Home » Wine » Going Gangsta with Francis Coppola wines. Life is too short for cheap Wine
Going Gangsta with Francis Coppola wines. Life is too short for cheap Wine

Going Gangsta with Francis Coppola wines. Life is too short for cheap Wine

Going Gangsta with Coppola Wines  

Life is too short for cheap wines, buy Coppola Wines at discount


Life is too short for bad food and cheap wine! This is the tag line for my blog and it is also the way I live my life. With that said, I cannot justify opening an expensive bottle of wine from my amateur wine collection on a weekday night. In addition, I am no longer in my early 20’s, so I can not bring a $8 bottle with a kangaroo label to a dinner party. In both scenarios,  I want a great wine at a cheap price.

 A wine perfect for these scenarios can  cost somewhere between $15-24.  Some of the best selections at this price range are produced by Francis Coppola Winery.


Coppola Wine -  Three wines around $20 retail

Francis Coppola Wine – Three wines around $20 retail

This week I tasted three wines from Francis Ford Coppola Winery, which are on sale this month at Vons and Pavilions.  I make the sacrifices for my readers 😉  . I have been a long-time fan of Coppola wines because his wines are sometimes just as complex as his movie characters. Some are sweet, but sultry, while  others appear to be soft, but have a darker side.



Franics Coppola Wine makes a classy choice for dinner parties

Franics Coppola Wine makes a classy choice for dinner parties



Below is my reaction to the three  Coppola wines that are part of the special at Vons and Pavilions. 

2013 Sofia – Blanc de Blancs

Francia Coppola Wine - Sophia

Francia Coppola Wine – Sophia is a charming sparkling wine with complex character


Sophia is soft and smooth like a woman’s touch and unexpectedly bubbly. Do not let Sophia’s whimsical nature fool you, she is a serious wine that stands on it’s own. This wine pairs well with food and but can be enjoyed alone. This sparkling wine is made with Pinot Blanc, Muscat, and Riesling grapes.


Coppola Wine - Sophia Cork

Flavor Profile

The wine is crisp, slightly sugary, but very refreshing with an acidic finish.   I tasted cream, stone fruit and crisp pears.  I drank two glasses in a row and did not get the back of the throat sugar taint that I get from some sparkling wine with a Muscat and Riesling mixture  I also liked the level of bubbles in the wine, just enough to be interesting without taking over the palate.


Copola Wine -  Sophia is Bubbly

Food Pairings

I enjoyed a cheese pairing with the Coppola Sophia wine. Specifically the wine went really nice with the blue cheese.  The light and semi-sweet/semi-acidic nature of the wine counterbalanced the full mouth assault of the rich blue cheese. The bubbles also made the blue cheese turn from a tough gangster to soft  teddy bear.

Coppola Wine - blue cheese


I also enjoyed this wine with kettle chips, a creamy salmon spread with a smoked salmon garnish, and some Thai curry rolls. 


2012 Director’s Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir


Coppola Wine - Diretor's Cut Pinot Noir

Coppola Wine – Director’s Cut Pinot Noir


This wine is born of two regions, Carneros and Russian River. The Carneros region is cool, providing a Pinot Noir with  soft berry and spice  flavors.  The rest of the grapes are grown in the warmer Russian River (inland) region,  resulting in a more robust and complex flavor profiles. Together these grapes create a wine of sensitive character moody edges.

Flavor profile

I tasted the typical flavors of soft red berries and floral notes, although the flavor unfolded to be complex with some dark cherry notes, mulling spice and a little leather at the finish.

Coppola Wine -  Director's Cut Pinot Noir Poured

Coppola Wine – Director’s Cut Pinot Noir

Food Pairings

I paired the Coppola Pinot Noir with my almond crusted goat cheese ball recipe. Although Pinot Noir does not normally pair well with strong stinky soft cheeses, like goat cheese, this blend of Pinot Noir did remarkably well. The nuts with the goat cheese added another flavor layer to the pairing. 


