Akiyoshi Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Akiyoshi Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Clarksburg, CA

David Akiyoshi is one of NakedWines.Com’s go-to winemakers in California. So far, I’ve tried his 2013 Sangiovese Rosé, and it placed firmly in my second-best grouping, the Avocados. That’s a 69/100 on the Quini scale. All that means is I expect a pretty good, though probably not exceptional, wine as I open this cabernet sauvignon.

I stare at a cup holding the blood of many slain burgundy roses. Or grapes. They were probably grapes. The nose is waxy cinnamon, plum, and everything else I will list in the Quini profile that follows. Drinking it takes me on a journey with my mother’s favorite movie star, the young Shirley Temple. I am compelled to write a new verse for “The Good Ship Lollipop,” and I only hope the actress can forgive me from her heavenly vantage point:

“Oh, the good ship Berry-pop, made of cardamom and cinnamon logs, floats off to where violets sway, in the tasty Coconut Roll Bay.”

The finish is simple but lasts forever, unlike that new verse of song, which I’m trying to forget I wrote even as type this next sentence. The wine is certainly complex, but it could use more balance. Perhaps aging would bring it?

Here is my full Quini profile:

Akiyoshi Quini Profile
That 76/100 places it ahead of its rosé sister but not quite into my highest rank. It still earns an rating_avocado1.

I think it’s safe to say I like David Akiyoshi’s wines despite wanting more balance in this one. If you’re intrigued, you can purchase his 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon through NakedWines.Com by clicking this button. It’ll take you right to it:


It’s selling for $18.99 if you aren’t an Angel with NakedWines.Com, which is a fair deal. If you are an Angel, it’s an amazing deal at $10.99! To find out more about the NakedWines.Com Angels program, click here.

Reviewed 10 March 2015.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Sweet Bar Bakery


There’s a lot that I love about Sweet Bar Bakery: their commitment to locally sourced, fair trade, and cage-free ingredients; that they know the difference between a latte and a cortado; that you can usually get a seat without too much of a hassle on a weekday. But I’m befuddled by how their baked goods, with bakery as part of their name, have continually been dry.

Case in point, the “whoop-ass” mocha pie.


Obviously meant as a play on a whoopie pie, I was so disappointed to bite into dry, dry chocolate cake rather than the moist sponge cake I’ve come to expect from that particular sweet sandwich. Perhaps the bitterness of the coffee flavor affected my perception? The middle frosting layer was rich, but more like a dense, hardened frosting than the fluffy ones I associate with whoopie pies. It was also a skimpy helping of frosting.

Luckily, the day I had the “whoop-ass” pie, I also had an amazing cortado, thus sparing the café from my sour impression.

Sweet_Bar_10 Sweet_Bar_02

That cortado is on the top. The one on the bottom is from my second trip to Sweet Bar Bakery. Slightly less impressive than the first, it still did the job of giving me the milk to espresso ratio I most prefer. The first was a touch sweeter and more beautifully layered. I will continue to order cortados with confidence at Sweet Bar Bakery.

Read more →

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

WOATS Oatsnack

WOATS Oatsnack, widely available at a supermarket near you, came to be when its founder, Justin Anderson, discovered the ancient enmity between granola and braces. As each WOATS bag will tell you, young Justin set out to make a softer oat treat and succeeded wildly, starting his own company at the age of 16.


WOATS has just launched their fourth flavor, Jammin’ Strawberry Shortbread, and I received it along with the whole WOATS product line to review (obligatory disclaimer! That means I didn’t pay for these WOATS treats). That’s a lot of oats! Luckily, oats and I go way back–I may even eat instant oatmeal uncooked with milk on occasion (often), so I was up to this task. My husband was up to the task of quickly inhaling whatever I left on the kitchen table.

The Jammin' Strawberry Shortbread

The Jammin’ Strawberry Shortbread

First off, WOATS is to granola as Fig Newtons are to granola bars. In other words, they are indeed soft, a little chewy, and extra sweet. That texture is very appealing! Additionally, each bag contains about a cereal bowl’s worth of food and offers a variety of sizes, from chunks nearly large enough to be a granola bar on their own to loose oats good for sprinkling over other foods or adding milk to and making a cereal of it (I may have done that. I may also recommend it.).

I’ll start with the Jammin’ Strawberry Shortbread as it’s the first one I tried.  I could not see many actual strawberries in with the oat and shortbread clumps, but the flavor of strawberry was impressive throughout. Its brown sugar sweetness was pleasing, and the shortbread chunks added enough indulgence to push the oatsnack clearly into the dessert realm. I love the dessert realm—I keep a vacation home there.

Read more →

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather