Wine & Prayers

Time for an update in the Wine Talk department.  (Please, feel free to share any good wines that you may have encountered.  I’d be happy to post them and your comments!)

In celebrating my birthday recently, our neighbors and good friends, Hugh and Jen, brought two lovely wines over to enjoy:

Let’s start with the Red:

Bend Cabernet Sauvignon




If you like the taste of black cherries and blackberries, this is the wine for you!  I personally love the variation of different berries in a Cab.  To me, they enrich and deepen its taste.  The Bend also leaves a hint of floral on your palette at the end – a lovely touch! This California wine (2015) is by Dario De Conti.

And for the White:

Tesoro Della Regina
Pinot Grigio




Another lovely flavor in this wonderful Pinot – this time it’s a blend of plum and cherry.  So delicious and refreshing!  Italian Pinots, like this, from the Veneto or Tuscany area never disappoint.


Both of these lovely wines are available at your local Total Wine and More at very reasonable prices.  Thanks to our friends, Hugh and Jen, for sharing such wonderful picks!

While you are sipping and sharing … please … take a moment this week to say a prayer for our friends and family in Florida as Irma sets her sights on our beautiful Sunshine State.

Stay safe, my friends.



Let’s Talk Wine!

Today — a respite from the never-ending political spin of Washington — and on to something far more pleasant!

Yesterday, we had a small celebration in my family and we decided to try something new and different for our wines.  We have a Total Wine & More nearby that always has a great selection, so we rolled up on Friday to see what we could find that looked interesting.

My husband is the “red” between us and I’m the “white,” so there’s a little bit of something here for both sides of the wine path.

For red … a 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon called “Line 39” by a vintner of the same name out of Parlier, California.  It won Wine & Spirits Magazine’s Top Brand of the Year and blends the flavors of currant, blackberry, ripe plums and a hint of dark chocolate.  A real winner!  And what’s with the name? According to their label, the 39th parallel runs through California, separating the north from the south, and hence, the name “Line 39.”  Their tag line is “Discover wine without parallel.”  Not bad, huh?

Line 39


Here’s a snap of their label:






And on to all you white lovers out there … Italia for me!  I found this bottle of Pinot Grigio, a 2016 La Delizia (Delle Venezie) from northeastern Italy to be superb.  An well-balanced blend of citrus, flowers and herbs, along with a touch of apples and pears.  Especially delightful for summer tasting.

La Delizia Pinot



Yes, you are seeing correctly, that would be an empty bottle!




These two great wines will be added to our Favorites list and — best of all — at an unbeatable price of about $8 a bottle!  That’s a lot of flavor for a such a reasonable price.

Take them along to your next event … and enjoy!

Shalom … peace be with you!

Hot Temperatures — Cool Wine!

Living in the desert in the winter with temperatures that can range from night time lows of 32 degrees to day time highs of 65 degrees, quickly makes you the envy of all of your “Back East” relatives, friends and co-workers.  And rightfully so!  While they’re shoveling snow — we’re shoveling sunshine!

But it’s that other time of the year where no one envies you and one that nobody really talks about — the sweltering heat waves of the summer!

I remember my first summer in the desert – June 1981.  The local news meteorologist reported the weather every night at 10, usually pointing out that the current temperatures would be coming in at about 104 degrees.  Seriously?  The sun’s been down for hours — how could it still be that hot?  Disbelieving, I would open my front door only to feel like I just opened my oven and my eyelashes were being singed!  (I never doubted a meteorologist again.)

The past ten days in Arizona has pushed even the hardiest of us!  Check  this out:

Phoenix Temps June 2016
Phoenix Temps June 2016

Yes, you are reading last Sunday’s temperature high right — 118 degrees — officially.  Unofficially, it was registering 123.7 degrees on my patio and several moments later, it raised to 124 degrees!  OK, that’s totally frying, right?

So, in looking for a way to beat the heat, I decided that a trip to the wine store was in order (this time to Total Wine) and I found a lovely bottle of Italian Pinot Grigio that kept me cool and happy!

Bella Sera Pinot Grigio
Bella Sera Pinot Grigio

For all my fellow Grigio lovers — try it!  It was one of those wines that after the first sip, you say to yourself, “Wait!  What is this again?”  Yes, it was that good!

