Bottles and glasses of Scotto Zinfandel and Bonterra red blend

A yummy OVZ from TJs and an organic red from Costco – fire up the BBQ!

Fast Facts on this Week’s Featured Wines:

  • 2015 Scotto Family Cellars, Old Vine Zinfandel,  Lodi, California ($7.99 @Trader Joe’s in California)
  • 2016 Bonterra, Red Blend, California ($8.99* @Costco in California – Item #1372641) *net price after $2 .00 discount


The calendar says this is the last week of winter.  So we have a pair of wines that will pair really well as you start to fire up your grill from its winter hibernation. That is, unless you grill year ’round like many of us.

Let’s get this party started!


This week’s featured wine from Trader Joe’s:

Front label of Scotto Old Vine Zinfandel from Trader Joe's
This “OVZ” from Trader Joe’s was a nice surprise!


Located between the San Francisco Bay and the Sierra Nevada Mountains lies Lodi Wine Country, one of California’s emerging wine destinations. Over the past decade fourth and fifth generation winegrowers dedicated to the soils and vines have brought creative winemaking and cutting-edge technology to the region.

One of the first winegrape varieties to be planted in the area during the California Gold Rush, Zinfandel holds a special place in Lodi’s history. 

Lodi is the self-proclaimed Zinfandel Capital of the World, producing over 40% of California’s premium Zinfandel, with some plantings dating back to 1888. But the Lodi growers that are the custodians of these vines are under increasingly intense economic pressure. The problem is that many of these gnarly old vines are are naturally low-yielding (due to their age) and expensive to maintain  Low yields per acre are only part of the problem. The other part is relatively low prices for said grapes. This is not Napa Cab, after all. 

The good news is that those vines that have not been torn out and replaced produce very high quality fruit, hence we wine consumers can find wines like this one with a really compelling Quality to Price Ratio (QPR). 

Photo of "old vine" zinfandel planting with mature fruit.
Gnarly old vines rule!

Tasting Notes:

Dark, dense ruby color. Aromas and concentrated flavors of baking spice, blackberry, mint, oak, plum, and blackberry jam. Medium to full bodied with soft tannins.  It’s fruity without being too jammy.  A hint of black pepper lingers on the finish.  Would be a delightful pairing with BBQ and all things grilled.

You can find some of our past reviews of Zinfandels here.


This week’s featured wine from Costco:

Front label of Bonterra 2015 Equinox Red Blend
Bonterra was organic before it was fashionable.


Next week (March 19th to be precise) we will be celebrating the spring equinox.

This is just one of two days a year when the sun crosses the celestial equator, resulting in a day and night of equal length. It is just one of the ways the natural world demonstrates harmonious balance.  It was this balance and natural harmony that inspired this red blend from Bonterra.

Long before organic produce filled the shelves of neighborhood groceries, the dedicated team at Bonterra was committed to organic and biodynamic farming.  They passionately believe that farms teeming with biodiversity—encompassing vines, insects and wildlife, and healthy soils—yield organic grapes and better wines. Whether supporting the health of honeybees with hive housing in its organic vineyards, trading tractors for sheep to maintain vineyards during the winter months, or giving back to the future of agriculture through educational outreach and shared knowledge, Bonterra strives to leave behind a legacy of thoughtful winegrowing inspired by the potential of nature itself.

Bonterra’s Equinox Red leads with Merlot, one of Bonterra’s most acclaimed varietals. The wine is also complemented with grapes selected to add complexity. One of the more prominent of these is Petit Sirah, which adds gorgeous color and a rich, rustic element to the blend.


Tasting Notes:

Nice firm texture and big, earthy black fruit flavors.  It tastes of blackberry, cranberry and dark chocolate and feels tannic and grippy in the mouth. Merlot and Petit Sirah are the two main components in the blend. The result is a wine with generous notes of juicy red and black fruit co-mingled with notes of spice, herbs and oak. This wine benefits from opening it and letting it “breathe” a bit before serving. There are some notes of sulphur on first pouring, but they “blow off” after a bit.

We have reviewed Bonterra wines before and you can link to them here.


Our Throwback Thursday wine:

Did we mention celebrating the spring equinox?  Nothing says celebration like fine bubbles.

This prosecco from Costco always seems to be in stock, and it is a screaming good deal. It was one of our favorite wines of 2019.

Bottle of Kirkland Signature DOGC Prosecco and the wine shown in a glass.
A real crowd-pleaser at just $6.99.


Let us know if you tried any of these wines in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.  And by all means, if you have made a wine find of your own, don’t keep it a secret.


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