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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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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.  


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


Entries in in-store events (31)


¡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 (


It's Paso Robles Wine Week!


This week, K&L San Francisco and K&L Redwood City are excited to be hosting two of the Paso Robles Wine Alliance's Summer in the City tastings leading up to the Grand Tasting Tour: SF taking place this Sunday in the Golden Gate Club of  San Francisco's Presidio. 

K&L will be showcasing select wines from our favorite producers, including Tablas Creek, Justin, L'Aventure, Ancient Peaks, and Vina Robles this Thursday 7/14 in San Francsico and Friday 7/15 in Redwood City. You will be able to taste in a more intimate setting and purchase your favorite bottles at K&L's best prices while preparing for the Grand Tasting. (Sounds like a smart plan to us.)

We will also be featuring Paso producers all week on Uncorked: Behind the Wine, sharing winemaker Q&As and other fun facts and stories from the folks, well, behind the wine.  Check back tomorrow for our first profile, featuring Tablas Creek and a Q&A with Jason Haas.

You can visit our Facebook page for updates on all the action, and K&L Local Events for a list of all upcoming K&L events and tastings. 


Behind the Wine: Bruce Neyers and Neyers Vineyards

Naturally good. A tasting of Neyers current releases will be taking place this Friday April 8th at 5pm at K&L Redwood City.

Join us this Friday, April 8th at 5 p.m. in Redwood City as we welcome David Pflaum of Neyers Vineyards and taste some amazing natural wines!

What: Neyers Vineyards Tasting

When: Friday, April 8th, 5-6:30 p.m.  

Where: K&L Redwood City

Cost of Tasting: $5 

Bruce and Barbara Neyers founded Neyers Vineyards in 1992. They produce about 15,000 cases of wine each year; 25% is Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grown on their 50-acre, organically farmed Conn Valley ranch. They source fruit from a select group of growers as well (such as the Sangiacomo family in Carneros, Will Nord of Napa, and Rossi Ranch of Sonoma County) to produce their other sought-after white and red wines.

In anticipation of this tasting, we reached out to none other than Bruce Neyers himself for some background. In the interview below, Bruce remarks on his career as a winemaker and provides insight into what it means to him to be "natural" in the wine business today.

Behind the Wine: Q&A with Bruce Neyers

Bruce Neyers crafts natural wines in Napa Valley

K&L: How did you get into the wine business?

Bruce: I went into the army after college, and was eventually assigned to the Presidio of San Francisco in May 1970. I made friends there with a colleague who had worked for a wine importing company in San Francisco before going into the army. He introduced me to the owner, and I started hanging out there on weekends helping them move wine and unload containers. They paid me in wine. A year later when I was discharged, I mentioned to the owner that my wife and I were debating the advantages of staying in the San Francisco area versus returning to the East Coast to take up my old job -- as a plastics engineer in a chemical plant -- and he suggested that if I were to stick around, they would teach me the wine business. I stayed, and worked for them for a year before getting a job in the Napa Valley working for a small winery. We moved to Napa and I went back to school at UC Davis on a weekend work-study program. After two years there, I got a job in Germany working at a winery so we moved there for a year.

How has your experience working for (respected wine importer) Kermit Lynch shaped your winemaking philosophy?

Bruce: We work with over 120 different family-owned wine businesses at KLWM, and I have become friendly with many of the families. Over the past two decades, 20-30 of them have sent their sons and daughters to live with my wife and me and work at the winery. They completely live their lives immersed in the various aspects of the business, and I've admired that. They work with their wines from the ground up, beginning in the vines, then in the cellar, and then at the table. Kermit looks for that in a producer, this total immersion. I suspect he ties that to overall wine quality, and if there is anything that Kermit is about, it is wine quality. That's the philosophical part of it but through Kermit I have also learned a great deal about what a high quality wine tastes like. After you try a Chablis from Raveneau or a Burgundy from Méo-Camuzet, you have a frame of reference, an objective to seek.

How do you you define the terms "natural" and "organic" when applied to wine?

Natural to me means the absence of interference. We ferment every wine with the yeasts that are on the grapes. We never filter or fine red wines, and filter white wines only when it is essential to their stability (to avoid malolactic fermentation in the bottle, for example). Organic defines our vineyard operations, as we are certified organic grape growers, and that involves the absence of herbicides and pesticides, and to the extent that fertilizer may be used, that they are developed organically, rather than in a laboratory. We don't make organic wine because to do so prohibits the use of sulfur dioxide. I don't think there are more than two dozen winemakers in the world who truly make drinkable organic wines, and those that do it successfully are constantly having the wines exposed to conditions for which they are not suited. At Neyers we grow organic grapes, and then make natural wines from them.

What are some of the challenges Neyers confronts in making natural wine?

Natural winemaking is loaded with risks, it costs more to do it, and it takes more time. The results, however, are well worth the investment of time, energy and resources.

What is your position on wine pairing and what do you like to pair your wines with?

I tend to be pretty open-minded about wine matching and follow only the broadest and most general. I think red wine goes well with almost everything -- except perhaps oysters -- and I drink some every day. A glass or two of white wine is normally plenty, and if I am eating something that might go better with white wine, I'll still move into red wine to finish it off. Fortunately, my wife is a fabulous cook and even her white wine meals have some opening for red.

What did you drink last night? (Or the last time you had a glass of wine that wasn't your own?)

After two glasses of 2009 Reverdy Sancerre last night, Barbara and I shared a bottle of 2009 Marcel Lapierre Morgon. Barbara made this absolutely fabulous potato side dish based upon the potatoes at Lameloise Restaurant in Chagny. Where? We ate at home. I just returned from two weeks in France and Italy on Sunday, and dinner at home for the next couple of nights is essential.

Can you share with us some tips on how we can be "greener" drinkers day-to-day, whether we're out on the town or enjoying wine at home?

 Great question. There is no substitute for a good wine merchant or a good sommelier, and they will frequently be able to guide you to the wines they sell that are either naturally made or produced from organically grown grapes. The rules in Europe relating to the term organic are different than they are here, so we rarely see organically produced wines made in the US. In France, if you grow the grapes organically, then the wine is by definition organic. I try to support both organic and naturally made wines, but many of my favorite natural wines are neither organic nor made from organic grapes. Still, I feel, if they are naturally made that is important. Lapierre, for example, makes the equivalent of a truly organic Morgon, but we sell it only at the retail shop in Berkeley because it is too fragile to ship around the US and it rarely makes a voyage successfully. I'm inclined to try first for natural and sustainable, and don't put much emphasis on the organically produced aspects of winemaking. It's important to keep in mind that 1961 Lynch Bages -- one of my favorite all time wines -- is neither organic nor natural. But it's brilliant.

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Chiara Shannon