SF Wine Blog

Exploring wine in and around San Francisco.

PREVIEW: Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting

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By Derek Mims

Wine & Spirit Magazine’s Top 100 Tasting is coming up next week, on October 13th.  Over the next few days, we’ll each be posting some of the wineries we’re particularly excited to check out.  We also welcome you to comment and tell us about your favorites too!

Derek’s Picks

Chateau Ste Michelle is one of the best-known and most commonly found Washington State wineries, and offers a lot of good wines at various price levels.  Their Columbia Valley wines are easily recognized, but they also have partnerships with winemakers in Tuscany and Germany making some world-class wines.  They also recently released some neat online wine software to keep track of wines in your cellar and recommend food pairing ideas (check it out at My Chateau).

d’Arenberg is a fairly well-known Australian producer, and many of their Shiraz wines, in particular, are excellent.  Their wines feature fun names and are available at a variety of price points, ranging from “The Stump Jump” series to “The Cenosilicaphobic Cat” (look it up!), “The Laughing Magpie,” and the iconic “The Dead Arm.”

Nickel & Nickel is a great winery to visit at a tasting like this.  They are renown for their single vineyard Cabernets, and tasting a few of these side-by-side can give you a great feel for the effect that terroir can have on wine.  And if we’re really lucky, they’ll bring along some Far Niente Cabernet and/or Dolce late harvest to sample, as well!

Shafer Vineyards probably needs no introduction, nor do you need me to tell you to go try their wines (even if you’ve had them before).  Their blend of Syrah and Petite Sirah, “Relentless,” is one of my all-time favorites.  Note to self: if you want to visit the winery, they are only open during the week, only by appointment, and you need to schedule at least a month in advance.


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