by Fred McMillin
for January 22, 1997

Welcome to WineDay, the electronic Gourmet Guide's daily update. Monday through Thursday, WineDay presents a wine profile. Then on Fridays we present the Winery of the Week to take you through the weekend

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A Barefoot Bargain

1994 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley, Limited Edition

Winery of the Week: Beaulieu

1993 Private Reserve Petite Sirah

1995 Chardonnay, Central Coast

1992 Cabernet Sauvignon

1995 Proprietor's Reserve Sauvignon Blanc

A Beginner's Bubbly

Beginners in my S.F. City College (Ft. Mason Division) classes often give low grades to expensive sparkling wines. "Too yeasty.. .too tart" are the common comments. However, here's one they liked. First, though fermented in the bottle, the sediment is removed before it has time to impart dominant yeast flavors. Second, tartness is avoided by using a different grape. Instead of the usual Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer is fermented. This imparts spice and honey, instead of the typical sharper acidity. Yet, the sugar level is low.. barely detectable. In champagne lingo, it is called "Brut." Consequently, the more experienced tasters enjoyed it, too. (They recoil in horror from sparklers with more sugar than the Brut's l%.) So, give it a try, this bubbly for all palates.

1995 sparkling Gewurztraminer, Sonoma County, CA Rosenblum Cellars Alameda County, CA Phone (510) 865-7007 $14

Recommended (particulary with Oriental dishes)

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

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