2011 Bodegas Mano a Mano Tempranillo

Mano a Mano TempranilloIt’s hard to believe this bottle was only $7.99 at Costco.  This is an excellent Spanish Tempranillo at an unbeatable price.

Dark, earthy fruit and spice on the nose; loads of dark fruit, blackberry, black cherry, anise, tar, with an extra dry, herbal noted finish.  This wine pours dark into the glass and certainly has plenty of heft about it.


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Posted in Spanish

2014 Brancott Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

2014 Brancott Estate Marlborough Sauvignon BlancThe 2014 vintage of this wine was exactly as expected – signature New Zealand citrus and grassiness with loads of acidity at a good price ($8.99, consistent with last year).  My review of the 2013 vintage of this wine sums up my feelings this year too.

These are nice wines, perfect for summer weather, but they typically possess too much bite to enjoy with most meals.  This is one of those rare wines that I prefer to drink without food.  For fans of this style of wine, this is a good buy along with the similarly priced Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc.


Posted in Sauvignon Blanc

2011 Chateau Ste Michelle Indian Wells Red Blend

Ste Michelle Red BlendMerlot varietals have not fared well in the U.S. wine drinking circles over the past few decades, so more American winemakers are moving towards merlot-based blends…..just like the French have been doing for hundreds of years.   (As with French Fries/frites and Napoleon pastries,  sometimes the French come up with darn good gastronomical ideas.)   Merlot is an excellent blending wine and the winemakers at Chateau Ste. Michelle have emulated their French cousin (Michel?) and used it to great advantage in their 2011 Red Blend.


Posted in Other Red

2012 Altano Douro

Altano-Douro-2[Our friends at The Fermented Fruit just reviewed this $9 Douro wine from Costco that also scored 91 points from Wine Spectator.  Sounds like one to keep an eye out for.  Read their full review here.]

Posted in Other Red

2012 Domaine Jean Luc Joillot Bourgogne

2012 Domaine Jean Luc Joillot BourgogneFinding good Red Burgundy at a decent price is tough, so I was curious how this $20 bottle from Costco would show.  Overall, I found it to be an ok buy, hard to beat for the money, but not the hidden value Pinot I had hoped for.

Pleasant nose, fresh berries with some smoke and perfume; the wine has an excellent body and feels like an expensive Burgundy wine in the mouth, light and smooth; abundant fruit flavor with a super dry finish.  This is a perfect food wine to enjoy with almost any pairing.  Be sure to give this wine some air and/or decant.  It opened up quite a bit after an hour.


Posted in French, Pinot Noir

Costco Wine Cartoons by Doug Pike #19

Costco Wine Cartoons by Doug Pike 19

Doug Pike is a member of the National Cartoonists Society and the author of Gone With The Wine and Dining Out — Way Out!

Posted in Costco Wine Cartoons

2009 Bodega Los Aljibes Vina Aljibes Red Blend

2009 Bodega Los Aljibes Vina Aljibes Red BlendI had a really cool experience when I was at Costco and purchased this wine.  I encountered a guy scrolling through his iPhone and I just happened to glance at his screen in the hopes I might see him looking at this site, and alas…that’s exactly what happened.  We had a great conversation that followed and walked the aisle at my local Costco talking about the different bottles and I made some suggestions on wines he might enjoy.  I had always hoped this would happen.


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Posted in Spanish

2013 Columbia Crest H3 Horse Heaven Hills Chardonnay

2013 Columbia Crest H3 Horse Heaven Hills ChardonnayI had mixed feelings going into this wine.  I had heard good things, but was a little doubtful that it wouldn’t deliver much for its $8.50 price tag at Costco.  But long behold, this isn’t a bad wine at all, and it turns out to be a pretty good value buy, particularly if you prefer more of the fruit forward style of Chards vs oaky.


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Posted in Chardonnay

2011 E Guigal Cotes du Rhone Rouge

2011 E Guigal Cotes du Rhone RougeI had to check my notes on this wine to make sure I got the price right.  I paid only $11.99, and for that price this is a seriously good buy.  Granted I have an affinity for Rhone wines, but this is a bottle that I’m going to stock up on in a big way.  Perfect on its own, or with almost any cuisine.  We enjoyed it with a beef and vegetable stew and it was perfect.


Posted in French

10 Italian Wines We Enjoyed While Researching Our Italian Wine Book

terra di lavoro10 Italian Wines We Love

Looking for some Italian wines to try this Valentine’s Day (and beyond)? Well, it just so happens that we drank a whole lot of vino while researching our recently published book, Decoding Italian Wine. Here are 10 of our favorites, ordered from least expensive to priciest. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did!


Posted in Italian


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