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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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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.

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Entries in Belgian beer (3)

Monday
Dec202010

Top 10 Beers of 2010 (That You Can Still Buy)

Top 10 lists are everywhere you look these days, and we at K&L are not immune to their draw. Top 10 lists can be fun retrospectives, but too often in the world of beer and wine, they're chock full of rare or obscenely expensive items that few people can afford or find. (Case in point: My favorite beer of the year, the Mikkeller "Beer Geek Brunch" just sold out.) But not here! I asked K&L's beer buyers Steve Greer (Hollywood) and Bryan Brick (Redwood City) to pick their Top 10 Beers of 2010 that you can still buy, and it's packed with some pretty fantastic selections.

From Steve:

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales "Noel de Calabaza" ($750ml $14.99) A holiday brew from Michigan's finest. This was my favorite last year, too.

2008 Harvey and Son "A. le Coq's" Imperial Extra Double Stout (9.3oz $5.99) This is one of my favorite stouts, but it's not what you would think of as a stout. Think of this as an old ale with very little carbonation, a rich but dry mouthfeel and an almost whiskey-like finish. 

Mikkeller "Black Tie" Imperial Stout (500ml $15.99) This Imperial Stout, brewed with honey and smoked barley, spent four months in Scottish whiskey barrels. Another "don't miss" beer.

Fantome Noel (750ml $16.99) I have a soft spot for this brewery and its "Old World" styled beers. Far from traditional though, this beer has a beautiful spice, a sour note and a dry finish. 

Mikkeller "From/Via/To Christmas Porter (750ml $14.99) I really love trying the beers from Mikkel and Mr. Keller. This is the first of the From/To Christmas Porters and it was a hit at the last Hollywood Christmas beer tasting, and it is one of my favorites. Not much left.

Isastegi Sagardo Naturala (750ml $9.99) Cider doesn't get the recognition it should, and for the question of "what to drink with Indian food" this is the perfect match. This cider comes from Spain's Basque country and uses more than a dozen local apples varieties, with fermentation taking place in old, large oak barrels. Bottled unfiltered. 

2007 Etienne Dupont "Bouche E. Dupont" Cider (1.5L $27.99) A magnum of anything makes a statement, but the cider inside this bottle is outstanding no matter how it's packaged. A rich mousse and mouthfeel, it tastes of pure apple and has a never ending finish. Again spicy food (particularly Indian food) is the perfect match for this, but it is fine all by itself.

Nøgne-Ø "Highland Edition" Imperial Stout Aged in Scotch Whiskey Barrels (500ml $15.99) One of the One-Off beers from a this Norwegian brewery, so once it's gone that might be it. For this beer, the brewery aged some of its Imperial Stout in Highland Scotch barrels. Fantastic!

Nøgne-Ø/Jolly Pumpkin/Stone "Special Holiday Ale (500ml $10.99) For this beer each brewery used a local ingredient for their recipe. Nøgne used juniper, Stone used sage and Jolly Pumpkin used chestnuts.

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales "Oro de Calabaza" Blonde Ale aged in Oak (750ml $11.99) I have had this on tap as well as in bottle, and I love it. Plus, each time I share this with someone they look up with surprise and want more.

 

From Bryan:

Aecht Schlenkerla "Oak Smoke" Rauchbier, Germany (500ml $5.99) Kilned with oak wood, this is complex and layered with complex bitterness.

Avery Brewing Company "Joe's Pilsner" Imperial Pilsner, Colorado (12oz cans $1.79) 

Brasserie à Vapeur "Vapeur de Bises" Saison Ale, Belgium (25.4oz $9.99)

Brouwerij 't Gaverhopke "Koerseklakske" Light Session Ale Brewed With Brettanomyces, Belgium (330ml $4.99)

Brouwerij Bavik "Petrus Aged Pale" Oud Bruin, Belgium (11.2oz $4.29)

Brouwerij Smisje "Catherine The Great" Russian Imperial Stout, Belgium (11.2 oz $4.99) Roasty toasty with hints of bitter chocolate and plum fruit.

De Struise Brouwers "Tsjeeses Reserva" Belgian X-Mas Ale, Beligum (330ml $7.49) A strong blonde.

Firestone Walker "XIV" Anniversary Ale, California (22oz $21.99)

Mikkeller "From/Via To" Christmas Porter, Denmark (750ml $14.99)

Nøgne-Ø "Red Horizon" Norwegian Ale, Norway (250ml $12.99)

 

Tuesday
Nov302010

'Tis the Season: Holiday & Winter Beers

Ever get the sense that the "Holiday Season" has jumped the shark? This year, the Black Friday lines seemed to start forming before I finished chewing my last forkful of Thanksgiving turkey. Christmas lights flickered on more than a dozen houses by Saturday night. I already got a "Holly Jolly Christmas" stuck in my head once, and with Hanukkah starting on Wednesday, it seems like I'll be spinning like an out-of-control dreidel until the end of the year. 

