Wine A Little Lighter


The very first thing that stood out to me on Auburn Road Vineyard & Winery’s website was their tagline, ‘Everything Matters’.   Do I read into that too much like I usually do?  The message is simple yet profound.  It’s the truth with in life.  And for many, life is wine, and wine is life.  I just got a little deep on you too, not lighter.


This is my first every winery visit in the great state of New Jersey and I’m glad this was it. Across this post you’ll see a lot of photographs.  I felt like a tourist.  Well I was a tourist. But I wear my heart on these things.  The winery is just as important as the wines being poured themselves. Everything matters.

I was there at a quieter time of day, which can feel lonely, but not necessarily.  There’s comfort in solitude. Several folks were having a glass and some snacks at a table inside. And periodically, their wines were being purchased for consumption later.  I live near a few wineries myself.  If I gave myself more of an opportunity I would get them directly from the source, and no middle man.  Doesn’t get any better than that.

A huge thanks to Bo from the winery, who conducted the tasting.  Since it was just the two of us, the conversation was a bit more laid back than if it’s in a group setting.   The tasting also took a bit longer than you would think.  I was enjoying myself and not in a rush to go anywhere.

Well… There was a show down the road that wasn’t happening for a few hours.  So there was that.  Speaking of which, I found out the owners and I share a common musical taste.

Before I go on a tangent, there is a point to all this.  If you see my tasting sheet, and you scroll down, you see the Rosalita.  Captain obvious would tell you that’s the bottle I took the go. Well, unless there’s quite the exception, I buy one bottle to go from a winery.  I feel there’s a principle.   However, I went with another.  You can see my tasting list below :

Instead of going down the entire list, I’ll just mention a few that stood out.   The rest are quite accessible, with a brilliant video recap of each bottle.


The Eidolon with its blend of Chambourcin and Merlot is powerful red blend which I think gives more of the former and a little lower on the Merlot.  Which a year ago I would have welcomed. But I’ve grown to love Merlot, so a blend of the two is fantastic.  Chambourcin has been steadily one of my favorite grapes over the years, so this is ideal if you’re into one or both of these grapes.


The Kind of Blue is blueberry dessert wine made only of blueberries.  I love this concept. Blueberries have plethora of health benefits.  Turning this into a wine seems like icing on the cake or in this case, dessert.  This is a grower.  My palate doesn’t match a wine like this just yet. People will love this wine, during the Summer and all year round.


The Rosalita is slightly sweet but not in your face.  This is a good Rose, but I wanted to love it more, just for the name alone.  These past  few months I’ve become a lover of Rose’s and this would easily be a part of my a collection.  The dichotomy of this not having too tangy a taste and a little candy apple make this a winner but this was not my favorite of the bunch. I would put this in the upper tier of the wines I samples.


As more my palate changes, the more it stays the same.   The American Red Winemakers Blend was one for the books.  I tend to overreact with my facials and a twist of my body when a wine really does something to you. This was one of those.  And of course there’s Cabernet Franc, which still stands as my favorite grape to this day.  Mix that with another one of my fave’s, Cabernet Sauvignon and this is gold.  Only listed at $15, this tastes double that amount.  That might be a stretch, but this is tremendous.  How is this only $15. Well the synopsis mentions it’s a medium blend with soft tannins.  It tastes a bit fuller to me, but as Bo and I discussed, what’s in a wine is all in the power of suggestion. That’s what make this so fun.  Did I mention this is the one I bought?


Speaking of which, what I failed to take photos of, was one of my bonus pour.  It was the Give Peach A Chance which tasted like the skins of a peach.  Maybe a bit too sweet for me but the flavor as there.  And again, this is a wine many have and will continue to adore.  I love the bohemian style logo on the label.

They have lots of fun events coming up.  They have a restaurant within the winery as well. What’s not to love?   The scary thing is that even though it seems so far away, it’s only an hour or so from many of us in the Baltimore area.  I will be back.  It’s just a matter of when.

Here is their contact information, their story, upcoming events, and most important of all, purchasing information.

I hope you got a glimpse of what the ins and outs of the winery, literally.    And enjoy the pictures!


Everything Matters,



Prosecco Pals


This is the second part of our Olympic (I can’t let go just yet) meal, which of course mans dessert and sparkling wine!  Here is the link for last week.

Some folks love Prosecco.  I mean, I know people who prefer Prosecco to any other alcohol. And then there’s others I know who don’t love alcohol, but don’t  love wine, but will choose Prosecco, which has been used in place of champagne.  I may have been that guy once.


But I’ve evolved, or I think I have.  I like anything and everything.  I’ll try anything and everything, within reason.  Maybe there is no reason. However, the bottle I purchased from Tavernello didn’t come as advertised, well sort of.


My friend and I agreed that it was ok, but nothing special.   The back of the label reads: ‘intense and complex; and ‘fine, fruity, and fragrant’.  I applaud the alliteration (ha), but our friends at Chesapeake Wine Company (where I found this bottle) correctly stated that it was light, refreshing, and with citrus hints.  If the winemakers weren’t as ambitious with their synopsis, I may like it a bit more.  But this wine isn’t for everyone, and at least on this night, it wasn’t for us.


