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off the vine DeAnn is a professional who has been in marketing management for many years. On occasion, I enjoy a sweeter wine such as Chardonnay or Gewurztraminer. Now I really enjoy a good Cab, Zinfandel or Pinot Noir. Contact the Vino Ladies at VinoLadies@ gmail.com.

Next time I am near their winery in Lodi, I want to visit their tasting room which is modeled after a jail cell and join their “Chain Gang” wine club! Cher (not the famous one) is a weekend wine taster who prefers a good craft beer over anything! Cut my wine-tasting teeth on Rieslings and other sweet wines but have evolved through the years and now gravitate towards the red wines more. Enjoy full-bodied wines with low tannins and a smooth finish. Love the adventure of trying new wines but look for a bargain that is drinkable now.

VINO LADY - SUZE I thoroughly enjoyed both of these wines. As for the Solitary Cellars Barbera it was nice and warm going down with a hint of tartness. Easy to drink. It’s fruity with the mild taste of cherries and blackberries. I believe the tartness comes from the pomegranate. I didn’t think it was strongly aromatic, but it was fruity and very enjoyable. In regards to the solitary Cellars Old Vine Zinfandel, again, very good. It

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has a pretty color and a fuller bouquet than the Barbera. This wine is dry with hints of fruit. The others in my group enjoyed it with chocolate but I cared for it less with chocolate. I can easily see having this wine with grilled barbeque with its hints of smoke. I could drink this with or without food. Both of these wines I could drink solitary, and that’s why Solitary Cellars is an appropriate name. Suze is over 50 but feels 30. I sometimes enjoy a boxed wine, over ice, by the pool on a hot summer night or a smooth, not too dry red, during the winter cold. I usually prefer a semi-sweet white. I love to read or play on the beach with my puppy dog.

VINO LADY - DeANN We had the privilege to taste a couple of bottles of Solitary Cellars wines recently. Please take the time to read about this tasty wine and the wonderful back story to the name, logo and background of the owners of this fine winery as featured within our article.

The East Block “Old Vine Zinfandel” (Lodi, Ca.) had a strong beautiful smell. It had a bold taste with a light dryness that becomes a bit dryer the more you engage your glass of wine. It’s an interesting blend for a wonderfully unique flavor. At first I had a difficult time figuring out the exact flavors I was tasting. Then I realized it was a strong grape infused perplexing taste as I paired it with a few bites of dark chocolate. This bold tasting wine would be great paired with food. Especially smoky-grilled foods. It’s a bargain at a suggested retail price of $28. The “Barbera 2014” ( Sierra Foot Hills in Amador County) shows beautifully with it’s red blush clarity and follows up with a a rosey taste with a fabulous smell of cherries. Very obvious to my taste buds was the hint of pomegranate. It was beautifully smooth, light and airy with a slight dryness. I felt a fabulous tingle in the back of my tongue. Would be excellent paired with food. I highly recommend both wines. You will thoroughly enjoy them both.

About Wine: Barbera is best grown in California’s Gold Country. Within the famed Amador County is a small subregion known as the Shenandoah Valley of California. The region is warm and dry with rolling hills and plates of decomposed granite. Barbera grows very well in the Sierra Foothills yielding grapes that are for the most part fruitier and more aromatic than their Italian counterparts. A bright, balanced and fruity wine has strong notes of red cherries, black cherries, blackberries and pomegranate flavors. The wine is developed and rich with firm tannins and medium plus acidity. The wine adds to the flavors of lamb and rich red pasta sauces. The 2013 “East Block” Old Vine Zinfandel is a powerful and fruity Zinfandel. In the glass the wine is fruity with hints of herb, licorice and dark fruits like black cherry, plum and blackberry. The wine is robust and fruity. The wine provides a palate of spice, caramel and cherry. The wine has a softer finish, but one that is long lasting and rich with overlying notes of vanilla and butterscotch. This Zinfandel offering is a great representative of the Lodi, Ca. wine scene. Harvested from wine planted in 1960, the “East Block” Old Vine Zinfandel provides a great pairing of smoky meats and strong grilled foods.

October 6 - 12, 2016 | Desert Entertainer | 17

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