Wine Tasting 5/31

The last tasting in May will feature 5 full flavored wines from Argentina, South Australia, Bordeaux France, California and Italy. They have earned great reviews and are terrific values.

In a country dominated by male winemakers, Susana Balbo stands out not only for her gender, but for her incredible skill and experience. She has been making wine since she earned her enology degree in 1981, and she has probably produced a wider variety of wines than any other winemaker in Argentina. Susana was the first Argentine winemaker to be hired as a consultant to make wine outside of Argentina. She has made wine in Australia, California, Chile, France, Italy, South Africa, and Spain, and she spends a month each year in a different wine region of the world studying with local winemakers and growers.

St Kilda wines are produced by De Bortoli Wines, based in Bilbul in the Riverina region of New South Wales. The company is owned by the De Bortoli family and is one of the largest privately owned companies in Australia. De Bortoli Wines was established in 1928 by Vittorio & Giuseppina De Bortoli. Today the company is in the capable hands of the third generation.

Bob Pecota once traveled the globe as a coffee buyer for Hills Brothers and MJB Coffee. After earning an undergraduate degree and an MBA in international business from the University of California at Berkeley, he switched careers, taking a job as a land acquisition manager and grape and bulk wine buyer for Beringer Vineyards in Napa Valley. Bob’s burgeoning interest in wine soon became a passionate quest to start his own winery. In 1974, he acquired 40 acres of vineyard land in the northern end of Napa Valley near Calistoga, and subsequently established Robert Pecota Winery in 1978.


Reached by a country lane which winds down approx. 2km from the charming little village of Sassofortino, Tuscany the Tenuta Aia Vecchia enjoys a position which is blissful both for its beauty, peace and its superb and open views. The setting of the property is idyllic, embedded in its own olive-groves, cork-oaks, centuries old chestnut trees and plenty of evergreen forests: the typical “macchia mediterranea”.




Tuesday May 31st, 2011

6:00-9:00 PM

No charge for tastings


Crios de Susana Balbo Torrentes,  2010

Enticing aromas that are strikingly similar to Viognier, with hints of peach pit, white pear, flowers, and orange citrus fruit. On the palate, it has beautiful structure and acidity similar to Sauvignon Blanc along with enticing fruit flavors that keep you coming back for another sip and plenty of body for a wine that shows such delicate aromas and flavors. Fruity, floral and yet still quite dry, this wine has to be tasted to be believed.

91 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate issue # 192 December 2010

BTG $6.00                                        Retail $14.99 


St Kilda Chardonnay, 2010

This fruit driven wine with crisp acid has been enhanced by lees stirring giving a great texture and balance to the mid palate. The subtle oak approach has given added structure to the wine without overpowering it, leaving the stone fruit flavors to dominate.

BTG $5.00                                         Retail $9.99 


Chateau Baby, 2009

Merlot from its birthplace Saint Emilion – Bordeaux. Berry and dried-cherry fruit with structure, a bit of dust and stem.

BTG $ 5.50                                      Retail $12.99


Robert Pecota Petite Sirah, 2007

The 2007 Petite Sirah has aromas of blackberry jam with hints of mandarin orange. On your palate you will experience concentrated dark fruit, dark chocolate, graphite, tropical notes, ruby red grapefruit with chewy tannins.

BTG $ 8.50                                      Retail $21.99


Tenuta Aia Vecchia Lagone, 2007

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc.

Lagone has a warm deep red color close to purple. Delicate aromas of Mediterranean wood and vanilla emphasize the structured and elegant taste with intense notes of wild berries, ripe juicy sour cherries and hints of sweet spices that leave the palate satisfied and pleasantly sweet and dry.

90 Points Wine Spectator issue October, 2009 Smart Buy

BTG $7.50                                     Retail $19.99

Wine Tasting 5/24




The five wines for our next tasting are from Spain, Italy and California.


Gramona, based in the heart of the Penedes, Spain creates flavors and aromas. Combining the essence of the Mediterranean and beneath the eternal gaze of the Montserrat mountain range, the family transforms the most precious single element, the grape, into cavas and wines of great character.


The Azienda agricola Stefano Massone is a splendid property of 18 hectares of vineyards situated in the municipality of Capriata d’Orba, in the vicinity of Gavi. These vineyards are located in the Cortese doc zone, which allows for the production of the wine Gavi Vigneto Masera. Within the municipality of Gavi is the smaller Boschino vineyard which lends its name to the special cru of Gavi di Gavi doc. The winery is a modern structure conceived of specifically for the vinification of these white wines. All of the stages of production for both the grapes and the wines are personally controlled by Stefano Massone.


