2015 Grand Estates Columbia Crest Syrah Review

This weeks Wine of the Week is a 2015 Grand Estates Columbia Crest Syrah. I thought why not write about a local wine? Columbia Valley is known for making incredible reds.

Notes include mixed spices, pepper, currants, berries and a hint of cedar. I found this bottle at QFC (grocery store chain owned by Kroger) for about $9.99, on sale from $12. The bottle is priced at $12 online at http://www.columbiacrest.com. I found out from their website that this bottle received 91 points from Wine Enthusiast and “Best Buy” in September 2017. Very interesting and highly rated! To learn more about their wines defiantly check out their website. Columbia Crest makes many different kinds of delicious wines!

What is Syrah? What pairs best with Syrah? For those who aren’t familiar with it visit the link below from Wine Folly. I found this article to be super helpful and insightful!






2014 Torii Mor Pinot Noir Review

This weeks Wine of the Week is a 2014 Torii Mor Pinot Noir from the Red Hills of Dundee. A Willamette Valley, Oregon Pinot is never a bad choice for a cold winter night!


“The 2014 Torii Mor Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Black Label has rich aromas of fresh raspberries, sweet and plump dark cherries and fresh, delicate mushrooms. The flavors are fresh, rich and sweet. The entry is forward, sweet with a rich amount of sweet darker cherries, the mid palate carries on that velvet-fruity goodness to a long, enjoyable aftertaste of pure Oregon Pinot Noir. The mouthfeel is rich and voluptuous. The finish is very long, sweet, with the complexity of fruit and rich spices.” (http://www.toriimorwinery.com/?method=products.productDrilldown&productID=51D4307F-E30D-D5B9-810C-EB6DB37623F5&originalMarketingURL=product/2014-Willamette-Valley-Pinot-Noir)

This bottle can be purchased for $28. To learn more about Torii Mor wines visit:







2016 Artem Pinot Gris Review

Have you ever seen a more beautiful bottle?! Wine of the Week is a 2016 Pinot Gris from Artem, located in my old neck of the woods of Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

Notes include melon, grapefruit, strawberries, papaya and blood orange, giving this Pinot Gris Rosé style features and taste.

Pair this wine with something light such as mixed charcuterie, assorted cheeses and crackers. Let the wine dominate the flavors!

To purchase this bottle ($18) and to shop other wines from Artem visit http://www.artemwine.com



2017 Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc Review

This weeks Wine of the Week is a 2017 Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. This bottle was found at Leschi Market in Seattle, WA originally $19.99  and on sale for $12.99. I found that this bottle can be purchase at an even better price though from: https://www.wine.com/product/villa-maria-private-bin-sauvignon-blanc-2017/331846 for only $9.99!

Notes include crisp, fresh lime and ripe passionfruit. Villa Maria recommends pairing this wine with seafood and white meat. We decided to pair it with a grilled Ahi tuna salad.

Cheers… and enjoy!


Saumur Champigny: Domaine Filliatreau 2016 Review

This weeks Wine of the Week is a 2016 Saumur Champigny: Domaine Filliatreau. I was given this wine to taste from a family member who had just traveled back from France. After doing some research, I found that this bottle can be purchased for £13.75 (Equivalent to $18.14 U.S. dollars) from this website: https://www.yapp.co.uk/Wine-List/Loire-Wines/Saumur-Champigny-Wines/Saumur-Champigny-Domaine-Filliatreau-2016/

The website above was also helpful in describing the Loire region wine and recommended it served lightly chilled and paired with charcuterie. Very Parisian! It was interesting to learn that this red wine is quite popular in French restaurants as well.

For the notes, this red tasted of a wonderful mix of berries which created a ripe and well balanced finish. We paired the Domaine Filliatreau with a fish stew, rice, challah (bread) and a squash, eggplant and artichoke dish. While I typically recommend red wine to be paired with meat, this stew called for basic red table wine in the ingredients, so this wine paired nicely with our meal.

Cheers… and bon appétit!


2014 Old Vine Zinfandel by Bold Vines Review

Time to bundle up and get cozy… ‘Tis the season for some delicious red wine! Wine of the Week is a 2014 Old Vine Zinfandel by Bold Vines from Lodi, California.

Notes and Pairing:
This was a pleasant red with a bit of a bite, but overall smooth and easy to drink. Black fruit and warm spice make this wine burst with flavor. Bold Vine recommends pairing this wine with beef ribs, Italian sausage or a burger. We paired this wine with rib eye steak, garlic potatoes and brussels sprout.

