Archieve 2018 Monday Night Tastings

January 2018  We have had a major freeze set in to start off the year!  The nice thing about it being cold outside is that you can sit inside, hopefully by a fire, and sip some really good Cabernet Sauvignon that will warm you up from the inside out.  This month we are going to taste 2 Cabs from Washington, and 4 Cabs from California, it will be interesting to see the differences and the favorites.  Pairing it with Roasted Beef Tenderloin, Herb Scalloped Sweet Potatoes w/ Bacon & Gruyere, Asparagus Bacon Bundles, Chocolate Almond Torte

  • 1st Tie/2nd    2015 Resolute Red Hills Cabernet Sauvignon, CA
  • 2nd Tie/4th   2015 Highway 12 Sonoma/Lodi/Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, CA
  • 1st Tie/5th     2015 Louis Martini Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon, CA
  • 3rd/6th          2015 Luke Wahluke Slope Cabernet Sauvignon, WA
  • 4th/3rd          2014 Saviah Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon, WA
  • 2nd Tie/1st   2015 Trig Point Diamond Dust Cabernet Sauvignon, CA

February 2018 Still battling the cold weather and maybe a few of you are battling a cold also.  The question is what will help both colds?  Merlot of course, always recognized as a smooth red wine it will warm you up from the inside out, and when it is that smooth a glass or two or three later and you will be sleeping like a baby and you will not even remember your cold.  Well it all sounds good, right?  Merlot is still trying to recover from its crash in the early 2000’s when the movie sideways hit it head on. This month we are trying Merlot from California, Washington, France and Italy.  Check it out!  We paired Lasagna, Broccoli-Cheese Casserole, Garlic Herb Pull Apart Rolls and Death by Chocolate Cheesecake.

  • 1st /3rd           2015 Toad Hollow Richard McDowell’s Selection Merlot, Sonoma County, CA                                     
  • 6th/4th           2014 Chateau Subilaux Bordeaux, France                                                                     
  • 3rd/5th Tie    2014 Barone Fini Merlot, Trentino, Italy                               
  • 7th/1st Tie     2014 Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve Merlot, Sonoma County, CA                                            
  • 5th/1st Tie     2014  Airfield Estate Merlot, Yakima Valley, WA                                
  • 2nd/5th Tie   2014 Columbia Merlot, Columbia Valley, WA                                     
  • 4th/2nd          2013 Franciscan Merlot, Napa Valley, CA
  • extra not voted on:  2013 Canvas Merlot, CA  (But everyone really liked this)                       


March 2018 Syrah and Petite Sirah, its child.  This month we are tasting Syrah which can still have some good tannins, a full bodied red wine for those cool nights we could still encounter.  It is also known as Shiraz and we will check out a couple from Australia.  These wines pair well with a good steak, BBQ, Pizza/Burgers.  We are also going to taste Petite Sirah, which is a child of Syrah & Peloursin.  This wine is generally inky, purple, and so smooth that before you turn around the bottle is empty and will pair with all of the above plus things like salmon and grilled chicken or pork also.  I decided to to have Grilled Bourbon & Vanilla Brined Pork Chops w/ Kahlua Glaze, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Asparagus, & Chocolate Kahlua Coffee Pound Cake.

  • 2015 1st/2nd           Plungerhead Petite Sirah, Lodi, CA
  •  2015 3rd/1st           Spellbound Petite Sirah, CA
  • 2013 5th Tie/5th    Graziano Petite Sirah, Mendocino County, CA
  • 2012 2nd/3rd          Henry’s Drive ‘H’ Syrah, Padthaway, Australia
  • 2012 4th/NA           Hedges ‘Groedhart Family’ Syrah, Red Mountain, WA
  • 2013 6th/4th           Barossa Valley Estate Shiraz, Australia
  • 2014 5th Tie/6th    Shane ‘Villian’ Syrah, Santa Lucia Highlands, CA



April 2018 This month we are checking out Red Blends. These wines are lots of times a great value wine, and popular for BBQ’s and parties.  They are easy to drink wines as the grapes meld together and the dry tannins are mellowed out by other grape varietals that have less tannin, are more fruit forward.  There are so many options of Red Blends that I had a really hard time narrowing this tasting down to 7 wines.  Not only will I post the results of those wines but at the bottom of this months notes I will list some additional wines for you to try.  We paired a Raspberry Chipotle Bacon Cheeseburger, Sweet Potato Fries, Cheesy Corn & Blueberry Muffin Cake. 

