So I tried my taste buds at another Kitchen WineTasting at the end of a very busy couple of weeks.  It was a welcome activity. These tastings are a bit academic since I’m trying to learn how to identify the structure of wine. Can one say that? Structure of wine? I just wanna know what I’m drinking and why it is the way it is!

The lucky bottle for this academic pursuit was Decoy Zinfandel 2012 by Duckhorn.  It’s in a higher price range than I usually buy but I figured learning requires investment.


Decoy Zinfandel 2012

Decoy Zinfandel 2012


The Zinfandel poured clear, deep red and aromatic. (Don’t worry, I remembered to decant it.) The aromas of spicy cola, dark fruit, and dried thyme drifted from the glass. I liked camping out with the smell for awhile. I couldn’t wait to taste it. But first here’s a cheesy story . . . 


Earlier in the week, I’d picked up a local cheese, Lovera’s Hand-Formed  Aged Caciocavera, at the farmer’s market. It’s shaped like a gourd because it’s hand-made. I’ve been wondering if it’s therapeutic shaping cheese. Just let your mind wonder while your hands do the work.  

Anyway, the salty, sharp flavor went really well with the Zinfandel. No amount of portion control stopped us from eating the entire cheese that night. 

Decoy Zinfandel and Lovera's Caciocavera

Decoy Zinfandel and Lovera’s Caciocavera

Loverna cheese













You can get this cheese from Lovera’s Market in Krebs or on their website

Ok, so enough about cheese . . .

Back to the Zinfandel.

I took a gulp. A big gulp. Unconventional approach, I know. I sipped, too. The salty cheese makes me thirsty. 

A smooth, soft, liquid of cherries, creamy vanilla, dark fruit and cola flavors ran around my mouth. And some butter at the end. Yes, I know it’s not chardonnay! I checked the color and my eyes. But, there was a coating sensation like butter that lasted. Not unpleasant but with a nice linger.  I actually just read about this in a wine book but can’t remember what it’s called! And I returned the book to the library. Let’s just say I’m a terrible note-taker. So, if anyone wants to chime in! 

The wine was good.  I drank the entire glass and quickly poured another while thinking  “if this was a decoy, I couldn’t wait to taste a full-fledge Duck!”

Well . . . after enjoying the Decoy in our kitchen, my Sweetie and I traveled to Napa valley for our anniversary and got to spend an afternoon at Duckhorn Vineyards. 

The place is beautiful inside and out. We sat on the porch overlooking the garden and had a flight of wine. It was really pleasant and relaxing.

Duckhorn Tasting Flight

Duckhorn Tasting Flight


If you’re ever in the area, think about stopping by. The guy at the next table was just passing through and seemed really pleased he’d stumble onto Duckhorn. We agreed!

Our hostess was nice and keep telling us little tidbits about the vineyard. For instance, the winemaker’s a girl. Well, actually a woman, but the point is male winemakers significantly outnumber female. 

She also recommended a few local eatries. I love eating where the locals eat. The places always seem to produce the best foodie memories. 

As we were finishing our flight, our hostess surprised us with a taste of Duckhorn’s 2011 Goldeneye Pinot Noir.  Complex and delicious. I would have been content sitting on the porch the rest of the afternoon and finishing the bottle. Instead, I bought a bottle of the sauvignon blanc and flew to the next vineyard. 

Duckhorn Goldeneye. A treat from our server.

Duckhorn Goldeneye. A treat from our server.

For this wine-enthusiast, the afternoon was golden! I never dreamed a Decoy would lead me to tasting a Duck. Both wines were a lovely experience. However, for the sake of my budget, it’s good to know there’s happiness with a Decoy.

Besides, I can always save up for the Duck. And I have my eye on a Golden one. Cheers!