St. Michael Eppan 2011 Pinot Grigio

We head into the week of Valentine’s Day and if you like a Rosé sparkling wine that is absolutely delicious and won’t break the bank, I am recommending any of these three: Domaine Chandon Rosé, Mumm Napa Rosé, or Domaine Allimant-Laugner Rosé

In this past Sunday’s Chronicle, Jon Bonné recommended some Champagne wines in the splurge category ranging in price from $150 to $250. Seriously, why would anyone want to spend this much money on one bottle of bubbly? My, Goodness! Buy something in the budget category and give the balance to a better cause.

St. Michael Eppan 2011 Pinot Grigio

St. Michael Eppan 2011 Pinot Grigio

St. Michael Eppan 2011 Pinot Grigio Alto Adige

I have run across the 2010 Vintage of this wine twice in the past two weeks at two different restaurants. I first ordered the wine at Original Joe’s in North Beach in San Francisco. Then again it was on the wine list at It’s Italia in Half Moon Bay. We were with a group of a few Vintage Tasters, so I told them they must give it a try. They loved the wine. Using the wine-searcher, I located the wine at one of my local wine shops, The Wine Stop on Burlingame Avenue, for $17.99. The only downside, it was the 2011 Vintage. But this vintage did not disappoint. The Pinot Grigio is from the land where I believe the best Pinot Grigio in Italy is made, the beautiful wine region known as Alto Adige. Pinot Grigio can often be uninspiring and bland. Not this one. You will love sipping this with light foods, cheese, shrimp salad and the like. The acidity is just perfect and many delicious flavors jump out at you like lemon, lime, pear, and much more. It also has a delightfully long finish. 90 Pts.

Vintage Wine Taster Mike has been busy the past couple of weeks tasting all kinds of wines, and recommends these three in the bargain category.

2010 Kirkland Sonoma County Old Vine Zinfandel – $9.99 Costco
Kirkland old vine ZinfandelThe Kirkland Zinfandel has a dark red color with crushed fruit and berry filling up the glass. Medium-to-full bodied wine that shows the 15.3% alcohol but it is not hot on the palate. Great with full-flavored cheese as well as red meats. A wonderful buy at $9.99 @ Costco! They have a good supply and this is well worth more than the asking price. 89 Pts.

Blackstone 2007 Sonoma Reserve Chardonnay – $4.99 Good Earth Grocery
Blackstone ChardonnayThis wine still has round fruit flavors and shows bottle maturity without being old. I recommend this wine for Spring and early Summer events. Serve with a good chill and you will not be disappointed. The winery has been sold, so this is inventory that is being sold to make way for the new owners. There may be other retailers selling vintages other than 2007. 85 Pts.

Domaine Sainte-Croix 2011 – $4.99 Trader Joe’s
Sainte Croix at Trader JoesMedium-bodied wine with no flaws. There is no dominant fruit from either Merlot or Syrah. It has light tannins and mild fruit flavors. As a red wine, it is well worth the money. This is for near-term drinking and provides a nice glass of wine for lighter dishes. Very useful for Spring and Summer events where you might need a bit more wine and it will not burn a hole in your pocket. 85 Pts.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all!


  1. I am with you about the cost of super expensive Champagne. How many people really can distinguish the subtle nature of top flight bubbly. Pink is Valentines Day. Nice picks.

Speak Your Mind