Wine Wednesday – KUKKULA

Wine Wednesday and I decided to continue my Kukkula trend.  I love Kukkula’s wines and really love that the vineyard is an easy drive from Los Angeles.

In honor of Twitter’s IPO, presenting Kukkula’s I.P.O. wine.  Such a simple drinking wine with subtle complexity.  71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Zinfandel and 11% Syrah.

Kukkula I.P.O
Kukkula I.P.O

C’mon, of course I was going to love it!  Deep rich purple, not quite inky.  I tasted cherries with an earthiness I like.   Hmmm, dirt!

Kukkula I.P.O.
Kukkula I.P.O.


It wasn’t as seductive as Lothario but I wasn’t looking to be seduced tonight.  I wanted to be quietly entertained.  Some times we want a Lothario; some times we want Homer Simpson.  Kukkula’s I.P.O. satisfied all my low-key needs.

Wine Wednesday – KUKKULA winery in Paso Robles

Have you been to Paso Robles in California?  Have you been to Kukkula winery in Paso Robles?  If your answer is no to either of these, you need to head to Kukkula winery in Paso Robles!

It’s a small, family-owned winery honoring the owner’s Finnish heritage.  My first visit was a surprise — the wines tasty and fun-loving — and I joined the wine club.

Tonight’s wine is Kukkula’s Lothario.  Isn’t that seductive and sexy?  It tastes sexy, too!


Kukkula Lothario

IMG_1433 IMG_1434

What can I say.  It was easy to drink, tasted delicious, especially as I watch the Boston Red Sox win the World Series.

Is it the wine or the Boston Red Sox?  Both are damn good.



I don’t like Pinot Noir.  Give me a Cab, Shiraz, Merlot, Cab Franc and keep the Pinot Noir or Zinfandel.  How I have so many bottles of Pinot Noir in my wine closet escapes me!   But I do and, unless I gift a lot of wine for the holidays, I need to drink them.

I reluctantly pulled out a bottle of Sequana Pinot Noir and opened it.  I even let it air, working myself up to taste it.

Pinot Noir
2009 Sequana Pinot Noir

It’s hard to admit I was wrong — horribly wrong.  But I was.  This wine was delicious!  It was delicious on 1st sip and still delicious 1 1/2 glasses later. (Sadly I donated 3-4 bottles of this wine to a dog rescue fundraiser 3 weeks ago.   I hope the  guests enjoyed them!)

This wine tasted of gentle dark fruit — cranberry and raspberry — with a hint of cola.  It poured thin with a large brown band circling the medium purple.  My first thought was the wine had turned.

Thrilled to be wrong.   This isn’t a strong or powerful wine.  Gentle or subtle are the words that come to mind.  It embraced me in a tender cuddle, not a hard bear hug.

I’m not sure I like Pinot Noir still but I do like Sequana Pinot Noir.

Pinot Noir
2009 Sequana Pinot Noir


Wine Wednesday – I’m in love!

Such a joy to find a wine that makes my heart sing!   After sharing a mediocre merlot with a friend, I poured it out and, on impulse, opened a bottle of Toby Lane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.From their website:

Toby Lane Vineyards

Our family motto is fine wine begins with superb soil and exceptional grapes. We focus on being attentive farmers in the meticulous care of our vineyards, and believe the fruit should be nurtured with passion and care throughout the journey from vine to wine. We use only the best hand-picked fruit from our teroir in the Alexander Valley – one of the finest appellations in Sonoma County. Our family hopes you enjoy this wine as much as we do.

2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

Toby Lane Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon is complex and elegant with the expression of fruity and savory elements. The wine has rich and full flavors of plum and blackberry. The finish is long and smooth with well integrated tannins. This wine has been aged in both French and American Oak for two full years before bottling.

Toby Lane Cabernet Sauvignon


What can I say — I opened this wine for Wine Wednesday as a whim.  After the 1st delicious glass, I cooked dinner!  I wanted to enjoy this wine with food to fully enjoy and appreciate its mild tannins and fruit.  The plums really stood out, giving the wine a slightly sweet sense.

Toby Lane Cab is the 3rd or 4th Alexander Valley Cab I’ve loved.   I’m thinking I need a series on Alexander Valley wine to better understand what about this area I gravitate towards.

Can’t wait to find more of this!  This wine is like a boyfriend I want to see every week, not just on an ‘as-needed’ basis.


2 Different but Delicious Reds

Week is half over and, well, it’s been one of those weeks.  Didn’t plan to have 2 bottles of wine but when a friend/co-worker said she needed a drink, I KNEW!

How glad am I that we did.  She and I have very different taste buds and yet both of us enjoyed our wine choices.

First up:

2006 Watkins Family Nuns Cliff Vyd Sonoma Cabernet Duo

Cabernet Sauvignon • California • Sonoma Valley • Red Wine

The Winery:

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Nuns Cliff Vineyard Sonoma Valley
Retail Price: $40.00

The beautiful terraces of Nuns Cliff Vineyard arise at 1400 feet, high above the cliffs overlooking Nuns Canyon. The west facing vineyard slopes are planted in red volcanic soils, considered by many winemakers to be the best Cabernet Sauvignon ground on the Mayacamas Mountain Range dividing Sonoma Valley and Napa Valley. Blue/black in the glass, this wine exhales a heady perfume of juicy black fruits, toffee, and spicy notes of peppercorn and sage.

The Tasting:  Me o my, this is a dark inky red out of the bottle.   First whiff told me this was going to be delicious!  Cocoa and caramel greeted me.  The palate has classic Cab notes of cassis, dark fruits and toffee, all glided along the palate by warming alcohol. The tannins still have a little grip, but they’re nice and soft, adding a gentle bite to the end of a sip. By the 2nd glass, the tannins had mostly disappeared and each sip was velvet and silky. It’s a big-bodied wine and went very well with my steak salad.  Can’t wait to have the 2nd bottle! (14.6% ABV)

2nd up:

2007 Miller Wine Works Kendric Vyd Marin Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir • California • Marin County • Red Wine

The Winery: Not a shy Pinot: this wine would sing out loud when paired with fresh salmon and grilled portabellas, or roast game birds with truffled polenta.

The Tasting: I don’t like Pinot Noir (or do I?) but I bought this wine because it is my last name.  C’mon Miller Wine has to be good, right?  Well danggone it, this wine was delicous!  Even if we drank it after the cabernet sauvignon.

Compared to the Cab Sauv prior, at first glance, I was concerned about this wine.  The nose smells like nail polish and its appearance is thin and runny.  However, it remains balanced and seductive. The nose is open, with engaging aromas of red cherry, acid and italian sausage/pepperoni on the finish. Young and exuberant, this is a very versatile and sexy Pinot Noir.  Pour and enjoy this beautiful wine!

I’ll try more Pinot Noir in the future, for sure!