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Wine Review: Trentadue Old Patch Red

This week’s wine is from Alexander Valley, California, just north of Sonoma, and comes from my all-time favorite winery—Trentadue in Geyserville, California. It is almost dizzying thinking about the sheer volume of wine that is created throughout this region— from small, family-owned businesses to sprawling compounds—so while spending a day trying out as many as I can, it has to take something really special to stand out in the crowd. That was Trentadue.

The first time I visited them was five years ago, and a small sign out on the road prompted us in for a port tasting where we were greeted by a complimentary take-away apertif glass, and tastings of several types of port, from a light, crisp white Viognier to the heddy, rich Chocolate Amore made from Merlot grapes—I was immediately hooked. But it wasn’t just the wine that made me fall in love with this winery. The grounds and main building are echoes of old-world Italiante architecture, but are quaint and personal enough to not be intimidating, you just feel like you’re visiting someone’s home, not a lucrative business.

When I returned recently, I went with the goal of trying all of their other choices as well. Although the Grand Cuvee Sparkling was delightful, and the “flat” Viognier turned me back into a white wine lover, I have to say that their house blend “Old Patch Red” won me over entirely. A blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignane and Sangiovese, this perfectly balanced wine has hints of brown sugar, black pepper, plums, with a bit of cocoa and vanilla undertones. And for only $14 a bottle—what a great deal!

Wine: Tisdale

ARE WINES UNDER $5 worth a try? Absolutely! These inexpensive, readily available wines can often be quite surprising!

Tisdale Winery
Modesto, California( has some very good choices that I get at my local Winco Grocery for $3.08 a bottle.

Of all of their red varietals—Merlot, Cab, and Shiraz—my favorite is the Shiraz—a bold, full, fruity wine with a peppery finish that I keep on hand as a staple. Great to drink, great to cook with.

I also just recently noticed their Pinot Grigio when on search for an inexpensive white wine for a stew recipe—this one was slightly tart, yet had a soft finish. Since I’m not a chardonnay fan (previously their only white option), I was glad to find this one. It’s not necessarily a knock-your-socks-off wine, but for $3 a bottle—certainly worth keeping on hand for emergencies!