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2000 Labégorce, Margaux $39.99

A great value in Bordeaux! This bottle is mature enough to drink now, but has time in hand if you want to keep it in the cellar for the future. We love it for its laid back elegance and classic balance. A must try for your next nice steak dinner.

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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.  

 

Free Spirits Tastings at K&L! Now that we have our license for spirits tastings in Redwood City and San Francisco, we’re excited to host regular free spirits tastings in those locations.  Check the Spirits Journal for an updated tasting schedule.

All tastings will feature different products from the Spirits Department and take place on Wednesdays in Redwood City and San Francisco. Visit our events page on Facebook or the K&L Spirits Journal for more information.

>>Upcoming Special Events, Dinners, and Tastings

See all K&L Local Events

Archives
Monday
Mar172014

Islay: The Wave, Fine Dining, & Alluring Beauty

As we approach Islay on the ferry, I am sitting with the wind still stinging my cheeks and my hair in much worse shape than Kate Winslet's (David's Leo impression was stunning). I can see why people talk with such reverence about the island. It rises like a monolith out of the fog, barren and wind scoured. It hardly seems suitable for people to live on, let alone produce some of the finest malts in the world.  Islay is so much more than Scotch though, it is a ruggedly beautiful backwoods, as well as surprisingly cultured and friendly.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Mar152014

Kilchoman: The True Craft Distilery 

We just got back from what I think is the only major producer in Scotland that can truly call itself a craft distillery. From its very inception in 2005 by Anthony Willis, all the pieces of the puzzle have fit together perfectly to create some amazing whisky on a legitimately small scale. Anthony came from a career in the world of independent bottlers. He's had good whiskey from just about everywhere and knows exactly what he wants to create. He was smart enough to hire John McLellan from Bunnahabhain to do the distilling and between these two men they have created some of the most exciting Single Malt I have ever had. And they are getting better at it.

Kilchoman is a farm-to-still operation on a small and personal level. Situated on Rockside Farm which supplies the barley for their 100%-Islay expression (they also buy barley from nearby Port Ellen for their standard releases), all the barley is hand-malted on the Kilchoman distillery floor the old fashioned way and that lends a sense of place to the dram. The whiskey is made from just the one property and it tastes like Islay. Both their ultra small productions like the 100% Islay and their "larger" run products have been great and are continuing to improve.

Most notably, Kilchomans' 2007 Vintage release recently won the Islay Whisky of the Year award from the Whisky Advocate. I am so happy to see a small distillery who takes so much pride in what they do get the recognition that they deserve. And they are small – the smallest on the island with just 120,000 of liters a year of production, compared to the second smallest in Ardbeg who pumps out close to 1.5 million liters a year. Their distillate is authentically made and hand crafted to a quality that puts itself into a league of its own. All of their releases have been so good, and like anybody who is so so dedicated to their craft they are continuing to improve. 

Practice makes perfect as they say and the folks from Kilchoman, tucked into the hillside of Rockside farm, are getting better and better at what they do. On our visit this morning Anthony spoke excitedly about two things; how they were becoming more practiced at making whiskey, leading to better quality and more of it (great for us thirsty fans) and how excited he was that his single malt was being so widely accepted. He spoke about seeing the smiles on his customers faces and how he took pride in making quality spirit for the passionate enthusiast. All I could think about was our K&L customers, because that is who we cater, too: people who care about what they are drinking. 

Good Scotch, made by well intentioned, talented people who want to cater to discerning customers. That is the perfect combination for success as far as I am concerned, and I cannot tell you how glad we are at K&L to have such passionate customers to bring these to. There are two new offerings due in later this year, and two single casks that we chose exclusively for K&L sitting on the shelf right now. I'm so excited!!

-Kyle Kurani
Friday
Mar142014

Nectar Rose: Playing With Higher Dosage in French 75's

The Moet & Chandon "Nectar Imperial" Rosé Champagne is one of only a few demi-sec rose's.

This past Tuesday, Cinnamon and I opened a bottle of Moet & Chandon "Nectar Imperial" Rosé Champagne ($59.99) to try it out. We rarely drink higher dosage Champagne, and I honestly have never opened a demi-sec rose at home. This very full bodied rose Champagne had sweetness on the level of a Lillet or a white Port, and on its own as the aperitif was too heavy for us. Tasting it on its own made me think- how would this work as part of a high quality Champagne cocktail? Could the high quality cane sugar that has spent months marrying with the wine act as a better sweetener than an added simple syrup or agave nectar? Would it be too much? Would it be too little? After we were done mixing, we were left with one of the best French 75’s I have ever had.

 

In September of 2012 I posted a piece on French 75’s here, just as I was starting to learn to relax and enjoy a Champagne cocktail. For many years I had been too uptight to drink any kind of Champagne cocktails, but have since been making up for lost time. I thought that a person who had a true passion for the best in Champagne would never drink a mixed Champagne concoction. Because of this silly belief I missed out on a lot of good drinks and good times. 

Here is our original recipe:

French 75

2 parts Ferrand 1840 Formula 90 proof Cognac

1 Part Fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 Part simple syrup

2 parts Champagne (Blanc de Blancs if you have one open)

Lots of fresh ice

Lemon rind for garnish

We use an ounce per part for ours- and that makes a pretty big aperitif.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add the cognac, lemon juice and simple syrup. Shake thoroughly and pour into a rocks glass filled with more fresh ice. Top with Champagne, and stir if you like (I do!) finally garnishing with lemon rind.

Using the Moet & Chandon "Nectar Imperial" Rosé Champagne did indeed allow  us to use less simple syrup, and resulted in a more adult, complex and balanced drink. I think this is down to the extraordinary quality of the sugar in the dosage and the complete integration into the Champagne that it is treated to. I am sure that this would be improved further with the use of Hennessy "Black" Cognac ($29.99)- I was out and used some Armagnac instead. This was the final recipe:

Demi-Sec Rose French 75

2 oz. Armagnac

1 oz. Fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice (make sure to take a strip of zest off for garnish before juicing)

1 teaspoon simple syrup

3-4 oz. Moet & Chandon "Nectar Imperial" Rosé Champagne

Lots of fresh ice

Lemon rind for garnish

Follow the steps in the original recipe.

My favorite French 75 yet...

This great cocktail has made me want to experiment more with Champagne cocktails utilizing higher dosage Champagnes. I am planning on using Michel Loriot "Marie-Leopold" Sec Champagne ($34.99), Moet & Chandon "Ice Imperial" Champagne ($56.99) and the Baron Fuente Demi-Sec in future concotions… Check back for more!

A toast to you!

Gary Westby