Recipe Crusted Goat Cheese with Beets and Tangerines

Recipe Crusted Goat Cheese with Beets and Tangerines



 2012 Diamond Collection – Black Label Claret

Coppola Wine - Claret

Coppola Wine – Claret


The term Claret, is a  British term that was used to describe wine made in the Bordeaux style wine. The Coppola Claret is made with a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Since I am a big fan of bold wines, this was my favorite.   For me this wine is a little more intense than the softer French Bordeaux. This wine stars the California Cabernet Sauvignon  and the other grapes are just supporting actors.


Coppola Wine -  Claret Poured

Flavor profile

I tasted a complex range of flavors from dark berries,  dry raisins, earth and a hint of chocolate covered espresso beans ( you know the flavor).  The wine graduated from a  full body at the beginning and finished soft.

Food Pairings

I really enjoyed this wine with a hard Dutch cheddar and the goat cheese.  The wine had enough umph to play alpha dog with these two cheeses. This wine  is definitely the Godfather of the three wines.

Coppola Wine -  Hard Cheddar and Goat Cheese are not match for the Claret
Coppola Wine – Hard Cheddar and Goat Cheese are not match for the Claret


The Claret tasted really good with the leftover ribs and  smoked buffalo wings from the BBQ joint I visited the night before. This wine would go well with any grilled meat, especially a steak or a big fat cheeseburger!



Coppola Promotion at Vons and Pavilions 

The promotion at Vons and Pavilions ends April 1st, so this is a good time to stock  up on some Coppola wines for cheap. We picked up a case of wine and saved 40% with the 30% off and bonus 10%  “six bottle or more” discount.




This is how the price breakdown looks with the discount:

Claret: reg. $19.99, on sale (1 bottle) $13.39 (any 6 bottles mix & match) $12.85

Pinot: reg. $21.99, on sale (1 bottle) $15.39 (any 6 bottles mix & match) $13.85

Sofia: reg. $18.55, on sale (1 bottle) $12.99 (any 6 bottles mix & match) $11.69

This is a good deal for great wine in my opinion.  Life is too short to drink wines with animals on the label. You are better off getting one of these wines than the Toasted Head  that made it’s way into your shopping cart last week.

Peter Dills, famous food reporter on KABC radio,  is hosting “Taste Before You Buy™” events at Southern California Vons and Pavilions. You will be able to try out these Coppola wines for yourself. The final Orange County tasting will be at the Newport Beach Pavilions at San Miguel on Sunday from 3-5:30 pm. The sale ends  April 1, 2014.




Disclosure – Keeping it real

I was provided  the three bottles to enjoy.  The review and opinions are purely my own and not induced. If any of the wines were bad or not up to snuff, I would not have either skipped the review or  called out their shortcomings.  In the nature of disclosure, Coppola Winery is one of my wine crushes before I tasted these bottles. With that said, the wines met my high expectations and I ended up purchasing extra to stock up.

About Tom Holmberg

Tom grew up in a cultural diverse neighborhood and a culturally diverse family, so he has learned to appreciate all types of food. "I am not a Chef, nor do I play one on T.V., but I have learned to appreciate food from years of eating and cooking." Tom also spent 10 years in the restaurant industry in various roles, from Prep Cook to server.


  1. Thanks for the lesson o this wine. I have heard it really is a good wine!

  2. I usually end up getting cheap wine because I really am not that educated on wine. Thanks for some insight and on pairings

  3. Great write up and entertaining at the same time!

  4. I typically don’t drink, but when I do, I tend to like the sweet wines and mixed drinks. Your pairings with the wines sound great!

  5. What a lovely pairing.. I really dont know how to choose wines but this post clear me up and i will use this to choose those cheap wines. i could use it for a simple occasion 😉

  6. I loved the “tough gangster to soft teddy bear” line! Great review of these wines.

  7. This is the second time today I have seen something about these wines. They must be really good. I will absolutely have to check them out.

  8. Wow, great recipe with wine. I would like to have all of these in my menu.

  9. I agree Life is too short for cheap wine! Great pictures here.

  10. I love the post! You have got skills! Your writing is so funny and makes me smile as I read through with your creative descriptions:)

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