Sol's Wine List

Now some folks like money
Some like to dance 'n' dine
But I'll be happy if you gimme that wine.
Jon Hendricks

I've been drinking wine for a few years now, but I just got into paying attention to what I was drinking. Thus I'm keeping a record of it, and it occurred to me, as long as I was typing it in, I should go ahead and put it on a web page. Perhaps you can make use of my modest evaluations, or, better yet, suggest something else I'd like.

As may be apparent here, I've been concentrating on dessert wines and things that go well with stir-fries or pizza. This is because that's what I normally cook for myself.

Update: I went through a low wine period in early 1999, and though I'm drinking a bottle or two a week again, I'd gotten out of the habit of recording stuff here. Well, I'm trying to get back in the swing. (And failing, as it turned out. Too many repeat wines to make regular updates interesting.)

I've also reversed the order. Without changing the old entries (yet) so some refer to entries later in the list.

Stoneleigh Vineyards Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 1999 (9/11/2003)
Great wine for sushi.
Francis Coppola Diamond Series Red Label Zinfandel 1997 (5/21/2000)
Nice, strong, fruity Zin. Pleasant to drink by itself, went well with a spinach and bacon pizza. (My standard test for these things, I guess!)
Ridge 1997 California Coast Range (12/18/1999)
Half-Zinfandel mix had power and zing, and a taste reminiscent but not identical to a Zin. Went well with a spinach and bacon pizza.
Ridge 1997 California Lytton Springs
Zinfandel was powerful and smooth, went very well with my Italian sausage pizza.
Hogue Late Harvest Riesling 1998 (9/1/1999)
Went pretty well with my stir-fried chicken and peanuts in hoisin sauce. (And everything else I've tried it with since. This is a keeper.)
Gallo Sonoma Stefani Vineyard Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley 1996 (8/18/1999)
I wasn't that enthusiastic sipping it, but it went surprisingly well with a ham and pineapple pizza. Note that this is not the Gallo of Sonoma Zinfandel (which I tried over the summer, but didn't record here.)
Chateau Crand Traverse Semidry Johannisberg Riesling 1997 (8/98)
Nice white. I've had it with fish, stir-fries, and sushi, and it works with everything.
Taurino Riserva 1994 Salice Salentino (9/98)
Red which was awesome with spicy cashew chicken.
Zabaco Zinfandel Sonoma County 1994 (11/17/98)
Nice, very affordable Zin. Worked well with a fairly spicy pizza.
Cline 1996 Zindandel California (10/21/98)
Nice and somewhat more affordable Zin. Went well with a good ham, portabello, and feta cheese pizza. Will definitely be buying more of these.
Ficklin Vineyards California Port (10/11/98)
I liked this better than the Ramos Pinto, but I was the only one.
Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel Conta Costa County 1996 (10/11/98)
Wonderfully strong Zin. A bit overpowering for the liver, but I had a couple of glasses anyway. (11/21/98) Tried it with pizza, and it was heavenly.
Domaine d'Andezon 1996 Cotes du Rhone (10/11/98)
Good red, also with the liver.
Veca Sindoa 1997 Tempranillo - Merlot (10/11/98)
Really nice, light Spanish red. Went well with vension liver.
Ramos Pinto Porto Traditional Late Bottled Vintage 1992 (10/10/98)
Delicious port. Good with almonds.
Rosemount Estate Traminer/Riesling 1997 (10/10/98)
Nice and fruity. Had after dinner, but I think it might work with a stir fry. (11/98) Tried it with a stir-fry and with sushi. Both worked.
Fess Parkey Satana Barbara County Merlot 1996 (10/10/98)
Dark tasting Merlot.
Rodney Strong 1996 Russian River Valley Rinot Noir (10/10/98)
Nice with a beef tenderlion.
M. Chapoutier 1996 Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise (10/9/98)
Very nice dessert wine.
Makor 1997 Pinot Blanc Santa Barbara County (10/9/98)
Funky. Drinkable, but not nearly as good as the Pine Ridge or Cooper Mountain directly above.
Pine Ridge 1997 Chenin Blanc/Viognier (10/9/98)
Cooper Mountain 1997 Oregon Pinot Gris (10/9/98)
Good, slightly sweet.
Bonny Doon Cardinal Zin 1996
Good red Zin, with cute name and awesome label. Not as good as a Ravenswood or Peachy Canyon, but certainly an acceptable substitute.
Hogue 1997 Johannisberg Riesling
Simple and nice, went reasonably well with spicy pork and noodles.
Rosenblum Cellars 1995 California Zinfandel Late Harvest
An interesting, very rich, desert wine. Will probably try again.
