Frank Family Vineyards Rouge Sparkling Wine

Two years ago while visiting Napa Valley, I visited Frank Family Vineyards in Calistoga, CA for a tasting and picked up this sparkling. The wines are fantastic and I can’t recommend enough a stop by if you’re planning a trip or live in the area. It’s a busy place, from my experiences, but worth wading through all the people and being patient.

IMG_20131231_1920262013 was a great year for many people I know bringing new babies and weddings, but for us, it was an extremely difficult and scary year so it was a must to celebrate the end of it with something special. This sparkling fit the bill. It’s the perfect holiday drink because of its gorgeous dark red color. It would also be great for Valentine’s Day. It’s made from 100% Pinot Noir, and offers a nice strawberry and blackberry essence on the palate. It’s sweet, but not too sweet. A little dry, but not too dry. You get where I’m going with it all; it just has the right mix. I rate this sparkling 4 stars out of 5. We had this along with a plate of olives, veggies, hummus, and mixed nuts and it went well together. It would also stand up to something more substantial like poultry or fish. Retails for $45.

For more on Frank Family Vineyards, visit


Paraduxx Cinnamon Teal 2006 Napa Valley

I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Paraduxx’s tasting room in Napa Valley on the Silverado Trail twice, and each time it has been one of my favorite stops. Paraduxx does nothing but blends (mostly red) and they do them well. The staff is extremely knowledgable, the grounds are beautiful, and the wines blow me away with each sip. Their tastings are seated, and I always find this to be so much more relaxing and indusive of taking of my time too. Does it make me really lazy that I find a seated tasting to be a selling point? Rhetorical question. 


I rate the this one 4 stars out of 5. The 2006 Cinnamon Teal from Paraduxx perfectly captures Napa Valley in a bottle – a red blend made up of 64% Zinfandel, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc. As you might imagine, all of that delicious Zinfandel makes for a jammy mouth feel that instantly brings to mind blueberry pie. The nose on this doesn’t immediately make you think this is necessarily going to be an amazing wine, but once you feel the smoothness on the mouth, you’ll be sold. Don’t get me wrong, it smells good with notes of rich dark fruit flavors like blueberry and blackberry, as well as a hint of black licorice, but it’s the smoothness in the mouth that makes it for me. This wine retails for an average of $50 with prices varying up or down a few dollars by location. For my friends in the Atlanta area, I used to find this at Tower Liquor off of Piedmont near Lindbergh Station. Wherever you may live, if you’re not able to find this particular wine from Paraduxx, don’t be afraid to try one of their other blends. I’ve never had one I didn’t like. 

Paraduxx is a part of Duckhorn Wine Company, which also includes Decoy, Goldeneye, Duckhorn Vineyards, and Migration. For more information on Paraduxx and Duckhorn Wine Company visit