It is January once again, a time when many folks (myself included) resolve to be better people by making and sticking to a series of New Year’s resolutions. My resolutions this year are modest and I believe completely do-able. In no particular order of importance they are as follows. I will resolve to stretch daily, read the Sunday New York times on a weekly basis, and consume more organically produced food and wine. All of this I believe will make for a more happy, healthy, spiritual and productive me. I will let you know how it goes. On the vinous front, here are a few southern French gems that will help me stick to my resolutions. Did I mention that they are also delicious? 2004 Provence Domaine de l’Attilon (Marselan) Rouge ORGANIC ($8.99) Marselan, a cross between cabernet sauvignon and grenache, is a new grape variety being developed in the Aude and Bouches du Rhone areas of southern France. Vinified for the first time in 2002, Marselan has quickly become a darling of many French wine professionals and consumers. Domaine de l’Attilon’s organic version of this new cepage is bursting with bright, crunchy black currant and cherry fruit balanced by violet floramatics and a vibrant acidity. This deliciously user friendly red is a wine you can feel good about on all levels, as it delivers delicious enjoyment at a fantastic price! 2004 Domaine Beau Thorey VdT “Patus” (Pic St. Loup) ORGANIC ($8.99) Domaine Beau Thorey is a biodynamically run enterprise located in the Coteaux du Languedoc appellation of Pic Saint Loup. Vigneron Christophe Beau describes Beau Thorey as a “human scale winery” of 10 acres, which is just large enough for he and his team to manage and and work though manual viticulture and vinification. The vines here are comprised of grenache and syrah, along with more esoteric varitetals like carignan, aramon, carignan blanc, oeillade, cinsault and alicante. Beau Thorey’s Patus is composed of 100% grenache from the 2004 vintage. This juicy red is bright and chock full of crunchy cherry, hibiscus flower and red beet. Chill this lovely red much like you would a beaujolais and enjoy with grilled tuna or grilled steak sandwiches. —Mulan Chan
It was a cold, rainy, wintry day that December 31st, 1976. Friday we believe. The small store at 209 El Camino Real , Millbrae changed names that day from Ernie’s Wines and Liquors to K&L Liquors (we thank you very much dear friend Ernie VanAsperan). And the rest is history! We started as a “bomber” liquor store (meaning we sold products at prices less than the so-called “Fair Trade” prices of the day, and you had to have a K&L card signed by a staff member to buy alcoholic products). The favored drink of that era was Ancient Age mixed with Lejon Vermouth (i.e. a Manhattan). Now the business is quite a bit different, but we still try to serve our wonderful customers the same way. If it wasn’t for all of you, we would not be here today! And we thank you for that, hope we can go another 30 years. Let’s toast together ... with a Manhattan, of course! —Clyde Beffa Jr and Todd Zucker
We’ve been importing wonderful wines from Maison Champy, the oldest negociant in Burgundy, for several vintages. Since many of us have limited budgets after holiday spending, I’ll focus on some bargains. The 2004 Champy Chardonnay Signature ($14.99) is a favorite of many of our staff. It is made from grapes from Puligny, Meursault and Rully, and is a barrel selection of their best barrels. Its toasty and bright, with richness and toasty oak notes. The 2003 Champy St. Romain ($19.99) is from a little village in the hills, protected from the heat of the summer of 2003, and has lovely minerality. The 2003 Champy Pernand Vergelesses ($20.99) is really a little Corton-Charlemagne, and a great buy! The 2003 Champy Bourgogne Pinot Signature ($14.99) is all from the Cote d’Or, and is rich, with bright black cherry fruit and lots of length. The 2003 Champy Pernand-Vergelesses, “Les Fichots,” 1er Cru ($21.99) is from an east-facing vineyard on the back of the hill of Corton, and is flat out stunning, with blackberry spice notes, an elegant character and nice minerality threading through the wine. Don’t miss this one! Á Santé. —Keith Wollenberg
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