Coppola and Mondavi Wines

Coppola and Mondavi Wines

Today on Wine Friday, I’ve got a white wine on sale for $11, and a red wine on sale at under $6. As I’m all about the tasty wine under $10 when possible, these two are a good fit for the blog (despite the $11 sale price).

bottle_sauvignon-blancFrancis Coppola Diamond Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Yellow Label  Alcohol, 13% by Volume;  Regularly $14.99, on sale at Vons for $10.99

On the Label: “Dramatic style, vibrant packaging and fruit-forward, smooth wines are the signatures of Francis Coppola Diamond Collection.  Our Sauvignon Blanc delivers a beautiful perfume of tangerine, pink grapefruit, and honeysuckle followed by juicy flavors of tropical fruit, zesty citrus, and a int of minerals.  Delicious with grilled fish or spring greens with fruit and goat cheese. Learn more about our wines at”

My Take: It’s a good sipping wine, a good wine with crab quiche, good with your Easter ham. I don’t know what I was expecting; I’m finding that one Sauvignon Blanc tastes very like another, which is rather disappointing. I suppose some day I should have a Sauv Blanc tasting party, just so I can see if I’m right and they DO all taste alike, or if some have a better something than the others. Hmmm.

My Rating: ~ Drinkable to Very Drinkable ~ and if you’re going to relatives for Easter lunch or brunch, this would be a good bottle to bring along with you. It does have a certain panache, after all, with the Coppola name on it.

Robert Mondavi Private Selection Pinot Noir 2012  Alcohol 13.5% by Volume; pinot-noir-bt$5.98 on sale at Vons.

On the Label: ” ‘One of a winemaker’s most valuable companions is patience.’ – Robert Mondavi

“Pinot Noir is a challenging grape to grow in any climate  Winemaker Rick Boyer patiently selects fruit from our best California vineyards to create a wine with classic notes of violet, rose petal and red cherries.

“Become our valued companion on Facebook.”

My Take: Facebook? Hm. Maybe I will click “like” on that page. That said, I like Mondavi wines. They tend to be reliable, solid structurally, and rarely is there a bad bottle among the Mondavi line.  This Pinot, while there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, doesn’t make my Smoking Loon test. (Which is, is this wine better than the Smoking Loon Pinot Noir, which I can almost always get for $5.99?) I usually don’t bring that test up when the price point is so dead on, but for some reason, while this is a perfectly acceptable Pinot Noir, it didn’t hit my sweet spot this week. Which means, of course, I’ll have to try another bottle (because at $5.98, why not?).

My Rating: ~ Drinkable to Very Drinkable ~ Maybe I was just in a mood.


With the continuing unpredictable weather we’re having, what are  you going to be drinking this Easter Sunday?

Thanksgiving Wine – Rose´? Sparkling?

Thanksgiving Wine – Rose´? Sparkling?

In these days of high unemployment and global financial crisis, it’s nice to relax with a bottle of wine that doesn’t break your pocketbook. This is especially true around holiday time, where you may be pouring wine for guests. I’m here to sort out the memorable from the truly awful, and each bottle is under $10 unless noted otherwise.

Cupcake Vineyards photo of Prosecco bottleCupcake Vineyards Prosecco Product of Italy Alcohol, 11% by Volume Regularly $11.99 at Vons, on sale now for $8.99

On The Label: “This bright sparkler,  made in Northern Italy from 100% Prosecco is the perfect accompaniment for any occasion. It offers a lively, fruity nose of peaches and nectarines which persist to the palate with soft, creamy citrus accents that finish with a gratifying burst. Enjoy with melon wrapped in Prosciutto, a Gorgonzola crostini, or fettucini Alfredo.”

My Take: Very light. Lightly sweet. Not overwhelmingly bubble-y. But the price is good, the brand name may impress, and the alcohol content is low enough that it’s a good choice for pre-meal snacking.

Cupcake Vineyards brought this out very recently, for the holiday season I imagine. I have a hit or miss record with Cupcake, but I couldn’t resist trying this. Now that I have, I’m not sure I’ll rush back to pick up another bottle, but it is definitely a light sparkler that could work in many social situations.

My Rating: ~ Drinkable ~

Sofia Rose´ Monterey County 2011 Francis Coppola Alcohol 12.5% by Volume; price, $9.99 at Vons

On The Label: Mr. Coppola knows when to let a picture (or a wine) tell the story. There isSofia Rose wine no annoying pronouncements on the label. Thank you, Mr. Coppola!

My Take: I really enjoyed this wine. Fresh, crisp, clean and yet with a nice flavor, I could definitely see pairing this with turkey at Thanksgiving. Or if you wish, go ahead and serve this as a before-dinner wine with the appetizers. As a gift, it’s unusual bottle and beautiful color will definitely get you noticed. I will say, please check out pricing. Some places carry this wine for $20; others, like Total Wine and More, charge $9.85.

My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ and isn’t that a pretty color?

I did an in-depth posting on sparkling wines last year, so check out this post here, from December 30th. For some more Rose´s, look here.

I hope these suggestions are helpful. Please remember, whichever wine you choose, it’s the people you gather together that make the holiday, not the beverage, or the food, or the weather. Hold family and friends close, for they are damned difficult to replace.

I’ll be doing one more posting on red wines prior to Thanksgiving. In the meantime, enjoy the moment!

As usual, this is just my honest opinion and depends upon my mood, the weather, and what cycle the moon is in. Your taste buds will differ.

~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~

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My Rating System: Undrinkable, Barely Drinkable, Drinkable, Very Drinkable, and the ever popular Stay away! This is MY wine, you slut!