Happy New Year! 

Here we are again, it’s January, and the slate has been wiped clean.

2019 has arrived, and here in northern California, the chill is setting in (by our standards). We looked at today’s forecast, and it says that the next week will be a wet one. 

So, while we stay dry indoors, we’re thinking it’s time to make a hearty dish to pair with a wine from our January Dirty Dozen!

January 2019 Dirty Dozen - The Chillables

The Chillables


2015 Blanco, Vilerma  $19.98 net price, $17.98 reorder    

Traveling east from Rias Baixas in Spain, next up is Ribeiro. Here the influence of the Atlantic is still felt, but the rainfall is slightly lower and the temperatures slightly warmer. This blend of mostly Treixadura combines sunny, citrusy fruit with a solid backbone of acidity. Golden green color in the glass, pair with deep fried veggies or crustaceans. 



2017 Chardonnay, Fableist $16.98 net price, $15.28 reorder

This Central Coast Chardonnay has been our bestselling white from California under $25 for several vintages. Rich and creamy with just the right amount of oak, it appeals to a wide range of palates that appreciate rich fruit, oaky notes and balance. The label attracts the eye, the wine keeps customers buying it over and over. Nosh with lemon roasted chicken. 



2017 Gemischter Satz DAC, Bernreiter $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder    

Vienna is the only world capital with a significant wine production. It has its own appellation and hundreds of years of wine history. Gemischter Satz is a single wine from a multiple varietal vineyard. Paul Bernreiter makes Gemischter Satz for his heuriger (wine bar/restaurant), but some makes it here. Lively, try with fried meat, cabbage or mushroom tarts. 



2016 Chateau Boisson Blanc, Bordeaux $9.98 net price, $8.98 reorder

This estate owns nearly 30 acres of vines grown along the Garonne River. The vineyard sits atop a hill that overlooks ancient stone quarries. A 50/50 blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris, this tank-fermented white offers plenty of orange blossom and perky citrus notes. Ideal with ingredients like goat cheese, smoked salmon or trout and raw oysters.



2017 Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo Colle Maggio, Torre Zambra $16.99, $13.59 reorder

Limited contact between the grape skins and fermented juice creates the vibrant magenta color of Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo. Torre Zambra’s is made exclusively from the varietal, Montepulciano. Cherry on the nose, cherry on the palate and cherry on the finish is the name of the game. Delicious with seafood stews, spicy sausage pizzas and cheesesteaks.



2017 Lugana, Ca’Lojera $16.99, $13.59 reorder

Lugana is a viticultural appellation that straddles the regional border of Lombardy in the west with Veneto in the east. Ca’Lojera’s vineyards are located near Brescia along the flatlands of Lake Garda. It is here that the grape Turbiana flourishes, producing wines of complexity and minerality. Lush and structured, pair up with pan-roasted halibut.

January 2019 Dirty Dozen - The Reds

The Reds


2017 Pinot Noir, Wonderwall $17.98 net price, $16.18 reorder

This is the 3rd vintage we’ve stocked from winemaker Andrew Jones. His Wonderwall Pinot Noir offers great value, using fruit from well-placed vineyards along the Pacific Coast. Telltale flavors of red cherry, black tea and cola permeate the palate. Jammy, yet light on its feet, food pairing possibilities are endless. Coq Au Vin or Chicken Marbella would be nice!

2015 Rioja, Palacio del Burgo $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder

This simple, delicious Tempranillo is yet another example of why Spain is where one should look first for well-made, affordable reds. Nothing fancy, the grapes are fermented in steel and aged in concrete vats. The flavors are redolent of black berry and tangy raspberry with gentle tannins and a plush mouthfeel. Serve with tagines, tahdiq or paella. 

2016 Rosso, Paolo Scavino $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder

The Scavino family have been making world-famous Barolo since 1921. What a thrill to discover their Vino Rosso, a blend of Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Barbera and Merlot. A delightful table wine that affords everyday enjoyment from a super star producer. Light to medium-bodied, tangy red fruit with lots of freshness. Pair with red-sauced pasta and/or meatballs.

2016 Chateau des Judes, Bordeaux $9.98 net price, $8.98 reorder

70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, aged and fermented in steel tank.  Bright red berry and black currant aromas, palate is more focused and less whimsical, the fruit is part of the overall balanced structure. The finish is substantial with sticky tannins that linger.  Fans of The Beatles know what to hum when sipping this wine.

2013 Ventoux Rouge, Domaine de Fondreche $16.99, $13.59 reorder

A recent featured article in Wine Spectator described Fondreche’s Sebastien Vincenti as “an obsessively fastidious grower and winemaker”. His entry-level Ventoux (Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre) captures the essence of the region, making a red that combines mature fruit with a thread of freshness and minerality. Pair with Mediterranean cuisine.

2016 À Lisa Rouge, Domaine des Aspras $13.49, $10.79 reorder

Domaine des Aspras was established by the Lutz family in the early 1960’s. Mostly Merlot, the À Lisa is a funky, quirky Provençal red that highlights the impeccable organic farming of this estate. Unoaked with plenty of red berry fruit that couples harmoniously with the tame and mild tannins. Serve with Beef Daube, Stroganoff, Goulash or Bourguignon.