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!



“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


Restaurant Review #3

Restaurant: The Left Bank

Location: 511 Rhode Island Street Buffalo, NY 14213

Telephone: (716) 882-3509

Category: American/European                                              Noise Level: Average

Rating: 4.5 /5                                                                          Ambiance: Romantic, Casual,

Price Range: $$$                                                                   Good for: Dinner

Caters to: Adults                                                                    Wheelchair accessible: Yes

Takes reservations: Yes                                                      Wine List: Average


Left Bank would not be considered a hidden Jem. Although its location is somewhat off the beaten path, most of buffalo is very familiar with this restaurant for its consistent high quality service and even more superior food. On the handful of occasions that I have dined at the left bank I have never had a bad experience whether I went for simple cocktails or a full three course meal.

The Atmosphere: As you turn down gloomy Rhoad Island street in buffalo your attention is not drawn to the brink vine-covered Left Bank restaurant but the fire station and Prime 490 Steakhouse that sits on the opposite side of the street. When pulling past the restaurant there is ample parking for even the busiest of nights. As you enter through the front doors you get a hint of what your experience will be like almost instantaneously. The all brick walls and hardwood floors add to an ambiance of dim lighting and classy chatter. The fully stocked bar is your first encounter when entering the restaurant. It extends the entire side wall which gives room for ample bar seating. Two or three bartenders are very attentive as to not keep you waiting. There skills are extensive so don’t be afraid of getting a tough muddled old fashion or dirty martini. If you’re looking for a kamkatcha soaked red bull then you may be in the wrong atmosphere. The hostess stand separates the blusterous sounds from the bar and the very eloquent dining room. The dining room is spacious, seating about 60 people at a time. The brick exposed walls showcase a variety of different works of art which add to the ambience. The chairs are enjoyably cozy and the tables are spread far enough apart as to not intrude on the playful banter of the people around you.

The Service: The service is very attentive and knowledgable. Being in the profession myself, I would always recommend asking your server for recommendations since they know the menu better than anyone. It sometimes means being directed to the most expensive dishes; however, it never hurts to ask. Our server was delightful and seemed very pleased to have us. She directed me to the 2009 Le Sughere di Frassinelo super Tuscan which my date and myself thoroughly enjoyed (shown in the entry below). Not only was the server very attentive but there are a team of bussers that assist in running, packaging and filling our glasses and plates. The entire staff was very pleasant, inviting and made us feel very comfortable. It always feels good to have great service, so don’t forget to reward your server with a generous tip if you feel they deserved it. (trust me they will remember you and go above and beyond for you whenever you return)!

The Food: The ambience and service were only a precursor to what was a spectacular and delectable meal. I always love to try new things so I end up over ordering. the menu has a great range of cuisine with many palatable small plates, appetizers and entree’s. From seafood dished like the Ahi tuna tartare ($14) to the hot banana peppers ($9), there is truly something to fit any palate. They also have a special bruschetta and ravioli that is prepared different by the chef each day. We started with the Tuna Tartare (sushi, grade A raw tuna) and the bruschetta of the day, followed by the grilled tiger shrimp which came served atop artichoke bottoms and baked goat cheese ($9)…We then ordered two entee’s to share between the two of us (Pork tenderloin with mashed potatoes($22) and linguine with chicken chorizo and roasted red peppers($18)). The portions are large so we had a lot to take home but there is nothing better than next day left overs!

the entire menu can be found here:

* their wine list offered about 30 varieties of red wine by the bottle and about 15 whites… there were many labels that are familiar such as Mark West, Stags leap, and Mondovi. However there were plenty that were new to me (such as the super Tuscan we had). If you are looking to treat yourself they also offer a reserve list with ten bottles averaging $130+ a piece

The wine list can be found here:

Left bank is a great dining experience and I highly recommend a trip there as soon as you can. When you do dine out, do me a favor, change it up, order something you have never had or something you can’t make at home! it will be worth every penny!

And remember,

Buon Appetito America!