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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The Meticulously Crafted Champagnes of Thierry Thibault

Earlier this year, Gary Westby and I met champagne producer Thierry Thibault at his countryside home in Champagne during the annual K&L Champagne buy trip.  I was excited to finally taste the famous Thibault cuvées— there had been quite a buzz surrounding them since we completely sold out of them the same day we sent the e-mail on the last go around.  

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Alex Schroeder
A Visit to Dragonette Cellars

Sharon and I took our show on the road again, this time visiting Dragonette Cellars and Peake Ranch in the Sta. Rita Hills. My Vans squished in the mud; my hair blew in the wind. Patton poured us tasting samples of their wine, John talked to us about the vines, and I felt that this is the exact reason to love wine—to connect with people and to feel places in your bones.

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Our Finest Library: An Interview with Molly Zucker

If there is one time of the year that we break out our best, it’s December. The china gets pulled out, the silver is polished and those bottles that have been stashed away for special occasion finally get opened. All this decadence got me thinking about our library wines at K&L. Although relatively small, it is perhaps one of the more exciting categories of wines that we sell. These are cult classics, old wines and rare bottlings. These are the really exciting wines that always seem so unattainable, but it turns out, with a little money to spend, they’re pretty easy to get. To find out more, I visited Molly Zucker, our Library Wine Department Director.

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Megan Greene
Prosecco: The Life of the Party

I love this time of year, marked by the chill in the air, sweet smells of baking, and golden bubbles at every occasion. From now until we ring in the New Year, Sparkling wine is the omnipresent backdrop to gathering with friends and loved ones. And while Champagne is great for those splurge-worthy moments and intimate gatherings, Prosecco is really the life of the party. Reasonably priced, Italy’s sparkling wine is a fantastic crowd pleaser. In general, it has a younger, fresher profile than Champagne and is loaded ample amounts of bright citrus and fruit. Its zippy flavors pair well with food and it also makes a great base for festive cocktails.

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Megan Greene
A Conversation with Kent Humphrey of Eric Kent Wines

When you pick up a bottle of Eric Kent wine, you know it. There’s no line drawing of an elaborate château, no fancy script, no coat of arms. What you see is an arresting piece of art or a poem, and, though each label is done by a different artist, there’s a sensibility that connects them. It’s a sense of humor. It’s a sense of whimsy. It’s a sense that you’ve entered a world through an artist’s unique looking glass.

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Fire Relief - Update

Thanks for your interest in our fundraising efforts for victims of the fires in both Northern and Southern California.  Due to the overwhelming response generated by this campaign, it’s taking us a little longer than expected to finish up the organizational details.  We expect to contact everybody involved shortly.  We appreciate your patience, and we appreciate your support of the charitable organizations assisting the fire victims.

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On the Trail