Book Review: What Makes a Wine Worth Drinking: In Praise of the Sublime

With lyrical prose and an ability to write convincingly about inspiration, Theise takes readers on a journey through his life in wine. He doesn’t try to teach about terroir (though he contemplates the topic) or about how to find meaning—he just lets us accompany him as he finds his own passion in a glass.

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A Conversation with Ian Brand, Winemaker & Owner of I. Brand & Family Wines

Ian Brand is one of the hottest rising talents coming out the Central Coast right now. Recently named Winemaker of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle, he is an incredibly passionate winemaker with a vision, not only for his own wines, but for the region as a whole. Wine Enthusiast described him as “innovative, experimental and eager to push the envelope in Salinas Valley and beyond.” He currently has three wine brands, La P’tit Paysan, La Marea, and I. Brand & Family, each crafted to capture the unique beauty of the vineyards, the grapes and the distinctive region. Ian will be pouring his wines this Thursday in our San Francisco store, so I took the chance to catch up with him this week.

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Megan Greene
Second Label Wines: How to Score Big on a Budget

This weekend, we have our first Saturday wine tasting of the year. Aptly, for this belt-tightening time of year, we are sampling domestic value wines under $20. These are wines that deliver the best bang for the buck. Not surprisingly, I noticed many of these wines are second labels to high-end producers. Although they do not share the same name as their illustrious parent wine, these wines often share a similar philosophy, winemaker, and sometimes vineyards or winemaking techniques. Because of this, second labels can be a pretty reliable bet when trying to find a good deal. 

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Megan Greene
Need an Attainable New Years Resolution? How About Wine?

This year, I am all about choosing a resolution that will stick - something that is not only beneficial, but enjoyable. This is the year to follow a passion - to learn more, experience more and dive a little deeper. So, if you’ve had a love for wine simmering, now is the time to dive in. Lucky for you, at K&L we have plenty of opportunities that will allow you to go in depth into the world of wine, and if you sign up to receive emails, most of that info will be sent directly to your inbox (the effort-to-reward ratio is very promising).

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Megan Greene
2016 Vintage Port

It’s not often that we get to write about vintage port. The declaration of a vintage happens only two to three times a decade. The last one was five ago in 2011, which was remarkable year, and has proven to be a hard act to follow. But the wait is over. This past April, on St. George’s Day, a majority of the port houses agreed to declare 2016. Now, this winter, we are just starting to see the bottles hit the shelves. So far, this new vintage is proving equally as stunning, showing both power and finesse with a fresh, elegant profile and beautiful aromatics. 

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Megan Greene
Can Sheep Save the World? Tablas Creek Is Going to Find Out

Happy New Year! I can’t think of a better way to kick off 2019 than to write about what’s going on over at Tablas Creek. They’re still making graceful, seductive Rhône Blends out of Paso Robles, but the way they are thinking about their land strikes me as an essential model for sustainability in California winemaking. They’re going above and beyond organic farming. They are building a complex, self-sustainable world on their 300+ acres, and they’re leaving the land even better than they found it. They’re putting carbon back into the soil to hold more water. They’re adding new species of grasses. They’re minimizing potential risks for fire. And they’re doing it all with sheep.

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Raspberry Blush French 75

The French 75 cocktail dates back, at least, to Harry’s Bar in Paris in the 1900s, but it didn’t appear in print until the Roarin’ 20s, when they knew how to make drinks that packed a punch (apparently this is the only classic cocktail officially born in America during Prohibition). Her’e’s Will’s take, adding festive elements such as pink lemonade, raspberries, and rosé Champagne. It’s downright delicious and is the perfect way to bid adieu to 2018.

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Celebrate with the "Nectar of the Gods,” Sparkling Mead

If you’re looking for something fun and totally different this New Years Eve, you might think about trying sparkling mead. Yes, you heard me correctly, mead. Possibly the oldest alcoholic drink in history, this ancient libation is making a fashionable comeback. It is a drink that was enjoyed by almost every ancient culture from the Greeks, Romans, Vikings, Mayans and Ethiopians. But drinking mead today? It isn’t in our modern conscience. Until recently.

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Megan Greene
Sneak Peek: Peake Ranch Winery

It doesn’t take much convincing to get me venturing On the Trail with Kate on my day off, especially when it means being surrounded by beautiful vineyards, drinking fabulous wines, and connecting with some cool people.

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Sharon Kelly
Dreamy Wines from Jura

Henri Le Roy of Domaine de l'Aigle À Deux Têtes is a shining star in the Jura. His wines, all farmed organically, have that je ne se quois of Jura, but they are approachable and not made in the typical oxidative style. Totally food friendly (plenty of acid), but intriguing and exotic. You’ll keep finding your nose back in the glass, trying to identify what you smell.

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