Featured User: Neil Valenzuela

I have been in law enforcement for over 15 years now. Prior to this, I served in the US Army for 4 years. I recently married Jennifer, who is also in law enforcement, and have two wonderful step-children. In my spare time, I like to paint comic book characters, drink wine and talk about wine. I have a strong passion for wine and learning all I can about the history, regions, varietals and the process of making wine. I was born in Mexico and currently live near San Francisco, California. Delectable: What sparked your passion for wine? Neil Valenzuela: Wine was always unapproachable until one evening, sharing a glass of wine with my brother sparked a conversation and a thirst for knowledge about wine. Several years later when I was assigned as Bailiff for a Judge, she would often take her courtroom staff to wineries or tasting rooms on the weekends or after work. In a small tasting room called The French Cellar in Los Gatos, California (no longer in business), I had a glass of 1997 Chateau Montrose , which sent my passion for wine into overdrive. D: What wine region are you wild about right now? NV: I am into several regions right now: Northern Rhone blends – Syrah and Viognier Pinots Noir – from Sonoma County such as Claypool Cellars or Balleto, Santa Rita Hills such as Domain De La Cote and Burgundy. Sauvignon Blanc – From anywhere! D: What is the most unusual wine you’ve ever tried? NV: Wine from Rice. I love a good, cold, filtered dry Sake . D: What is your golden rule for wine? NV: Always try something new and be open minded. Take the time to enjoy the wine and use all my senses in appreciating the wine. D: Say you’re not allowed to have wine, what is your second option? NV: I always get a lot of grief for this - A cold Coors Light. D: Choose a movie, book, quote, or song and pair it with a wine NV: Movie: Tombstone – Galante Vineyards Merlot Song: Come Away with Me by Norah Jones – Banshee Vineyards Rice-Spivak Pinot Noir Quote: J.M. Keynes, “I should have drank more champagne.” – Dom Perignon Book: F. Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment – The Prisoner Zinfandel D: If you were a wine, what wine would you be? NV: Tough question, so I asked my wife. She said a strong and bold glass of red wine, something like a Penfolds Shiraz .

Hudson

Estate Grown Napa Valley Chardonnay 2016

Nice little Chardonnay from Napa Co. straw color with a golden hue color, aromas of Meyer lemon, butter popcorn and hazelnut. Citrus flavors mild oak/butter flavors. This Chardonnay is very nicely balanced. Paired nicely with chicken cordon bleu and thyme risotto. — 8 months ago

Mark, Trixie and 11 others liked this
Sharon B

Sharon B

Congratulations on your feature! We have a lot in common! Military and law enforcement. Oh and wine!! My feature is somewhere, I think on the website even though I can’t find it.
Neil Valenzuela

Neil Valenzuela

@Sharon B - we do... and yes, I read it a few months ago. Cheers!

Banshee

Sonoma County Rosé of Pinot Noir 2017

❤️Nice pink salmon color. Aromas of underripe cherry, watermelon, cranberry and chalk. Big fan of @Banshee Wines Pinot Rosé, loads of cranberry and cherry flavors with a nice dry finish. — 9 months ago

P, Dawn and 7 others liked this
Neil Valenzuela

Neil Valenzuela

@DC Radisson - if you ever get a chance to check out their tasting room In Healdsburg, CA, it unique, with leather couches and vinyl albums playing.
DC Radisson

DC Radisson

If they use vinyl on a turntable, that would be a must. I’d probably have wine 🍷 too while sitting there.
Neil Valenzuela

Neil Valenzuela

@DC Radisson - yes! A great place to relax with a charcuterie and some vino.

Ridge Vineyards

Monte Bello Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2015

At the premier of Somm 3 with @DLynn Proctor - Nice purple color, aromas of blackberry, star anise, and clove. Flavors of dark fruit, black olive, and moss/forest floor. — 10 months ago

Jason, Dawn and 15 others liked this

Rombauer Vineyards

Napa Valley Merlot 2015

Nice dark cherry skin color. Aromas of dark cherry, cranberry and mossy floor. Yum! Loads of red fruit and baking spices that fade away quickly,making you want another sip. — 8 months ago

P, Trixie and 9 others liked this

Banshee

Rice-Spivak Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014

Dark red color. Aromas of evergreens, dark fruit and dark chocolate. Rice-Spivak makes amazing fruit juice! Loads of dark fruit and ash, with a nice dry finish. — a year ago

Mark, Trixie and 6 others liked this
Pinotman /// Andreas

Pinotman /// Andreas

Nice you had a flight

Jean-Luc Colombo

Terroirs du Vent Les Violette Côtes du Rhône Viognier 2015

Golden hue color. Aromas of mango, pineapple and orange blossom. Mellow citrus flavors, loads of tropical fruit. 🇫🇷 in San Diego. — 9 months ago

P, Mark and 6 others liked this
P A

P A Premium Badge

@Neil Valenzuela Neil sounds great Cheers 🍷
Trixie

Trixie

Yum! 🥂
DC Radisson

DC Radisson

You do review highly rated wines! Thanks for sharing those with us 🍷

Claypool Cellars

Pachyderm Thorn Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013

Been a wine member at Claypool for a bit now and love their wines! This Thorne Ridge is legit- dark cherry skin color. Aromas of underripe cherry, rose petals, raspberry and cedar. Amazing flavors of red underripe fruit with a solid cedar finish. — 10 months ago

Sharon, Dawn and 3 others liked this
Pinotman /// Andreas

Pinotman /// Andreas

Sounds cool 😎 I need to check them out.
Pinotman /// Andreas

Pinotman /// Andreas

Are they reasonable burgundian? May be I visit in November
Neil Valenzuela

Neil Valenzuela

@Pinotman /// Andreas - very nice place to taste great Pinot and even a champagne from Cormoyeaux. Loads of Primus stuff around if you like them too

DuMOL

Wild Mountaineside Russian River Valley Viognier 2014

Straw color. Aromas of lemon curd, fresh baked bread and some slight butter. Delicious Viognier! — 9 months ago

Trixie, P and 9 others liked this

Gemma di Luna

Pinot Grigio 2017

Painting and drinking a nice Pinot Grigio. Golden hue color to this wine. Aromas of lime zest, white peach and some tropical notes. Tart flavors of underripe strawberry, citrus and a creamy finish. Thanks @Sharon B for the recommendation. — 8 months ago

Jason, P and 7 others liked this
Sharon B

Sharon B

Glad you enjoyed it! @Neil Valenzuela !
Neil Valenzuela

Neil Valenzuela

@Trixie - yes, it is :)
DC Radisson

DC Radisson

Nice bottle

Rajat Parr

Amador County País 2017

My first mission varietal, País. Interesting cloudy raspberry color. Aromas of raspberries, cherries and baking spices. Delicate red fruit flavors, dry finish leaves me taking another sip. @Rajat Parr - so delicious! — 9 months ago

Trixie, Jason and 10 others liked this
P A

P A Premium Badge

@Neil Valenzuela Good one Cheers 🍷
Pinotman /// Andreas

Pinotman /// Andreas

Would like to try this
Neil Valenzuela

Neil Valenzuela

@Pinotman /// Andreas - https://www.rajparrwineclub.com ... they can ship right away, very inexpensive. Cheers!