On Wine


California Wines Versus THE WORLD!


by Fred McMillin


On Wine reader Simone L. asked how well affordable California wines score against bottles of the same varietal and price from any other part of the WORLD. In our Ft. Mason classes we've made such comparisons with wines from 10 other countries including France, Bulgaria, Chile, Argentina, Italy, Australia etc. and two states, Oregon and Washington.


Winning Varietals: The Results

Here are our favorites after comparing similar wines (same varietal and price) from California and the World.


California Riesling, Ventana Vineyards, Arroyo Seco, 2008, $18
California Chardonnay, Steele Wines, 2008, $18
World Sauvignon Blanc, Targovishte Winery, Bulgaria, 2006, $8
World Cotes Du Luberon Blanc, Louis Bernard (Boisset), Rhone Valley, France, 2005, $8
World Vouvray (Chenin Blanc), George Meurgey/France/Loire, 2007, $8


World Chianti-Reserva, DOCG/Marchesi di Frescobaldi-Nipozzano (Folio Wines), Italy, 2006, $24
California Pinot Noir, Kenwood Vineyards, Russian River Valley, 2007, $18
World Cabernet Sauvignon, NxNW Wine, Washington, Walla-Walla Valley, 2005, $35
California Cotes Du Luberon Blanc, Louis Bernard (Boisset), Rhone Valley, France, 2005, $8
California Red Blend, Lake William, Jarvis Wines, Napa Valley, 2004, $75
World Malbec, Espiritu de Argentina, Mendoza/Argentina, 2007, $10
California Merlot, Dry Creek Vineyards, Dry Creek Valley, 2005, $19

And a Final Wine Smile

In James Beard's Greenwich Village townhouse, my wife took cooking lessons for eight years, learning classic American dishes, such as Lobster American Style. Then, she wanted to learn French dishes on location, so we headed for Paris where she qualified for classes at the legendary L'Ecole De Cordon Bleu. Yet, when I picked her up after the first lesson, she was rather glum. It seems the chef had taught them how to prepare Lobster American Style!


Tastings: Edgar Vogt
Statistics: 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 September 2010

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