So what's a girl to do?

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun292010

Follow the Tour de France...with Bottles!

The 2010 Tour de France Organizers Must Like Wine!

The organizers of the Tour de France have been very kind to the wine lover this year, sending riders pedaling through many of the best wine regions of France. Why not sip while the riders suffer? I like the idea so much that Cinnamon and I are going to head out to Champagne to see the Reims finish and the Epernay start this July… I am sure we will be able to find something to drink there!

The Tour starts Saturday, July 3rd with a prologue in Rotterdam. The race heads into Belgium on the next day, and on the 6th the drama begins with seven cobbled sections on the stage to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut. This is a great day for a bottle of the La Chouffe Belgian Ale (750ml $9.99), the classic beverage of the Ardennes. The Tour could be lost on these godforsaken roads. The only guarantee besides excitement on this stage is that the fans will show up, drink beer and eat frites by the kilo.

On the 7th, the riders will enjoy a flat, fast stage to Reims for what promises to be a bunch sprint in the largest city in Champagne. For this stage we look to one of the few Grand Marque houses that are still family-owned, Louis Roederer. Mr. Frederic Rouzaud, the man in charge, is even a bike rider himself. The Louis Roederer "Brut Premier" Champagne ($36.99) is a Reims classic, and as predictably good as Mark Cavendish after a fast Team Columbia lead out.

The next day, the riders start in Epernay, according to the itinerary. If you dig a little deeper into the map, you will see that the actual start is in Moussy, just south of the city. I will be there with Mr. Bruno Michel, who makes great Champagne in that village. I hope we can get a good vantage point with him to see the start! The AG2R pro John Gadret, who rode so well in the Giro d’Italia, used to work for him. I invite you to join us in drinking the Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne ($32.99), an organically grown, meticulously made blend of half Chardonnay and half Meunier. Have a toast to Gadret; he could end up winning a stage in the mountains this year.

On Bastille Day, July 14th, the Tour will go from Chambéry to Gap, covering some of the lavender-covered fields of Provence on a rolling course. What could be more French than dry rosé from the region? The 2009 Commanderie de la Bargemone Coteaux d'Aix-En-Provence Rosé ($15.99) will be the perfect thing to sip while watching Cofidis, AG2R and Boygues Telekom kill themselves to make the break and get some TV time. Watch for the seasoned veteran Christophe Moreau, he might be free to fly now that his team leader has been suspended!

On July 23rd, after many brutal days in the mountains, the race winds down with a flat, sprinter's finish in the greatest wine city in the world: Bordeaux. For many years, my father and I would always plan a special wine dinner in honor of the Bordeaux finish. I suggest that you do the same, and start with the bracing Sauvignon zip of the 2008 Reynon "Old Vines" Bordeaux Blanc ($13.99) with a nice piece of halibut, since turbot is hard to get here. You could then move on to steak au poivre with a bottle of the 1999 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc ($19.99), which is a perfect, medium-bodied Cabernet, and to me one of the finest values in the entire K&L portfolio. Finish the evening out with a half bottle of the scandalously underpriced nectar 2007 Petit-Védrines, Sauternes (375ml $11.99) and a cherry clafoutis. Perhaps we can toast a great win by American Tyler Farrar on the most beautiful sprinting boulevard in the world!

The next day, when your guests have left your Bordeaux dinner party, the riders will be battling it out on the last decisive day of the 2010 Tour, the 52km individual time trial from the city of Bordeaux up the Médoc to Pauillac. Along the way the riders will go past a roll call of the finest Châteaux; at 22k they will pass Château Margaux, then pick off Ducru at 45k and the great Léoville estates at 47k, before finally ending in the town that gives us Pichon-Lalande, Mouton, Lafitte and Latour. This is a night for a simply-made steak, potatoes and asparagus, paired with a great bottle of Médoc from your cellar. If you would rather plunder our cellar, I would recommend the 2005 Cordeillan Bages, Pauillac (Was $60 Now $34.99), which is a great value that just needs some decanting… We always have some interesting older Pauillacs at good prices as well, so check our website. Long time trials like this can be devastating, so look for rarely-fed climbers like the Schleck brothers to give up large amounts of time (and positions on GC) while Contador, Armstrong and specialists like Fabian Cancellara dominate the day.

I can’t wait! Tour fever has already taken hold of me.

Gary Westby