Wine on a Dime: A Summer Lunch

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Don and Elaine Cohen hosted a delightful summer tasting with special guests: Doni and Bruce Greenberg, Kelly Brewer and Mark Ramage, Trader Joe’s Wine Manager.

The tasting began with Elaine’s refreshing Peach Bellini Sorbet made from homegrown peaches and Banrock Station Sparkling Chardonnay from Australia (reviewed below).

We thought the sparkling wine could also be served at brunch with fresh fruit juices. Doni shared her homemade flat bread and hummus to complement handcrafted pizzas including Elaine’s favorite – caramelized onions with walnuts and bleu cheese. A medley of beautiful homegrown fruits (apricots, figs and cherries ) were served with Greek-style yogurt and honey – a perfect dessert on a hot summer day.

We tasted 11 wines as we enjoyed the spectacular views from their patio. We learned it’s better to keep the reds inside before tasting or drinking, because the 90+ temps tend to diminish the flavors and unfairly give the blends a “nah” instead of the “yah” they received when we tried them inside the house the next day.

The group generally did a pass on all the blended wines. Pure seems better.

Rating system:

Hoorah = Run out and buy it before they run out

Yah = Enjoyable – would buy again

Nah = Life is too short to drink bad wine, marinate something in it

All wines were tasted with food.

Wine: Source: Price: Rating:
Banrock Station Sparking Chardonnay   Grocery Outlet $3.99 8 yahs
Shellback Sauvignon Blanc   Grocery Outlet $3.99 4 yahs 1 nah  1 hoorah
Mariflor Torrontes   Grocery Outlet $4.99 3 yahs 5 nahs
Bouchard Findlay Chardonnay*1   Grocery Outlet $6.99 4 yah 4 nahs
Caves de papas Cote Du Rhone*2   Grocery Outlet $3.99 5 yahs 2 nahs

1. Guest comments: “You love it or hate it,” and, “If it was delivered to my house, I’d drink it,” and, “You’ve gotta work up to it …”

2. Great with cheese

Wine: Source: Price: Rating:
Rozi Ridge Merlot TJ’s $5.99 5 yah 2 nah 1 hoorah
Penfolds Shiraz Cabernet TJ’s/GO $6.99 8 yahs
Syrahtica Grocery Outlet $2.99 8 yahs
Tretatre Rosso Cab/Merlot TJ’s $5.99 8 yahs
Fish Cage Cab/Merlot Grocery Outlet $4.99 8 nahs
Houghton Cab/Merlot/Shiraz Grocery Outlet $3.99 1 yah 7 nahs

Don Cohen is a retired commodities trader who has lived in Redding for 10 years. Joy Yoshioka is a retired high tech exec who has lived in Redding for four years.

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