On Wine



Stocking Stuffers

For about $10 you can bring a smile to any winelover's face with one of these...Bottles and Books

by Fred McMillin


The Bottles

During this year's classes we found these labels on good $10 wines. Of course, they are on more expensive bottles too, but those aren't stocking stuffers on my budget! The labels:

* Falling Star—Imported from Argentina by F. Wildrnan. Look for the five dollar Malbec-Merlot blend.

* Big House Wines—By the creative Bonny Doon Winery. If you want a fine pink, Doon does it.

* Quady—Califormia's top producer of $10 dessert wines.

* Shooting Star—Wine wiz Jed Steele's second label. The $12 Chardonnay is a winner.

* Dancing Bull—The Sauvignon Blanc scored well, but there are good reds, too.

* Bulgarian Master Vintners—Very nice $8 Merlot.

* Bogle—Want Cabernet Sauvignon? Get the twelve buck Bogle.

* Dallas Conte—Good reds imported from Chile by Beringer-Blass.

And last, but very far from least...

* Chateau La Paws—Zinfandel master Kent Rosenblum's second label. Also, consider the $10 Syrah.


The Books

Four fine paperbacks that cost between $10 and $15 dollars...

* Greek Salad by Miles Lambert-Gocs

A hands-on odyssey of the wine and food of contempory country Greece, with facinating echos of ancient times. Publisher: Wine Appreciation Guild

* The Boys Up North by Paul Pintarich

A good-humored account of the meteoric rise of the boys north of California...in OREGON! Publisher: The Wyatt Group

* "Evolution is phasing out man's sense of smell."

—From A Natural History of The Senses by Dr. Diane Ackerman. Don't leave your bookstore without it; increased my contemplation of wines. Publisher: Vintage Books.

* Winery Technology and Operations by Dr. Yair Margalit

This book is a gem. For example, you wonder exactly what it means when your bottle's back label says the wine was "fined." The author has six jargon-free pages that tell you why and how it's done. Publisher: The Wine Appreciation Guild. Text consultant: My former boss and Kenwood winemaker, Dr. Robert Kozlowski.



If your budget can handle $25, we suggest Harvesting The Dream, the Rags-To-Riches Tale of the Sutter Home Winery, co-authored by Global Gourmet's own Kate Heyhoe! (along with Sutter Home's alum Stan Hock)


And a Final Gourmet Grin

The above Sutter Home recommendation is totally biased, because the dedication reads in part, "To Fred McMillin, wine scholar and gentleman."

That completes my bragging for 2006.


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 © 2006, Fred McMillin. All rights reserved.


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This page created December 2006

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