Wine of the Week: Damilano Barbera D'Asti


Vintage: 2011

Region: Barolo

Style: Barbera d’Asti

Country: Italy

Winery: Damilano

Tasting Notes: Cherries and spice on the nose, blackberries and orange on the tongue. A nice dry finish.

Rating: 🍷🍷🍷🍷

Thoughts: I discovered Damilano in San Diego at a fantastic restaurant called BiCe. They made me fresh, gluten-free pasta, they have a cheese bar with a sommelier (!), and we had a bottle of 2010 Damilano Barolo Lecinquevigne that made my head spin. I immediately searched for more, but that vintage was limited. Happily, Damilano is an established producer, so they’ll make more. They also make this delightful Barbera. We visited Barolo in April 2019 and I was even more entranced when I happened upon their tasting room. A superb winery.

Pairings: Try this with salami, prosciutto, and a cheese board populated with hard cheeses, parmesan, asiago, fontina. Toss in some olives and grissini for good measure. You won’t be sorry.

Wine of the Week: Predator Cabernet


Vintage: 2016

Region: Lodi

Style: Cabernet Sauvignon

Country: USA

Winery: Predator - Rutherford Ranch

Tasting Notes: Dark fruit and spices, a hint of smoke, long finish with just a touch of cocoa

Rating: 🍷🍷🍷

Thoughts: I really, really wish Predator would do a merchandising deal with the Nashville Predators, something like Hamilton did with Federalist. That would be too cool for words. This is a highly drinkable and consistent cab, like all Predator wines.

Pairings: Everything. Seriously. This wine is a great match for platters, antipasto, salmon.

J.T. Ellison

New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison writes dark psychological thrillers starring Nashville Homicide Lt. Taylor Jackson and medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens, and pens the Nicholas Drummond series with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter. Cohost of the premier literary television show, A Word on Words, Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens.

For more insight into her wicked imagination, join J.T.’s email list at, or follow her online at or on Twitter @thrillerchick.

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Wine of the Week: Maggy Hawk "Stormin" Pinot Noir


Vintage: 2014

Region: Anderson Valley

Style: Pinot Noir

Country: USA

Winery: Maggy Hawk

Tasting Notes: Cloves and vanilla, dark fruits, lots of plum, but ripe plums. It’s not sweet at all, nice and dry. A hint of smoke on the finish.

Rating: 🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷

Thoughts: Holy. Cow. This pinot drinks like an old vine zin. It’s not as large and in charge as an old vine, but it’s chewy, utterly nuanced, and delicious. Complex is a good term here. We had it at the Capitol Grill in New York, as part of their Generous Pour series. I could have stopped with this one and been perfectly happy. A delightful, albeit a little pricey, wine.

Pairings: Held up to shrimp and lobster, and also to a nice filet. A very versatile wine.

Wine of the Week: Ledson Legend Red

Vintage: 2006

Region: Sonoma Valley

Style: Blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon

Country: USA

Winery: Ledson

Tasting Notes: Spicy and bold, with a blend of jammy merlot and rich cabernet grapes, this drinks like a Bordeaux and looks like a Pinot.

Rating: 🍷🍷🍷🍷

Thoughts: Several years ago, on a birthday trip to Napa and Sonoma, we saw a cool château off the Sonoma Valley main highway. Thinking perhaps we could snag a last minute tasting, we stopped in, and it was the best decision we’ve made in a long time. You’re going to see a few wines from Ledson on The Wine Vixen, because we joined their wine club that day. I’m always impressed by the quality of their wines. If you’re interested in a club, this is the best one out there. They welcomed us with open arms, have customized cases for us, are always open and willing to see us if we want to stop by, and make DAMN. GOOD. WINE.

Pairings: Steak, steak, steak.

My Vivino

Wine of the Week: Henri Bourgeois Sancerre Les Baronnes Blanc

Vintage: 2017

Region: Sancerre, Loire

Style: Sancerre

Country: France

Winery: Henri Bourgeois

Tasting Notes: Pale and beautiful in the glass, you know you’re in for something special. Delicate pear and apple on the nose and lime on the tongue, a dry but friendly mineral finish. Absolutely delightful.

Rating: 🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷

Thoughts: Yes, I know. Another white wine. But this one is special. One caveat for serving - make sure it’s ice cold. Let me repeat. Ice cold. Like Hemingway prefers. Actually, this quote from A MOVEABLE FEAST is what brought me to try Sancerre in the first place. If it’s good enough for Papa, it’s good enough for me.

“As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.”

Pairings: Oysters, naturally. 😉

My Vivino