Greg La Follette is one of California’s most accomplished winemakers, La Follette has delved far more deeply than most into the science behind the art of winemaking and his fascination with old world winemaking techniques. In 2001 he founded Tandem wines to produce small-lot Russian River Valley Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. He has also consulted on vineyard and winery projects around the world, including the new UC Davis teaching winery.  In 2009, Greg met Pete Kight – Proprietor of Quivira Vineyards & Winery in Dry Creek Valley – and saw an opportunity to partner, enabling him to have more time to focus on winemaking. Tandem was renamed La Follette, and Greg continued on as Winemaker of the new winery.

The Trentadues were among the very first to plant new vines in Sonoma County since the days of Prohibition. In the summer of 1999, Miro (Miroslav) Tcholakov was hired to be the Winemaker at Trentadue Winery;  The wines from his first Vintage as winemaker at Trentadue, received unbelievable quantity of accolades from the professional wine press, including The Sweepstakes winning Zinfandel from the West Coast Wine Competition. During the following vintages Miro’s list of accomplishments continues to grow with a consistent 90 and above high scores from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and from The Wine Spectator.

Casa Castillo in the region of Jumilla is a property that has been producing wine since 1874. This tradition continued with a winery built by a French company in 1910 when phylloxera forced them out of their vineyards in France. Jumilla is one of the few places in Spain that has successfully resisted the infestation of phylloxera, hence making it an ideal place for this new winery. Like many Rhone wine merchants, they were interested in Monastrell (Mourvedre) based wine and this is 100% Mourvedre. The Roch family acquired the property in 1941. Julia Roch and her grandson, Jose Maria Vicente, have been recovering the artisanal origins of this estate, making significant strides in the integrity and quality of winemaking. The Mourvedre grape likes warmer climates, but has tight bunches so enjoys the cool winds commonly found in areas where it grows best.


Tuesday May 24th, 2011

6:00-9:00 PM

No charge for tastings


Gramona Gessamí, 2010

40%Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Muscat de Alexandria, 15% Muscat de Frontignan, 5% Gewürztraminer

Aromatic burst. Like a walk in the spring, this wine reminds one of the coolness of fresh air, a bouquet of white flowers, (roses, jasmine), fennel, apricots and forest… all wrapped in a sweet atmosphere full of freshness, with a subtle mineral glow and an enveloping infusions of a citric breeze.

BTG $7.25                                        Retail $18.99 


Stefano Massone Gavi D.O.C., 2010

100 % Cortese di Gavi

An ample grape variety, rich with perfumes and delicate aromas. It is characterized by an intense and delicate floral bouquet, a pleasingly dry taste with fruity nuances such as peach, pineapple and other exotic fruits.

BTG $5.50                                         Retail $12.99 


La Follete Pinot Noir, 2009

This is an elegant, sophisticated Pinot Noir whose long hang-time raspberry, cherry and persimmon fruit flavors are highlighted by crisp, cool-climate acidity. The wine feels racy and stimulating in the mouth.

BTG $ 9.00                                      Retail $22.99


Trentadue Winery La Storia Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009

Alexander Valley Estate, Ripe sweet cherry and plums, developed aromas of leather, licorice and hints of cocoa powder and molasses. With more aeration additional aromas of vanilla, brown sugar and slight earthiness complete this beautifully complex wine. Bottom of Form


BTG $ 9.50                                      Retail $24.99


Casa Castillo Monastrel, 2009

100% Monastrel (Mourvedre)

Deep ruby. Fresh red and dark berries on the nose, with complicating notes of cracked pepper, black tea and crushed violet. Lively and precise on the palate, offering sweet red and black currant flavors and a touch of candied licorice. Silky tannins add shape and grip to the long, sweet, spicy finish.

BTG $5.75                                     Retail $13.99

Beer Tasting 5/20

Celebrate American Craft Beer Week

From May 16-22,  new beer lovers and seasoned enthusiasts will raise glasses of their favorite

IPA, amber, stout—or anything in-between—to honor the more than 1,700 small and independent craft brewers responsible for the vibrant American craft beer scene.

More info at

American Craft Beer Week will see official events hosted in all 50 states, making it the largest-ever; this coming Friday May 20th  Hollywood Vine will be hosting a premier tasting, We’ll sample some outstanding and highly allocated brews.


