Rumble lives in the kitchen and is privy to all the bottle openings. He loves to sing, hide under the living room lazy-boy and eat fried chicken. And now his latest hobby is keeping track of the eclectic wines we open each week. There’s no scientific or technical reporting for each bottle. Each one is on the Rumble system: 1-5 Grapes. Enjoy! 


Imagine for a moment next Wednesday. It’s the eve of one of my favorite holidays. There’s hustle and bustle and cooking and cleaning and polishing and last minute trips to the grocer and family arriving and . . . .You get it.  Completely consumed with activity. So before I share a few of the  bottles  we’ve had the pleasure of sipping, I wanted to pause and remember what I have to be grateful for in the past year.  Just a little exercise in preparing my heart for doing more on Thanksgiving than stuffing pie in my face while trying to beat my daughter at Settlers of Catan. (Our second sweet girl is ruthless, cunning and liable to snipe ya. Man, I love that kid!)

Of course there’s the generic  offerings in case one’s put on the spot while toasting around the dining table: Family, friends, health. But in order to really get to the heart here are a few I’m particularly grateful about:

  • The Lord’s grace and mercy  on our lives everyday
  • Celebrating 20 rich and rewarding years of marriage to my best friend
  • 4 teenagers who make me laugh, think, and Pray a lot.
  • My mom’s cancer-free diagnosis & the reminder that  loved ones shouldn’t be taken for granted
  • Taking  the guided tour and tasting  at Frog’s Leap Winery  with my sweet husband for our anniversary & the wine!
  • The fellowship and love of our new church community group
  • Riding OutLaw Run 4X with my youngest daughter at Silver Dollar City and not tossing my pork rinds
  • Not hyperventilating as I watched as our oldest take and pass her driver’s test

And now, to what’s been poured.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon  Columbia Valley 2013

Confession. Practically any bottle I open from this lovely winery located within a stone’s throw of my bubba’s house is wonderful to me. Unrepentant in my bias opinion, the Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 is even better than this one.

Dark fruit, black cherry, smooth tannins, chocolate notes, mint and herbs. $18. Rumble gives it 5 grapes, cause he’s bias too.

Votre Sante Pinot Noir 2013

Francis Ford Coppola romanticizes the vineyard in this well-structured, strawberry, cherries, balanced spicy Pinot. Lovely garnet color. $15. This was a pleasant tipple but the afternoon was so mild, we just sat in the garden chatting, sipping and reading. Lots of tasting went on but not a lot of note taking. Rumble gives it 3 grapes for having no lasting impression except a pleasant afternoon.

 Betsy’s Backacher Red, California Lot 11 

It comes from Spann Vineyards. Grown on a mountainside. Our local wine shop recommended this interesting blend.  Apparently it was  only given as gifts to family and friends by the winemakers but as the story goes acquaintances began begging for it, too. It had a little sweetness, dried cherries, raspberry, nice acidity, medium tannin and  touch of mint. Nice table wine. $17. If you find a bottle, I’d love to know what you think. I think it goes well with pizza and a late night movie like “You’ve Got Mail”.  Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks are always a comfortable, easy-going pair with delightful comedic charm, kinda like this wine. Except  ‘comedic’ strictly applies to the actors not the wine.  That would be weird. Comedic wine.  Huh, wonder what comedy tastes like? Oh well. Rumble? 3.5 grapes.