by Fred McMillin
First, Catch an Emu
1982—Mark Rafanelli, who grew up with the family Rafanelli Winery, struck out on his own, buying a prune tree orchard near Healdsburg. Joining him were his high school buddy, restaurateur John Grace and another friend, dentist Phil Staley, who became the winemaker.
1994—Alderbrook was a successful white-wine winery, so food and wine connoisseurs Dorothy and George Gillemot bought it. They are members of such prestigious organizations as the Confrerie de la Chaines des Rotesseurs (1248 A.D.) and l'Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Degustateurs (1610 A.D.).
Now you get the idea. Emu fits right in. Few wineries can match the Alderbrook emphasis on pairing food and wine. Each release is accompanied by a Jim May creation. The winery has added reds to their repertoire, and the emu was paired with Zinfandel. Now, today's wine is their third Sonoma Cab. Let's see what Jim matches with a Cab.
Wine of the Day
'96 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County
The emu is a flightless Australian bird which stands tall at over five feet. When last I checked this modest, 30,000-case winery had come in 12th on the list of medals won by a California winery in one year. That's standing pretty tall, too.
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