Monday, March 8, 2021


Merlot - Cabernet Sauvignon - Chenin Blanc

I’ve recently enjoyed three wines that reminded me of warm spring days on the back deck with good friends, sipping good wine.

Olalla Winery produced a 2014 Merlot (Kilted Scotsman – Conner Lee Merlot) – this deep rich inky wine is not like any merlot you have ever experienced.   Each sip is lush, full of flavor and complexity. 

I was recently introduced to Caymus Vineyards out of Napa Valley.  Their 2014 and 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is so amazing.  Words fail to describe this deep dark wine.  It is so full of fruit and very smooth on the finish.

Because of Denise’s recent research into
Biodynamic wines, I tried an organic 100% French Chenin Blanc varietal from the Anjou, Loire Valley region.  It is full of fruit flavor but low in sugar.  I was able to enjoy several glasses with no side effects.

There are so many wonderful wines out there today and I look forward to tasting and sharing them with all of you.



Tuesday, February 16, 2021


Petite Verdot is a brilliant grape for blending and on its own!

When I opened this 2014 Petite Verdot from Dumas Station I was awestruck how it glided smoothly across the pallet with a deliciously long finish!  Petite Verdot is usually a blending grape, when you find a single varietal, explore its beautiful aroma and flavor.

I paired this bottle with a grass-fed grass-finished Beef Filet and rosemary herb roasted mushrooms for a decadent meal. Do not get stuck in a rut and keep buying the same thing, try something new this week like a Petite Verdot!



Sunday, January 31, 2021


Did you stop drinking wine because it made you sick? Hold on, you can possibly have your wine and feel no effects?  Did you ever notice how wine has no ingredient label?  You cannot look at the label and see what additives are in the bottle that you might be having a reaction to.  There are over 70 plus FDA approved additives producers can put in your wine, some natural and some not. 

Luckily, many producers are now making wine that is Biodynamic, using wild yeast and no additives.  Do your research on the Slow Wine movement promoting sustainable wine practices which started with primarily Italian wines and now have expanded into Oregon and California. There are also now many subscription services that promote natural wines, explore these for what they have to offer you.  Please also visit your local natural wine producers, ask questions about their practices and do a tasting.  If have given up wine, explore again by finding a clean, pure, natural wine and go back to enjoying the beauty of a great glass of wine again! 



Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Another Year……..

The vines are now asleep; the wine is aging in the barrels and we gather with family and friends to celebrate the holiday season and the end of 2018.

It has been another fantastic year for discovering new wines and revisiting old favorites.  Our busy lives kept us mostly in Oregon and Washington this year but its amazing what you can find in your own neighborhood.

Palouse Winery - Vashon Island, Washington was a great find.  On our way to a friend’s wedding, we stopped for a quick sample and discovered a complete line of beautiful crafted wines.  We took the opportunity to come back on another day and experience the full line up.  If you have an opportunity to visit Vashon Island you must stop and visit Palouse.

Denise discovered Olalla Winery in Olalla, Washington.  This is a family operated winery that has become a local gem.  Evenings of music out on the lawn, while sipping great wine and nibbling on your favorite appetizer.  Throughout the spring and summer, we revisited this winery over and over.  We love the lush whites and fruity reds.  Lots of love and care has gone into continuing this family winery and the quality wines.

What would a year be without our annual trip to Walla Walla, Washington.  Once again, we met up with old friends and enjoyed great wines from some of our favorite vintners.  We enjoyed a pre-harvest dinner a Dumas Station Winery in Dayton, Washington.  Jay is hard at work creating some of the best wines in the Walla Walla Valley.

We also had to say good bye to Joe Grant of Grantwood Winery, Walla Walla, Washington.  Joe has decided to seek new adventures but will still be open until all the wine is gone.  Joe makes one of the best Petit Verdot wines you will ever find.  I will miss his craftsman ship with this varietal and all the other wines he has produced. 

Those of us who enjoy wine know, vines that are challenged and given the proper care produce some of the best fruit.  2018 was a challenging year but we grew from it and now reap the rewards of love from our family and friends. 

Denise and I wish you all the very best for the holiday season and hope 2019 brings you joy, love and peace.  We look forward to sharing more wine adventures in 2019.

Merry Christmas!  Cheers…..LaDonna

Monday, April 30, 2018

Cinco de Mayo, break out from the standard Sangria, Margarita or Corona….try Tempranillo.

Tempranillo/Rioja is one of the oldest variety of grapes.  Why isn’t is more poplar?  I wanted to taste for myself and I came to find out it’s fantastic!

Tempranillo pairs so well with spicy food, we served it for our tasting event with baked goat cheese topped with roasted tomato pesto, smoked chicken and roasted corn empanadas with spicy adobo dipping sauce and spicy guacamole, grilled shrimp topped cucumbers.   Tempranillo brought out the spicy notes of the food and the food brought out the spicy, berry and earthy notes of the Tempranillo.  Next time you think of getting a margarita, go for the Tempranillo instead, you will be pleasantly surprised!

At our tasting we tried two Rioja from Spain which were 100% Tempranillo grape and Tempranillo from Oregon, sometime Rioja can be mixed with other variety’s however usually predominantly Tempranillo. Oregon and Washington state have some wonderful Tempranillo being produced, please be sure to give a try for yourself.

Cheers, Denise

Finca Nueva, Rioja Crianza 2010
Casado Morales, Rioja, 2011
Domain Trouvere, Umpqua Valley Oregon, Tempranillo 2013

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

If you are driving along Highway 101 past Port Angeles Washington and you see this sign…. STOP! 

You will find the most unexpected fantastic wine lineup and experience.  Not just because Harbinger Winery is such a random out of the way place, but from their wide variety of wines offered which all have great fruit and depth of flavor.

Starting from their White Table Wine, to their poplar Dynamo Red Blend, a wonderful Malbec, my favorite Sangiovese with rich rustic flavors, to the ever so surprising Blackberry Bliss.

Check out their website for their wines and great pairing ideas.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Discovering Hidden Washington Wine Country

A beautiful pastoral scene you want to capture and keep with you…. you can with a bottle of Olalla Vineyards Wine.  Country setting, small batch wines that have creative and well-developed flavors, what more can you ask for on a summer day.  Check out this hidden gem in Pacific Northwest community of Olalla for some old world flavor and style.