cocktails · My Style · Uncategorized · Wine

Wine and Ladybugs!

It’s true. I’m a wino.  Not in the drunken-cluster-of-a-person sense, but in the I heart having a glass of wine each evening as a way to wind down after a hectic day sense.   (EG-I know you feel me). I love reds and cool, crisp, dry whites on a hot day.  Temperanillos, Malbecs, Torrontes, Riojas, Cab Francs, and recently Cabernet Sauvignon’s  are all damn good winners.   I guess ALL reds- but especially Argentinian and Spanish reds.   My go to whites are Sauvignon Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, and Pinot Blanc, or anything generally really dry.   Prosecco is ALWAYS good for when you want bubbles.    Reisling and Gewurztraminer are icky to me.

I love wine so much that I’ve been given a budget for it each month- or so C tries.  I’ve had two wine club memberships, initially to get Southwest Airline points, and then to try the cute new wrapped bottles from Bright Cellars.  I love the surprise of what you might get and to try new things.

I ran out of wine this week.




My Bright Cellars box doesn’t ship until the end of the month.


I went to my local liquor store.  When we lived in Washington I could just walk to the grocery store down the block and get a bottle.  Now I have to find a decent liquor store and hope they have no qualms about me bringing my four year old in on a Friday evening.     (They didn’t…or at least nobody said anything).

Tonight, I was so excited because I found a bottle I haven’t seen since 2012.  I remember it precisely because it had a ladybug on it.  I had purchased it from the within-walking-distance grocery store mentioned above and thought it was so unique.  I wrote about it in my wine journal.   I’ve never compared bottles of the same winery varietal in different vintages before.   Excellent! Sounds like Friday Night FUN to me. =) 

Predator Old Vine Zinfandel, 2015 vintage from Lodi California.  A Rutherford Wine companies   From Predator Wines website,

“The lady bug is a natural predator that feeds on insects harmful to plants.  “Natural predation” is just one of the many sustainable vineyard practices that eliminates the need for synthetic pesticides.

The Lodi appellation in California’s Central Valley, is known for its legendary “Old Vine” Zinfandels. Ideally situated between the Sierra Foothills and the San Francisco Bay Delta, Lodi benefits from cool afternoon and evening breezes, producing world-renowned Zinfandel.

Predator Zinfandel is sourced from 50+year old vines that produce rich and intensely flavored fruit. The resulting wine is big and bold with hallmark “old vine” velvety texture, spice and vibrant varietal flavors.

THAT IS SO COOL!!!!   Ladybugs are like the only bug I’m not afraid of.   And they use them in wine making!!!! Mind blown and something I can stand up for.


Jonathan from the Delectable wine app writes: “On the nose was a toasted cedar plank, red berries and bubble gum”.    Not exactly how I worded it in my brain, but sounds MUCH better.  I checked specifically “smoke” and “vanilla” in the aroma column.   But yes—I can see the bubblegum.  And definitely the cedar plank.  It wafted through the morning room as I opened the bottle.      Looking at my notes from 2012 on the 2010 vintage I had noted the same thing- smoke and vanilla.   Although vanilla in the taste and not the aroma.  Interesting. =)

On the palate Johnathan notes: “red and black berries, smoked oak, and vanillin”.    Yes, and yes. (Although I’m not sure I know what vanillin is- same as vanilla??) For the 2010 vintage I thought cherries and tonight’s 2015 vintage I noted plum and blackberries.


I noted deep, garnet, and hazy for 2010 whereas tonight I thought it was more pale-medium in depth, ruby in color, and clear in clarity.

Overall it’s a decent wine for a Friday night and makes my heart happy looking at the little ladybug on the label.  Besides being totally turned off by the thought of Franzia in a box- it sounds like I am pretty easily pleased. =)

So my question is—Is is the vintages that are different- or have my wine tasting skills grown? Probably the former- as I still can’t pull out notes of clove and cinder blocks to save my life.  But darn it, I’m getting there.  

Check out more about Predator Wines here:




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