With porterhouse, boiled yellow potatoes, and a spinach/tofu/miso salad, the 2008 Wind Gap “Rana.” Red fruits, full, a little smoky, some black. GSM, not too over the top for California. Pretty good (and I’m not Mr. Grenache), but at $30+ not a buy again for me. B

Monday I made pasta with a fresh tomato & arugula sauce, served the NV Clothilde Davenne Cremant de Bourgogne Extra Brut. Crisp, green apple, light, flinty. B

Wednesday Betsy made salmon, mushroom risotto, and sauteed chard. The cooking wine was the 2010 Cameron Hughes Lot 270 RRV Sauvignon Blanc. Easygoing,grapefruit and light gooseberry, decent acidity, decent value. B-

Dinner wine was the 2006 Meo-Camuzet Bourgogne. Ripe but balanced, sweet black cherry with spice, some tannic grip, good length. B+

Thursday was Cornish hens with bacon and sage butter, baby Shanghai cabbage, and a potato hash. Wine was the 1989 Ch. Rochebelle (St. Emilion). Apparently filtered, virtually no sediment in a 23 year old claret. This was certainly alive- some fruit, no signs of tiredness, but nothing much of interest either. Flat black plum fruit, a little tobacco, somewhat short, proof that a wine can survive without necessarily gaining complexity. C+

Friday Betsy threw together a garlicky shrimp dish, with leftover risotto and chard.
2006 de Villaine “Les St. Jacques” Rully. Rich, a bit soft, maybe a touch of botrytis (though that would surprise me re Villaine), at first I thought needed more zip. But I have to say, though it stayed sweet/honied and round, this really got more and more appealing to me during night- friendly and maybe a tad sluttish, but with all sorts of interesting mineral/wax/floral notes. Good on following night as well. B+

Saturday we took the hound downtown for the Ferry Festa (local street fair), where we had a pretty good time, snacking on short rib confit sliders, oysters, etc. Betsy had a lot of cooking to do for a party tonight, so we ordered a takeout tomato/ricotta/spinach pizza for dinner, with the 2011 Castello di Ama Rosato. Lusher/fuller style of rose though fully dry, all ripe strawberry and a hint of cherry. Leaves me a little disappointed. I remember a great bottle of di Ama pink on a beach 12+ years ago, all since have left me a little deflated, probably memory more of occasion rather than wine.B-/B

Betsy was making a big dish of duck with turnips and scallions for tonight,needed about 1.5 cups of wine, so I opened the 2009 Sherwood Pinot Noir (Marlborough). Screwcap, lighter styled with sweet cherry fruit and a touch of earth, good deal at $10/bottle. B

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine,B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.