On Wine


A White Wine Grape Without Borders


by Fred McMillin


"Chardonnay is quite happy to set down roots all over the world. Viticulturists in every corner of the globe, from Australia to California, are clamouring for cuttings."
     Vines, Grapes and Wines by Jancis Robinson


In our City College classes at (Fort Mason Campus), we tasted affordable Chardonnays from many areas, including:

Best Buys
On Wine: Rankings
Affordable Chardonnays
5th Oregon, Willamette Valley, Oak Knoll Winery, 2005, $10, Phone: 800-625-5665
4th Bulgaria, Targovishte Winery (Bulgarian Masters Vintners), 2007, $8, Phone: 707-930-8719
3rd Argentina, Bodega Septima (W.J.Deutsch Impt.), 2006, $10, Phone: 914-273-1221
2nd France, Lanquedoc/Lulu B. (Boisset), 2004, $9, Phone: 800-878-1123
1st California, Monterey County, Five Rivers Winery, 2004, $10, Phone: 800-456-8946
Best Wines
On Wine: Rankings
Affordable Chardonnays
3rd Australia, Angove's Wines (Trinchero Impts.), 2005, $19, Phone: 707-963-3104
2nd France, Pouilly-Fuisse, Maison Louis Jadot (Kobrand), 2004, $25, Phone: 914-253-7740
1st California, Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Vineyards, 2007, $20, Phone: 800-864-9463

If you can't find one of these that you wish to try, fax me at 415-567-4468 for a source.


Global Wine Quiz of the Month

Which One of These Six Facts Is False?

  • 1. Handley Cellar's Milla Handley's great-greatgrandfather was the legendary German brewer Henry Weinhard.
  • 2. Napa's first winemaking grapes came from Sonoma County.
  • 3. Napoleon preferred wine made from the Pinot Noir.
  • 4. Jed Steele of Steele Wines was a basketball star at Gonzaga University.
  • 5. Veuve Clicquot ("Veuve" is French for "widow") was 27 years old when her husband died and she became the the head of a French champagne house, which she built into one of the world's best during the next 62 years.
  • 6. From a book by a major New York publisher: In 1769 the first winemaking in California began when a Franciscan friar, Padre Junipero Serra, rode his white horse into what is now called San Diego and planted cuttings of the Mission grape he had brought with him in his saddlebag.

Answer: The first California wine was made not in San Diego, but farther north at San Juan Capistrano.

Related wines that scored well in my classes at the Fort Mason campus of S.F. City College:

  • 1) Handley Cellars, Pinot Noir, Mendocino County, 2004, $20
  • 2) Story Winery, Mission Wine, Shenandoah Valley, California, 2005, $29
  • 3) Sebastiani Vineyards, Pinot Noir, Carneros District, 2007, $28
  • 4) Steele Wines, Zinfandel, Mendocino County, 2006, $16
  • 5) Clicquot, NV Brut, $40
  • 6) Story Winery, Mission, Shenandoah Valley, California, 2004, $35


I just read a good book on how to avoid procrastination. I'll tell you about it next month.


And a Final Wine Smile

You will get a charge from this final wine smile.

  • Two atoms entered a wine shop.
  • Atom X: I just lost an electron.
  • Atom Y: Are you sure?
  • Atom X: I'm positive.

Tastings: Edgar Vogt
Statistics: Ruby Dequis and Ophie Mercado


Fred McMillin

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for over 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 © 2010, Fred McMillin. All rights reserved.

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This page created May 2010