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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

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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 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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« Update from Bordeaux: 1st dinner, and one to remember! | Main | April’s Picks »

The Fab 5 Getting Primed for Bordeaux at Olivio’s…(4 drinkers, 1 driver)

Intro by Ralph Sands {old man of the Sea at K&L} ….For many years my friend and Chef Gary Maffia has been one of the Bay Area's hidden culinary treasures. His first restaurant “The Barberosa” known for its classic French food was a romantic destination and a fixture in Redwood City/Menlo Park for decades. Olivio’s located at 1316 El Camino Real in Belmont Ca. has a décor that reflects his Italian heritage and his Italian food is just a natural for him; but his Paris training and passion are shining as brightly as ever. For special menu requests be sure to contact Gary directly at 650-596-0878. Below is a note from one of my good customers, Mr. Keith Goldstein who was on my “Taste the Greats of Bordeaux Tour” last September. He is a gourmand who has dined at some of the world's most famous addresses. This note was posted 3-31-06 on the Mark Squires, Wine Bulletin Board on Robert Cheers! Ralph Sands Last night, Steve, Gary and I trudged down the Peninsula to have dinner with our good pal Ralph Sands, the irrepressible Bordeaux specialist at K&L. Ralph is off to Bordeaux on Sunday to taste the 05s; he has the most punishing schedule of tasting over there – but one that I am sure most of us would happily suffer through. What a lucky sod Ralph is – after a week in Bordeaux, he is off to Loire and southern Rhone (tip for BDX lovers –get to know Ralph). Ralph hit a home run again with his restaurant choice – Olivio’s on El Camino in Belmont (yes, really!). Steve and I had dinner on Monday at The French Laundry, so the bar was set pretty high. Well, I will not claim that owner/chef Gary Maffia’s food compared to The Laundry, but I will tell you that it was effin’ delicious and that we had a much more enjoyable time at Olivio’s. Gary (who was trained in France) pulled out all the stops – sourcing wild pheasant, wild venison, fresh morels (in March!), the tenderest of sweetbreads, black truffles and foie gras up the yin yang. It is a down-home, modest place with great atmosphere. Gary treated us like we were at his house; Stan the waiter who tended bar at Le Central in SF for 20 years also had some real stories to tell. A couple of real characters. Onto the wines: 1996 Pavillon Rouge: dead tasty with a big nose of graphite, leather and blackberries. Minerally with lots of fruit; deep and long. Most impressive. 1982 Leoville Barton: We should have decanted this a lot earlier because it was showing very little. Closed, thin and short tonight. Grabbed a sip at the end of the night and it was beginning to open. 1982 Lynch Bages:Gorgeous. Not a big nose, but beautifully balanced with marvelous tannins and soft fruit. Spicy; a classic cab and an excellent Lynch Bages. 1978 Leoville Las Cases: So fresh, fruity, vibrant and still young. Ralph thought this was the best bottle of 78 LLC he had drunk. A glorious nose but frankly not too much going on. 1966 Leoville Las Cases:The older sister of the 78. A nice, fresh bottle with cedar and leather notes but not really a whole lot left there either. 1966 Pichon Lalande: An initial chlorine nose happily blew off quickly. Real gravelly and minerality but a bit flat with a short finish. 1999 Harlan:This gang of Francophiles had to admit that this was delicious and compelling. Remarkably sweet cassis, chocolate, soft and silky. Could use a bit more grip but gave lots of pleasure. 2001 Zind Pinot Gris Clos St. Urbain Rangen SGN:Great acidity should make this improve immensely for a looong time. I think we drank it way too young, but it is a heck of a wine. Fab aromas of melon, pineapple, honey and butterscotch. Not sure, but I think this was an extremely low production – anybody know? The menu prepared with a lot of love and passion by Gary Maffia: Champignon pate with fresh mozzarella and an onion marmalade. Scallop with foie gras torchon on a bed of spinach finished with a splash of Pernod. A twofer risotto: one with sweetbreads, truffles, foie gras and pistachios. And one with pheasant, chanterelles and parmesan. Ravioli with pheasant and truffles served in a sage veal stock with fresh chopped basil. Wild venison au poivre. Cheese plate. Grand marnier soufflé with a fresh berry sorbet. $100 a head. Corkage was a bit less then the Laundry - $10 a bottle! The appropriate generous tip was left. I understand K&L will be sending daily blogs on their trip next week. Footnote: (As wine is of course a subjective form of art, I have to add that while Keith's comments are pretty right on, I was wildly excited about the way the Bordeaux wines showed. 1982 Leoville Barton was perfect, the wine has always had a soft supple texture and is not in the style the estate consistently produces today. The spicy Cabernet from the '82 Lynch Bages was just dead on perfect, as was a bottle of 1978 Lynch that I enjoyed tremendously just last week. Both the Las Cases wines were perfect bottles, reflecting the masculine and linear style of perfect claret. So in short, I was thrilled. The wines showed so clean after breathing with great freshness, elegance and finesse. Exactly why you cellar and drink the wines of Bordeaux)

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