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.


IFBC 2012 Portland Oregon – SWAG takes a life of its own

Day 1 concluded with 1) Oregon Wine Tasting and 2) Food Fair.  Me and my girls (yes!  I had “girls”), Tara, Michelle of Gluten Free Gabber and Maria, winery owner and author of The Life and Times of a Pinot Mom indulged our love of wine and, thanks to Maria, learned a few things about Oregon Pinot Noir.

Onward to Taste of Oregon Food Fair and SWAG table.   SWAG = Stuff We All Get and oh boy did we get stuff!  Lots of food products from Hinoda, Bob’s Red Mill, and my personal favorite, a pig shaped cutting board!  There was so much other stuff I can’t remember….oh, there was chocolate!  Grand Marnier truffles.

As soon as I unpack the suitcase, I may post photos of all the SWAG.  For now, just know I had to buy a larger suitcase to bring home all the SWAG …. and pay $50 in baggage fees because my suitcase weighed 60 lbs!  (note to self: don’t go for all the SWAG.  It may not really be free!)