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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

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Entries in Prosecco (3)


Blind International Sparkling Wine Tasting Challenge: And the Winner Is...


#5) 2007 Huet "Cuvée Huet" Vouvray Petillant Sec ($29.99)

K&L Notes: Maison Huet has been a leading force in the Vouvray appellation for quite sometime now, and today is regarded as one of the premier producers of Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley, if not the world. Founded in 1928, the estate now covers 35 hectares, which are divided up between three properties - Le Mont, Le Haut-Lieu and Le Clos du Bourg - all that have been farmed biodynamically since 1990. These wines are stunning and are worth being in your cellar. In addition to its famous vineyard-designated wines, Huet also produces this delightful sparkling Pétillant, a blend of fruit from the aforementioned 'big three' vineyards with other small parcels on the estate.

Last Friday, K&L customers and staff put their palates to the test and tasted through a blind lineup of a whopping thirteen sparkling wines from all over the world. This was the third installment in our series of Blind Tasting Challenges in Redwood City, events that have become very popular with our customers! K&L's Ryan Woodhouse carefully chilled, numbered, and wrapped each bottle in aluminum foil so the wines could be kept on ice without the covers getting soggy (clever thinking!). Tasters were presented with a blank, numbered tasting sheet on which to make notes and invited to guess country and region of origin for each wine. At the end, each taster had to submit a vote for his/her overall favorite wine before receiving the key to the tasting.

The winning wine, the 2007 Huet "Cuvee Huet" Vouvray Petillant Sec  (100% Chenin Blanc), beat out some serious contenders, including three Champagnes, two popular domestic producers, and some of our best-selling sparklers from other style categories such as Cremant de Limoux, Cava, and Prosecco. The Huet sure stood out in the lineup as distinctive, with its combination of sweet and savory aromas and flavors and obviously richer body as compared to the others - it's not your "typical" sparkler! Because of its unique profile, K&L staff admit to being suprised the Huet emerged as the most popular in the tasting, but then again, K&L attracts a pretty sophisticated and adventurous bunch of customers, so it's really no surprise at all!

Here is the complete lineup:

1. Silvano Follador "Dosaggio Zero" Prosecco, Italy ($24.99)

2. 2009 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs Brut Sparkling, Napa/Sonoma, CA ($28.99)

3. Quartz Reef "Methode Traditionelle", Central Otago, New Zealand ($21.99)

4. 2008 Can Mayol Loxarel "Refugi" Reserva Brut Nature, Penedes, Spain ($17.99)

5. 2007 Huet "Cuvee Huet" Vouvray Petillant Sec, Vouvray, Loire Valley, France (29.99)

6. Louis Roederer "Brut Premier" Champagne, France ($38.99)

7. 2008 Argyle Willamette Valley Brut, Oregon $24.99

8. Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne, France $38.99

9. Graham Beck Brut Sparkling Wine, Western Cape, South Africa ($14.99)

10. 2010 Antech "Cuvee Eugenie" Cremant de Limoux, Limoux, France ($13.99)

11. 2007 Marguet Pere et Fils Brut Rose Champagne, France ($49.99)

12. Jansz Brut Rose, Tasmania, Australia ($19.99)

13. Mas Codina Cava Brut Reserva Penedes, Spain ($12.99)


Stay tuned for the next Blind Tasting Challenge!


Food-Pairing Friday: Cotechino and Lentils

Time, or at least the numbers on the clock that mark it, is pretty arbitrary. Just walk around the house or office and look at all your clocks. How many of them are exactly the same? New Year's Eve is, essentially, just as arbitrary, a date plucked out of thin air by the Roman consuls in 153 B.C.E. Before that, New Year's was celebrated on March 15th. And even now, cultures that don't follow the Roman calendar celebrate New Year's at other times--near the harvest like Rosh Hoshana, or at the start of spring, like the Chinese New Year.

What makes New Year's special then, is how we choose to celebrate it: shivering in Times Square, at a concert, at a house party, and almost always with a glass of something sparkling in hand. For me, the best New Year's celebrations aren't on the 31st, a night that tends to be heavy with expectation (and subsequent disappointment), but rather on New Year's Day, when my husband and I gather with dear friends to cook up a traditional New Year's feast complete with cotechino con lenticche: cotechino sausage from Modena and lentils. 

Historically enjoyed by Northern Italians after midnight to bring prosperity in the new year because the lentils look like little coins, the dish is salty and rustic, and ever so satisfying. The first year we made it, my friend Brooke Burton from Foodwoolf and I followed Mario Batali's recipe from Babbo. The next year we mixed the ingredients into a filling for homemade ravioli, and this year I'm thinking of riffing on Jamie Oliver's cotechino risotto, using the lentils as a base instead. 

However the cotechino is finished, I like to start out cooking it in Prosecco (while sipping on a glass, of course) since it helps with the sausage's tacky texture. My favorite is the 2009 Silvano Follador "Cartizze" Valdobbiadene Brut ($24.99), but since I'll be using it to cook, too, the big bottle of Sorelle Bronca might be more economical (1.5L $34.99), especially if the neighbors drop by. I always make sure to have a bottle of the uber-sophisticated, non-alcoholic Raumland Sparkling White Grape Juice ($14.99), made from Muller-Thurgau, Riesling and Bacchus, on hand for anyone who doesn't drink. 

Other fantastic pairings for the cotechino include the sparkling red Emilian classic, Lambrusco (my favorite right now is the Barbolini "Lancillotto"--$12.99--for both its affordability and compatibility). For something a little heartier, I'd try either of the Dolcetti from Bricco del Cucù. The 2007 ($14.99) is quite luscious, with deep black fruit and well-integrated tannins, while the 2006 "Bricco San Bernardo" ($13.99) had lots of dark fruit and spice, with fantastic acidity. 

There are dozens of other fantastic New Year's Day culinary traditions--check out Epicurious's list of New Year's Day Lucky Foods--and equally interesting and tasty wine, beer or spirits pairings to go with them. But whether you're eating baccala (great with dry Sherry or white Port), rosca de reyes (try with rum) or collards and black-eyed peas (hard cider, anyone?), we hope you're surrounded by those you love. And we wish you all a happy, healthy New Year.

Leah Greenstein


Wine Wednesday: Franck Bonville "Brut Selection" Blanc de Blancs

Whether or not you're celebrating Rosh Hoshanna tonight, or just the fact that it's already Wednesday (thank you, shortened holiday work week), you'll want to do it with a bottle of Franck Bonville "Brut Selection" Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($29.99) (assuming that you drink non-Kosher wine). This is my favorite Champagne in the store for a couple of reasons.

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