I know, I know. You are probably thinking, "A California wine, I thought this blog was about Europe". Yes, but one could argue that the Pinot Noir grape was originally grown in France, before being transplanted in US soil. It’s a stretch, I know, but I am not that much of a wine snob that when I come across a good domestic wine, I would not enjoy and recommend it! After all, a life without wine is a life… well… it is really no life at all! We were lucky enough to receive a bottle of 2005 Mirassou Pinot Noir as a gift for Chris’ birthday. I say we because he would never dream of drinking wine alone… especially with me around! So, lucky me! I have enjoyed many Pinot Noirs, not quite to the extent of Paul Gaimatti in the movie ‘Sideways’. I would never put up such a fuss about fermented grape juice. The Pinots I have tasted have been very good… or so I thought! The minute I opened this bottle, I was in heaven. Not only did the cork smell, but the smell of the wine itself radiated from the bottle. This is a wine you can taste, even before you drink it. I knew it would be good. The color is a deep ruby/garnet and the taste is incredible. It really does explode in your mouth. I taste intense cherry and plum flavors, but it is very bright too. It is a very juicy wine. And we finished it! Now the quest began. Having tasted other Pinots I figured this wine would be priced at about $17 – $20. And so we shop. And we find. And we read the bottle. To our shock, amazement and excitment, this wine retails locally for $7.99! Needless to say, many a bottle was purchased and will be enjoyed! I hope you enjoy it too! If you are lucky enough to try it, please let me know what you think.