Posts Tagged ‘Napa Valley’

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 150: #BrownZin

December 29, 2014

In this episode, Jeff tries his Uncle Frank’s favorite wine…

Wine Tasted:

Brown Estate 2012 Napa Valley Zinfandel

Brown Estate 2012 Napa Valley Zinfandel

Stay Rad,


What’s your favorite Napa Valley Zinfandel?  Leave a comment, and let us know.


Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 144: Syrah, Jerky, and BBQ Potato Chips

October 14, 2014

In this episode, Jeff pairs this $40 Syrah with $4 worth of snacks.

Wine Tasted:


Cornerstone Cellars 2012 Napa Valley Syrah

Stay Rad,


What is your favorite Syrah from Atlas Peak?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 132: In a Cab Mood

May 7, 2014

In this episode, Jeff breaks open a Napa Valley Cab sample from 50 Harvests.

Wine Tasted:


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When was the last time a wine made you sad.  Leave a comment, and let us know what you think.


Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 125: Taking My Time with Food and Wine

December 22, 2013

In this episode, Jeff takes his time in analyzing these two fine samples from Cornerstone Cellars. Get yourself a nice bottle of wine, and a big plate of food, before you watch this one… This one may take a while.

Wine Tasted:


Cornerstone Cellars 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon


Cornerstone Cellars 2010 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

Food Pairing:


The Big Roy featuring Roasted Garlic, Bacon, Pepper Jack, and Garlic Aioli with a side of Fries, House Ketchup, and Chipotle Ketchup from Cafe 152 Burger in Gilroy

Wine Samples provided by Cornerstone Cellars.

Stay Rad,


What’s your take on the Cabs of Napa Valley, Howell Mountain, and Cornerstone Cellars? Leave a comment, and let us know.

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 102: Storming the Castle

June 3, 2013

In this episode, Jeff sees if this destination winery’s juice can hold up to the power of this barbecue…

(Note: At the time of filming, Jeff did not realize that Castello di Amorosa sold their wines online.  Their online wine shop is, in fact, very extensive, and quite easy to use.  So… When you hear Jeff say something to the contrary in the following video, please shout back at him that he is wrong.)

Wine Tasted:


Castello di Amorosa 2011 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

After the Facts:

1. This wine sample was provided by Castello di Amorosa for review.  Click here to check ’em out.

2. I bought this tri tip sandwich from Trail Dust Barbeque.  Click here to check THEM out.

Stay Rad,


What is your favorite destination winery?  Leave a comment, and tell us about it.

Rosé and the Grill

April 21, 2013

How’s the weather in your neck of the woods?

It’s beautiful here in Northern California.


It’s the perfect time to break open the ol’ grill.

When you’re grilling, there are a couple different ways to go in terms of wine pairing.

For me, the choice was obvious…


Stepping Stone 2012 Corallina Syrah Rosé by Cornerstone Cellars

The fine folks at Cornerstone Cellars sent this wine my way as a sample, and I just had to break it open.

This rosé is 100% Napa Valley Syrah.  The block of this Syrah was intended to be used for rosé from the beginning.  In a world where some rosé is treated as an afterthought, this wine was made with intention.  For a wine that saw French oak for 5 months before bottling, this rosé is surprisingly affordable at $20 a bottle.  Considering that it is now available on special at $16 from the winery, this rosé is a steal.

Color: A beautiful salmon pink.

Nose: Citrus of grapefruit and lime, with a fun cherry 7-up minerality on the nose.

Taste: Make no mistake.  This is a dry rosé.  The fruit, however, gives a good perception of sweetness.  Beautiful notes of cherries, raspberries, and cranberries with a little orange zest on the back end.  A nice minerality, and good acidity, gives this wine a fresh balance that completely hides the 14.1% alcohol.

Score: Cornerstone will tell you that this a serious rosé.  I agree.  A solid 88.

Now, onto the food…



Mushroom, Onion, and Bell Pepper Kabobs, Marinated Portobellos, and a New York Strip

Some folks will tell you that this outdoor meal requires a big Cab, or a ripe Zin, but those folks are squares.

This is rosé weather.

Stay Rad,


What’s your beverage of choice when you’re manning the grill?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

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Napa at Night… And the Morning After

April 9, 2013

After a great AM and PM of tasting in the Napa Valley last Wednesday, Kara and I checked into our room at the River Terrace Inn along the Napa River.

We had a dinner reservation downtown set for 8:00, and had a little time to kill, so we took a seat at the wine bar in the lounge to have a glass before walking over to the restaurant…


I nice glass of Franciscan Merlot in the lounge. You know that I’m a fan of Franciscan.

After we finished our drink, we headed over to Morimoto Napa to have some Iron Chef quality Japanese food.


This is a super tasty Shochu cocktail. I love Shochu.


Here’s some dope Hamachi Tacos.


A BIG Green Salad


Here’s a little of everything… Wagyu Beef, Soft Shell Crab Roll, Shrimp Tempura Roll, Spicy Tuna, and Spicy Salmon.

After an amazing dinner, we had a quick cocktail at Fagiani’s Bar…


Gin Martini

Before leaving Napa the next morning, we hit up the legendary Napa Valley Biscuits


For a hot cup of coffee…


And a big ol’ plate of Chicken and Waffles.


Thanks for the great time, Napa.  You know we’ll be back soon.

