Bedrock Wine Co. 2016 Monticello Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley, CA $80 This wine was a 40th birthday gift from a very dear friend. I held on to it as long as I could (e.g. 6 months) and busted it out one Saturday night on a total whim. On it's own, it was the kind of Cabernet Sauvignon Cab lovers love. But it was also really approachable for those just looking for a really delicious bottle of (admittedly pricey) red wine. Paired with a steak preparation I had never had before -- a big, juicy, flappy piece of super marinated beef, cooked quickly in a grill pan -- it was absolute heaven. Robert Parker gave it a 93, if you care about that sort of thing. I give it a go-get-your-hands-on-a-bottle-if-you-can-afford-it. Buy it HERE.
Robert Renzoni Vineyards 2014 Vecchio Frate, Temecula Valley, CA, $50 This wine is made from the Italian grape Lagrein, which is a really deeply colored and flavored grape that yields wines of the same profile. Renzoni winemaker Olivia Bue -- an amazingly chill, young, ultra-talented rockstar coming out of the Temecula Valley region -- has worked wonders with it here, turning it silky smooth, luxurious and packed with red fruits and sweet baking spices. Buy it HERE.
Abacela 2017 Fiesta Tempranillo, Umpqua Valley, OR, $25 First of all, who knew they made REALLY amazing Tempranillo in Oregon? I didn't, but now I do, and this one is a stunning example. My husband and I sipped it with a big pan of pulled chicken Chilaquiles and it was one of those combos (and moments) that was just perfect. To be honest, everything I have tasted from this producer is fantastic. And, 2020 marks the winery's 25th anniversary, so help them celebrate by snagging a bottle of this or any one of their other tasty wines HERE.