The Wandering Wino Blog

Top Wines That Will Blow Up Your Skirt


Throughout the year I drink wine at dinners, various wine events, festivals, tasting rooms, and have samples submitted for review. In most cases it can be difficult to properly review a wine without bottle submission, however, there are moments when a wine seems to hit all cylinders even with a small pour. These are the wines that immediately say "Hello!" 


Some wine media produces publications with wines that are too scarce or soldout. Their 'Top 100' in my view often becomes much like going to a restaurant and looking at pictures of the food and then going home. 

Wines That Blow Up Your Skirt is all about great tasting, well balanced wines that are in most cases still available and reasonably priced. The wines on this list are wines I'd be proud to bring to a any dinner party.


Raj Parr


Each wino may have their own definition of reasonable, so I'll define mine. Wines mostly under $40, with a few scattering of others that may reach $70 or $80. Maybe the higher category could be considered special occasion for some, while only reserved for others last meal on earth. The 2000 Bordeaux's I opened from my cellar will not be included on this list nor is the Qupe Syrah Bien Nacido Block X 25th anniversary, then it would just be a big tease list. 


Do you recall the hints of anise, honeydew, or baking spice you tasted in a wine once 6 months ago? In many cases I do not, but I do recall getting really excited about a particular wine. I also get happy when I see bottles I recognize as wines I have really appreciated. Wines that blow up your skirt is about these types of wines, so no tasting notes, just kick butt wines that deserve attention and I hope to be in my glass again! 


Sandhi Chardonnay

2011 Sandhi Rita's Crown Sta Rita Hills, Chardonnay $55

2011 Sandhi Sanford and Bennidit Sta Rita Hills, Pinot Noir $65ish


Chanin Chardonnay

2011 Chanin Bien Nacido Chardonnay


2010 Curtis Santa Ynez Valley,  Mourvedre $29

2010 Curtis Santa Ynez Valley, Syrah ( Included last year as a barrel sample) $29

Ernst Storm

2012 Storm Sauvignon Blanc - Ernst Storm is the winemaker for Curtis and not on the wine map. Is Sauv Blanc not your thing? Try this one and see where it takes you. Find him and try his wines, you won't be disappointed. $20ish

2011 Andrew Murray Vineyards Santa Barbara County,  - Tour les Jours Syrah (Look to Costco for the last of the 2011's) $16


Chamisal Chardonnay

2012 Chamisal 40th Anniversary SLO/Edna Valley, Chardonnay $30ish


Sextant Grenache Rose

2012 Sextant Grenache Rose $20ish


2011 Hillard Bruce Sta Rita Hills, Chardonnay

2006 DuNah Mendocino, Montre Red Wine $35 (Available Cellars of Somona)

2010 Autonon Greneache (Autonon is inside of Los Olivos Alta Maria tasting room) $50ish

2010 TR Elliot Pinot Noir Russian River Burgonet (Cellars of Sonoma) Consistent stellar producer! $44


Kynsi Pinot

 2010 Kynsi Bien Nacido (Santa Maria Valley) Pinot Blanc (Rock-star!) $22 

2009 Kynsi Bien Nacido (Santa Maria Valley) Pinot Noir (Dito!) $41


Stillwaters Merlot

2009 Stillwaters Paso Robles Merlot (Ridiculously low priced, big value) $24



2011 Baileyana SLO Edna Valley, Firepeak Pinot Noir $30



2011 Castoro Paso Robles, Tempranillo $20ish


Buttonwood GB

2009 Buttonwood Santa Ynez Valley,  Cab Franc $26

2012 Buttonwood Santa Ynez Valley, Grenache Blanc (Thinking man's breakfast wine) $22


Tablas Creek Vineyards


2011 Tablas Creek Paso Robles, CA Mourvedre $40 

2011 Tablas Creek Paso Robles, Patelin de Tablas Syrah/Grenache/Mourvedre/Counoise (Off the hook exciting!) $20




2010 Ecluse Paso Robles Syrah (Double Gold SF) (Included last year added as a barrel sample)

2012 Qupe Bien Nacido Cuvee (Viognier/Chardonnay) (Picnic wine to make you feel rich) $22ish

2011 Presquile Santa Maria Valley, Chardonnay $35ish 




2009 Stasis Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley (Pay attention to the Rob Murray Vineyards Wines! Tooth & Nail/Stasis/Amor Fati/Force of Nature) (Remember you heard it here!)




