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The Freewheel line with a couple of English friends.

It takes a lot of beer to keep the wine business running smoothly. Here in Redwood City, we are very fortunate to have a great English style ale producer right in our backyard: Freewheel Brewing Company. The staff of K&L are fictures at our local pub, and it is a rare moment when one of us isn't there having a pint and a bite of their excellent food. We are also lucky enough to be the first place to offer their bottled beer for sale. If you have never had it, the Freewheel Brewing "FSB" Freewheel Special Bitter, California (500ml) is the benchmark in fresh, balanced, smashable ale. We will do our best to keep some in stock for you, the customer too!

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Tasting with Oliver Krug

Upcoming Events

We host regular weekly and Saturday wine tastings in each K&L location.

For the complete calendar, including lineups and additional details related to our events, visit our K&L Local Events on KLWines.com or follow us on Facebook.  

 

Visit our events page on Facebook or the K&L Spirits Journal for more information.

>>Upcoming Special Events, Dinners, and Tastings

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Tuesday
Mar212017

2010 Roederer Blanc de Blancs- Exotic Beauty

Champagne, Ice & Water... All you need is 15 minutes!

Keeping up with the latest releases of vintage Champagne is one of the better parts of the job for me at K&L. Even though I was leaving for Champagne the next day, I had one more thing to taste before I left… And what a treat it was, the 2010 Roederer Blanc de Blancs Brut. I love to preach the advantages of an ice bucket, the quickest, safest and best way to get Champagne cold. By putting the bottle in first, filling it with ice and then with water, you will be ready to go in 15 short minutes. This is much faster than trying to put Champagne in the freezer, which also often has disastrous consequences, as alcohol freezes at a much lower temperature than water.

Blanc de Blancs Champagne has an incredible affinity for raw fish!

I have been working hard at perfecting my sashimi bowls for a number of years now, and I love the way they work with Champagne, particularly Blanc de Blancs. As the best local fish places specialize in western cuts of fish, like Ahi tuna steaks, it makes cutting sashimi slices difficult. I have been leaning towards making spicy tuna poke for most of the fish part of the bowl, and cutting sahimi where my steaks will let me.

This time I made them with big chunks of ahi, homemade mayonnaise, sriracha and a little bit of high quality ponzu sauce. Sigonas, our local produce market, had a great deal on local chanterelle mushrooms, so I decided to use these instead of a Japanese variety. I cooked them in Champagne, and I finished them with a little black truffle butter. The meaty, savory mushrooms were a great contrast to the clean, fresh fish. The only other ingredients needed were some sushi rice and a nice avocado sliced and tossed in some lemon juice. I served the bowls with a side of ponzu marinated cucumber, and homemade kimchi from K&L’s own Phil in key accounts.

The 2010 Roederer Blanc de Blancs Brut was surprisingly exotic, with plenty of white fruit, and even some candied ginger on the very open nose. It was also very toasty and generous, with plenty of the yeasty, baguette quality that so many Champagne lovers can’t get enough of. The color, as my father  (he took all the photos for this piece) pointed out, was silvery and the wine had the minerality and steely cut to match. This vintage is composed of all estate grown, grand cru fruit from Avize and Mesnil. It is given slightly less liquer de tirage at bottling and so has slightly lower pressure than most Champagne. One can usually expect Champagne to be six atmospheres, while this is between 4.5 and 5… But I can’t say I noticed less bubbles. In fact, this had the precise, tiny bead that one would expect from the people who bring us Cristal!

Don’t let this great bottle slip by you just because it isn’t from a famous vintage. I found it to be very intriguing and delicious Champagne, and a worthy follow up to the 2008 and 2009. It drinks very well now, but I expect it should keep until 2030 without any problem at all.

A toast to you!

Gary Westby 

Thursday
Mar162017

Pierre Paillard Dinner! -by Alex Schroeder

The lineup of Champagne!

This article was written by K&L Redwood City's own Alex Schroeder.

