Travel Plans for the Holidays?-Dave Phinney Location Wines

{These wines were provided as media samples. No other compensation, thoughts are my own.}

What are your travel plans for the holidays? Someplace exotic? Or do you lean toward the traditional? There is something to be said for both approaches. The same can be said when choosing wines. Perhaps you like to walk on the wild side, rarely choosing the same bottle twice and always searching for obscure varieties and origins. Maybe you have your standards, your house wines. You know what you like and stick to it.

If you lean toward the latter, take a look at the Locations line from Dave Phinney. It is a great place to start. The line is a great way to learn more about the general characteristics of a region. They are consistent, balanced, solid wines. and once you learn what region resonates with you, it is a great leaping off point as you dabble into the unknown. If you lean toward the former, pick a new region. Think of his wines as Cliff’s notes for the region. If you like it, find small producers from that location.

The latest shipment of samples I received from Dave Phinney’s Locations wines included excursions foreign and domestic: New Zealand, France, Spain and Washington.  Because the wines are non-vintage, non-varietal, non-appellation specific the labels are differentiated by a number which indicates which number release it is in the series. The MSRP provided was $20 but I have seen them consistently closer to $15.

E5 – Spanish Red Wine (SRP $19.99)


A blend of Grenache/Garnacha, Tempranillo, Monastrell, and Carignan/Cariñena, this wine was sourced from five regions of Spain. Red and black fruit, spice, smooth tannins, balanced acidity.

 F5 – French Red Wine (SRP $19.99)

A blend of Grenache, Syrah, and assorted Bordeaux varietals from Rhone, Roussillon, and Bordeaux.

 NZ7 – New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (SRP $19.99)


100% Sauvignon Blanc-Pale yellow in the glass, the nose is classic gooseberry and tropical. On the palate, the notes are softer. Pink grapefruit, white flowers, candied lemon peel.




A blend of Syrah, Merlot and Petit Sirah, this wine is rich fruit, soft floral and cocoa, and woodsy.


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Being a stay- at-home mom can leave one thirsting for a taste of the outside world, a world in which sentences are composed of more than three words. Being an educator means one is always seeking an opportunity to explore and learn. Being a woman with a need to connect can be a challenge when adult conversations are rare. In wine, I find the marriage of art and science, agriculture and storytelling provides limitless areas to explore. But it is the people that keep me engaged. The tenacity needed to keep the family dream alive, the risk to start anew, the trials and principles. I love the history of the vine, the impact of a season, the sentiment in the bottle. That is why I write. I write to tell their stories, to share a piece of mine. I write to learn as I teach others. I write to connect with new friends, to disconnect from the world. I write to celebrate what makes each of us unique, and that which ties us together.

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