Food & Drink

Wine thoughts and odd lots

I received a few questions and comments from my last column. My favorite was from Mary of Merced, who wrote, “Happy Anniversary, I’ve enjoyed your column for 11 years and hope to see many more. Cheers!” I’ve enlarged this 10 times, put it in a big beautiful gold frame and hung it in my entry hall with a spotlight shining on it. Thank you, Mary.

One reader asked, “What is your favorite wine?” I get this all the time and my stock answer has always been “The one that’s open.” This is a true statement but not a great answer. Most recently the real answer is Rhone red blends from the Languedoc-Roussillon region in Southern France. There are plenty to choose from in the $10 to $15 price range. For example the 2017 Chateau de la Negly “La Cote” Languedoc is a blend of carignan, syrah, grenache and mourvedre and for $13.99 a steal (”Wine Advocate” rates it at 91-93). Check your local wine shop or go online. I like the website of K&L Wine Merchants in San Francisco.

Monterey, Carmel, Carmel Valley, Paso Robles, Healdsburg, Sonoma, Lodi, Los Olivos, Santa Barbara, Gilroy Stomping Ground, Santa Cruz-Surf City Wineries, Murphys and Sutter Creek all have great wine walks. Here are two more to add to the list; Tin City, south of Paso Robles with 21 wineries, a brewery, a cider house and a distillery. Arroyo Grande has four tasting rooms (Timbre, Phantom Rivers, Verdad and Qupe). A reader asked which one is my favorite. My favorite is Murphys with 21 tasting rooms, good restaurants (Grounds) and a cool park to nap in. A tie for second place goes to Tin City and Lodi.

Speaking of Lodi, congratulations to the Harney Lane Winery for winning the 2018 best winery tour from USA Today Readers Choice Awards. This family owned winery gives a behind-the-scenes look at the winemaking process while tasting wine along the way. Definitely my kind of tour.

October is BevMo’s 5-cent sale which features a mix and match option. This means shoppers can now select any featured wine as their second bottle for 5 cents. In the past, both bottles had to be the same wine. Fifty new wines will be added to the 600-plus wines in the sale.

What’s on Our Table this week is the 2016 McManis Petite Sirah. It was selected a Best Buy from Wine Enthusiast” and given a 94 score from the L.A. Wine competition. It has a full mouth-feel with flavors of rich black fruits, chocolate and a long smooth finish. The SRP is $11 Cheers!

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