The world of wine is complex and can be very intimidating. At, we recognize and appreciate all the intricacies the wine world offers. We want to open the doors for easy introduction and understanding, offering a language that everyone speaks. Wine should ultimately be enjoyed with friends and family. Our “lightning reviews” aim to help our readers acheive one goal: expand an understanding of wine with quick reviews from our house wine guru. 

La Brisa Pinot Noir 2016

Sonoma County, United States
A nice balance of red and black fruits.

Notes: Intense flavors of crushed raspberry, cola, and tobacco

If tasting a wine, and being able to talk about all the nuances amounts to anything, it is this. Holding your nose high and claiming a wine tastes of walnut, coriander, and vanilla means nothing if you can’t pair it with food. 

Best Pairings: Beef, Veal, Game (deer, venison), Poultry.

While some may think observing wine is pretentious, the real function is to identify flaws. This skill certainly becomes useful if you’re serving wine at a private event, or hosting clients at a business dinner.

Appearance: Wine is noticeably young with single color clarity, expressing vibrant hues of garnet.  (Note: unless a wine is “unfined” you really want to make sure a wine has some clarity. You don’t want it to be murky, foggy, muddy, etc.)

Aroma: This wine opens with hints of earth, crushed violet, cloves, and some red and black fruits.
(Note: There are flaws to look out for. They are hard to pick out at first, but once you’ve identified these flaws, you will NEVER forget it. A corked wine is a big one for me. There is a very notable smell, and I liken it to cardboard that has been left out in the rain, then stored in a basement for over a month. To learn more about corked wine, check out this YouTube video)

“Whenever I drink wine, I ask myself one question; Do I like it? This is all that matters. For this wine, absolutely! The main spice on the nose (the smell) is clove, associated with earthiness and fruit. Would pair this with venison or smoked duck breast in a hearbeat.

Average cost per bottle is $40 according to Vivino.

This wine was purchased at Vino Venue. Be sure to check them out if you’re local to Atlanta!”

-Shane A. Swor