Our philosophy is simple: we keep the brands you know and love in stock, while promoting lesser-known but equally well-respected vineyards. With so many different varieties of wine we invite you into the store to speak with one of our knowledgeable wine consultants. To start you off with a few ideas, check out our featured wines to the right.
One of the best ways to sample many different wines and get a feel for what each one offers is by doing a side-by-side tasting. Our in-store tasting room (above) can accommodate up to 14 guests at a time, though we also offer private tastings. To schedule a tasting in the store, or at your home or party please contact us.
Types of Wine
Food-wine pairing: Dry versions go well with fish, chicken and pork dishes.
Districts: The classic German grape of the Rhine and Mosel, Riesling grows in all wine districts. Germany’s great Rieslings are usually made slightly sweet, with steely acidity for balance. Riesling from Alsace and the Eastern USA is also excellent, though usually made in a different style; equally aromatic but typically drier (not sweet). California Rieslings are much less traditional, usually sweet and lacking in acidity for balance.
Typical taste in varietal wine: Rieslings are much lighter than Chardonnays. The aromas generally include fresh apples. The Riesling variety expresses itself very differently depending on the district and the wine-making. Rieslings should taste fresh. If they do, then they might also prove tastier and tastier as they age.
Chardonnay was the most popular white grape through the 1990’s. It can be made sparkling or still.
Food-wine pairing: It is a good choice for fish and chicken dishes.
Districts: Chardonnay is the principle white wine of Burgundy (France), where it originated. Chardonnay is grown with success in most viticultural areas under a variety of climatic conditions.
Typical taste in varietal wine: Chardonnay is often wider-bodied (and more velvety) than other types of dry whites, with rich citrus (lemon, grapefruit) flavors. Fermenting in new oak barrels adds a buttery tone (vanilla, toast, coconut, toffee). Tasting a Californian Chardonnay should give citrus fruit flavors, hints of melon, vanilla, some toasty character and some creaminess.
Food-wine pairing:A versatile food wine for seafood, poultry, and salads.
Districts: New Zealand produces some excellent Sauvignon Blancs. Some Australian Sauvignon Blancs, grown in warmer areas, tends to be flat and lack fruit qualities. Of French origin, Sauvignon Blanc is grown in the Bordeaux district where it is blended with Semillon. It is also grown extensively in the upper Loire valley where it is made as a varietal wine.
Typical taste in varietal wine: Generally lighter than Chardonnay — Sauvignon Blanc normally shows a herbal character suggesting bell pepper or freshly-mown grass. The dominating flavors range from sour green fruits of apple, pear and gooseberry through to tropical fruits of melon, mango and blackcurrant. Well-made un-oaked Sauvignon Blancs will display smokey qualities; they require bright aromas and a strong acid finish and are best grown in cool climates.
Perhaps the world’s most versatile wine grape, making everything from blush wine (White Zinfandel), to rich, heavy reds.
Food-wine pairing: Depends on the freshness/heaviness of the wine; tomato-sauce pastas, pizza, and grilled and barbecued meats.
Districts: Only found in California.
Typical taste in varietal wine: Often a zesty flavor with berry and pepper.
Shiraz or syrah are two names for the same variety. Europe vine growers and winemakers only use the name syrah.
Food-wine pairing: Meat (steak, beef, wild game, stews, etc.)
Districts: Shiraz excels in France’s Rhône Valley, California and Australia.
Typical taste in varietal wine: Aromas and flavors of wild black-fruit (such as blackcurrant), with overtones of black pepper spice and roasting meat. The abundance of fruit sensations is often complemented by warm alcohol and gripping tannins.
Easy to drink. Its softness has made it an “introducing” wine for new red-wine drinkers.
Food-wine pairing: Any will do.
Districts: A key player in the Bordeaux blend, Merlot is now also grown on the US West Coast, Australia, and other countries.
Typical taste in varietal wine: Black-cherry and herbal flavors are typical. The texture is round but a middle palate gap is common.
Widely accepted as one of the world’s best varieties. Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with Cabernet Franc and Merlot. It usually undergoes oak treatment.
Food-wine pairing: Best with simply-prepared red meat.
Districts: Cabernet Sauvignon is planted wherever red wine grapes grow, except in the Northern fringes such as Germany. It is part of the great red Médoc wines of France, and among the finest reds in Australia, California and Chile.
Typical taste in varietal wine: Full-bodied, but firm and gripping when young. With age, rich currant qualities change. Bell pepper notes remain.
One of the noblest red wine grapes — difficult to grow, rarely blended, with no roughness.
Food-wine pairing: Excellent with grilled salmon, chicken, and lamb.
Districts: Makes the great reds of Burgundy in France, and good wines from Austria, California, Oregon, and New Zealand.
Typical taste in varietal wine: Very unlike Cabernet Sauvignon. The structure is delicate and fresh. The tannins are very soft; this is related to the low level of polyphenols. The aromatics are very fruity (cherry, strawberry, plum), often with notes of tea-leaf, damp earth, or worn leather.