Thankfully the cheesecake was more than enough to compensate for our glass.  It’s possible that the pairing clashed, and that the flavors of the wine got lost in the mix.


I think some people are going to love this.  And at $11, it’s going to work for many.  It’s a reasonable price for an adequate label.  Personally, I think this belongs under $10, but that will all depend on where you purchase. And first impressions and encounters can’t always be viewed as the gospel.  I would definitely give them another go.  They have plenty to offer .


As you can see they are available across the globe and work in concert with many other wineries.

In perusing their website, I love that they are environmentally conscious and show social responsibility.  That’s going above and beyond here.   That will draw me back to try another one of their wines much sooner than later.

Their website is truly accessible and as you can see, their comments box can seen across the bottom of their site, regardless of where else you click.

On a personal level, this same cfriend of mine throws a lot of amazing dinner parties. Some time back I brought a Prosecco that paired perfectly with a particular meal.  As the weather beings to turn (ew), this will be revisited and maybe even recreated.

Have a good one,



Olympic Dinner Party


Well it might not be quite that big, but since we’re in the Olympic season, posts with these grandiose titles will exist for now.  I got a few more to go.

I’ve stated this before, if it wasn’t for this blog, there are certain wines that I have never attempted or given a chance.  I’m not one to discriminate but certain grapes haven’t always brought me satisfaction.  And when trying multiple bottles that confirmation (or confirmation bias) would ring true.

This was either a new one for me, or just one that never stood out in the past. That’s going to change for now.

A small and spontaneous dinner (hence why the Olympics post is a bit of hyperbole) with a friend definitely lent itself to some vino.  I brought one bottle (which I’ll get to next week) and she already had one picked out for tonight’s meal.  I went in without knowing what was on the menu, which I prefer sometimes.  It’s fun to be in the dark, it makes it all the more exciting.


To my delight, I present you the Quinta de Azevedo Vinho Verde 2014 from Portugal.  This was a joy to sip.  And sipping was an understatement, I nearly caught myself chugging this thing. Chugging and wine could not be more of an oxymoron.


That color, that fizz, that crispness, and everything else was so easy to drink.   This was happening even before dinner was served. I needn’t get carried away, but I did.   The conversation was going great that I forgot what I was doing.  That tends to happen.  And at the point the quality of the wine isn’t that important.  But if the energy and company is awesome, and the wine is on par with that, it’s a double-bonus. And at $11.00, my dear friend got a steal.


Upon second viewing of my photos, I can see a greenish tint of my glass.  If I’m mistaken, please let me know, but that could be part of the youthfulness of the wine itself.  Vinho Verde is its own varietal and not the grape itself.  More information can be found here.

Arinto is the grape.  That’s a new one for me.  But that’s where we get the lemony fresh taste in this wine.  This is fantastic.  Personally, we thought we got some pear and other citrus fruits, so the lemon is identifiable.  Most importantly, this is a great wine.


My friend made an amazing dish of Tilapia and organic vegetables.  The pairing of wine and food here is second-to-none.   I’m craving and appreciating our feast that just took place hours ago.

For our friends in Baltimore, this bottle is available at Chesapeake Wine Company.  And to fellow pals elsewhere, I found the North American distributor, Evaton USA.   Their contact info can be found here.   And finally, for the rest of the world, hopefully this link can lead you in the right direction.  And here’s one more.

This is a wine that’s meant to be shared with everyone.  Seriously, I may have become a convert.  It’s one with a lot of charm and endearment.

I wish you all a great week and last few days of these Olympics!

Oh and part two of this decadent feast is next week!




Opening Ceremonies Party!


I love spending time with family.  I don’t do it enough.  I have spoken of my semi-regular gatherings with them, in particular on Thanksgiving, that post can be found here.  We don’t get together enough with the ones we love. A lot of verbiage may sound rehashed and regurgitated but when focusing on the positives, I don’t see it as an issue.

Admittedly, we become so wrapped up in life, we want to keep in touch more, but things happen.  Life happens.  I’ve usually been solid at keeping in touch with close family and dear friends.  Even the ones I’m not too close with I’d give a call or send a message. But I’ve been occupied so much too.  This blog is a part of that but I love it.  It keeps me focused. But I miss the ones I love, so any opportunity to meet up with them, I’m there.

This brings us to last Friday.  It was a mini reunion of sorts.  My cousin wanted to bring a bunch of us together to see some family that was visiting from overseas.  As an added bonus, this was the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.

We snacked, we dined, ate some more, drank a little, and were glued to the tv. Well some of us were.  At times, I was engaged in necessary and long overdue conversations with people I care about.

To mark this occasion, I needed to bring a wine that would somehow symbolize the Olympic spirit as well as the joy of family.  That sounds like a lot of added pressure.  It’s almost as if I’m an Olympic athlete or competitor myself. All hyperbole aside, it wasn’t a challenge at all.

