One of my favorite grapes from one of my new favorite wine makers. Petit Verdot is usually a blending grape, but some wine makers can do great things with it. And Di Arie does this well.

One of my favorite grapes from one of my new favorite wine makers. Petit Verdot is usually a blending grape, but some wine makers can do great things with it. And Di Arie does this well.

A very excellent blend from Di Arie in the Sierra Foothills. Syrah, cab, and cab franc in a very drinkable release. The wine maker is a former food scientist and is using those skills to make excellent wines in the California foothills.

A very excellent blend from Di Arie in the Sierra Foothills. Syrah, cab, and cab franc in a very drinkable release. The wine maker is a former food scientist and is using those skills to make excellent wines in the California foothills.

Picked up on a recent trip to napa, this was an unusual blend of zinfandel and petit Verdot. Nice winery and nice tasting (they provide cards for each wine for reference). Good wines and this was memorable.

Picked up on a recent trip to napa, this was an unusual blend of zinfandel and petit Verdot. Nice winery and nice tasting (they provide cards for each wine for reference). Good wines and this was memorable.

From our recent sierra’s visit. Mourvedre is an odd grape, rarely single bottled but worth seeking out.  This is a 5 year old bottling, nicely priced (sub $30) and drinkable now.

From our recent sierra’s visit. Mourvedre is an odd grape, rarely single bottled but worth seeking out. This is a 5 year old bottling, nicely priced (sub $30) and drinkable now.

A lovely, ready to drink barbera from amador county AVA. The Sierra foothills have really moved into some of the nice Italian verietals and barbera is getting some nice focus.

A lovely, ready to drink barbera from amador county AVA. The Sierra foothills have really moved into some of the nice Italian verietals and barbera is getting some nice focus.

Napa winery, Mendocino grapes. A bit overpriced for the grapes, but selling in Napa costs extra. 
Good wine though, so don’t let the price keep you from considering it.

Napa winery, Mendocino grapes. A bit overpriced for the grapes, but selling in Napa costs extra.
Good wine though, so don’t let the price keep you from considering it.

Found this gem at the Lodi tasting room. It was $10 a bottle for 6-year-old old vine zin. It’s a classic Lodi zin (which they’re known for) and for that price it’s an everyday wine.

Found this gem at the Lodi tasting room. It was $10 a bottle for 6-year-old old vine zin. It’s a classic Lodi zin (which they’re known for) and for that price it’s an everyday wine.

Lodi wine, Sierra Foothills grapes. Red blend from M2. Clean taste. Great table wine for everyday use.

Lodi wine, Sierra Foothills grapes. Red blend from M2. Clean taste. Great table wine for everyday use.

2010 napa cab, prosciutto, two different goat cheeses. Done with work for the day.

2010 napa cab, prosciutto, two different goat cheeses. Done with work for the day.

Excellent Santa Barbara Pinot Noir. The vineyard was purchased by Robert Mondavi several years ago, and sold back to the original owners after his death. The grapes are excellent and the wine maker created very excellent wines. Worth the stop by the vineyard if you can.

Excellent Santa Barbara Pinot Noir. The vineyard was purchased by Robert Mondavi several years ago, and sold back to the original owners after his death. The grapes are excellent and the wine maker created very excellent wines. Worth the stop by the vineyard if you can.