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We have a little cult here at K&L of steak and claret on Friday nights. If you drop by the store near closing, you will no doubt over hear many of us discussing cuts of beef, potato preperations and the Bordeaux to pair with the beef. One of our favorites for current drinking is the 1999 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc ($49.99) which is drinking perfectly at 16 years old. The composition is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 8% Petite Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. This is a plummy wine from the high percentage of Merlot and I loved the minty focus on the back end. This is long finishing stuff, and has the good acid on the back cut the richness of a big steak. What a treat! 

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We host regular weekly and Saturday wine tastings in each K&L location.

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Entries in McKInlay (2)


Winemaker Interview: Matt Kinne, McKinlay Cellars (Video)

It might just be the beard, but I actually think there's something in the slow, lyrical way that McKinlay owner Matt Kinne talks--like plucking strings on a mandolin--that reminds me of bluegrass impresario Dave Grisman. I caught up with Kinne in mid-September, during the tenuous, rainy days before the 2010 harvest at his home and vineyards in the Willamette Valley, and we talked about his winemaking philosophy and tasted his soon-to-be-bottled 2009s.

Established in 1987 after two years working with the team at legendary Pinot and Chardonnay producer Hanzell, Kinne started off sourcing about half his fruit from around the Willamette Valley. These days the winery is an all-estate, Pinot-only operation using fruit from nearly 30 acres of of vines planted to jory and nekiah soils just outside the town of Newberg. Happy at home with his wife Holly, and helped by one of his two grown sons, Kinne is a reluctant businessman, more at ease with his two good-natured pitbulls in the dark cellar beneath his house than out on the road selling wine. Fortunately, we're big fans of what he does, which makes it an easy job for us. And though it's been a few months since the trip, I've finally gotten the opportunity to edit down the hour and a half of video to give you a sneak peek into the life of one of our favorite winemakers. The timing couldn't be better, either. Kinne just released McKinlay's 2009 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($16.99) and it's both affordable and fantastic, full of beautiful dark cherry fruit and subtle spice, with chalky minerality etched in around the edges. Enjoy the video and the wine!


Leah Greenstein




Wine Wednesday: 2008 McKinlay Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Matt Kinne looking out over his vineyards.

"Decent wine needs to be affordable," says Matt Kinne, the bearded, soft-spoken sage of McKinlay Vineyards in the Willamette Valley. "Then wine will have a chance to surpass Budweiser as the national beverage."  Of course, it also has to be good. Kinne's 2008 McKinlay Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($16.99) is both. Made from entirely estate-grown fruit on jory and nekiah (igneous volcanic) soils at a combination of three small vineyards near his home. 

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