red wine

Import Selection: Fonset-Lacour, 1985, Barton and Gustier

The firm of Barton & Gustier has been blending and shipping fine French wines since 1725. They are “negociants-éleveurs”, as well as growers themselves. (their flagship is Chateau Magnol in Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France.) Even though they are based in Bordeaux, they offer an extensive variety of wines from different re­gions of France. Michel Fouchaux… read more »

Cabernet Sauvignon, 1983, Cache Cellars

Caché means “hidden” in French… and I guess it is as good a name as any for this winery. It is located on a remote dirt road west of Davis, California. A great place to be! University of California-Davis has the best enology depart­ment in the country. The cellars were established in 1978, by Charles… read more »

Domestic Selection: Zinfandel, Vineyard Selection 1978, L. M. Martini

One day in 1906, a nineteen-year-old Enology student from the University of Genoa got a bit of advice from his college professor that would change his Life, “If you want to make wine,” he said, “you’d better go back to California. . .experiment by yourself and study.” His name was Louis M. Martini. The story… read more »

Import Selection: Shiraz/Cabernet, 1984, Penfolds

Terms like Koonunga Hill, Coonawarra and Pokolbin most-likely don’t roll off the tongues of wine aficionados like Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino, but someday they will.  Our import selection, if you haven’t already guessed, comes from “down under”. . . Australia. With all the hoopla over the Australian tourist ads here it was time to find… read more »

Domestic Selection: Zinfandel, 1984; T.K.C. Vineyards

This zinfandel comes from a zinfandel specialist. He is one of very few California winemakers who prefer to produce only one kind of wine. In the case of Harold Duffer, his love is zinfandel. But he has more loves than that: he loves his winery in Plymouth, Cal­ifornia enough to commute 487 miles, about twice… read more »

Spoil Mom with Mother’s Day Gift Baskets by Wine of the Month Club

            Bring on the Festivities I love this perfect Mother’s Day basket. Each year I try to make it “cheerier” than the previous year. A little something for everyone, the cheese and cracker lover, the chocoholic, the savory sommelier, and the wine aficionado. Great Mother’s Day gift basket to spoil mom… read more »

Temperature Control for Various Wines

“Dear Paul & Rosemarie, I know that to fully appreciate a wine it must be served at the proper temperature. What are the temperatures for the various types of wine, and how can you tell when the bottle has reached that temperature? They say that reds should be served at room temperature, but in California… read more »

Burgundy vs Bordeaux

“Paul, I joined the club recently. I joined because my knowledge of import wines is zero, and I would like to learn more. How do I identify a Burgundy from a Bordeaux? The label does not always say so. Friends will hand me a glass and tell me what it is. I look at their… read more »

Identifying Varietal Character

“Paul, you refer to varietal character in your descriptions of the wines you fea­ture. I am having difficulty identifying what you are talking about.. I can follow the other parts of your description usual­ly. What is varietal character, and how can I identify it?” – S.O.; San Diego   Varietal character is the organoleptic “character”… read more »

A Tour of San Francisco Wine Country

“Paul, I have to go to San Fran­cisco on business for a week. My wife will be with me. We have never been to the wine country. I intend to schedule a day off and tour. Where do you recommend I go?” – D.H.Ventura; CA For a one day trip, and for a first time… read more »