On Wine



Learning Your ABCs

by Fred McMillin

On Wine reader Joe Lorentz says he's a member of the ABC club (Anything But Chardonnay) and asks what other white wines my students at S.F City College prefer. Those getting the most smiles are Sauvignon Blanc (next to Chardonnay in California acreage), Pinot Gris (a.k.a. Grigio), and Gewürztraminer. So we reviewed the class's voting in the eight times we matched the trio, and here are the results. The highest-rated wine is listed last, so the further you read, the better the bottle.

On Wine: Rankings
Anything But Chardonnay
8th Pinot Gris Sunset Cellars, Potter Valley, 2003, $14
7th Gewürztraminer Kenwood Vineyards, Sonoma Valley, 2006, $11
6th Gewürztraminer Bargetto Winery, Monterey County, 2005, $14
5th Sauvignon Blanc Bogle Vineyards, California, 2005, $9
4th Gewürztraminer Fetzer Vineyards, California, 2005, $9
3rd Gewürztraminer Kenwood Vineyards, Sonoma County, 2005, $11
2nd Gewürztraminer Fetzer Vineyards, California, 2005, $9*
1st Sauvignon Blanc L de Lyeth, Sonoma County, 2005, $11


Results Wow! A slam dunk for Gewürztraminer! "Gewurz" means "spice" in German, so we conclude that at the Fort**, Extreme Spice Is No Vice.


As For the Other Two...

Joltin' Joe Di Grigio: Even though Pinot Grigio (Gris) is very trendy, it didn't have enough jolt for the students.

Sauvignon Blanc: Some love it, some leave it. It usually has a hint of grass, which can be an asset (5th & 1st places), but Extreme Grassiness Is No Virtue!


A Final Wine Smile

A wine writer in a major West Coast newspaper criticized a new wine book for its numerous misspellings, without noticing that in the body of the review HE misspelled Gewürztraminer!


* (different tasting than 4th)

**(Fort Mason, where I conduct my wine classes.)


Fred McMillin

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He was voted one of the U.S.A's 22 Best wine writers by the Academy of Wine Communications. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.


Copyright © 2008, Fred McMillin. All rights reserved.


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This page created January 2008

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