  • 6th Tie/4th    2014 Barton & Guestier Cote-Du-Rhone, France                                             
  • 1st/3rd Tie     2015 Silk & Spice, Portugal                                       
  • 5th/5th           2015 Purple Heart Red Wine, Sonoma County, CA                                         
  • 2nd/2nd         2015 Black Ink, Red Wine, CA                                  
  • 4th/1st            2015 Predator Six Spot Red, Lodi, CA                                   
  • 6th Tie/6th    2016 Broc Cellars LOVE Red Blend, North Coast, California                                         
  • 3rd/3rd Tie    2014 Cooper & Thief Bourbon Barrel Red Wine Blend, California


Italian Wine Dinner April 2018  I had a request to do an Italian dinner, so we packed out the basement with people and had some awesome Italian wines!  European wines are historical to me, they were being drank long before California wines, and they are drank morning, noon and night.  This was a chance to taste wines from Tuscany, Piedmonte, & Abruzzo regions of Italy.  We paired Braised Roast with Vegetables over Creamy Parmesan Polenta, 5 Cheese Marinara Pasta, and Triple Chocolate Pie w/ Hazelnut Crust

  • 7th    2014 Santa Martina Toscana Rosso, Tuscany, Italy                                           
  • 1st     2015 Rocca Giovanni Barbera D’Alba  Pianromualdo, Piemonte, Italy                                       
  • 3rd    2015 Medici Ermete Solo Reggiano Rosso, Reggio Emilia, Italy                     
  • 6th    2012 Sordo Gabutti Barolo, Serralunga d’Alba, Italy                         
  • 4th    2016 Casata Parini Montepulciano D’Abruzzo, Italy                                         
  • 5th    2013 Salcheto Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano, Italy                                          
  • 2nd   2012 Silvio Nardi Brunello Montalcino, Italy


May 2018 Chardonnay,  As the sun came up this morning driving thru the Flint Hills, it just seems like spring is finally here, even though the weather has not been telling us that. Therefore, I have decided that we will just force Spring to show up by drinking white wine!  Chardonnay is a great place to start with it’s beautiful golden color, sometimes you can have a nice crisp Chard, and other times it is creamy and smooth.  Let’s see what we find this year to usher in some sunshine and warmer temps.  We will pair  Pistachio Crusted Lemon Chicken, Creamy Goat Cheese Asparagus Quinoa Salad, and Apple Pie.

  • 3rd Tie/2nd         2016 Neyers 304 Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, CA
  • 6th/4th                 2016 Stoller Dundee Hills Chardonnay, Willamette Valley, OR
  • 5th/5th                 2014 Light Horse Chardonnay, CA
  • 4th/6th                 2015 B.R. Cohn Russian River Valley Chardonnay, Sonoma County, CA
  • 2nd/1st                 2015 Cambria Bench Break Chardonnay, Santa Maria Valley, CA
  • 3rd Tie/3rd Tie   2016 St. Francis Chardonnay, Sonoma County, CA
  • 1st/3rd Tie           2016 Michael David Chardonnay, Lodi, OR


June 2018 Sauvignon Blanc Well summer has arrived, at least the temperatures have! That just means it is time for some nice crisp white wine, Sauvignon Blanc. Some will have notes of Lemon, Grapefruit, Gooseberry, Passion Fruit, others may have grass or jalapeno, but all will quench your thirst on a hot summer day, or chilling out on the patio watching the sunset.  Paired with Chicken Souvlaki w/ Zucchini Tzatziki, Parmesan Risotto, Grilled Aparagus, & Key Lime Dessert Bars.

