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One of the most serious English Sparkling producers. This historic estate has been in the Goring family since 1743. The tiny 16-acre vineyard is close-planted on a steep south-facing chalk escarpment described as 'similar to the Côte des Blancs' in Champagne. The fruit is picked very selectively with quality being the absolute focus. The grapes are pressed gently using a traditional Coquard press. After three years on the lees this wine, composed of 45% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay & 22% Pinot Meunier, is hand disgorged and balanced with a minimal dosage of just 4g/L. It has a fine counterbalance between toasty richness and power from the wines élevage in Burgundian French Oak barrels, with racy acidity, tension and a focused chalky minerality.

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Entries in recipe (12)

Saturday
Feb052011

It's National Pisco Sour Day!

 Pisco is a Peruvian brandy that was commonplace in San Francisco during the Gold Rush. The first Saturday in February is National Pisco Sour Day in Peru, San Francisco's Pisco-loving community shares in the celebration. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

How much do you love the Pisco Sour?

Yours Truly, reaching to finish the last drop of her Pisco Sour on wedding night.My husband Derek and I love this historic Peruvian cocktail so much, it was the signature drink served at our wedding.  Derek lived in Peru for a year in his early twenties, where he needed to perfect his Pisco Sour making technique to satisfy patrons of the chic Lima bar where he worked as a bartender.  The Peruvians were not quick to accept that a gringo from New York could make proper Pisco Sour, but he eventually won them over (and even scored a spot on the local news for his talents!). So naturally, he takes this Pisco Sour business seriously. The wedding was back in 2007, when Pre-Prohibition cocktails had yet to hit mainstream cool, and it took the bar manager and staff of our five star catering operation several tries, carefully and rather gleefully presided over by Derek, to get it just right.  

Pisco About Town

Pisco and Pisco Sour appreciation has come a long way in San Francisco since I first wrote about this great cocktail on UnCorked back in September of 2008 and shared Derek's recipe (below). Almost concurrent with my September 08 posting, the doors to the U.S. Flagship of Peruvian Celebrity Gaston Acurio's La Mar Cebicheria Peruana, opened its doors on San Francisco's Embarcadero. In addition to a making killer Pisco Sour, La Mar offers an extensive selection of Pisco and Pisco-based cocktails.  They also host Pisco tasting seminars for enthusiasts and professionals. I attended one sponsored by BarSol pisco and it was quite enlightening.  

Pisco was widely available in San Francisco from it's first appearance 1839 up until Prohibition. It attained world fame in 1887 when Duncan Nicol aka “Pisco John” created the Pisco Punch cocktail at the Bank Exchange Saloon. Credit for inventing the Pisco Sour is given to the English expat Elliot Stubb, who first served the cocktail at his bar in Peru in the 1870s. Photo courtesy of livinginperu.com.

Award-winning Pisco Sours are churned out at Pisco Latin Lounge, the Pisco Bar next to Hayes Valley's cozy Peruvian resto Destino, with Union Square's Cantina as a solid runner-up for a good Pisco fix.  And these days, mixologists at the Union Square speakeasy Bourbon and Branch and SOMA's Heaven's Dog and Bar Agricole not only know what you're talking about when you order the Peruvian cocktail, but they deliver the goods proper.  

 

Even Pisco itself-- the brandy that forms the base of the cocktail--has gotten a lot better too.  No more kitchy bottles of below-rate Pisco in the shape of Incan statues...new producers like Campo de Encanto and Viñas de Oro are crafting artisanal, award-winning Piscos worthy of any spirit collection.

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SHAKE

Why not give the Pisco Sour a try today? Derek's recipe is very pretty simple and straighforward:

Derek's Pisco Sour Recipe 

(from the September 08 posting of "Cocktail Craze: The Pisco Sour")

2 parts Pisco

1 part lime juice

.75 part simple syrup

one egg white

Shake with very little ice or blend. Top with cinnamon. Note: Other recipes call for a garnish of bitters instead of cinnamon, but Derek says that cinnamon is what they use in Lima.

