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Just add duck crepinettes!

Buying ready to drink 1er cru Burgundy is not easy. For a couple of years I did the Old and Rare wine buying here at K&L and found it easy to find California Cabernet and even Bordeaux from collectors. But Burgundy… Forget it. They had to die, get a divorce or have doctors orders to part with the king of all Pinot Noir! This bottle of 2007 Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret Nuits St-Georges 1er cru Les Boudots ($99) comes direct from the property from our friends at Atherton, and like most of the 2007’s, drinks fabulously right now. This wine showed excellent sweet beet fruit, savory depth, and incredible finesse and length. The tannins are completely resolved, and went perfectly with duck crepinettes from the fatted calf in San Francisco. This is the kind of Burgundy that gets people hooked- you have been warned!!!! –Gary Westby

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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.

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Joe's 2014 Spain travelogue (part 1) Galicia: A different side of Spain


I am, quite possibly, about to blow lots of minds right now with this statement, particularly those who track the weather and most especially anyone living in drought stricken California: It has rained everyday for the last 60 days in Galicia.

No joke. True to soggy winter 2014 form, it has rained everyday since my arrival in Vigo Monday afternoon. While I expected the rain (it's Galicia, after all, the Northwestern portion of Spain where annual rainfall is amongst the highest in the country) what I did not expect was to be told how how often and how much it has rained so far this year. Well, the Gallegos seem to be dealing with the rain in a characteristically non-chalant fashion. So what, we get wet? So what we get soaked?

[A quick note...I have a laptop I'm just getting used to, with a different keyboard layout, and the usual keyboard tricks I know to create accent marks, tildes and such do not work here. Thanks for your patience as I temporarily have some misspellings. Will fix asap....]

For those of you new to this part of Spain, the first thing you need to do is to toss aside the usual Spanish images and scenery. Replace your bull fights, flamenco, sangria and paella with roaming chickens, bag pipes, Albarino and oysters. Then, as far as the scenery, even I was not prepared for the stunning view flying into Vigo from Madrid. While flying into Barajas (Madrid) I saw the snow covered Gredos mountains (home of some of the world's finest Grenache), while prior to touching down in Vigo I was treated to a beautifully contrasting view of dark green pine trees interspersed with the brightest emerald hillsides, and plenty of red clay colored ceramic roofs. I mentioned all the rain, but the sun was actually shining as I looked outside the plane window (don't be alarmed, it quickly clouded over and rained on my way to Cambados, the birthplace of the Albarino grape and home base for the first few days of my trip).

After settling into the hotel and relaxing a bit following the 27 hour journey (shouldn't take this long, but a 4 hour de-icing delay on the runway at Philadelphiade added time, as did my missed connection in Madrid), I ventured out to one of the few spots open on a Monday night. I had a choice between an old man bar and some place with slghtly modern, more composed sounding tapas. Surprisingly I opted for the latter. Spain travel rule #1: if you see old men sitting down at a bar, the food there will be very good. Needless to say, there were no old men at the fancy tapas place, and of course the food was not that good: mediocre razor clams, a bit chewier, grittier and less tasty then I'd like, and a vege timbal (I know, that's a really bad order on my part) in a sad mushroom cream sauce. Oh well, I risked this one and paid the price. Fortunately, I have more meals to make up for this misstep! One positive outcome, however. I talked to the guy behind the bar, who suggested I buy a particular Albarino at the wine shop across the street, and had an opportunity to head there the following day. A very knowledgeable  and passionate young woman helped me out, and I cannot wait to try some of her suggestions.

Who knows, it may lead to a new direct import for us.

Next up: Palacio de Fefinanes, the first famous producer of Albarino.

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