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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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Drink Your Way Through the 2008 Tour de France

Join me in toasting this year’s Tour de France by drinking the wines from the regions the men of the Tour race through. The first two stages in Brittany are too cold for quality wine growing, but on the third stage, the tour finishes in Nantes, the famous city of Muscadet and oysters. While the big sprinters of the tour clash elbows during the finale of this pan-flat stage, we can enjoy the 2006 Domaine de la Pépière "Vieilles Vignes" Clos des Briords Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie ($13.99) with a big platter of Huître plate raw oysters! The bone dry, super racy Muscadet is the perfect pairing for the richness of oysters, and in my opinion this is the next best thing to being there to see Cavendish, Hushovd, McEwan and Friere fight it out for the stage victory. Our next noteworthy stage does not come until July 14—Bastille Day. The riders will encounter the first serious mountain of the tour—the much feared mountain-top finish of Hautacam. This is the mountain that laid the foundation for Bjarne Riis’s win in 1996 and Lance Armstrong’s win in 2000. The riders will pass very close to the vineyards of Limoux on this stage and we should celebrate with 2005 Cremant de Limoux, Antech "Cuvee Eugenie" ($13.99). This is the “other” sparkling wine producing region in France; they say that they invented the stuff here while the Champenois were making still wines for the court of the king. Since they are closer the cork supply that is vital to trapping the C02 in the wine, they certainly have some evidence on their side. Since I am predicting that Damiano Cunego will win the stage at Hautacam, I will be making a bubbly cocktail with a shot of the Italian Aperol Aperitivo Liqueur ($17.99) and an orange twist! Start with a rocks glass full of ice, add one and a half ounces of Aperol, and fill with Cremant de Limoux. Finish the drink with a twist of Orange and toast a victory by the “Little Prince.” If you prefer to support Christian Vande Velde or another American, you can substitute the Italian Aperol for the delicious all-American Quady Vya Sweet Vermouth ($9.99 /375ml) and wave the flag. The Tour then heads west along the bottom of the country, passing through the bulk wine producing areas that are in the most trouble in France. Stage 12 on Thursday the July 17 features a hot-spot sprint in Thezan-des-Corbieres, home of the refreshing, vivacious 2007 Corbières Rosé Domaine Sainte-Eugénie ($12.99)—a perfect match with big salad topped with some oil-packed tuna. If English rider Cavendish can finish the stage to Hautacam, he will be hard to beat on this almost completely flat stage! The very next day, Stage 13 ends in the famous wine town of Nimes and another bunch gallop for the fast men. While watching the days stage, a bottle of 2007 Costières de Nîmes Blanc, Château L'Hermitage ($10.99) will cool you off and get you ready for the weekend with a blend of roussanne, grenache blanc and viognier. On Tuesday, July 22, Stage 16 will take the riders over some brutal climbs: the above category ascents of Col de la Lombarde and the Col de la Bonette-Restefond on the way out of the Tour’s side trip to Italy. I am hoping for an all-day break from up-and-coming climber John Gadret, who was born in the town of Moussy in Champagne and worked for K&L’s own Champagne Bruno Michel before he got his pro-tour contract. The start town of Cuneo is only a stone’s throw from Dogliani in Piemonte, the true home of one of my favorite Tuesday night varietal: dolceto! There is a famous story that planting anything but dolceto here was a crime punishable by death… Perhaps a bit harsh, but this area is rather well-suited to that most refreshing of red wine grapes. I recommend preparing a simple risotto with leftovers and drinking a bottle of the fabulous old vine 2006 Anna Maria Abbona Dolcetto di Dogliani, Sori dij But ($16.99) while the contenders are separated from pretenders on the steep roads of the alps! If Gadret wins I’ll make Tuesday a two bottle night and pop open the newly-arrived 2000 Bruno Michel Cuvée Clement Blanc de Noir Brut ($54.99). This wine is from a 70-year-old plot of meunier vines in the young man’s village and is one of the biggest, most impressive Champagnes that we have at any price. I guess I better get one in the fridge now in case Gadret decides to win earlier! The next stages go through the wine-wasteland of the Alps and into the Massif Central, giving us a little break from the bottle. When the Tour heads for Paris on July 27 for Stage 21 on the Champs Elysees, there is only one drink to have—Champagne to toast the victors. An overall win by the great Spaniard Valverde or Italian Cunego will not make me switch to Cava or Prosecco! I will be drinking the aforementioned bottle of Bruno Michel Cuvée Clement Blanc de Noir Brut ($54.99) in the fridge no matter what… If Gadret wins and makes me pop it earlier, it will be quickly replaced by a bottle of Bruno Michel Blanche Brut ($32.99), the refreshing and surprisingly authoritative entry level bottle by the same producer. My bet for this last stage is Gadret’s teammate Gilbert, who has been having a great season this year and is just the type to disappoint the sprinters by taking off in the final kilometers of the race. A toast to you and le Tour! —Gary Westby

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