The Orin Swift Takeover…

“She gets to keep the Mercedes and the chalet, but leave me the Cabernet!”

Alright people i’m back and I know you are all expecting some enlightening narrative on what types of grape varietals grow best in specific soil compositions in new and old world climates. However, that is just not my style. Over the years I have spent half my money on wine, gambling and wild women….The other half, I wasted!

Choosing a wine is about hedging your bets, it is about scanning a wine list or liquor store and knowing exactly which bottle (out of hundreds) best suits your liking. Let me ask you something…When you walk into a bar, do you just go after the first thing that peaks your interest? absolutely not! You throw back a few and scan the bar for the perfect candidate. One that will make the night memorable. For some a full-bodied Cab and for others a long-legged Barolo.

What most don’t understand is that 27% of wine is actually bought without knowing a single thing about whats in the bottle. People often gravitate toward wines that they know absolutely nothing about and believe it or not purchase wines solely based on the label art.

Now let me introduce you to my good friend Orin Swift Cellars. Not only is it one of my favorite brands but also has an appealing taste and label.

Orin Swift Wines

The Abstractorin-swift-abstract-red-california-usa-10153839:

The Swift abstract is a blend of Grenache, Petite Sirah, and Syrah

On the nose: Perfume of dark fruit, sage, acacia flowers

On the palate: Ripe blackberry, mulberry, roasted plum, black tea, and bitter chocolate



The Palermo:

palermoThe Swift Palermo is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc

On the nose: currant, roasted espresso, spring flowers, and toasty oak

On the palate: wild berry fruit, plum, roasted fig, and cacao




The Location “I”, The Prisoner, The Location”F”


The Location “I”:

The Swift location “I” is a blend of Negroamaro, Nero d’Avola, Barbera, and native varietals from Puglia

On the nose: Macerated raspberries, dried lavender, plum tart, and toasty oak accents

On the palate: Super lush flavors of ripe berries and spice

The Prisoner:

The Swift Prisoner is a blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet, Syrah, and Petite Sirah

On the nose: cherry, espresso, roasted fig and vanillin oak

On the palate: Ripe raspberry, pomegranate and wild berry fruit

The Location “F”:

The Swift location “F” is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and assorted Bordeaux varietals (Cab, Merlot, Cab Franc, Petite Verdot, Malbec)

On the nose: ripe cherry, kirsch, blackberry preserve, lavender, and subtle spice notes

On the palate: strawberry compote, crushed plum, and mocha.

…your welcome

and as always,

Buon Appetito America!



Wine Publication #8

…And now a poem,

Wine is great for many fair reasons

It warms you through winter and all of the seasons.

You pop the cork on a 2011 pinot

and before you know it, its your third bottle of vino.

Beer before liquor and you get drunk quicker

But a wine hangover my friends, you’ve never been sicker.

A good wine pairs well with whatever you are cooking

But after a few glasses your much better looking!

Well now that I got that out of my system, lets talk about some awesome red wines that have all been rated over 90+ points and are under $20. There is nothing better than great wine for a great price. These five bottles will be sure to impress! Enjoy

1.) 2011 Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir………………………………….($19.99)

belle glos

2.) 2011 Seghesio Family Vineyards Zinfandel……………………………. ($19.99)


3.) 2009 Aia Vecchia Lagone Toscana……………………………………($14.00)


4.) 2007 Tomaiolo Chianti Classico Reserva…………………………………($11.00)

chianti classico

5.) 2011 Filon Garnacha …………………………………………….……..…($9.00)


I have had the pleasure of tasting each of these bottles and they are all wonderful and all very different!

and as always,

Buon Appetito America!


Wine Knowledge!

So here we are again! For my fellow readers, another delightful post and for me an empty bottle of wine and some fresh rambling. I figured since the snow is coming down I might as well pop the cork and spill some fresh knowledge to all of you. Before we get into that a few things I wanted to mention.

1. Never date a girl with a hook for a hand

2. Dont forget to tip you serving staff

3. Never wear a brown belt with black shoes.

And lastly remember, Beer is made by men, wine by Gods!

