Friday, December 27, 2013

Gift of wine

A Gift; something given voluntarily to show favor towards someone or honor an occasion……what a nice thought and I wanted to honor gift giving by writing about the gift of wine. 
Many times we either give or receive wine as a gift I wanted   to take a moment to honor the thought and the thoughtfulness that goes into selecting.  I know when I am given wine as a gift I feel very honored, I know the thought was put into the selection , maybe it is something the giver has even tried , loved and wanted to share….that is special. 
I just wanted to say thank you and encourage all to give the gift of wine and wish you Happy New Year of giving wine in 2014!

Cheers, Denise

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Box Wine

Well I did it, took one for the team, this is for you our readers…. I tried box wine.  I can admit I did not approach this with an open mind, I fully expected  to be horrible.  I will admit I was wrong in a few cases and correct in the rest. Box wine now has given me a whole new meaning to "juice box".
Box wine does have its advantages, it’s easy to pack, no glass so if you got camping, back packing or kayaking you don’t have the empty glass bottle to worry about and the packaging is eco-friendly.  The word is that you can keep these after opening for up to 4 weeks….guess I will have to test this theory also  to see if maybe time will improve some of these…doubtful.
Cabernet Sauvignon
I only have one that I would say was drinkable out of all, which would be Black Box. The rest were thick with tannins and sharp on the palette
Black Box, This was the best of the reds I tried, it paired well with the smores when we were camping, if I had to choose a box wine to drink again this would be my red choice.  There is no depth of flavor; however you do get some nice berry flavor which I contribute to the blend of grapes which give it the full bodied flavor.
Pinot Grigio
These were my biggest surprise in that I expected all to be acidy and tart, they were all smooth, crisp and not overly sweet.  The choice I tried were, The Little Green Box, Vendange, Bota Box, Targets Wine Cube.
Targets Wine Cube Pinot Grigio-Crisp pear and melon which would pair well with grilled salmon, light pasta or shellfish
The little Green Box- Light fruit which I thought this would pair great with grilled fresh peaches
Vendange - Pear first hit the pallet with light finish
Bota Box- Clean light citrus fruit with hint of pear would pear well with grilled shrimp or chicken.

Try for yourself some box wine when you need to pack light, have a picnic in the woods or on the river.  Cheers, Denise

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Simple Post 

Sometimes there is nothing extraordinary going on in our lives but we are busy with day to day living.  We go to work, come home, take care of our families and just live.  Before we know it time has passed and we haven’t seen our dearest friends.  We reach out to them with a phone call and set a time and place to meet.

Tonight I met up with my dearest friend and shared a meal with some good wine.  The Italian restaurant was new to me and I enjoyed not only the food (ok so my choice of main entrĂ©e was not the best) but a very nice bottle of Barbera. (The waiter was very good tooJ)

 Shame on me for not writing down the name but if you write to me at  I will tell you where the restaurant is located.  It’s the only Barbera on the menu so it won’t take too much effort to call them and ask.   I will be going back to the restaurant because there were dishes I really should/wanted to try but decided to step out and try something new.

It was so good to spend time with “D”.  I had so many things rushing through my brain, I wanted to say and ask her, that I’m sure our conversation jumped all over the place but it was great just hanging out with her.

I told her about a recent grocery store discovery and I wanted to share it also with all of you.  It is a Malbec  2010 from Argentina called “Argento.”  It was on sale at my local store and I was so surprised how good it was.  So, after I left “D” I stopped by the store and picked up a couple of bottles.  “D” I’m bringing one to you on Saturday so you can try later on.

Yes, my life is busy with day to day activity but taking the time to stop, breathe and share some special time with a close friend or loved one is the best part of my life.  Cheers!!! LaDonna

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Two good friends decided to share their love and adventures in wine and here we are one year later…

It’s hard to believe that it has already been over a year since Denise and I started our blog.  The wines we have tasted……the people we have met……the adventures into the sultry summer nights …….yes, you know who you are.  We have enjoyed every moment and have already begun our second year with new ideas and bottles of wine yet to be tasted.

As I look back through my wine tasting notes, journals and corks I realized I had an awesome year tasting a huge variety of wine.  I’m now on a personal acquaintance with my grocery store wine department and I’ve tasted almost every label on the shelf. (Let me say I sampled my fair share of bad wine this past year).  Walla Walla and the grapes from Horse Heaven Hills have produced some of my very favorite wines and I give a big THANK YOU to MOR MOR Bistro in Poulsbo, Washington for introducing me to the small production vintners of Italy, France and South America.

But the corks (over 200 corks and counting)  I saved really tell the tale of my adventures.   The bold wines, the sweet, the blends…oh I love the blends.  And through it all my palate changed and grew.  Once Pinot Noirs were my favorite but now I seek out the bold, lushes, dark wines that have structure, personality and leave me breathless.  See…a year ago I wouldn’t have even talk about wine like that.  Not only did my palate grow but my vocabulary has changed too. J

But the adventure goes on……..

