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Saber Madness at K&L!

We have been chopping off the tops of Champagne bottles as fast as we can drink them- who needs a stopper when you are ready to commit to finishing the bottle! One of our favorites was this magnum ($84.99) of Franck Bonville Brut Rosé that Mellyn expertly decapitated on Christmas Eve. It also comes in regular 750ml ($39.99) and half bottles ($21.99). Olivier Bonville adds 8% Pinot Noir Rouge from Ambonnay superstar Paul Dethune to his top class assembelage of grand cru, estate Chardonnay to create this fabulous rose. This is one of the most elegant, bright, refreshing rose Champagnes that we carry, yet it does not lack red cherry Pinot Noir authority. We can’t get enough- bring another to the block!

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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 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


1998 Señor de Lesmos Gran Reserva Rioja: Affordable Luxury

Grilling the beef after decanting the Rioja!


I love drinking Gran Reserva Rioja. I can’t think of a category that offers such great value- sometimes the prices are so low that they leave me scratching my head. Can you imagine telling your banker that you are going to make a wine, and then wait 16 years before selling it? And then the punch line- it is going to retail for $29.99! It doesn’t seem to make economic sense, but what a great opportunity for those of us who love mature wine!

Cinnamon and I enjoyed a bottle of the 1998 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Gran Reserva Rioja ($29.99) this weekend, and it was nothing short of inspiring. It comes from some of the best plots on this family owned 65 acres vineyard, all of which are farmed without chemicals. The entire property is in Rioja Alavesa, with some higher altitude parcels in El Villar. The vines are planted on chalky clay with a little iron. The Gran Reserva is composed of 85% Tempranillo and 15% Mazuelo and sees thirty months in barrels that are on a 7 year rotation- so less than 15% new oak.

We paired it with the prime tri tip in the picture above, the famous “Fred Steak” from Schwab’s in Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto. This marinated-until-it’s-black cut is ideal with full bodied wines… It is what Cinnamon served me the very first time I came to her place for dinner, and I brought Rioja (and Ridge Zin!) then, so we usually do one or the other each time we enjoy a Fred Steak. On this occasion, Cinnamon also prepared a big batch or roasted beets with Bijou goat cheese, and we had left over paella for our starch from the night before. It was quite the feast!

I love grilling on my little Lodge cast iron hibachi, and it reliably makes great tasting food. Fred steaks call for a lot of vigilance however- the dark marinade makes it hard to see when the steak is giving up its juice. I stood over it with a glass 2002 De Meric "Cuvée Rene Millesime" Brut Champagne, to make sure it didn’t get over cooked. In the meantime, the Lesmos had been airing in the decanter for about an hour.

This tried and true pairing came through again. The Lesmos had a gorgeous vanilla cake nose from the long elevage in American oak, without the dill pickle elements that one sometimes finds from this type of cooperage. It also had lots of ripe, brambly black fruit aromatically, and on the palate. The bouquet was made all the more lovely and complex by savory, leathery elements that were also present in the mouth. The texture was broad, but the finish was focused.  This wine had it all, and I plan on buying a case this week… It is fresh enough to last for many years to come, but totally ready to drink at 16 years old. What more could you want for $29.99? This is luxury I can afford!

A toast to you!

Gary Westby 


Sherry Experiment: Part One

My infatuation with sherry started a little over 4 years ago, at the ripe age of 21 when I was working in the service industry in Philadelphia. The owner/sommelier of the restaurant devoted one particular staff training session to sherry and only sherry.  I was sceptical at first, remembering sherry as a cooking ingredient rather than a drink.  After an introduction to the vast variety of sherry, some information about the solera system and a taste of oceanic Manzanilla, I was hooked. Last October, while I was living in Germany, my infatuation only grew stronger when my boyfriend and I took a trip to Andalucia.  Vibrant, lively, quaint little Jerez was our favorite stop on our tour of the region.

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Home Away From Home

Our home away from home. Thank you Talbott Vineyards.