Wine on a Dime: May Day Celebration!


We welcomed this beautiful spring by pairing eight wines with Indian food by Joy, famous fig chutney from Don’s yard and an exquisite fresh strawberry shortbread dessert by Doni. We found the strong aromatic Indian spices affected the true taste of the wines – perhaps the lighter and sweeter whites would partner better to complement spicy foods.

Like our March tasting, we upped the ante on the wine prices to an average of $6.50/bottle – interesting how a few dollars more does make a difference with wine quality. A few of the wines were on sale at 40% off – a good buy (see footnotes in the ratings section).

Well, May is the anniversary of one full year of WINE ON A DIME. Originally, our intent was to support our local merchants and consumers to find the best value for their wine dollars. However, we found by the time we tasted, wrote up and posted our findings, some if not many of the wines were no longer on the shelves. Time is everything these days … We had a brainstorming session and decided we’d really love to hear more from you – our readers. We are changing our format with the vision of being more interactive in real time about wines and recommendations. If you have any ideas or requests, we’d love to hear from you in the comments.

So, bring on your ideas!

May Day Ratings:
NAH = Life is too short to drink bad wine — marinate something in it.
SHRUG = Would probably drink it but not sure why.
YAH = Like it, would probably buy again.
HOORAH = Love it, run out and buy a case.

  Wine Price   Store   Nah   Shrug   Yah   Hoorah
1 Hungerford Hill Pinot Gris 2006
Victoria, Australia
$4.99   G.O.       2   3   2
2 Chardonnay Calcareous 2007
Central Coast, CA
$6.99   G.O.       4   1   2
3 BV Coastal Estates Chardonnay
2009, Sonoma, CA
$5.99   Raley’s           6   1
4 Blue Pirate Pinot Noir 2007
$5.99   G.O.   3   2   2    
5 Norma Jeanne – A Young Merlot
2007, Nova Wines, Oakville CA
$7.99   G.O.   3   2   2    
6 BV Coastal Estates Pinot Noir
2009 California Grown
$5.99   Raley’s   1   2   4    
7 Fetzer Valley Oaks
Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
$5.99   Raley’s           1   6
8 Sterling Vintner’s Collection 2008
Central Coast, CA
$9.00   Raley’s   2       4   1


2. Comments varied – buttery, watery, and good body

3. Lighter, just a nice wine, would be good served really cold

4. A nice pinot, does not go with Indian cuisine

6. Sharp, peppery, better than most

7. Regularly priced at $10.99, a good buy on sale at $5.99

8. Regularly priced in the $13.00 – $14.00 range, on sale at $9.00

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.

Comment Policy: We welcome your comments, with some caveats: Please keep your comments positive and civilized. If your comment is critical, please make it constructive. If your comment is rude, we will delete it. If you are constantly negative or a general pest, troll, or hater, we will ban you from the site forever. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Comments are disabled on articles older than 90 days. Thank you. Carry on.

3 Responses

  1. Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

    Some photos or other graphics would be really nice and spiff up the column. Put comments right next to the wine you're rating so the reader doesn't have to look around. The "Yah" and "shrug" rating system really doesn't tell me much – WHY didn't you like a "nah"? What was really great about a "Hoorah"? What about a star rating system – 5 stars, 4 stars, etc… and include alcohol content in the information.

    • Avatar Joy Yoshioka says:


      Thanks for your comments. What are your suggestions about how to include you, the reader about your wine preferences and recommendations.

      Appreciate your interest !

      • Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

        What about including photos of the wine label so shoppers will know what they're looking for? Maybe also include suggestions of what foods would be good with the wines you're writing about…

        What about some of the more interesting wines on grocery shelves? Most supermarkets stock the usual Mondavi, Kendall-Jackson, Sutter Home, Beringer, Gallo, but most of them have a couple of smaller winery choices as well… maybe point out some of the other choices available that often get overlooked.