Drink This: Provenance Vineyards

Quite often, at a wine tasting, a consumer will ask me what my favorite wine on the table is.  I never have a good answer for this mainly because I see wine differently than you do.  The bottle has been researched, studied, atheistically torn apart, put back together with a pretty marketing bow, and sold – in my head.  When I choose to DRINK something, it is all about the moment, the company, my mood.  When I am pouring at a three hour event, I’m not in the mood.

So…how to be polite with this question.  I answer honestly; I’ll tell you what is in my fridge.  What is waiting for me when I get home is the answer.  Are you like me; at the end of the day is when you truly become yourself? There is Work Susan, Gym Susan, Sister Susan, Aunt Susan, Let’s Go On A Date Susan, and then the real Susan.  Real Susan and I need to check in when the day is done; wash your face, put on the comfy clothes, “slay the demons” (that bit totally borrowed from my coach – thanks big guy, well put),  and pour yourself a little relaxation.

My go to lately is Provenance Sauvignon Blanc.  Not because it’s summer; I would drink this in the dead of winter.  Mainly because this wine is not that grassy, acidic, enamel wrenching Sauvignon Blanc my friends seem to love.  I need a little roundness.  I need some smooth lovely soul reaching real talk.  However, don’t get to deep with me.  It’s the end of the day in this picture I am painting, and we don’t need to fix the world’s problems.  (by the way, we all know wine doesn’t do that, right?).  For a winery known for reds, it’s amazing to me a white like this can stand out like it does.  There is some barrel fermentation (slight) on this wine; that is what is changing the game for me.  And don’t sit in judgement with your stainless steel animal of a wine that you swear by.  Remember; complexity, layers of flavors, journey of a wine.  That is what holds the mystery.

I took this  wine and the Cabernet Sauvignon to Sla Thai – my favorite Thai restaurant.  With this winery located in the heart of Napa Valley California (Rutherford to be exact), I thought the two expressions of this vineyard would make sense with the rustic quality of Thai food. The Rutherford Appellation is a pretty warm place; grapes can reach their full maturity while producing deep and and richly flavored wines.  That is what stood up to the complex flavors of our meal.  There is a LONG ripening period in this specific area of California = wines with great acidity, balance, interest and all out love.

Where can I find these wines; Just about anywhere.  They MAY not be stacked on the floor of a wine shop; take a trip to the shelf. You can do this, I promise.  Don’t be scared.  It’s time to stop that “grab and go” – take a tour.

What should I have in my purse; The Sauvignon Blanc will run you about $17-$20 and the Cab around $40 – $45.

The Sleeper; The Merlot from Provenance Vineyards is stellar.  Deep red fruit, dusted cocoa, followed by warm oak at the end.  Delish.


Holiday Wine Haul – Noble Vines 337

This is the time of year I get the most questions on what to buy, consume, serve your family (don’t spend money on these people when it comes to alcoholic consumption), and everything in between…

I thought I would break it down, get out of my OWN snobbish wine box, and taste new wines under 20$!  Yes, the luxury wine girl is stepping aside and looking into her own pockets; which are bare and depressing.  In reflection of my bank account, my partner in crime (you may see him in a few of my WGGW videos) and I picked up a few bottles that are popular enough to find in your favorite wine shop. (or grocery – who are we kidding)  These are wines that I have never tasted.  You are getting a snap shot of what I think, what my reactions are, what would be good to serve now, and what I may like or may not like.  So, onto the first victim.


I’ve been seeing Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon all over the place.  It’s a play on words; noble grapes consist of the seven major grapes that are most recognizable in production of quality wine.  So, Noble Vines must be from exceptional vines and provide kick ass flavors, right?  Well, it does to some degree.  I really liked it. Maybe because of the fact it comes from Lodi California.  Lodi fruit is textural; you feel it and then taste it. That may not make sense, but do me a favor; close your eyes and take a sip. Don’t think WHAT you should be tasting, but rather WHAT is happening on a sensory level.  Feel this wine; I know – sexy, right?

Classic Cab in style; black cherry and a little roasted coffee on the flavor profile, deep and rich.  Everything you want in the grape and slightly more.  Does it linger and set my world on fire: nope.  Is it supposed to; maybe.  I only paid 10$ for this wine which blows my mind.  At 10$ I wasn’t expecting integration of fruit flavors, balance of body, and textural foreplay.  I was, quite frankly, expecting a dud.

I had pasta with this.  I don’t like pasta.  I never eat the stuff.  However, last night I was feeling a little, well, cranky.  You need hearty, but not to over the top hearty with this wine.  Remember, wine should be the pedestal for the food, not the other way around.  You don’t want to mask flavors. My mother always makes a spiral ham on Christmas Day which would pair up nicely; Cinnamon and nutmeg flavors love this kind of Cab.  Side dishes will thank you later.

Stay tuned for the rest of the haul!