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Copyright © 2016
Forkmedia LLC


by Fred McMillin
for January 2006



Try a Good New Wine For the New Year


Queen of Hearts, Lost Block, High Altitude!! What are they?

Among so many new labels popping up on the wine shelves, these are some of the wineries that made wines which my students found to be not only new, but VERY GOOD. We hope a few are new and pleasing to you, too. The highest-scoring bottle is listed last.

• High Altitude Red—A blend from Argentina of their favorite varietal Malbee with the world's favorite red varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon. Imported by Pasternak, it's a $10 bargain.

• Red Bicyclette Syrah—French-growm grapes produced a full-flavored Syrah for only $12!

• Lost Block Shiraz—Australia's favorite varietal made by the venerable Tyrrell's Winery for an affordable $14.

• Writer's Block Santa Barbara Pinot Noir, also only $14.

• Shooting Star Zinfandel from underrated Mendocino County at $12.

• Five Rivers Central Coast Merlot—Watch this label. Very promising. Only $10.

• McMurray Ranch Pinot Noir—From the ranch once owned by actor Fred McMurray, this is classic Russian River Valley Pinot. The winery destems the grapes but does not crush them. You can taste the velvety result. $32

Oh yes. About the Queen of Hearts. It's a new $10 line made by Santa Barbara wine whiz Daniel Gehrs. We have not yet had time to taste them, but we have great expectations. For more, phone (707) 543-8199.


Postscript: A Wine Smile

Taxi! Taxi!!—In 1972 I managed to get behind the Communist Iron Curtain. I flew into Budapest, Hungary, in order to go to Tokai to see the vineyards that for centuries have produced one of the world's greatest dessert wines, Tokaji Aszu. Alas, I found the only way to get there was by taxi. Fare would be ONE HUNDRED dollars. I gulped, paid it, and had a fine trip. Back in my hotel room, I heard a knock on the door. Who was there but my taxi driver?? Behind him were two very large soldiers with even larger guns. My driver announced that the fare was $100 EACH WAY! I looked at the three grim faces—and paid it.

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at either San Francisco State University or San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.




This page created January 2006

Copyright © 2006
electronic Gourmet Guide, Inc.