On Wine


Biggest Bargains of 2008 So Far


by Fred McMillin


We taste a lot of wines in our Fort Mason (S.F. City College) classes. Here in alphabetical order are the 15 that were best at pleasing both the palate and the wallet.

On Wine: Rankings
The 15 Best Buys
Beaujolais, $12, Chiroubles, Duboeuf, France, 2006
Bordeaux Red, $9, Baron Philippe De Rothschild, 2005
Cabernet Sauvignon, $10, Five Rivers Winery, Paso Robles, 2003
Chardonnay, $7, Hacienda Vineyards, California, 2005
Merlot, $7, Coastal Ridge, California, 2005
Petite Sirah, $11, Bogle Vineyards, California, 2005
Pinot Grigio, $11, Cycle Gladiator, California, 2005
Pinot Noir, $7, Montpellier, California, 2005
Rhone White, $8, Cotes du Luberon, France, 2005
Riesling, $6, Forestville Vineyards, California, 2006
Zinfandel Rosé, $10, Pedroncelli Winery, Sonoma Cnty., 2006
Sauvignon Blanc, $8, Estrella Winery, California, 2005
Shiraz, $7, Coastal Ridge, California, 2005

The Best Buy of the Whites

  • The $7 Hacienda Chardonnay—Nice vanilla and pineapple overtones.

The Best Buy of the Reds

  • The $7 Montpellier Pinot Noir—Find out why California Pinots are gaining stature: delicious cherry and herb flavors.

So those are the bargains. Now we close with a bit of wine wisdom about...

Our Planet of the Grapes

  • About 10,000 varieties of wine-making grapes have been named. The total will continue to grow without limit by using modern crossbreeding and other methods. —Principles of Wine-making, U. of California, Davis
  • North America is a native habitat of more than 70% of all the grape species of the world (wine-making and non-wine-making). —General Viticulture, U. of California, Davis

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 August 2008

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