Category Archives: Romantic Evening

Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Tawny Porto

Total Wine & More, $46.99

Taylor Fladgate Website


Aaron:  This is AWESOME!  It’s a little pricey for our wine blog (gift from a friend) but definitely worth it.  Super rich, smooth flavors with less raisin and prune flavors than most ports.  More traditional wine flavors with dark berries and a great oakiness.  The finish is gentle but still full.  This is exactly what I want, not syrupy but still flavorful and a brandy flavor without the brandy burn.  94 points

Teri: This bottle is worth the splurge. Most people think of ports’ tasting similar to liquid raisins. After being aged for 20 years, this port is smooth with beautiful flavors of blackberries and mild but not overpowering warmth. It drinks like a wine with smooth complexity and pairs beautifully with desserts and cheeses. Impress your dessert loving friends by bringing this bottle along! 93 points 

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Franciscan Estate Napa Valley Cab Sauv 2013

Franciscan Estate CabWine.com, $25/bottle

Total Wine & More, $19.97

Cellar Tracker Website


Aaron: Drink this wine with food.  It’s really not great as a standalone in my opinion but went great with a nice flavorful cheese.  The bright oak and small, red berries gave me a sense of youth while charred tobacco leaves added some complexity.  I noticed some maple syrup on the nose which was an interesting change but unfortunately, the flavor was not as full as the smell.  A little too much chalkiness is why this wine needs food and the flavor escaped too quickly for my preference.  87 alone, 90 with food.

Teri: This is a hearty but easy to drink bottle. I enjoyed the sweet blackberry flavors with a subtle hint of cedar and firm but smooth tannins and a bit of black pepper. Not too complex but delicious. Bring this one to that dinner party or give as a gift to a friend who enjoys wine. 90 points 

Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2009

Marques de Riscal RiojaWine.com, $17.99

Total Wine & More, $15.74

BevMo, $19.99

Wine Profile from Winery 


Aaron: I enjoyed this bottle.  A nice forests nose which was still full of berries and moss.  The flavor is really full and dense with allspice and pepper coating smoked cedar. I felt this was expectedly old-world flavor and I enjoyed it.  90 points

Teri: The nose smells like you are sniffing chocolate covered raspberries out of an oak box (for me that is a positive attribute). The wine is a pleasant blend of fruit and sweet oak. The flavors cascade from clove, raspberry, cedar, leather, to finally wild berries. Surprisingly for the rich flavor the body of the wine is on the lighter side making it (dangerously) easy to drink. 91 points 

Lauren Ashton Cellars Cuvee Estelle 2011

Lauren Ashton Cellars CuveeLauren Ashton Cellars Website, $50

Wine Enthusiast, $40

Total Wine & More, $27


Aaron: Wow.  This bottle was awesome.  I’m generally of the opinion you don’t need to spend a ton of money to find a good bottle but this one is worth the extra few dollars.  The nose featured lots of strawberry and the palate was full of rich, dark berries followed by a hint of black pepper. The sweetness was appropriate but the berries weren’t overripe.  This was very, very easy to drink but still full bodied.  Great find!  92 points

Teri: If you want to spring a few extra dollars for something to impress, this is a bottle to pick up. The flavors of blackberry, leather, smoke and a hint of jam fill your mouth with a smooth and easy finish. This is a great bottle to enjoy by itself or with food. 92 points 

LaGranja 360 Cava Brut

LaGranja 360Trader Joes, $6.99


Aaron:  For $7, not bad.  Musty green apple and toasted pear on the nose, followed by a sharp, metallic flavor with spice.  This transformed into white grapes and sunflowers (what, you’ve only tasted sunflower seeds!?).  89 points

Teri: For a $7 bottle and the ease of picking this one up from your local Trader Joes, this bottle is a win. I smelled light lemon on the nose with nutty flavors, additional lemon, and a hint of red apple on the taste. This Brut is crisp with good flavor and nice mouthfeel. Great value and cheep enough to have a bottle around for any occasion. 89 points