Wines to help you through the tax season

April 15 aka Tax Day, has come and gone!  Did you get your taxes done in time?

Fortunately, this year, because Tax Day April 15 is a Sunday, and because Washington DC celebrates Emancipation Day with a holiday on Monday April 16, this year, like last year and the year before,

we all have a reprieve until Tuesday April 17.

Those of us in California impacted by the Thomas  and other fires are getting another break: according to this statement from the IRS, “Individuals who reside or have a business in Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties may qualify for tax relief.”

This relief includes an extension until April 30, 2018. 

You can call 866-562-5227 to request this tax relief, says the IRS website. Further,  “If an affected taxpayer receives a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the IRS that has an original or extended filing, payment or deposit due date that falls within the postponement period, the taxpayer should call the telephone number on the notice to have the IRS abate the penalty.”

So yep, this means many of us in California have until April 30, 2018 to file our taxes.

And of course, you can always file an extension… and the truth is, if you’re getting a return, you can basically file any time that year when you want to get your money back!

While we may hate paying taxes, as Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. points out “I love the civilization they give me.”

So this is the time of year that someone is going to pay out a whole bunch or get a whole bunch back — and no the recent tax package won’t have an impact on your 2017 taxes (and you’ll see next year whether you’re better or worse off…)

So what do you want to pair with contemplating your taxes? What will you buy with your return? I was sent eight bottles for consideration and five of us gathered at Sue’s to take some time with four of them the other night paired with a simple cheese plate, various fresh sausages, a creamy cheddar infused polenta, a chard and beet salad, plus fresh oysters from Baja.

When thinking about or finishing up your taxes this year, if you’ve been impacted by the fire, you might be seeing red — and want to go red — in which case consider:

2016 – San Marzano – Talo – Malvasia Nera – 13.5% alcohol SRP $17

Why? On the back of the label you’ll find this: “They call ours ‘the village of light’ for a fire that every year honors the Patron Saint. Vines and olive trees branches burn with it and every spark feeds a hope in this wine you’ll find the image of that show lighting up the night and fading at dawn.”

Sacred fire.

Hopeful — that’s us.

Nose – deep rich berry notes, John said saddle notes, the leather, cherry cola in the background, your nose tingles because of the peppery notes.

This is an easy access wine with a tartness of fresh cranberry and pomegranate. Barrie got a dry nuttiness possibly the tannins coming through. Finish is black currant or black currant preserves. It has the fleshiness of the preserves.

So good with the creamy polenta: what a perfect pairing. Barrie appreciated it with the Italian sausage, it brought out the spiciness in the wine. I loved it with the Italian sausage.

When we first tasted this wine, we both said, “Wow that is interesting!” So what makes this wine so different and interesting. There is a lush fruitiness to this wine. Big tobacco in this wine, cigar box, snuff, blackberry snuff. with nice acidity to balance, along with herbal qualities. This wine beholds all of the characteristics that wine enthusiasts find interesting.

What a great value! If you’re feeling the sting, this wine will sooth that pain. If you’re having to pay or you’re not getting much of a return, this is a great investment.


2014 – Meyer-Fonne – Wineck – Schlossberg – Riesling – 13.5% alcohol SRP $4o

I love the surprise of nutmeg and custard that comes out with oysters when paired with this wine. We didn’t know how much this wine cost when we tasted it, but it tastes expensive because it is so complex and surprising. John noticed “no sharpness at all, just roundness” and I found a lovely, satisfying richness.

If you’re getting a nice fat return celebrate with oysters and this wine! Or if you’re struggling with your taxes, this will help them go down!

This was beautiful with a chard salad with a lemon citrus vinegarette as well as with a freshly made bratwurst. The subtle spices in the sausage mingled well with the acidity of the wine. The riesling and the sausage was great, it brings out a citrus in the wine.


2014 – Halter Ranch – Cotes De Paso Robles – 14.8% alcohol SRP $34
50% Grenache, 28% Mourvedre, 18% Syrah, 4% Tannat
SIP certified winery

John found this to kind of a sweet red, and we agreed that while it is fruit forward, it is well balanced.

You could drink this wine as a cocktail wine by it self or pair it with a lovely meal.

Nose: John got vanilla cigar, I got cigar box or tobacco, sweet vanilla, a bit of mint, Sue got the herbal notes of sage, and exotic spices like cardamom

Sue: “This wine is so smooth, it glides across your palate from front to back with a long lingering finish, making you want for more.”

Palate: I got a licorice spicy, cherry licorice and John bounced back with spicy fennel.

Sue and I loved this wine, especially in a bigger bolder glass. The prettiness of grenache shines with carnation, cinnamon, spice, clove.

This is a very well crafted wine that loves the big bold smokiness and spiciness of the smoked chorizo. it brings out a beautiful bright cherry fruitiness in the wine. This wine is totally in our wheel house: not only does the wine taste great, but we loved the commitment to the planet, to the environment of Halter Ranch.


2013 – Victor Hugo – Opulence – Templeton Gap District Paso Robles – 13.7% alcohol

33% Cabernet Franc, 28% Merlot, 18% Malbec, 14% Petit Verdot 7% Cabernet Sauvignon

Barrie felt that the aroma was very captivating, he wanted to continue sniffing without tasting “like a smooth misty morning” after tasting he noticed the fruitiness, stone fruit and plum, John felt like the flavor of plum skins came through. Sue “this has jolly ranchers cherry, with smoke, tart cherries and chalky minerals, ”

This is a great BBQ wine. We could see pairing this with BBQ ribs. I tried it with smoked chorizo sausage and found it to be a fantastic pairing. The spiciness of the sausage is balanced by the wine. The spicy sausage is tamed by the fruitiness in the wine, and the wine is enhanced by the fruitiness of the w You cannot create a food that brings such pleasure, but when they are enjoyed together, the wine mellows the hot spiciness of the meat, and brings forth the fruit in the wine.


One thought on “Wines to help you through the tax season

  1. Pingback: When are TAXES due in 2018? | art predator

Please Comment! I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s