Topolos Russian River Vineyards California Moscato Rosa Black Muscat 1996
Ugh. Had a glass, used the rest as cooking wine.
Hunold Gewurztraminer 1996
The nicest Alsatian Gewurz I've tried. Still didn't like it as well as the Fitz Ritter.
Peter Lehmann Barossa Botrytis Semillon Sauternes 1996
A dessert wine perhaps on par with the Bonny Doon Muscat Vin de Glaciere, but with more of a Sauternes flavor.
Domaine de Durban Muscat de Beaumes de Venise 1996
Nice dessert wine, tasty. Not as striking and wonderful as the Bonny Doon Muscat Vin de Glaciere, but perhaps a little more subtle.
Peachy Canyon California Zinfandel Incredible Red Bin 105
Nice Zin, not quite as good as the Ravenswood Vinter's Blend, but still worthy. Went very well with the above pizza.
Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva 1994
I wouldn't drink this by itself, but it went fine with one of my better bacon, spinach and tomato pizzas.
Ravenswood Vinter's Blend Zinfandel California 1996
Awesome! Maybe not quite as powerful as their fancier Zins, but it still has lots of flavor, and it's ready to drink now. Now my official pizza/pasta wine.
Rabbit Ridge 1996 Russian River Valley "Sweet Susie" Late Harvest Gewurztraminer
Lots of flavor, hit with the family.
Ravenswood Vinter's Blend Merlot California 1996
Good. My Uncle Tom, the family Merlot drinker, gave this a thumbs up, and the rest of the family liked it as well.
Boschendal Chardonnary 1995
Too long since I drank it to say much beyond "good".
Flora Springs Chardonnary 1996
Too long since I drank it to say much beyond "good".
Chateau Rieussec Sauternes 1986
Excellent. More refined than my normal tastes, but I love it anyway.
Essensia California Orange Muscat 1996
The first time I had this it was great. The second was a little lackluster. The third was great again. Not sure if I got a bad bottle or it just depends on what you have before.
Chateau St. Jean Chardonnary Sonoma County 1996
Too long since I drank it to say much beyond "good".
Makor 1996 Pinot Blanc St. Barbara
Too long since I drank it to say much beyond "good". Actually, Greg says it was "funky", and see my comments on the 1997 below.
Ravenswood Zinfandel Lodi 1996
Very similar to the Sonoma 1995. Lots of flavor, but a little on the dense side for my taste. I wonder if I'm drinking these too early?
Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 1995
Not as much punch as the Ravenswoods, but excellent with pizza. I will be getting more of this.
Chateau Souverain Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley 1995
Again, I was very neutral to this wine, and my mom like it.
Villa Mt Eden California Pinot Noir 1996
Not bad, but a bit bland for my tastes. My mom liked it.
Hardy's Whiskers Blake Tawny Port
My second taste at Port was also weird but enjoyable.
Ravenswood Zinfandel Sonoma 1995
Very similar to the above, but I didn't like it quite as well.
Ravenswood Zinfandel Alexander Valley 1995
Tasty, went well with tomato sauce meals.
Fitz Ritter Durkheimer Nonnengarten Gewurztraminer Spatlese 1996
The reason I was trying all the other Gewurzes was because I couldn't find another bottle of the Fitz Ritter. Finally I found this new Fitz Ritter, which all over the place now. I haven't tried it with the chicken and cashews again, but it has been good with the stir-fries I've tried. Excellent with my fairly sweet sushi.
Firestone Gewurztraminer Santa Ynez Valley 1996
Again, great smell, disappointing wine, though this one was at least reasonably drinkable.
Trimbach Gewurztraminer 1992
The smell when I uncorked it was glorious, but the actual wine was a huge disappointment. The one stinker of all the wines I tasted, I thought I could still taste it's nasty flavor 24 hours later. (I wonder if I did something seriously wrong serving it?)
Fitz Ritter Durkheimer Nonnengarten Gewurztraminer Spatlese 1995er
A fairly sweet Gewurz that was really, really good with my homemade spicy chicken and cashew stir-fry.
Kendall Jackson Pinot Noir 1995
My notes say yummy and smooth. I've had this with beef stew and beef tenderloin, and both times it was really delicious.
Borgogno Barbera d'Alba 1995
Slightly less harsh than the d'Asti. Also good with pizza.
Neirano (? handwriting hard to read) Barbera d'Asti 1993
Slightly harsh, but good with pizza
Fonesa Ruby Port
My first crack at port. The taste struck me as weird, but I quite enjoyed it.
Bonny Doon Muscat Vin de Glaciere 1995
Very tasty dessert wine.

Wine Spectator

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