I taste a lot of wine—and I mean a lot of wine. I hope that doesn’t sound like complaining, because it’s anything but. I love exploring the world of wine and bringing the best—and sometimes even the worst—to you, my readers.

As spring begins, I thought it a good time to catch up on some one-off wines and news bits that I have dog-eared in my tasting notebook—notes that just haven’t made it into any stories for a variety of reasons.

This is the beginning of a new periodic feature here on LENNDEVOURS…Sips and Slurps.

If you love Zinfandel, look for Monte Rosso Vineyard.
Monte Rosso Vineyard, which means “red mountain” is named for the red volcanic soils you’ll find there, high above the Sonoma Valley. Over the past several weeks, I’ve had three different zinfandels made with fruit from this well-known vineyard—one from Rosenblum Cellars, Rancho Zabaco and Ravenswood. All were outstanding, balanced renditions of my favorite West Coast grape. In particular, the 2002 Rosenblum stands out. If you see this wine, pick it up. You’ll be glad that you did. I know that there are other great zin vineyards, but this is one I like a lot.

Rkatsiteli—hard to pronounce, easy to enjoy.
Dr. Konstantin Frank Wine Cellars is one of only a handful of U.S. wineries to grown and make wine from Rkatsiteli—a wine most popular in Eastern Europe. That’s no surprise, the producer’s namesake founder pioneered the growing of classic European wine grapes on the Eastern United State. Smelling and tasting like a racy, exotic blend of Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Gruner Veltliner, this $25 white is impeccably balanced and just might be the perfect wine to serve with Asian cuisine.

A hearty congratulations.
This isn’t directly related to any particular wine, but I’d like to extend my heart-felt congratulations to Christopher Tracy and Allison Dubin of Channing Daughters Winery. The winemaker and general manager respectively, they are use to raising delicious, hand-crafted wines…but now they get to try their hand at raising their first child, a boy, who was born a couple weeks ago. Salute!