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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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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.  


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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¡Oye Tio! Iberian Wine News: Announcing New Direct Imports from Rioja

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member

Welcome to our new Spain & Portugal weekly update! 

Lots of new stuff to talk about, as well as upcoming events and other news items of notes. 

I do hope that you find the updates on products and information you read here useful and decidedly less sales pitchy/bombastic than the usual online retail fare. 

And, here we go…

Direct Imports from Rioja, Spain

We are quite pleased to soon be bringing in Riojas from Miguel Merino (Briones, Rioja Alta) and Puelles (Abalos, Rioja Alta).  You’ll be hearing (and, hopefully tasting) much more when these arrive in the next several weeks.  For now, though, I am thrilled to have heard from several customers who visited Miguel Merino and/or have drunk his wines on the east coast.  Both Merino and Puelles are small and know Rioja inside out, Miguel more on the wholesale side (until his fairly recent “retirement project” that is his winery) and Puelles on the viticultural side.  They are both super talented, crafting very terroir driven expressions from vineyards based around their respective towns.  We took our time finding the right Rioja DI’s and I believe that the extra time and lack of hurry to find the right producers will prove to be well worth it.


For Your Consideration

A short list of wines I'm excited about right now:


2004 Viña Valoria Blanco Crianza Rioja - $15.99

Classic white Rioja, reminiscent of LdH Viña Gravonia and less $.


2008 Vega de Ribes Sauvignon Blanc Penedes - $14.99

Sauvignon Blanc?  From Spain?  Trust me.  If you like Clos Roche Blanche, I think you may have a winner here.


2005 Quinta das Bageiras "Garrafeira" Vinho Branco Bairrada - $14.99

Aged white from one of the best producers in arguably Portugal’s most exciting region.


2009 Bodegas Mendall Roig Finca Caiballes "R" - $29.99

Not for the timid!  Read up and know what you’re getting into for this wine.  That said, I find this to be most exciting.


Alfredo Maestro Tejero "Viña Almate" Tempranillo - $17.99

Single vineyard organic tempranillo, mineral, NO TOAST French oak.  Seriously well made.


Upcoming Events and Tastings


Tastings with Vibrant Rioja

Vibrant Rioja is helping us to promote Rioja wines this Fall.  We will have in-store tastings each month featuring some of our favorite Rioja producers.

Here is the schedule:

Redwood City – Third Thursdays from 5-6:30pm (9/15, 10/20, 11/17)

San Francisco – First Fridays from 5-6:30pm (10/7, 11/4)

Hollywood – First Fridays from 5:30-7pm (10/7, 11/4)

Also, perhaps 1-2 other events TBD.  We might have some Palacios chorizo, sheep’s milk cheese, even paella on hand? Stay tuned.


In-Store Tastings

@ K&L Redwood City (5-6:30pm)  map 

Friday 9/23TXAKOLI!  This is always a popular tasting.  Get there early before it gets nuts.  Or, get there later if you prefer the crazy.

Friday 10/7 – Riojas from Bodegas Ontañon.  Very solid producer, with a wonderful story, great vineyards, very good wines.  Taste ‘em for yourself.

Friday 10/14 – Jerez-Xeres-Sherry.  We take our sherry very seriously and do not plan on taking this one lightly.  Holly from De Maison (Spanish & French importer, as well as a leading light of all things sherry) will be pouring the good stuff. 


@ K&L Hollywood (5:30-7pm) map

Thursday 9/15 - Golden State Wine Co. will be pouring wines from their very strong portfolio.


Alrighty, until next week.  As always, feel free to contact me with questions.





Joe Manekin is the K&L Buyer for the wines of Spain, Portugal, and South America. He is committed to supporting the hard-working folks out there making honest wines that show a sense of place. When he is not at K&L, Joe enjoys cooking, traveling, hanging out with his dog Clem, doing occasional PR, booking and recording work for reggae band JohnStone (, and writing for his wine, food and music blog, Old world Old School (

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