Stay Rad,


Napa in the PM

April 8, 2013

After our epic visits to Domaine Chandon and Silver Oak last Wednesday morning, Kara and I were primed to continue our Napa Valley wine tasting adventure into the PM.

Our next stop was Paraduxx Napa Valley along the Silverado Trail where we were hosted to a tasting at their outside wine lounge. Paraduxx is a sister winery to Duckhorn Vineyards. The main focus of the winery is to focus on blends… usually red… mostly including Zinfandel… and almost always just two grapes… Get it? Paraduxx.

Here’s what we had…


The Migration 2011 Russian River Valley Chardonnay had a beautiful golden hay color to it. The nose was all floral and honey. On the palate, the wine was almost Sauvignon Blanc-like with its grassy green apple flavors. The creamy finish from the 100% French Oak reminds you that it is all Chardonnay. This Chardonnay was the goods. $30. 90+

Next, we got into the red blends…


The whole lot of ’em…

The Paraduxx 2010 Z Blend is 63% Zinfandel, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 8% Merlot. Fruits of strawberries and figs dominate the nose. On the palate there’s a good minerality, some nice tobacco notes, cranberry and red apples. Nice. $48. 91

The Paraduxx 2010 C Blend consists of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Zinfandel. The nose is blackberry fruit with a touch of brown sugar. On the palate, apple cores and raspberries give way to a long acidity that is sprinkled with black tea notes. This is good stuff. $52. 91+

The Paraduxx 2010 Rector Creek Vineyard is a single-vineyard blend of 65% Zinfandel, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 1% Merlot. Think about cranberries. On the nose, you’ve got cranberries and herbs. On the palate, it’s all juicy cranberry and blackberry fruit. Cranberries, y’all. $78. 91

Now… The Paraduxx 2010 Howell Mountain is my jam. 65% Zinfandel. 35% Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose is of menthol and blackberries. The palate is all tobacco, herbs, and oranges with some good red fruit throughout. This wine is mad approachable right now, but it’s got the structure to lay down for the next 10+ years. This wine is great. $78. 93

While at the tasting lounge, we tried a couple other wines from the Duckhorn family…


The Goldeneye 2010 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir has the nose of red apples and cranberries. On the palate, you’ve got some more of that red apple with some nice tobacco notes. At 14.5% alcohol, this is a big Pinot Noir that Cabernet Sauvignon lovers will hella dig. $55. 91


Wine is food. This flight was a meal. Every meal should end with dessert. The Duckhorn 2011 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc is a great dessert. Super orange and gold in color. Nose of oranges, hay, and honey. The palate is much of that same orange, hay, and honey flavor with the addition of some tasty yeast notes. $45 (half-bottle). 91

As much as it pained us to have to leave the beautiful wine (and surroundings) of Paraduxx Napa Valley, there was still plenty of daylight left… So…

It was on to the next stop…

During the day, as I checked in on Twitter, I noticed quite a few people talking up Flora Springs, so we hit up their tasting room in St. Helena…


The Tasting Room

All the wines were nice. This one was an especially tasty treat…


Flora Springs 2010 Poggio Del Papa

We finished off our day at one of my favorite Napa Valley wineries…

They’ve got some killer wines. If you saw this video when I posted it a few months back, you would have already known that.

The highlight of the tasting was their EJ Church 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon. If you ever feel like getting me an early Christmas present, please feel free to hook me up with this earthy, herby, menthol, and eucalyptus fun.

As the sun set over the ranch, we knew it was time to bring the day’s tastings to a close…


The Ranch in the Setting Sun

That’s not to say we didn’t keep the good times rolling in the Napa Valley after dark…

Stay Rad,


Be sure to check in next time when Jeff and Kara taste some epic food in the Napa Valley after dark.

What’s your favorite red blend? Leave a comment and let us know.

Find wine and wine-related products on Amazon.

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 88: Talkin’ ’bout Chard’

March 20, 2013

In this episode, Jeff tries a not-so-typical Napa Chardonnay…

Wine Tasted:

Stay Rad,


How often do you drink Chardonnay?  How much do you usually pay for it?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

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March 14, 2013

Sometimes, you just want some clam chowder…



I’ve been eying these samples from Smith-Madrone, and decided to try one with the soup.


Smith-Madrone 2011 Riesling

Founded in 1971, Smith-Madrone only makes wine from their Spring Mountain District estate vineyards.  The 2011 Riesling rolls in at 12.6% alcohol, and has just a touch of residual sugar (0.70%).  The wine costs $27.

Color: Pale yellow with a golden tint to it.

Nose: There are massive amounts of green apples on this nose.  There’s a good balance of lemon and minerals with a hint of peach skin.

Taste: In spite of the touch of residual sugar, this wine is quite dry.  This wine has big acidity on the palate.  Green apples are the core of this wine.  Flavors of lychee, apple skin, lemon, lime, petrol, and rubber balls play very well together.

Score: This is a pretty tasty wine.  I’m giving it an 89.

Let’s try it with the soup…


Clam Chowder with Crusty Bread and Sriracha

Originally, I was thinking about drinking a Chardonnay with the clam chowder.  I figured the creaminess of the soup would work well with the creaminess of the Chardonnay.  Now here’s the crazy thing… When I tried the soup with the wine, the acid of the Riesling played well with the fat in the chowder.  What I’m left with is a really nice flavor of creamy lemon custard.  Essentially, the chowder made the Riesling taste like a Chardonnay!

Riesling and clam chowder… What a great pair!

Stay Rad,


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