Brazilian wines are not the easiest to find in Maryland.  At least that’s been my experience.  It would have been the perfect bottle to find and write about.  I didn’t give myself enough time to track one down but neighboring Argentina always comes through. Their wines have proven to be simple, easy-to-drink, and often affordable.  Take out Argentina and you can put just about any country or region in there.  That’s the true spirit of the Olympics, our world, and our universe.  It shows how even though we’re unique, we’re also all the same. Ah well, enough of my dramatics.


The winery is not unfamiliar to me but their take on this grape sure is.  The 2013 Perlita Chardonnay from Diamandes Winery is a winner.  Yes I said winner.  I’ll give it any medal you like.  Upon uncorking I could sense it.  You just know sometimes.   And as a close friend pointed out in the past, the label looks like a flag.  The colors may even seem familiar to you. What else needs to be said? But I’ll say some more.


That golden color is just what I was looking for.   Actually I wasn’t looking for it, more so you can say it gravitated towards me. Of course it would be gold. You can’t plan this stuff if you tried.


The crispness and apple taste immediately stood out.  This was refreshing, tasty, and throw in other adjectives as you’d like.  The tasting notes tell you everything you need to know.   Lots of summer fruits dominate this vintage.


I’m not even a Chardonnay fan, but I’d gladly have another glass right now.  Speaking of which, I was lucky to have one.  The bottle was finished in minutes.

For more on this wine you can go to Diamandes’ website right here.   More on their Chardonnay here.  And I gave a hint earlier as to having a wine of theirs before, I will get to that soon.  I will have many good things to say about their Malbec-Syrah as well. Actually I’m suggesting you get both if you can.

DM Vineyards is the domestic distributor here in the states and if you’re looking on where to find their wines, click here.  It’s a label I’ve seen at many wine shoppes in Maryland, so hopefully you won’t have a problem finding it.   And I hope that expands across the nation and across the globe.  It’ll be worth the search.

The price range is $10-$13. That’s worth it’s weight in… I’m here all night ladies and gentlemen, watching the Olympics.

When you have a big family and many that love wine that’s to be expected.  It was gone but not before I got my photos in.  You’ll see a plate of some amazing food my family cooked. I’m of Iranian descent, yet born here. I fully embraced the mix of foods from my family’s homeland and a little bit mixed in from everywhere else. Sound familiar?  Sound dare I say, Olympic like? I may be reaching but this gathering, this meal, and this wine was perfect.   And the gathering by itself was perfect enough.


I hope we get to do it again soon.


Like what you see above?  I’ll get to that sometime.

Take good care and enjoy the Olympics.







Exuberant Enjoyment


I’ll begin this with a bit of amateurish commentary.  I used to think Côtes du Rhône was the actual name of a grape.  I don’t know how long I paraded around like a buffoon saying this to people.  It just sounded so perfectly.  I was calling it my favorite wine for a time. That part remains true but I corrected myself and found the light.  At least I think so.

Grenache is the actual grape, and it’s grown all over the world.  Well I can now confidently say that Grenache is one of my favorites.  It’s extremely popular but one I don’t hear discussed often among peers.  It’s one I don’t have as often as I liked.  That’s on me. There’s so much wine to choose from that some do tend to get lost in the shuffle.


This leads me to one of the most beautiful and approachable labels I’ve ever come across, Les Dauphins.   Their 2015 Reserve Rose is a winner and a bargain.  Seriously, I’ve seen this and all their wines as low as $8 in many retailers.  This almost constitutes stealing.  The story that this continues to tell is you can get fantastic bottles for under $10.

I’ve had several of their reds (wine list can be found here) and found them to be palatable, approachable, and as I referenced before, affordable..  That’s what many of us want from a wine.  We want it simple, endearing, and a great conversation piece.  If part of the conversation is how great a wine is then they’ve done their job.   It’s icing on the cake so to speak.


Now I’ve brought a red to a dinner or party or two and it’s gone over well.  But on a recent visit to see some my friends, to my pleasant surprise, they had a bottle of their Rose opened.   Actually, I literally made last call.  As you can tell by the photos, the bottle was nearly done.  I’m glad I caught the tail end of this party (actually more wine was had but I just had to be a bit dramatic), or this post doesn’t happen for a while.


I couldn’t tell you what fruits, etc. were in it and at the time I didn’t care.  The color, the nose, and taste were simple and joyous enough that it doesn’t matter.  It was as easy to sip as any Rose I’ve ever had.  I’m not even a big Rose fan but I would have this again.  And I will be. The great company and being outdoors surely helped.   Thanks for saving a little for me!

Here’s a beautiful history of the winemakers, info on where you can find their wine, and their contact info.   Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve seen their bottles in many different stores across any different states.  So it should be easy to find.

I’m seriously so in love with their label.  In the next few months it only seems right to chat about them again.  I look forward to seeing you then.