Fàilte! Welcome to the next installment of Exploring the Wine Glass. Mike and I are big proponents of you should drink what you like and you are the only one who can taste like you. We advocate the fact that everyone experiences the wine differently, so in these posts we do not discuss our tasting notes.  Instead we include basic information about each of the wineries, and/or a bit about what was happening in our lives while we were enjoying them. With that said, if you are interested in reading our tasting notes and our ratings head on over to Delectable and check us out.  We tell it as we taste it over there.  Click here to see the chart we use to describe the color or if you want to see the wines themselves as they are poured, visit our YouTube Channel and watch for yourself. As always, since as oenophiles we love to celebrate #WineWednesday, our week runs from one Wednesday to the next. 

Week 1

Happy Wine Wednesday everyone. I can’t believe that half of October is already over.  I guess when you spend your days working, coaching and officiating and trying to run a business 3,000 miles away the days fly by.  Continuing on from last week’s Dracaena firsts, we had another one today.  The very wonderful Amy Lieberfarb of #sonomachat was on the road today and visited our neck of the woods. She graciously asked if we would like to “co-host” the twitter chat tonight. We, of course said yes! It was a wonderful experience and I loved being able to promote the Paso Robles area.  

In our glass tonight was a 2012 Doña Paula Valle de Uco Estate Malbec. Their belief is

When you are surrounded by excellence, the details make the difference. Timing, observation and best practices are as important as passion and intuition. Producing great wines demands just that: passion and care for details

Exploring the Wine Glass, Dracaena WinesI love it. As we say, you need to Pursue Your Passion, and obviously Doña Paula does. Their passion began in 1990 when they traveled through Argentina to find the perfect terroirs to express the varietals they wanted to produce. Seven years later they purchased their first vineyard which is located in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Mendoza, best know for its Malbec. By 2002, they entered the export business and began selling their wines to the United Kingdom, United States and the Netherlands. In 2007, they invested a significant amount of money into increasing the winery capacity to  7 million liters and acquired two estates in the Uco Valley, all with diversity of terroir in mind.  The acquisition of these two estates provided assurance that they could self-supply 100% of their grapes. Today Doña Paula is among the main Argentinean wineries that export premium wines.

Today, Tuesday, was such a long day. My first class is at 7:15am and I am a big proponent of the people who believe we should not expect our kids to learn this early in the morning.  Especially when we must stay up late to watch the Mets! So I started my day with my classes, then did my strength and conditioning gig for an hour and a half, then jumped in the truck to get to a volleyball game. Once on the road, my “NEED GAS” light came on, but I had not time to stop. I made it to the game with 5 minutes to spare, but it was horrible. The team that should have won, went all spacey and it was torture watching them play.  At 7:10pm I was finally out the door and dying to get home, BUT I needed gas desperately.  The gas station near me was $2.89!  That may not sound bad to you Californians, but here in NJ the average is $1.80. Talk about extortion, however I needed it, so I paid $10 and got the heck out of there.

On the road home, I called Mike and gave him a heads up that there better be wineExploring the Wine Glass, Dracaena Wines ready for me to drink. In addition to the long day, the Mets were on for game 3 and I would need to watch, which meant another late night. When I got home, Mike had a Columbia Crest Chardonnay ready to go.  I tell you, that may be a major reason why I love him so much. He always has wine when I need it! 

A very cool thing about Columbia Crest (besides the fact that the wine rocks) is that they have a Crowd Sourced Cabernet.  You can learn all about how you can become a winemaker here. This site lets you vote on different aspects of wine making, like how long should the Cabernet Sauvignon remain in barrel. 

Week 2

Exploring the Wine Glass, Dracaena WinesHappy Wine Wednesday everyone! Today was a special day for us at Dracaena Wines.  We received our first web review of our wine and we were thrilled with the results.  Allison of AdVINEtures spent some time in Paso Robles and picked up a couple of bottles of our wine. You can read their review here. What does a rating of EXCELLENT mean we should do? It means, we are breaking open some #Bubbles! If you read this blog, you know my feelings about Ferrari Carano. They are my “we are not worthy” winery. However, when it comes to sparkling wine my “must have” is Domaine Carneros. We popped the bottle and enjoyed some cheese, but what I really enjoyed was the METS sweeping the Chicago Cubs!

Domaine Carneros is a small grower-producer who specializes in methóde champenoise sparkling wine. Domaine Carneros has many styles of sparkling wine including classic Brut cuvée and the oh so yummy Le Rêve Blanc de Blancs. They are proud to boast that all their wines come from the Carneros appellation, and 95% of their fruit comes from their estate vineyards. 

Mike booked a mini vacation for us this weekend to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We hiked the Appalachian Trail (and then some) and spent the weekend in Stroudsburg. We drove out to the Poconos on Friday evening after work [sat in serious traffic.] We decided to stop at a brew pub along the way. The Gem and KeyStone. We took Vegas for a quick walk and let him settle in for a snooze while we imbibed.  We split some nachos and had a beer, then headed to the hotel.  

Saturday morning, we woke up had some breakfast then headed to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.  We started our hike at 10:30am and just a mere 6 hours and 9 1/2 miles later we returned to the truck. Vegas was more than happy to get in and sleep.  We ended the afternoon with some food at another brewpub called the Newberry’s Yard of Ale,where I had an awesome grilled cheese and bacon apple sandwich. [slideshow_deploy id=’2545’]

We returned to the hotel and continue our anniversary celebration and #MerlotMe month with a Decoy Merlot. Decoy has evolved from being a single wine that supported the Duckhorn Vineyards brand to being a supporting brand for the entire Duckhorn Wine Company portfolio. You can listen to Decoy’s story from winemaker Dana Epperson herself in this very short video. 

Upon coming home from our little hiking vacation, I made homemade pizza and weExploring the Wine Glass, Dracaena Wines opened a 14 Hands Cabernet Sauvignon. I previously wrote about how 14 Hands got their name but I am also impressed by their business sense.  In their own words:

At 14 Hands Winery, the health and vitality of our community is integral to how we do business. We take great care in making mindful, sustainable decisions that promote the long-term wellness of the communities we serve—the people, the environment, the businesses. Above all, we promote a safe culture of balance and moderation, and foster an honest, collaborative spirit within the industry to keep forging continued innovation in sustainable practices.

Hope you have had some great wines and times these past two weeks. Remember, always Pursue Your Passion. We would love for you to leave a comment telling us what your favorite recent wine was.


Similar Posts


  1. I have some Columbia Crest Chardonnay; you have inspired me to open a bottle. I love their crowd source program! The Domaine Carneros bubbles look divine! Happy Wine Wednesday!

    1. Columbia Crest’s crowd source program is amazing. I think it is so awesome. We always make sure we have CC in the cellar because you know you can’t go wrong. As for Domaine Carneros, they are my go to #bubbles when I want a great one!

Comments are closed.