This year we would like to invite all of you to share your wine adventures with us.  If there is a bottle you just have to rave about or a winery you visited we would like you to share those experiences with us and we will post your findings on the Winelovinwomen blog.  It doesn’t have to be long, just a sentence or two will do.  But if the mood strikes, write to your heart’s content.  Submit your adventures to

Thank you again for your support, encouragement and love of wine….have a wonderful summer. CHEERS!!  LaDonna

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Not my father’s Zinfandel
I remember when I was a child my Dad making wine in the cellar, the Zinfandel grapes would arrive in the wooden crates from California and we would not be allowed to sneak a taste of the beautiful fruit. I never got a chance to try his wine however I remember his friends commenting how wonderful it was.  So I thought in honor of my father on Father’s Day I would explore Zinfandel.
Zinfandel originated in Croatia, though many think of it as primarily a California wine, it is also widely grown in Italy.  However there is nothing more typical California than Zinfandel, some of the best California growing regions are: Paso Robles, Lodi and Sonoma/Napa.  Lodi is the self-proclaimed Zinfandel Capital producing over 40 percent of the California Zinfandel with vines dating back to the 1880’s.   These old vines produce a distinct color and multi-deminalsional characteristics in a red wine from dark berry flavor that has layers of spice, plum, pepper and vanilla balance by light hit of toasted oak.    Here are some of my recent Zinfandels I have explored:
Predator Old Vine Zinfandel 2011; After my first sip I wanted a juicy grilled steak to go with it… rich fruit with a smoothness and zest  that work in harmony.  Predator Zinfandel is from 50+ year old vines from Lodi Appellation, the lady bug you notice on the logo is actually part of their natural and sustainable practices.
Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2011; A brilliant and complex wine with supple fruit, hint of spice and light tannin finish.  “Ancient Vines” though not official classification are 80-100 year old Cline Family vines in Contra Costa County.
7 Deadly Zins 2010 Michael David Winery; Grapes from the Lodi Appellations this wine has a juicy berry fruit flavor an appealing presence with soft tannin finish.
Zinfandel pairs well with food from pizza to a good grilled steak…a perfect Father’s Day meal!  Cheers to my father who gave me the love of wine in my blood….Happy Fathers Day!  Denise

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sauvignon Blanc…Summer in a glass
The sun is shining which means it is time to branch out and try something new that is crisp and fresh….my choice is a Sauvignon Blanc.
Sauvignon Blanc is a green skinned grape variety which is planted in many wine regions of the world, generating a crisp, dry and refreshing white wine.  Sauvignon Blanc is widely cultivated in France, Chile, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Brazil and California.  Some California Sauvignon Blanc’s are called Fume Blanc which sometime can be thought of as a different type of wine.
Depending on the climate the flavor can range from grassy to sweetly tropical, with a grapefruit or bell-pepper aromas and taste, some New Zealand variety’s you can pick out gooseberry.  Sauvignon Blanc when chilled pairs well with fish, chicken, cheese… particularly a good Chevre and it also one wine that pairs well with Sushi.
Sauvignon Blanc is one of the first wines that pioneered the screw cap top, mainly by New Zealand producers.  This wine is usually consumed young, it does not benefit from aging,  there are some exceptions that have produced an oak aged which can offer a vanilla and creamy flavor. 
Here are some selections Wine Lovin Women has tried:
Smart Cookie Vineyard, New Zealand; An apple aroma that starts on the palette as supple and smooth, warms to a juicy and zesty refreshing finish
Cedergreen Cellars, Columbia Valley; this is summer in a glass which pairs well with fresh oysters, grilled fish and Caesar salad.  The light-body offers an appealing mix of fruit and honey with a juicy acidity in the background
Airfield Estates, Yakima Valley; fresh and light-bodied that explodes with zesty lemon-tart mouth which pairs well with a summer salad.
SeaGlass, Santa Barbara County; Equal parts delicious and refreshing with fresh notes of gooseberry and tangerine
Waterbrook, Columbia Valley; Slight vanilla aroma which opens to caramel apple and lemon grass with a succulent finish
Starbourough, New Zealand; Crisp punch of acidity of grapefruit and pear notes supported by an intense and delicious finish
Sauvignon Blanc is very versatile and goes with a wide variety of foods which makes it the best choice when taking a hostess gift, selecting a wine to go with mystery dinner or for your summer picnic with fried chicken. 
Enjoy your summer….Cheers!  Denise

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wine scoring… who is scoring and what do they mean?
You will see mostly Wine Spectator or Wine Advocate scores mentioned at most retail wine stores which is a great marketing tool.  What do the numbers represent?
v  95-100: Excellent, Classic, a great wine (never seen 100)
v  90-94: Outstanding, exceptional, and well made
v  85-89:  Very good to above average (may be a great value if the price is right)
v  80-84: Average little distinction
 Wine Advocate Robert Parker is a well recognize wine critic, tasting are done in peer group, single blind tasting, the scores represent the cumulative average.
Wine Spectator is scored by the editor in the wine region in his jurisdiction, all tastings are blind. 
If you know what you like, read the tasting notes, such as; spice, berry, smooth finish or mouth feel and other subtle characteristics. I notice that when tannins are mentioned as “smooth” this usually means the tannins are prevalent and so I personally tend to stay away from anything that mentions tannins in the notes…just me.  The wine score rating system is severely criticized and considered to be “globalization of wine” and downplaying the characters of the wine maker.  I believe we should try wine for the tasting notes not the score, learn your palette and what you like, however branch out and try something new once in the while. If you are one of those people that found that bottle that you like and don’t buy anything else but that….try something new. Next time you go to the market read some of the tasting notes and go for it!