Last Sunday I had the great pleasure of joining Gary and Cindy Westby, two of my renowned K&L colleagues, at their home for a Japanese-themed meal paired with the resplendent Champagnes of Pierre Paillard.  With the warm weather, the first late sunset of Daylight Savings Time and the beautiful Grand Cru Champs and Sushi, I was just about awakened from my dreary, rainy-California-winter-induced hibernation.  


The menu for Sunday

To start, we had Paillard’s 2010 “Les Mottelettes” Blanc de Blancs with freshly shucked Humboldt oysters outside on the patio.  This single-parcel, single-vintage gem is quite unusual to see from Bouzy, known for its great Pinot Noir. The very modest 2.6 gram dosage on this Extra Brut allowed the complexity and subtlety of the Grand Cru Chardonnay to shine cleanly alongside the crisp chalky minerality, and made for the perfect accompaniment to the fresh, briny oysters. 

We also tried Paillard’s Grand Cru Rosé, Les Terres Roses, with the oysters.  I’m here to tell you, Rosé Champagne and oysters can be a beautiful thing!  Dosed at the Extra-Brut level 4.5g per liter, the wine was bracing and clean, and the complex fruit was a great contrast to the mollusks.

Next we had lightly smoked salmon sashimi with the 2010 “Les Maillerettes” Blanc de Noirs. The power and roundness of the Pinot Noir was especially evident after the Blanc de Blancs, and given that it was dosed at the exact same 2.6 g level.  The red fruit was intense yet well-balanced and elegant, with a certain salinity that perfectly matched with the smokey salmon, a small corner lightly dipped in soy sauce.   

For the main course we had Maguro bowls, with tuna sashimi, rice, poke, and avocado, along with “Les Parcelles,” Paillaird’s non-vintage Brut.  It poured out an almost onion-skin color and provided the weight and richness to pair perfectly with the Maguro bowls.  Rich fruit flavors of melon, honey and biscuits, with a beautiful citrus acid frame really made the meal come alive.

Finally, for dessert we had freshly baked Madeleine cookies with strawberries and the 2006 vintage “Grand Recolte.”  This blend of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay is also lowly dosed at 2.6 grams per liter, and the ripeness of the vintage was evident with rich, expressive fruit, even a touch of exotic quince.

I have to extend a deep gratitude to the Westbys for sharing such a splendid culinary experience, and with our direct-import grower-producer Champagne pricing, the Paillard lineup is easily available to add to your own next culinary adventure.   Get yours before we run out of stock.  - Alex Schroeder, K&L Redwood City

Saturday
Jan212017

Why Bordeaux?

There is always something new to discover in wine. I love to feel the energy of our young staff here as they explore the new trends in the wine world. It is also wonderful to watch other young industry professionals create new trends on the internet and in hip urban wine bars. Sometimes I wonder; is Bordeaux being overlooked by the new generation? It is not being overlooked here- not while we have Clyde pouring fantastic, comprehensive tastings. It is heartening to see younger people coming for our Bordeaux events here at K&L, but I fear that we are an exception. Perhaps it will take a while for the pendulum of fashion to swing back, but I feel like Bordeaux has lost its place to younger wine drinkers, and I rarely see it featured on wine lists when I am out on the town, especially by the glass.

Why do I find Bordeaux so relevant? First of all, it is one of the few categories of wine that allows a beginner (or for that matter and old hand!) to drink a mature bottle at a reasonable price. In red wine, the only other example that I can think of is Rioja. Why does that matter? Because, simply, one cannot cheat time! We might be able to manipulate young Cabernet to make it soft and sweet enough to drink tonight, or serve a cru Beaujolais with immense up front charm, but it will never have the complexity and layers of a wine that has had time to mature. These mature bottles aren’t all expensive, as I type, we have 11 examples in stock that are 10 or more years old under $30, and 4 of them are less than $15!

Another reason I find Bordeaux so relevant is because of how well it works with food. I think it is the world’s greatest steak wine, with great acidity to cut fat and the perfect balance of fruit and savor to both contrast and mirror the flavors in beef. While other wines are good enough with a wide range of food, Bordeaux has a perfect partner, and creates an occasion in itself when put together with it.

If you haven’t had some in a while, give a bottle of Bordeaux a try… I think you’ll be surprised how much you enjoy it.

 

Gary Westby