2010 Franciscan Estate Cabernet Wine Reviews

Franciscan Estate Cabernet

Looking for wine reviews for red wines?  I am often asked to do a wine reviews and I was excited to try  the Franciscan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.  I decided to pair it with my Rib Eye Peppercorn Steaks with Brandy Sauce.  I have not had this wine before so I was excited to give it a try.  The price point for the wine is around $ 28 and as we enjoyed it with our steak dinner, I definitely thought it was worth it.

The wine had a good body to pair with the steak, but it wasn’t so big as to completely overwhelm it, or too little as to overwhelmed by the steak.  We used our wine aerator when we poured each glass and the wine really opened up nicely.  

The wine was very dark in the glass and garnet in color.  As we sipped the wine, we caught hints of cherry and violets and also some herb and cocoa tones.  

Winemakers Notes: Deep garnet in color with complex and vibrant aromas of red plum, anise, cherry, violets, and tobacco accentuated by notes of black currant, dried herbs, toasted oak, and cocoa.  Elegant and supple texture on the palate make the frame for generous flavors of sweet plum and dark cherry with notes of vanilla and mocha that linger on the finish.  

All in all, we enjoyed this wine — especially as a wine to pair with steak.  At under $30, this wine is worth a try.  We will definitely have this wine again.

Be sure to check out my other wine reviews as well.

Note:  I received a bottle of this wine as a free sample.  The opinions are honest and my own.    No other compensation was received.

Remember ” Let’s make life special by sharing great food with our family and friends!  Enjoy!”


Slices Sangria Sparkling Wine Review

Slices Sangria

 Slices Sangria Sparkling Wine is perfect for summertime sipping!

Have you ever made Sangria?  Well, Slices Brand has taken the great taste of Sangria and made it better by adding tons of tiny bubbles!  The resulting taste is so crisp and refreshing!

Get ready to try the world’s first sangria sparkling wine in two refreshing flavors, Slices Sparkling White Sangria and Slices Sparkling Rose Sangria.  I was happy to offer a wine review of these two refreshing wines.  These are great for some easy summertime sippin!

Slice Sangrias are made in Spain, where Sangria originated and where it’s been enjoyed for hundreds of years.  The winemaker uses an authentic Spanish recipe, combining carefully crafted wines made from traditional Spanish wine varieties with all natural fruit juices.

I thought these wines were fresh, fruity and easy-to-drink.  As with most sangrias, this wine is a little sweet, but I did not find it too sweet.   The sparkling bubbles really make these wines refreshing and surprisingly different.  The wine costs between $8.00 and $9.00 per bottle so it is affordable and great for entertaining.  It would pair well with appetizers, picnic fare, grilled chicken and even grilled hamburgers and hot dogs.  You can check the Slices Website for retailers in your area or you can also order it online from several different sources.       

The Sparkling Rose Wine Sangria is a rich, juicy wine with succulent flavors of citrus and spice. 

Then there is the luscious Slices Sparkling White Sangria.  Put on some soft music….light candles…and open this White Sangria Sparkling Wine.  This wine is zesty and perfumed with thousands of tiny bubbles.  Who needs a spa?

Note:  We were provided with a sampling of these wines by OffBeat Brands PR. The opinions expressed in this review are true and my own.  No compensation was received.     

Robert Mondavi Coastal Crush Red Review

 So Easy to Love…2011 Robert Mondavi Coastal Crush Red Wine


Robert Mondavi Private Selection Coastal Crush Red wine


Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate it than with this awesome pairing of 2011 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Coastal Crush Red Wine and a box of Lula’s Sea Salted Caramels.  This pairing really is “So Easy to Love”!

This brand new wine is value priced at $ 11.00 a bottle and is a blend of  Syrah, Merlot and Malbec.  

There are two basic questions I like to answer whenever I review a wine.  

  1. What does it taste like?
  2. What food does it go with?

The Taste:

The grapes come from the central coast of California and the wine  is a juicy blend of  ripe plums, dark cherry, a hint of oak and some spice.  

Foods to Pair With This Wine:

I would like this wine paired with any grilled meat – beef, pork tenderloin, or grilled salmon.  I think it would be great served with my Bourbon Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce. 

To celebrate Valentine’s Day and the Central Coast of California, the wine was paired with Lula’s Sea Salted Caramels.

