Russ Winton: Wine List

Wine Line: Wine thoughts and very odd lots

How can you make a “small fortune in the wine industry?” Give up? See answer below.

Here are some winey thoughts that have been fermenting in my mind over the last few months.

A reader liked my column on saving leftover wine. He suggested I try the Timeless Wine Storage, which is only $9.95, and claims it works like a charm. Google it and let me know what you think. I seldom have leftover wine in my house.

Another reader suggested I try Wine ’Til Sold Out after reading my bargain wine-tasting piece. It’s a company that buys out an entire lot of wine and discounts it up to 70 percent until it sells out. Go to and check out the current wine. If you order four bottles, it ships free.

In April the Navigator guided us on a 3,516-mile road trip through the Southwest visiting seven national parks, nine national monuments and 12 wineries. Yes, 12 wineries. Wilcox (Ariz.) was a surprise with their Marty Robbins Museum. Tasting in Tombstone next to the OK Corral was a hoot. Aridus and Pillsbury wineries were our faves in Arizona and Luna Rossa, Black Mesa and Gruet were the best in New Mexico.

If you like zinfandel and are a fan of Saucelito Canyon Winery, you’ll dig the book, “The Mad Crush” by Sean Christopher Weir. This is the story of the 1995 harvest and the characters who took part. Historical, witty and laugh-out-loud funny, you can find it on

If you need a break from the Valley heat, check out the Bonny Doon Tasting Room in Davenport, just 10 miles north of Santa Cruz. The vibe is cool and relaxed. The $10 or $20 tastings are quite generous and the staff is knowledgeable. Pack a lunch and on the way back to Santa Cruz turn left to Bonny Doon (the community) and taste the great chardonnays and pinot noirs of Beauregard. Buy a bottle and have your picnic under the tall redwood trees.

I’m on my second box of the 2014 Wine Cube Pinot Grigio. It was voted the best pinot grigio in the state and sells for about $4.50 per bottle. I keep it in my garage fridge and both my daughters-in-law like it. Whew! Add some tonic and a squeeze of lime and voila, a wine cooler.

Here are some more wines the State Fair judges awarded double gold or gold; Cartlidge & Browne 2013 Merlot, Bokisch Verdejo 2014 and the Bokisch Graciano 2012.

The answer is: to “You start with a large fortune.” Cheers!