Friday May 20th, 2011

7:00-9:00 pm

No charge for tastings

Victory Brewing Co. V 12

“Our vintage-dated, Belgian-style specialty ale, offered in corked 25.4 oz. bottles, is a sensation in subtlety. Heady with a aromatic fruity start and taste, this amber ale features hints of pear and apricot in its well-nuanced flavor. The initial impression of fruitiness concludes in a refreshing dryness that begs you to sip again. Before- warned, this ale is immense as it registers 12% abv.”

Retail $15.00  750 ml


Avery Brewing Co. The Reverend

Belgian Quadrupel Ale

“The Reverend, was created in tribute to the life of Sales Mgr. Tom Boogaard’s grandfather, an ordained Episcopal Reverend. Tom was inspired by the life of his grandfather and wanted to create a tribute beer that contained his sterling traits. True to both our “small brewery, BIG BEERS” philosophy and to the spirit and character of the departed Reverend, this beer is strong willed, assertive, and pure of heart, a heart of candy sugar. It contains as many authentic imported Belgian specialty malts as the brewers could cram into our mash tun, and lots of Belgian dark candy sugar stirred into the brew kettle. A divinely complex and beautifully layered beer with hints of dark cherries, currants, and molasses, complimented by an underlying spiciness. Sinfully smooth considering the high alcohol content. Cellarable for up to 4 years.”

Retail $12.00 750 ml


Cigar City Brewing Co. Guava Grove

Belgian Style Saison which undergoes secondary fermentation on Guava 8% ABV.


Rogue Brewing Co. Double Mocha Porter

Double Mocha Porter is a huge mouthful of malt and hops, with notes of bitter rich chocolate. This porter is the crème de la crème.


20% off  on 1-5 bottle take out

35% off on a six-pack mix and match take out

Wine Tasting 5/17

Next Tuesday we’ll be tasting 5 wonderful wines; starting with a beautiful refreshing Prosecco from Italy, a crisp and fruity Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, followed by a powerful Sangiovese, Cabernet and Merlot blend from central Italy, a fine and elegant Cabernet Sauvignon from Duckhorn and a mega powerful Zinfandel from Napa Valley; and the best part: all moderately priced.

Antonio Franco founded the “Cantina Franco” winery in Valdobbiadene in 1919. Valdobbiadene is located at the foot of the Prealps, in the Venetian region, and is famous for the Prosecco vine and wine production. This winery is proud to be one of the oldest in Valdobbiadene, located in the town centre, not far away from the countryside and the vineyards.

The Vavasours arrived in New Zealand and established themselves in the Awatere Valley in 1890. Nearly a century later in 1985, Peter Vavasour identified the Awatere Valley as the new frontier for New Zealand wine growing and planted the first grapes there. The Dashwood brand was developed in 1989. Given the commitment to using the Vavasour brand for wines true to the Awatere Valley, it provided flexibility within the company’s portfolio to have the Dashwood range as a blend of fruit from Marlborough’s Wairau and Awatere Valleys.


The Falesco Winery, owned by brothers Riccardo and Renzo Cotarella, both oenologists and deeply rooted in this territory between Lazio and Umbria , was established in Montefi ascone (Lazio, Viterbo province) in 1979. Recently Falesco has enriched its property with the acquisition of the Marciliano estate, of 260 hectares, which is situated on a wonderful hill south of Orvieto in the municipality of Montecchio. In these vineyards they grow  Merlot, Cabernet and Sangiovese grapes for the production of Vitiano.


Since the inaugural vintage of  Decoy Napa Valley Red Wine more than 20 years ago, Decoy has taken an important place in the Duckhorn Wine Company family of wines. With a reputation for delivering great quality at a remarkable price, Decoy has established a loyal following for its distinctive style, which emphasizes ready-upon-release wines that are capable of expressing their full charm and complexity in their youth.



Tuesday May 17th, 2011

6:00-9:00 PM

No charge for tastings


Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco di Valdobbiadene D.O.C.G., NV

100% Glera (traditionally called Prosecco)

Straw-colored very fine, persistent, pleasant, and crisp, fruity and flowery.

90 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate issue # 193 February 2011

BTG $6.25                                       Retail $15.99           


Dashwood Sauvignon Blanc, 2010

100% Sauvignon Blanc (61% Awatere Valley, 39% Wairau Valley).

Dashwood Sauvignon Blanc is pale straw in color. The nose has stone fruit, citrus and fresh tropical notes that leap from the glass. The palate is expressive with stone fruit, citrus and fresh tropical flavors that linger on through the crisp finish.

89 Points Wine Spectator issue May 31st, 2011

BTG $5.50                                         Retail $12.99 


Cantina Falesco Vitiano Rosso, 2009

Merlot 33%, Cabernet 33%, Sangiovese 34%

A young red wine with explosive, luscious aromatic fragrance. This wine has a wonderful, deep, intense ruby red color, solid,  but above all it exalts the food it is combined with. It is very rich which harmonize with its fresh, tasty acidity. It is versatile red, quite innovative in style which can be appreciated immediately.

89 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate issue # 190 August 2010

BTG $ 5.00                                       Retail $10.99


Duckhorn Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009

82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot

Reflecting the character of each growing season, the Decoy Napa Valley Cabernet is made to be opened and enjoyed upon release. It is rich and appealing with fragrant, lifted aromas of mulberry, raspberry and currant with hints of rhubarb and mocha. The soft-toned fruit flavors dominate the plush and inviting palate with engaging spice complexity. This supple and approachable wine has a lingering finish framed by structured tannins.

BTG $ 9.00                                       Retail $22.99


Victory Vineyards Zinfandel Parcel 31, 2007

The grapes for our Parcel 31 Zinfandel were chosen from 3 different appellations to showcase the varying complexity and flavor characteristics unique to each area. All of the fruit was sourced from old vines, which we believe adds a depth of complexity not found in younger vineyards. The 2007 Parcel 31 Zinfandel is the quintessential Zinfandel. It offers an explosive bouquet of blackberries, currants, crushed rocks and is backed up by enormous body, great purity and tremendous concentration. Layer upon layer of blackberry and raspberry coat the palate. This wine is drinking fabulously now and will only improve with age.

BTG $6.75                                      Retail $16.99

Wine Tasting 5/10

Long Meadow Ranch winery nestled in the Mayacama Mountains high above Napa Valley are renowned for their elegance and balanced style. Sommeliers at the finest chef-led establishments feature their wines on award-winning lists.

Don and Wendy Lange founded their winery in the Dundee Hills of Oregon’s northern Willamette Valley. The winery has established a well-deserved reputation for consistency and complexity in the wines.



POGGIO al TUFO” estate  is located in Pitigliano, a very important Etruscan city in the Maremma Toscana area (south of Tuscany), a few Km from Sovana, Sorano and Saturnia and about one hour north of Rome. It has been owned by the Tommasi family since 1997.

Located in the Heart of the Columbia Valley, Bookwalter Winery has been producing small lots of high quality wine: Lush red and vibrant white wines since 1983.


Tuesday May 10th, 2011

6:00-9:00 PM

No charge for tastings


Long Meadow Ranch Sauvignon Blanc, 2009

The nose exudes layers of fruit, floral aromas and a hint of verbena. Stone fruits, grapefruit and tropical notes enhance the often present green melon, cut grass and honeysuckle. The structure and softness on the palate promote the expansion and persistence of all these fresh flavors.

BTG $6.75                                        Retail $16.99           


Lange Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, 2009

A true “classique” style, this wine is approachable and fruit-forward upon release.
Tantalizing aromas of candied cherry, crushed raspberry, and cola play over a current of black licorice and refined tannins.

BTG $9.25                                          Retail $24.99 


Tomassi Poggio Al Tufo Rompicollo Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008


BTG $ 7.00                                       Retail $17.99


Bookwalter Subplot 25, NV

The Subplot number represents how many non-vintage table wines we have produced since 1983.
Each lot of wine selected for Subplot is carefully chosen each year after we have made our final blends for our top tier wines. We attempt to create a flavorful, full-bodied yet approachable wine by layering vintages, vineyards and varietals in our Subplot wines. Press wine from our oldest vineyards are aged longer in the cellar to help soften the tannins and create more mature flavors and wine from our younger vines and more recent vintages are added to the blend to bring the lush, young fruit characteristics forward in the wine. The result is a wine that offers, fruit, structure, approachability and exceptional value:  Aromatics of currants, dark berries, black plums. mocha & marzipan linger as the wine enters the palate full of ripe fruit flavors, Black Forest cherries, Boysenberries, and dates layered with cola, resin, graphite and a dash of Thai spice. A lush and full mid palate prelude a velour like finish, balanced with a touch of acidity.

BTG $ 6.25                                        Retail $15.99


Long Meadow  Ranch House Red, 2007

This vintage of Ranch House Red shows off the depth and concentration of 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon with strong supporting roles played by merlot (luscious plum and cherry red fruit), Sangiovese (perfume, dried flowers) and Petite Syrah (beef jerky and black pepper spice). From start to finish, the tannins are generous and smooth. The mouth filling entry leads to a flavorful mid palate in which all the dark and spicy characteristics of the wine are harmoniously expressed.

BTG $9.75                                      Retail $25.99