2010 Cimarone Le Clos Secret Meritage $45ish (Drinks like $75+

2010 Magnavino Lodi Zinfandel (Light up the grill!)


Heron Hill


2012 Heron Hill Finger Lakes Riesling (If you haven't had Finger Lakes Riesling, don't wait!) 


Standing Sun


2012 Standing Stone Finger Lakes Riesling (May have been found at the wedding with Jesus performing his first miracle) $18.99 

2009 Canas Feast Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

2010 Wente Livermore Valley, Nth Degree Chardonnay $50 

2010 Foxen Bien Nacido UU Block Chardonnay


Mary Edwards


2010 Mary Edwards Russian River Chardonnay (I'd like to be in a room by myself while contemplating this wine for hours) $60


2010 Plan B Vogelzang Vineyard Happy Canyon, Mourvedre $40ish


Sunland Vintage Teroldego (Rare find, big bad boy with generous fruit and amazing balance) $32




 2012 Ampelos Viognier (It's a deep fly ball, going back, to the wall, it's outta here!)

2012 Cinque Stelle Santa Ynez Valley Albarino (Demands respect!)


2010 Batasilol Sovrana  (I could not stop drinking this wine, found at Protocol Studio Wine Shop) $22ish


Tendril Pinot Noir


2010 Tendril Willamette Valley OR Pinot Noir (Classy) $48

2009 Panther Creek Winemakers Cuvee Pinot Noir $25

2011 Soter OR Pinot Noir


Archery Summit


2012 Archery Summit Pinot Gris Willamette Valley


Sweet Cheeks


2011 Sweet Cheeks Willamette Valley Pinot Gris



2010 Adelsheim  Elizabeths Reserve Pinot Noir (I over heard a Master of Wine speak highly of this wine)

Domaine Drouhin OR Arthuer Chardonnay Dunee Hills (WOW!!!!)

Domaine Drouhin OR  Dunee Hills Laurene Pinot Noir (Speechless)

Domaine Serene


2011 Domaine Serene EVENSTAD Chardonnay (Worth every penny!) $65ish

2010 Domaine Serene EVENSTAD RESERVE Pinot Noir (Insanely good!) 

2011 iOTA Pelos Sandberg Vineyard Pinot Noir $38


Shawn Shai

2009 Shai Cellars Santa Ynez Valley, Adome Cab/Syrah (Newer winemaker making a run!)

2010 Tyler Bien Nacido N Block Pinot Noir $50

2010 The Ojai Vineyard Kick On Ranch Pinot Noir 

2010 Domaine Eden Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains




2011 Drew Weir Vineyard Yourville Highlands Pinot Noir

2011 Drew Morning Dew Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir




2010 Copain Monument Tree Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

2008 Sanford Santa Ynez Valley Fleaur du Domain (56% Viogneir 44% Roussanne) $40ish 

2009 Sanford La Rinconada Vineyard Sta Rita Hills  Pinot Noir $70ish

2009 Sanford Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Sta Rita Hills Pinot Noir $70ish


2010 Baehner Fournier Vineyards Santa Ynez Valley, Petit Verdot

2012 Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay (Your next house white $14)


Garnet Pinot Noir


2011 Garnet Monterey County Pinot Noir (Drinks like $35+. Crazy $14.99 value!)

2010 Renwood Amador County old vine Zinfandel (My close friend runs an extremely high volume wine sales restaurant, he told me he wanted to bring it in) $25ish 


R.Stuart Pinot Gris


 2012 R Stuart big fire Pinot Gris (I could not get enough of this wine! Epic picnic wine!) $20ish

2010 TR Elliott Burgonet RRV Pinot Noir (Cellars of Sonoma) $44




2010 ERATH Prince Hill Pinot Noir $55ish

2010 Jaffurs Santa Barbara County Grenache Blanc $25ish

Warning Tease Wine: 2010 Saarloos & Sons Lionhart Port style (long gone, but ridiculous good) I sent a message thanking the winemaker after sharing it with friends.  



This particular year is a bit heavy on Pinot Noir, and it is not intentional. There seem to be some fantastic Pinot Noir focused events and simply more of that varietal placed in front of me. I am still waiting for the Roussanne and Mourvedre Symposiums. My hope is to attend more diversity of events in the coming year, while maintaining the others. 

Last years article clickHERE

Events include: In The Pursuit of Balance / Pinot Days / The Chardonnay Symposium / SBCVA Celebration of Harvest / Castilla La Mancha / Vino California / Sunset Magazine's Savor The Central Coast / Earth Day (Paso Robles) / Pinot In The City (Willamette Valley, Oregon) /  40th Anniversary Bien Nacido / Ventura County Wine Trail at The Collection / Casa Pacifica Angels / LA WineFest / A Taste of Camarillo/ Ventura County Wine-Food Challenge / Garagiste / more not listed and many wine samples



  • Laurie
    Posted Monday 28 October 2013 18:43
    GREAT list & perfectly timed as the holidays are approaching. Will be taking your list shopping with me for sure!!

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