pesenti Vineyard exhibits a dark ruby/purple color, plenty of minerality, loads of bright, savory, black cherry and black currant fruit, and notions of pepper and crushed rocks. This is one of the deepest, richest, most full-bodied 2005s in this portfolio. ""
93 Points
The Wine Advocate

Winegirl15: My girlfriend Julie and I drank this wine together. Julie is definitely my wine buddy! She picked this bottle up a year ago when she visited Turley Wine Cellars. I cooked dinner and we sipped the wine together. The wine was deep plum in color and was very smooth. We tasted black current, cherries, and pepper. I suggest this wine for anyone that likes a robust Zinfandel. Thanks Jewelz for sharing this bottle of wine with me! We need to plan a weekend in Paso soon!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

November - $10 bottle of wine

Paso Robles: Southern California

Winery: Peachy Canyon Winery
2025 Nacimiento Lake Drive
Paso Robles, CA 93446
1(800) 315-7908

2006: Incredible Red

Price: $8.99 Trader Joes
$12.00 Peachy Canyon Winery

Description: Bright fruit mild acid and an elegant finish that makes it a very food friendly wine that is reasonably priced.

Winegirl15: This month I choose Paso Robles to blog about. A friend of mine suggested Peachy Canyon Winery. I was at my local market (Trader Joes) I found Peachy Canyon under the Zinfandel section. Paso Robles is known for Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Zinfandel. I chose a Zinfandel because I like the fact they have blackberry, anise and pepper flavors.

"Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance."
--Benjamin Franklin

My husband and I drank this bottle before heading to dinner. We were both very surprised how much we liked this bottle for only $9. It was sweet, spicy, and had a great after taste. I recommend this wine for an everyday bottle. You can’t beat the flavor for the price.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


This afternoon while browsing the internet I came across the following jem...

This is the aerator put together:

This is just the aerator:

This is the stand alone:

Anyhow, I might be purchasing this today on the following site:

Friday, November 6, 2009

October - $60 bottle of wine.

Temecula: Southern California

Winery: Leonesse Cellars
38311 De Portola Road
Temecula, CA 92592
(951) 302-7601

2006: Signature Selection Merlot

Price: $95, only 212 cases produced.

Description: Complex aromas of blackberry, coffee, tobacco, and vanilla accented by a subtle herbaceous note. Flavors of ripe cherry are complemented by firm, supple tannins and a long, lingering finish.

Wine is made of: 85% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot.

Winegirl15: Why did I choose a Merlot you might ask? This is now a popular question since the movie “Sideways”. The quote from wine snob character Miles tells his friend Jack before a double-date dinner: "If anyone orders Merlot, I'm leaving. I am not drinking any f -- Merlot." After the movie people wouldn’t order merlot, and if you dare order merlot people will look at you funny!

Now, I’ve done a little research on the subject of grapes (I majored in Psychology so don’t be too critical). And basically Merlot was one of the most popular and over produced grapes and even one of the most used grapes to blend… counterpart being Cabernet. In the early 80s Merlot grapes were rapidly planted until it was so widely available that it brought down the value. Some say that this could happen to the pinot grape. Interesting thought, or is that a myth because pinot grapes are more finicky to grow?

"Wine is more than a part of dinner - for many people, it's a fashion statement. And no varietal is more vulnerable to the vagaries of coolness than Merlot."

Personally, I don’t generally order merlot not because of the movie hype, but I find it to be your typical table red that is sometimes overly fruity in flavor. So, I would say I’m definitely a Cabernet or Pinot girl… However, if the Merlot is a high end wine… I have no problem ordering it! They can be outstanding!

This month I was surprised to see the winery my husband and I belong to sent out our shipment of 3 2006 Signature Select Merlots. Leonesse has 3 different wine club levels. Grant and I belong to the best of the best. And that is what they are. Leonesse is the best winery in the valley… hands down! They were even featured in Westways magazine for November/December issue. I’ve been a member for 4 years, and I will always remain a member there. I got engaged there, bachelorette party, and I go every other month (if not monthly). I suggest this wine for anyone that has a special occasion or a special holiday gift.