  • 3rd/5th           2017 Francois Lurton Les Fumees Sauvignon Blanc, France                               
  • 5th Tie/6th    2017 Long Meadow Ranch Rutherford Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, CA                               
  • 5th Tie/7th    2015 Six Sigma Asbill Valley Sauvignon Blanc, Lake County, CA                               
  • 1st/3rd            2017 LaPlaya Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Curico Valley, Chile                               
  • 2nd/4th          2016 Babich Black Label Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NZ                               
  • 4th/1st            2017 Te Pa Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NZ                               
  • 6th/2nd          2017 The Kings Favour Sauvignon Blanc, Waihopai Valley, Marlborough, NZ                               
  • Everyone loved:    2015 The Ned Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NZ (375ml)                               



July 2018 Moscato/Riesling/Rose Wines!  So in the heat of summer you want something cold and semi-sweet to sweet!  These wines also pair well with spicy food.  So pick some up and fill up the fridge with several of these and enjoy them on these Hot Summer Nights!  For the tasting we paired the wines with a Korean Grilled Chicken w/ a Sweet & Spicy Thai Glaze, Orange Quinoa Salad (see recipe page on my website), Candied Bacon & Garlic Green Beans & Peach & Blackberry Crumble.

  • 1st/1st                  NV Rosatello Moscato, Italy                                    
  • 2nd/3rd              2015 Von Schleinitz VS Riesling, Mosel, Germany                           
  • 3rd/2nd              2015 Monchhof Robert Eymael Riesling, Mosel, Germany                
  • 5th Tie/5th         2015 Ryan Patrick Olsen Brothers Vineyard Riesling, Washington
  • 5th Tie/7th         2017 Schlosskellerei Gobelsburg Cistercien Rose, Austria
  • 6th/6th               2017 Jadot Rose, Coteaux Bourguignons, France
  • 4th/4th               2017 Decoy Rose, California                                    




August 2018 Odd Whites, These are off dry white wines that are nice and crisp to drink. They are great to sip on after a long day, or as I was working outside in the heat and when done just wanted to sit and relax with something cold.  They have more of a mineral style flavoring vs fruit but that’s what makes them so great.  There are several grapes represented in the list below, many that we don’t hear about very much at all but are stars in their respective countries.  Pairing of these wines for the tasting was with Grilled Flounder, my House Salad, Crabcakes, Pearl Cous Cous w/ Grilled Vegetables in Lemon Vinegarette. Dessert was a Lemon Mouse in a Cinnamon Sugar Cup.  These wines are know to pair well with all seafood, salads and would also be good with chicken dishes.

  • 3rd/1st             2017 J Pinot Grigio, CA 
  • 4th tie/6th      2016 Inama Vin Soave Classico, Verona, Italy
  • 1st/2nd            2016 Scaia Garganega/Chardonnay, Delle Venezie, Italy
  • 4th tie/7th      2015 Raimat Albarino, Spain
  • 5th/4th            2015 Ladera Sagrada Castelo do Papa Godello, Valdeorras, Spain
  • 6th/5th            2014 Can Feixes Blanc Seleccio, Penedes, Spain
  • 2nd/3rd           2016 Monopole White Wine, Rioja, Spain


September 2018 Reds from South America As the weather begins to cool down and we start thinking about tailgating at the college football games or evenings grilling and relaxing on the patio, these are the red wines many will turn to.  These wines go well with anything grilled!  They are medium bodied, not to dry, easy to drink and reasonably priced wines for large groups.  This month we paired these wines with Grilled Beef Tenderloin, Grilled Smoked Beef Sausage, Roasted Garlic Mashed Red Potatoes, Asparagus and Caramelized onion & Herb Polenta Muffins.  Dessert is a No bake Espresso Mud Pie!