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SHOP

Buy Campo de Encanto and Vinas de Oro Pisco at K&L Wine Merchants !

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TASTE

Prefer to have the professionals make one for you?  No Problem: there is a lot of Pisco being poured this weekend in San Francisco...

Sat 2/5 9pm-2am @ Cantina  Special Pisco menu and $5 Pisco Sours all night long, plus DJs spinning South American jams and hip hopDetails

Sat 2/5 @ La Mar Cebicheria Peruana   $5 Pisco Sours all day  Details

Sat 2/5 5 pm-1 am, and Sunday, 2/6, 3-9 pm @ Pisco Latin Lounge $5 Pisco Sours all day on Saturday and Sunday, plus $3 beers for those not yet convinced of Pisco's magic.  Details

 

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PARTY! 

Encanto Pisco Mustache Brigade Bar Crawl - Starts at La Mar at 5:30, then to 15 Romolo around 7pm, with after-party at Cantina from 9pm till closing. The party at Cantina will feature $5 Pisco Sours and shots of top shelf Pisco de Encanto offered by no other than the man himself, Encanto Co-founder Duggan McDonnell.  Details

Pink Mammoth 7 Year Anniversary - Dance off all those yucca fries tonight @ Mighty for the seventh anniversary of the Pink Mammoth dance music-themed Burning Man camp. There will be an open bar of Vinas de Oro Pisco drinks, plus free food from Skool and Kitchenette. Wacky attire encouraged. $7 before 10:30 if with RSVP!

 

Friday
Jan072011

Food-Pairing Friday: Winter Citrus

Photo courtesy of Todd and Diane at WhiteonRiceCouple.com

It's another gray morning here in Southern California. And even though the sun was out part of this week, the frequent showers, and the sky's steely shroud are beginning to wear a bit on me. I'm sure my friends in Oregon and all the East Coasters getting pummeled yet again by snow have very little sympathy for my Vitamin D-deprived whine, so I'll keep it brief and get straight to the remedy: winter citrus.

The extra rain here in L.A. has been good for a few things. It's helped pull us out of years of drought, and it's been great for the citrus trees that grow up and down the coast. My favorites are the tangerines. About the size of a Hacky Sack, these easy-to-peel fruits have skins the color of a crossing guard's jacket and juice that appears to be lit from within, tangerines have the power to turn they grayest of days into orange-colored bliss. Tangerines are sweet, with a tang that can be a subtle whisper or like little pin-pricks on your tongue, depending on the variety. To find the best ones, if you don't have a tree in your yard, go to the nearest farmers' market to taste the many options. The fruits make a fantastic energy-filled afternoon snack, complement the anise flavor of fennel perfectly in a crunchy salad, and they play nicely with spice, too.

But I think our friends Todd and Diane over at White on Rice Couple put their homegrown tangerines to the best weekend welcoming use in their Double Tangerine Cocktail, which uses fresh tangerine juice, fresh lemon juice, ginger simple syrup and Cognac. I would tweak the recipe a bit and sub the ginger simple syrup with regular simple syrup so that I could use the Domaine de Canton Ginger & Cognac Liqueur (750ml $31.99), which has plenty of ginger heat along with the subtle nuances of a top-notch Cognac.  If you'd rather invest in an unflavored Cognac, I recommend the Ferrand Reserve Grande Champage 1er Cru du Cognac (375ml $28.99), with its notes of apricot, dried flowers and licorice.    

Have a great weekend.

Leah Greenstein

Tuesday
Nov232010

Talking Turkey: Wild Mushroom Puff Pastry from Woodenhead 

Editor's Note: We're going to wrap our week of Thanksgiving wine pairings and winery recipes with a savory wild mushroom puff pastry recipe from Nikolai Stez and Zina Bower at Woodenhead Vintners. Longtime favorites of the K&L staff, Woodenhead makes earthy, balanced Pinots (as well as delicious Zins and a saline, crisp French Colombard that would go great with oyster stuffing) that play harmony in this Thanksgiving duet.  

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