I thought the wine was exceptional. I really enjoyed this bottle of wine. I used my Vinturi aerator and sipped slowly. I could taste the blackberry, boysenberries, and a hint of tobacco. The finish definitely lingered and I had a hard to sharing with my husband. Good thing we have 2 more bottles!

Hope you enjoyed my blog! Below is a picture with one of the girls at Leonesse… I was enjoying a tasting of the 2006 Signature Select Merlot there! :)


Thursday, November 5, 2009

October - $30 bottle of wine.

Temecula : Southern California

Winery: South Coast Winery
34843 Rancho California Road, Temecula, CA 92591
(951) 587-9463

2006 Petite Sirah: Wild Horse Peak, Mountain Vineyards/Reservoir Block

Price: $38.00 / Case: $456.00

Description: Lavender earthly flavor, fig aroma with spicy oak, berries, damson plum, and aged in French Oak.

Winegirl15: Let me start out by saying why I chose Temecula this month… Temecula was the area I grew up going to with my parents, and it’s a place I frequent about every other month now. My parents belonged to Wilson Creek Winery when I was a child and would often go with friends, and my first winery that I belonged to was South Coast Winery. I call Temecula “A grown up’s Disneyland”, because it is the happiest place on earth... Or at least the happiest place close to where I live.

“Life’s too short to drink bad wine.”

My husband and I drank this wine while we were meeting with our financial advisor (he meets at our house quarterly). The ironic part was when we were talking about our savings account and what we generally spend our money on… even though my husband and I don’t spend thousands of dollars on wine, our advisor definitely gave us a look when I said that the current bottle we were drinking was about $40 (if he only knew the next bottle for another tasting was $95). Grant and I gave each other a look and giggled.

“What is the definition of a good wine? It should start and end with a smile.”

Comments on my chosen wine: This was a fantastic wine. I definitely suggest this wine for anyone that likes a fuller body wine. I thought it was a tad spicy which I like in a Sirah and I tasted the plum with every sip. I used my Vinturi aerator to open up the wine because I didn’t decant this wine. If you don't have one, I suggest you also buy one of those as well. You can get them at crate and barrel and at Bevmo. I have those websites on the side of my blog. So, click and buy!

I hope you all enjoy my blog! I have the other I'm finishing later today, and it will be posted tomorrow!


Sunday, September 27, 2009


“It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it!”

Winegirl15 writes a wine blog…Some of you may be asking why? Aside from the delectable opportunity to drink wine as hobby, I have found that some of the greatest memories of my life have been shared around a glass or bottle of Vino! Winegirl15 isn’t a writer, or a winemaker. But, Winegirl15 is a lover of wine! Over the next twelve months, I will take you on my journey to find affordable bottles to either serve at parties, date night with your special someone, night with the girls, or even alone while cooking dinner. After all, those of us who enjoy wine are constantly searching for more information about what is good and what is worth the price? If you follow closely, I plan to bring you more than just affordable pricing of great wine.

Who is Winegirl15?
I was born and raised in Southern California I grew up going to wineries with my parents even before I was able to have a sip. The day I was able to “legally” have a drink I wasn’t even interested in drinking wine. Yes, I know… that’s hard to believe if you know me now. My very first favorite wine was White Zinfandel (This is not a typo). From there I branched into Gewurztraminers, and then on to Rieslings. I stuck mostly with whites for the first year of wine drinking. Today, it is very rare if I go to my local wine bars, wineries, wine stores, and so on and buy bottles of white wine. However, I do enjoy an occasional glass on a hot day or while eating spicy foods.

“When wine enlivens the heart, friendship surrounds the table.”

I am writing this blog mainly for records of what I like and dislike, and to track what wines I will buy in the future. I’m not a wine critic, but I believe that my family and friends would be interested to hear what my opinion is. So, here is my outline:

Budget: $1200.00 - Timeframe: 12 months

I will be selecting three bottles of wine per month to be tasted and written about. To find a little something for everyone, my breakdown will be the following:

Regions: California
Selection One: $10 Bottle of wine
Selection Two: $30 Bottle of wine
Selection Three: $60 bottle of wine (This is where I will include the hubby :))

I will be blogging once a week giving you the reader my insights of this little social experiment. My wish is for everyone to enjoy this journey with me, and leave me feedback! I hope you all enjoy my wine journal!

- xoB