This entry will be a little more in-depth then your average wine facts so buckle up! I hope that you will enjoy reading it as much as enjoyed typing it!

Having knowledge how each wine tastes is wonderful, but to understand characteristics of each wine and how they are produced is essential in understanding difference in taste from vintage to

Chardonnay has a highly vigorous vine, with extensive leaf cover which can inhibit the energy and nutrient uptake of its grape clusters. Vineyard managers counteract this with aggressive pruning and canopy management. When Chardonnay vines are planted densely, they are forced to compete for resources and funnel energy into their grape clusters. In certain conditions the vines can be very high-yielding, but the wine produced from such vines will suffer a drop in quality.

The Sauvignon Blanc vine often buds late but ripens early, which allows it to perform well in sunny climates when not exposed to overwhelming heat. In warm regions such as South Africa, Australia and California, the grape flourishes in cooler climate appellations such as the Alexander Valley area. In areas where the vine is subjected to high heat, the grape will quickly become over-ripe and produce wines with dull flavors and flat acidity.


The leaves of Pinot noir are generally smaller than those of Cabernet Sauvignon, but larger than those of Syrah. The grape cluster is small and cylindrical, vaguely shaped like a pine cone. Some viticultural historians believe this shape may have given rise to the name. Pinot noir tends to produce narrow trunks and branches. In the vineyard it is sensitive to light exposure, cropping levels (it must be low yielding), soil types and pruning techniques.

Cabernet Sauvignon grape is a relatively new variety, the product of a chance crossing between Cabernet franc and Sauvignon blanc during the 17th century in southwestern France. Its popularity is often attributed to its ease of cultivation – the grapes have thick skins and the vines are hardy and resistant to rot and frost – and to its consistent presentation of structure and flavours which express the typical character “typicity” of the variety. The most widely recognized is the herbaceous or green bell pepper flavor caused by pyrazines, which are more prevalent in under-ripened grapes

Most red wines derive their color from grape and therefore contact between the juice and skins is essential for color extraction. Red wines are produced by de-stemming and crushing the grapes into a tank and leaving the skins in contact with the juice throughout the fermentation (maceration). It is possible to produce white (colorless) wines from red grapes by the fastidious pressing of uncrushed fruit. This minimizes contact between grape juice and skins.

Most white wines are processed without de-stemming or crushing and are transferred from picking bins directly to the press. This is to avoid any extraction of tannin from the skins or grape seeds, as well as maintaining proper juice flow through a matrix of grape clusters rather than loose berries. In some circumstances wine makers choose to crush white grapes for a short period of skin contact, usually for three to 24 hours.

During this primary fermentation, which often takes between one and two weeks, yeast converts most of the sugars in the grape juice into ethanol (alcohol). After the primary fermentation, the liquid is transferred to vessels for the secondary fermentation. Here, the remaining sugars are slowly converted into alcohol and the wine becomes clear. Wine is then allowed to age in oak barrels before bottling, which add extra aromas to the wine, while others are bottled directly.

The process of storing and rotating wine is very important. If the bottle is improperly stored at an incorrect temperature can “cork” the wine. Each vineyard has their own techniques, but as a rule they should be stored out of sunlight, and the temperature should be a constant with little humidity. After proper time of aging in bottle it is ready for you to serve it to your guests.

and as always,

Buon Appetito America!



Italian red wines continue to captivate my senses when accompanying any dish. I like to switch up my wine selections to include other regions of the world but I always find myself wanting to trying new Brunello’s, Barolo’s and Super Tuscan’s, etc…When speaking of Italian beauty, I don’t think its whats in the drinking water but instead whats in that 750ml of grape goodness that is responsible for all its greatness.

Dining out the other night I stumbled across a wonderful Montepulciano that brought my date to her knees! LOL..I like to think most Italian men have those same qualities 🙂  However, this particular Sangiovese/Merlot blend had my attention!