Robert Mondavi Coastal Crush Paired with Lulu's Sea Salt Caramels


Lula’s Chocolates is located in Carmel-by-the-Sea.  These  decadent caramels are made using sea salt from Monterey Bay.  They are absolutely delicious and pair perfectly with the 2011 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Coastal Crush Red Wine.  

 Note:  I received one bottle of Robert Mondavi Coastal Crush Red Wine and one box of Lula’s Sea Slated Carmels to try for this review.  No compensation was received.  These are my honest opinions.   

Refresh by Turning Leaf Wine

The holiday season is full of lots of rich foods and its nice to have a light refreshing wine to pair with the festivities.  I was asked to sample two wines by Refresh by Turning Leaf – the Crisp White and the Moscato.  Refresh by Turning Leaf makes a Red Moscato as well.

This entirely new style of wine features a light, fizzy body that is crafted to offer a refreshing wine experience.  These wines are designed to be enjoyed well chilled and can even be poured over ice ( yes, that’s right !!).  They are also great to use in wine cocktails – mixed with juices or ginger ale. ( A Retro-type cocktail). I’ll give you a few cocktail recipe ideas below.  Refresh wines are great summertime wines, but will also blend nicely into the holiday season.  

Mix up my Fizzy Cranberry Cocktail and enjoy it by the fireplace with your sweetie!  Very romantic!   




Other options for enjoying the Crisp White are:

  1. Straight, over ice.  We tried it this way first and all of us really liked it.  The slight “fizz” really is refreshing.  It’s not bubbly like champagne, but the fizz is noticeable. 
  2. Mixed as a “retro-style” cocktail.  Fill your glass with crushed ice.  Fill  2/3 full with the Refresh Crisp White and then 1/3 with juice.  I used Cranberry Juice Cocktail in my Fizzy Cranberry Cocktail but I think Orange juice or Mango juice would be goo too!  You are only limited by your creativity!
  3. Serve over ice with a slice of lime squeezed in.
  4. Over ice 2/3 Crisp White/ 1/3 Ginger Ale.

The Refresh Moscato is perfect for Brunch ( instead of a Mimosa).  It’s also nice with any spicy food.

Note:  I received samples of the Refresh by Turning leaf to taste for this review.  The opinions are my own and are honest.  No compensation was received.





Biltmore Estate Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Wine

Here’s a great bubbly wine for Holiday fun!  The Biltmore Estate Blanc De Blancs is absolutely delicious!  

Everyone who knows me knows how much I LOVE sparkling wine!  So, it goes without saying that I was absolutely delighted when I received a bottle of the Biltmore Estate Blanc de Blancs to review for our Holiday Gift Guide.  This sparkling wine is priced just under $25 and would be perfect to give as a gift, to serve at your holiday parties, or to enjoy with your sweetie.  I decided to serve it at a small dinner party we hosted and it accompanied our appetizer course.  The Blanc de Blancs was crisp and the finish was clean and tart.  It had hints of green apples and pears.  This sparkling was so refreshing and really paired perfectly with the appetizers.  It would also be great paired with seafood or cheeses .  

This wine is a brut – which means it is slightly dry.  It has tons of tiny bubbles that we all have come to love in a sparkling wine.  Serve it well chilled – 40 to 45 degrees.  

I was surprised to learn that the Biltmore Winery is the most visited winery in the United States.  The Biltmore is located in North Carolina and approximately 600,000 visitors  stop by to sample their award winning wines each year.  The Biltmore Winery opened in 1985 as an extension of the Biltmore Estate.

 I toured the Biltmore Winery shortly after it opened.  It was delightful to view their bottling rooms, stroll through the cellars, and of course, taste their award winning wines.

Speaking of awards, the Biltmore Estate Blanc de Blancs took home a Gold Medal with 91 points at the Los Angeles International Wine and Spirits Competition in May 2012.  This competition showcases the finest in domestic and international wines.

You can visit their website by clicking here,  Biltmore Estate Winery.  There you can learn more about all of their wines, locate a retailer near you, or order their wines online.

I plan on having several bottles of this bubbly on hand to enjoy during the holiday season.  

To view the Video review of the Biltmore Estate Blanc de Blancs, click here:  Biltmore Blanc de Blancs Video Review.


I received a bottle of the Biltmore Estate Blanc de Blancs in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any other manner.  The opinions expressed above are my true and honest opinions.









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