On Wine


Learning Your ABCs, Part II (Red Wines)


by Fred McMillin

On Wine reader Dr. Benjamin Maeck says he's a member of the ABC club (Anything But Cabernet) and asks what other red wines my students at S.F. City College prefer. Those getting the most smiles are Merlot (Native of Bordeaux), Pinot Noir (Native of Burgundy), and Zinfandel (Native of Italy or near Italy). So we reviewed the class's voting 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.

[Note: Learning Your ABCs, Part I was about Anything But Chardonnay.]

On Wine: Rankings
Anything But Cabernet
8th Pinot Noir Cycles Gladiator, Central Coast, 2005, $14
7th Merlot Joseph Phelps Winery, Napa Valley, 2002, $40
6th Pinot Noir Bogle Vineyards, Russian River Valley, 2004, $13
5th Zinfandel Napa Ridge Winery, Napa Valley, 2005, $12
4th Pinot Noir Artesa Winery, Napa-Carneros Estate, 2005, $40
3rd Pinot Noir Gary Farrell, Russian River Valley, Rochioli-Allen Vineyards, 2004, $65
2nd Pinot Noir Handley Cellars, Mendocino County, 2004, $20
1st Zinfandel Grgich Hills Winery, Napa Valley, 2004, $30


One Merlot, two Zinfandel and FIVE Pinot Noir winners! The Wall Street Journal praised the "lush and rather powerful California Pinots." Clearly my tasters agree.


A Final Wine Smile

I avoid all politics in my classes. However, Will Rogers' classic observation always brings a chuckle to my students. "I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat!"


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 March 2008

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