I found this bottle on sale at QFC (grocery store chain owned by Kroger) for $8.97, originally $9.99. Below is the link to Bold Vine to learn more about their pricing, ordering and other wines that they offer.



2012 Red Diamond Malbec Review

Wine of the week is a 2012 Malbec by Red Diamond.

“Bright violet in color, this Malbec opens with a stunning red berry aroma. On the palate, concentrated flavors of pomegranate and ripe berries are complemented by hints of vanilla on the long, balanced finish.” (https://www.reddiamondwine.com/wines/release/2012-malbec)

We paired this wine with spaghetti, which included whole wheat pasta, organic ground turkey, tomato basil marinara sauce, parmesan cheese, garlic and a side of sautéed spinach.

I found this bottle at QFC (grocery store chain owned by Kroger) on sale from $8.99 to $6.99. You can search for Red Diamond and where to purchase it directly from their website, listed above.

Something interesting to note…
Upon opening this bottle I found a lot of sediment at the bottom. We poured the entire bottle into a decanter to let it breathe while we cooked and I noticed something I had never see before. While I’ve seen sediment, I had never see it crystallized. After doing more research I found that crystallized sediment does not mean the wine is bad. In fact, some winemakers leave it in there on purpose to enhance the favor. These “stems” were so long though it almost looked like little sticks. You’d think I knew this being Vino Jess, right?! Haha well you learn something new every day! I’ve attached a link below from Vine Pair that does a good job explaining sediment and how it effects wine. I found it very interesting and educational.





2016 Domaine André Vatan “Les Charmes” Sancerre Review

This weeks Wine of the Week is a 2016 Domaine André Vatan “Les Charmes” Sancerre. This rich white wine has notes of muskmelon, guava, cantaloupe, sweet snap pea and a combination of florals. The finish is vibrant, bright and fresh. If you’re a fan of Sauvignon Blanc wine from New Zealand like myself, than I bet you’ll really enjoy this wine!

We paired this wine with a lemon and herb roasted chicken, sautéed mushrooms, a kale and apple salad and challah (bread).

This bottle was priced at 24.99 and can be purchased through different wine searcher sites. If you can’t find it in your area, I would just research buying a different bottle of Sancerre from the Loire Valley region of France, which is where this is from.

Unfamiliar with Sancerre?
It’s one of my favorite types of white wine! Below is a really helpful link from Wine Folly about what makes a Sancerre a Sancerre, food pairing ideas and more.




2016 Château de L’Escarelle Rosé Review

It’s still Rosé season… right? Haha

This weeks wine of the week is yet another bottle that we picked up on our Euro trip in Nice, France. This 2016 Château de L’Escarelle Rosé was incredible.

“Beautiful light pink color with powerful floral aromas on the nose.” (http://www.escarelle.fr/en/online-shop/24-chateau-de-l-escarelle-rose.html)

Click the link to also order this wine for about $6 Euro. This is a great deal because we purchased this bottle at an independently owned wine shop for about double the price.

We paired this Rosé with black cod, salad, a mushroom dish and challah (bread).



2013 Piedlong Châteauneuf Du Pape and Bateau Review

This weeks Wine of the Week is a 2013 Châteauneuf Du Pape from Piedlong and also a review of Bateau restaurant in Seattle, WA. This is a special review because we purchased this bottle during our trip to France recently. It was about 50 Euros, so close to $55/$60 in US currency. We purchased it from a small, independent wine shop in Nice. We took this bottle with us to celebrate my birthday at Bateau in Seattle as well. We paired this wine with many of their appetizer/entree options including their Bateau salad, carpaccio, fried summer squash, frites with aioli, buttery mashed potatoes and top sirloin steak. It was incredible! The sleek palate of the wine complimented the steak. Notes seemed to be of black currant and a mix of other dark berries/fruits. I would highly recommend this wine and restaurant if you’re looking for an upscale, fun night out. The interior of the restaurant is modern and aesthetically interesting. A giant chalkboard is displayed showing the cuts of the day and crossed off individually as each person orders.

For more restaurant information visit:

Unfamiliar with Châteauneuf Du Pape? Visit the link below from Wine Folly to learn more about the Rhône region of France, the wine characteristics, insight about purchasing a bottle and more.