● By Wendy Sipple
Our local wine experts give us even more wine recommendations. Try them for yourself and let us know what you think!
Contributions from Lead Server Chad Stalzer and Mixologist Johan Ericsson
Wine: Boeger Winery, Muscat Cannelli
Characteristics: Aromas of honeysuckle and citrus, sweet-tart flavors of apple, peach and honey. Finishes crisp and tart.
Pair with: Apple Strudel and Apple Cake
Expert Advice: “This wine also pairs well with fruit tarts, fruit salad, and baked apples or pears.”
BIDWELL STREET BISTRO
Contributions from Richard Righton, Owner and Wine Drinker
Wine: Frank Family Vineyards, 2007 Chardonnay
Characteristics: Full-bodied, nice oak, holds up well to most dishes — a Chardonnay for red wine drinkers.
Pair with: Dungeness crab cakes with fresh peach-papaya salsa, summer beans with toasted macadamia nuts, and white peach beurre blanc.
Expert Advice: “I tried this with wine/crab cake combination the other night and it went together perfectly. Flavors were big and fat! This wine is a great example of why we all love Napa chardonnay.”
Contributions from Tista Visconti, Wine Expert
Wine: Tormaresca, 2007 Neperica
Characteristics: Medium-bodied, round and lush. Red berry, light spice, flavors of dark fruit and chocolate.
Pair with: Marinara sauce, veal and pizza.
Expert Advice: “It’s a smooth to the palate wine with great density.”
Wine: Antinori, Santa Cristina Chianti Superiore
Characteristics: Hints of violet and oak with a velvety palate.
Pair with: Poultry, and pastas with red sauce.
Expert Advice: “This wine is for those who like an intense bouquet of fruit.”
WHOLE FOODS MARKET
Contributions from Joseph Kaulbach, Northern California Wine and Beer Buyer
Wine: Kathryn Kennedy Winery, 2008 Sauvignon Blanc
Characteristics: Vibrant and herbaceous.
Pair with: Fresh goat cheese with herbs or shellfish.
Expert Advice: “Made with certified organic grapes, this northern California wine shows the new face of organic winemaking. It is a terrific wine with fresh, grassy flavors.”
Wine: Paso a Paso, Verdejo
Characteristics: Crisp with mineral and melon notes.
Pair with: Fully spiced seafood dishes.
Expert Advice: “Everyone will like this Spanish wine. It is delicate, refreshing, and flavorful; fun for seafood and poultry.”
BACK WINE BAR
Contributions from Jeff Back, Owner
Wine: Staete Landt Vineyards, 2007 Sauvignon Blanc
Characteristics: Grapefruit, kiwi, fresh cut grass and citrus zest.
Pair with: Goat cheese, herbs and tangy citrus salads.
Expert Advice: “This wine is a little more intense than the typical Sauvignon Blanc. From entry to finish, it is round and complex.”
Wine: Banfi Brachetto d’Acqui, Rosa Regale
Characteristics: Light frizzante with lower alcohol, wild strawberries and raspberries with aromatics of fresh flowers and herbs.
Pair with: Dark chocolate, creamy style desserts without too much sweetness, and fruits tarts.
Expert Advice: “If you’re not looking for something too sweet, this wine makes a great aperitif or dessert wine. Light freshness makes it instantly enjoyable even for casual wine drinkers, while lower alcohol makes it perfect to sip by the pool. The theme of this wine is ‘fun,’ and it comes in a beautiful bottle.”
LA PROVENCE RESTAURANT & TERRACE
Contributions from Shane White, General Manager
Wine: Vouvray, 2005 La Craie
Characteristics: Sweet and acidic with mineral notes.
Pair with: Salade de Saumon Grille
Expert Advice: “The creamy style of this dish complements the mineral notes of the wine, which brings out the sweetness of the cucumbers, tarragon and mint vinaigrette.”
BIBA RISTORANTE ITALIANO
Contributions from Vincent Caggiano, Wine Judge and Connoisseur
Wine: Saracco Moscato d'Asti, 2007
Notable characteristics: A light, low alcohol, slightly sweet and frizzante wine.
Pair with: Tiramisu
Expert Advice: “I prefer this refreshingly light and slightly bubbly wine to end a perfect meal over a Port or Cognac.”
Contributions from Ken Musso (Winemaker) and Jesse Mendosa (Chef)
Wine: Due Vigne, 2006 Viognier
Characteristics: Flavors of apricot, peach and nectarine, with a slight honey finish.
Pair with: Sautéed or grilled large shrimp and scallops.
Sommeliers say: “Rhone-style blend of predominately Viognier, with Roussanne and a small amount of Marsanne, offering an exciting alternative to Chardonnay that works wonders with shellfish.”
Wine: Due Vigne, 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon
Characteristics: 100 percent Napa Valley Cabernet, powerfully elegant, shows a complex nose of current, cassis, and ripe plum with a hint of the classic new French oak in which it was aged.
Pair with: Rubino's New York Steak, Rib Eye, and Filet Mignon.
Expert Advice: “Extremely long on flavor and finish. To be enjoyed with the very best red meat selection.”
THE WINE SMITH
Contributions from Shelly Winzeler, Owner
Wine: Cedarville Vineyard, 2006 El Dorado Syrah
Characteristics: Luscious blackberry nose with hints of smoke and cocoa. This is a big, bold Syrah with wonderful fruit and a long, lingering finish.
Pair with: Point Reyes Original Blue cheese, or a smoky Cheddar cheese.
Expert Advice: “I have always been a fan of Cedarville Cab but this 2006 Syrah tops my list. Jonathan and Susan are two of my favorite people who just happen to be fantastic winemakers! They are warm, gracious, down-to-earth people who craft incredible wines. Cedarville is open by appointment only, but easily accessible. Give them a call to experience their wines firsthand.”
Wine: Simone Guisto, 2008 Amador Vermentino
Characteristics: Bright, crisp, and zingy with great acidity.
Pair with: Nearly any fresh seafood, Mexican shrimp cocktail, pasta with crab and shrimp in a cream sauce, and baked Brie with a spicy garnish.
Expert Advice: “Simone Guisto is a small foothill winery owned by farmer Ted Ennis and his winemaker wife extraordinaire, Nancy Steele. Together they strive to seek out unique grape varietals for their production, and this Vermentino a great example!”