2008 La Braccesca Vino Nobile di Montepulciano:

Sold anywhere from $20~$25

Some winemaker notes:

  • This medium bodied Montepulciano has a fresh vanilla front. Chalky tannin attack, then smooth on the palate, sweet red berry fruits, palate also with velvety feel. Supple and mouth-filling texture. Long and good.

and as always,

Buon Appetito America!


Wine Publication #7

How “Merlot” can you go!

Open up your brain tanks everyone, I’m about to pour some premium Vino knowledge! It is amazing since I’ve started this blog how many questions people message me every week about food and wine. The most recurring question I get is about which wines pairs best with certain foods/cuisine.

I want to first start off by saying, drink what you like! Dont let the snobby wine talk get you down. Over 90% of people in the wine world couldn’t tell, or care the difference between a $10 bottle and a $100 bottle (the best bottle of wine I ever had the pleasure of tasting was sold to me for $3 dollars out of a gentleman’s basement). With wine, comes rules and with rules the enjoyment factor is diminished. It is a beverage that is meant to bring together families and friends and be shared with good conversation. Take it from me, more often than not you tend to throw your inhibitions to the wind allowing for some much-needed frivolity!

Now don’t get me wrong. The wine pairing idea is not a hoax and for the most part is quite valid. It is true that certain varietals of wine can enhance certain types of cuisine. However, I tend to typically drink red wine and don’t give a shit if a nice Riesling will compliment my fettucine alfredo (but that doesn’t mean I havent tried it)! the idea is to drink what you like but not be afraid to try new things! So when you are hosting your next dinner party or out for a nice meal try pairing with what you are going to order *BUT ONLY IF YOU LIKE THE SUGGESTION*

Enough Rambling, this chart should be of some help:

and as always,

Buon Appetito America!



“Any meal without a glass of wine just seems tragic to me somehow”

        If I can offer a word of advice, nothing helps enhance your dining experience and dismiss inhibition like a nice full-bodied red with nice smooth long legs ;)……but let’s get back to talking about wine shall we?! Every great meal should be accompanied by a nice glass of wine, whether you order a bottle for the table or just get a glass with your entrée’ nothing heightens the elegance of a meal more.

       There are a plethora of different wine labels out there these days and you should never be afraid to try something different. Dont get stuck on the same bottle of Merlot every time you eat out, instead ask for recommendations, try different regions because who knows what can surprise you.

Here is a nice cheap red Bordeaux that I enjoyed the other night:

2009 Chateau De Bon Ami Bordeaux:

For 9$ this is a pretty great Bordeaux!

Some winemaker notes:

  • This 2009 Bordeaux has a bright nose of red fruits, licorice and sweet pepper. The palate is rich and delicious with melted soft tannins. The term aromatic is well-marked, accompanied by a crisp and cool acidic peak.

Buon Appetito America



        Going out to dinner must be one of my favorite hobbies. As much as I like to cook and serve others, it feels good to take a break and be inspired  by other creative minds. While dinning the past couple weeks ive picked up a couple wine recommendations that I really loved! Not only did these wines create a great pairing with my meal but it also got my date all hot and bothered! You choose any aphrodisiac you would like but im sticking to my red wine….Anyway here are a couple of recommendations that I have picked up for your drinking pleasure:

Some wine maker notes:

This 2008 Ojai Vineyards Santa Barbara County Syrah is a bright, fresh and balanced syrah!

  • The color is dark and the wine has a lovely berry tinged perfume with a faint smokiness and a hint of green olive. It has lots of fruit and is very flavorful with good structure and backbone

This vintage in particular is sold at around $28 a bottle in stores.

This next bottle I absolutely loved and the bottle itself is shaped like the Piedmont region from which it derives:

Wine maker notes:

This 2005 Travaglini Gattinara wine shows a deep ruby-red with garnet reflections. On the nose, aromas of red fruit, blackberry, plum and licorice with hints of vanilla and leather, which lead to a taste which is full-bodied, with intense flavors of cherry, raspberry and spice culminating in a long and smooth finish. Scored 90 points from Wine Advocate!

Buon Appetito America