On Wine



Meet the Press

by Fred McMillin

The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Wine Spectator Magazine, etc., all recommend wines. My students ask which are best, so sometimes we taste a number of them to see which are as good as the words in print. If both the press and the class give a bottle high marks, we call it a DOUBLE KUDO wine, and put it on our "most wanted" list. Here are the latest, with the best wine listed last.


Double Kudo Wines

The class rated these "GOOD."

Rank   Wine
9th - Kendall-Jackson California Chardonnay, $10. N.Y. Times: "popular, mass-marketed Chardonnay."
8th - Desert Wind Bare Naked Washington Chardonnay (bare refers to no oak), $15. Wine Spectator: "Bright and zingy...89 points."
7th - Shenandoah Vineyards Sierra Foothills Sauvignon Blanc, $10. S.F. Chronicle: lively "lime, vanilla, coconut."
6th - Cycles Gladiator California Pinot Grigio, $11. Houston Chronicle: "3-1/2 stars."
5th - Fetzer Valley Oaks Gewurztraminer, $9. Northern California review: "2 WOWS."
4th - G. Meurgery Vouvray, Boisset Imports, France, $11. Sam Gugino (Wine Spectator writer): "Good with Mexican food."
3rd - Peju Provence Carnival, $14. L.A. Times: Light red "delicious with chilled lobster."

The class rated these "CLASSIC."

Rank   Wine
2nd - Hanzell Sonoma Chardonnay, $50. N.Y. Times: "Hanzell Chardonnays stand with California's best...with an emphasis on minerality and lively acidity."
1st - Joseph Phelps Napa Valley INSIGNIA, $165. Robert Parker, Jr.'s Wine Advocate: "The 1992 has...extravagant fruit on the attack and a voluptuous palate."


The BEST BUY was the $9 Fetzer Gewurztraminer. The BEST WINE was the Insignia, which is good enough to realign the planets.


And a Final Wine Smile

For an article, I once sipped and photographed a tasting of French wines conducted in London by the renowned Harry Waugh. Tidbit: When asked if he had ever mistaken a Burgundy for a Bordeaux, he replied, "Not since lunch!"


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.


Copyright © 2007, Fred McMillin. All rights reserved.


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This page created February 2007

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