So, while we’re out here still shoveling sunshine, know that I, for one, am staying cool with “Bella Sera” … making it one “beautiful evening,” indeed!


A Celebration of Spring!

People who haven’t traveled to the desert Southwest probably have some mental image of our landscape being somewhere between the images they’ve seen of Death Valley or the more recent photographs that have been released of Pluto.  Well, years ago, I had those images, too.

But now, after having lived here for 35 years, I’m still amazed at the sheer beauty of what the spring brings us each and every year.

Two of the more hearty plants are ruellia and lantana.  Combined here, they are nearly eclipsing our barrel cactus!

Ruellia and Lantana
Ruellia and Lantana





A single ruellia is stunning in its simplicity.

Single Ruellia
Single Ruellia

And a different variety of the lantana peeks through from the structure of our garden to show off its combined colors.

Lantana in the Garden
Lantana in the Garden






Even the lavender are beginning to open on the patio, attracting the hummingbirds (yes, really! They love lavender!) and keeping away the pesky mosquitos.



So, at the end of the day, as we sit on our patio taking in the awesome beauty of spring on the desert, we celebrate it with two new additions:

Ghost Pines Cabernet Sauvignon
Ghost Pines Cabernet Sauvignon








For all you red lovers …. and for you white lovers:

Josh Sauvignon Blanc
Josh Sauvignon Blanc








And so, I leave you with the peace, beauty and brilliance of a spring evening in the desert … until we meet again.

Evening on the Patio
Evening on the Patio




More On Great Wines!

It seems like Saturday night is as good a night as any other night to experiment with a new wine to see if it makes the “Let’s Buy This One Again” distinguished category!

As usual, we are featuring both a red and a white here, as my husband prefers red and I prefer white, except in this instance — well, keep reading …

First, the red:


This is a 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon produced by Carnivor Wines, Modesto, California.  It’s a $12 bottle of wine that has earned 90 points and a “Best Buy” nod from Wine Enthusiast in July of 2013.

This is such a great red wine that even I can’t resist its great flavors — blackberry, caramel and roast coffee.  Truly a “statement wine!”  Its label also boasts of  a toasted oak flavor, but, thankfully, I don’t taste it.  (Oaks are better left to the unimaginative Chardonnay’s.)

Go to for more info – or #devourlife. Be sure to buy more than one — store shelves empty out quickly on this one!

And for my white:




Oh, and was this a great surprise!





A $9 purchase that earned a Best Buy nod from the World Value Wine Competition – 2013.  It’s an Italian wine from the House of Torri produced by the descendants of Mario Torri.

The label will tell you it’s “crisp and fruity,” but my immediate taste from this wine was a combination that I had never had before — chilled pears and almonds!  And it was a taste that continued without being cumulative and overpowering itself.  This, quite frankly, was a superb Pinot Grigio that I would never hesitate to serve!

So, there you have it, folks, a couple of new ones to add to your shopping lists.

Be sure to get back to me with your comments — for that matter, with any great wines you have tried and that you would like to mention.  They will be happily shared here!

To Life — L’Chayim!


For All The “Red Lovers” Out There

Usually, you hear from me (also known as the “White Lover”).  Today, my “Red Lover,” (also known as my husband), is weighing in with a great red wine he recently tried.

I love the label so much, I’d buy it just for that.  See the hummingbird?

Trader Joe’s does it again ….



Summer Is Here!

Now that summer is upon us — and I think I can officially say that, given that my car thermometer registered 116 degrees while driving the other day — it was time to think about a new light summer wine.

A quick trip to Trader Joe’s was in order in the late afternoon yesterday, trying to beat the inevitable dust storm now that we are officially in Monsoon Season in the desert Southwest!

They have a marvelous selection of wines!  I picked out a new Pinot Grigio by the name of Venetian Moon.  It is vinted and bottled by the Trader Moon Wine Co. out of Manteca, California.  It was a light white vintage from 2013.

I must say it was good as a sipping wine (preparing dinner) as it was with the dinner (fresh vegetable, chicken and white bean soup with a spice swirl and Artisian bread).  I was quite impressed — and, of course, wanted to share this with all of my wine friends (you know who you are!).

Look for this the next time you’re in TJ’s — I know you’ll love it!

Stay cool out there ….