  • 3rd/1st Tie    2017 Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda Clasica, Mendoza, Argentina                 
  • 7th/3rd Tie   2017 Aupa Pipeno, Maule Valley, Chile (80 Pais/20 Carignan)
  • 6th/5th          2014 Fabre Montmayou Cabernet Franc Reserva, Mendoza, Argentina                   
  • 2nd/2nd        2016 LaPlaya Estate Red Blend, Valle de Colchagua, Chile (Syrah/Cab Sauv/Carmenere)
  • 4th/1st Tie    2015 Salentein Reserve Malbec Valle de Uco, Mendoz, Argentina                           
  • 5th/4th         2016 Anko Malbec, Salta, Argentina                         
  • 1st/3rd Tie   2016 Tall Dark Stranger Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina


October 2018 Zinfandel This is another wine that is great for those cool fall evenings by the fire pit.  It is also great for tailgating, it pairs well with lots of different foods, anything grilled, and especially BBQ.  Dinner for these tastings was BBQ Beef Brisket, 7 Cheese Mac & Cheese, Roasted Broccoli, Chocolate Cake w/ Triple Berry Coulis.

  • 1st Tie/6th       2016 Rabble Mossfire Ranch Zinfandel, Paso Robles, CA
  • 5th/5th             2014 Beran Zinfandel, CA
  • 3rd Tie/3rd      2016 Armida Poizin Zinfandel, CA
  • 4th/2nd             2015 Caricature Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi, CA
  • 2nd/4th             2016 Angry Bunch Zinfandel, Lodi, CA
  • 1st Tie/1st Tie   2015 Gehricke Russian River Valley Zinfandel, Sonoma County, CA
  • 3rd Tie/NA       2010 Bella Lily Hill Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, CA
  • NA/1st Tie        2012 Bella Lily Hill Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, CA

                      ***week 2 results may change, I put in by memory, need to confirm results.


November 2018 Pinot Noir One of the best red wines to pair with Thanksgiving dinner.  Whether you are doing ham or Turkey, I’m doing Turkey, pinot noir will pair well.  It is a lighter red wine, with lower tannins, traditionally known as red Burgundy as pinot is the red wine of Burgundy.  The wines I’ve selected this month are the ones I would serve at my house for Thanksgiving.  We are going to push our price point a little but it is a special occasion and spending a little more is allowed.  Pairing with Turkey, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans and Spiced Cranberry Bread Pudding.

  • 4th/1st Tie/3rd         2016 MWC Yea Valley Pinot Noir, Victoria, Australia                               
  • 6th/3rd/4th               2015 Fess Parker Rita Hills Pinot Noir, California                              
  • 1st/2nd Tie/2nd        2016 Meiomi Pinot Noir, California                   
  • 3rd/4th/1st                2014 Elk Cove Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon                               
  • 2nd/2nd Tie/5th      2015 King Estate Signature Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon                               
  • 5th/1st Tie/7th         2015 Lange Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • 7th/2nd Tie/6th       2016 Cristom Mt. Jefferson Cuvee Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon



December 2018 Dessert Wines  This month we are checking out dessert wines, these can be considered dessert in and of themselves, or they can be paired with desserts.  Sometimes a few of these even pair with appetizers.  This month we went for the pairing with desserts version!  So we started off with Spaghetti & Meatballs (see recipe on recipe tab page) just to give us a little food in our stomachs to absorb the higher alcohol in these wines.  Desserts that we had are as follows, *Chai cake with cream cheese frosting, Crescent roll apple dumplings, Crescent roll pear & cranberry dumplings, S’mores Bars, Brownie Bites, **Pecan Pie (week 2), Triple layer chocolate pie, Cheesecake, and Blue cheese.

  • 4th Tie/3rd Tie      Heinz Eiffel Eiswein, Germany 375ml                                                  
  • 4th Tie/2nd            Disznoko Tokaji 5 Puttonyos, Hungry  500ml                                    
  • 2nd/5th                   Grahams 10yr Tawny Port, Portugal  750ml                                      
  • 1st/1st                      Heitz Ink Grade Port, California  750ml                                               
  • 3rd/3rd Tie            Quady Starboard Batch 88 Port, California  750ml                                         
  • 5th/4th                   Cresecent Moon Starry Starry Night Port, Kansas   375ml                                                         
  • NA/6th                   Bluejacket Crossing Fado, Kansas  750ml



*Chai cake with Cream Cheese Frosting:

week 1 I used:

week 2 I used:

**Pecan Pie I used Rea Drummonds recipe but I modified it with more pecans and I added molassas.

week 2:





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