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Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne $34.99One of our best non-vintage Champagnes, this organically grown blend of half each Chardonnay and Meunier comes entirely from Bruno Michel's estate. It has been aged for six years on the lees and shows wonderful natural toasty quality as well as incredible vibrance! This was the big hit of our most recent staff Champagne tasting and we think you will love it 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 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.

>>Upcoming Special Events, Dinners, and Tastings

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Entries in Top 10 (4)

Tuesday
Jan112011

Top 10 Spirits To Start 2011

So you've got your tickets to Thursday's cocktail class with Jennifer Colliau, and you've already imagined what the Evite will look like for your first soiree of 2011, but is your bar stocked? K&L's spirits buyers, David Driscoll and David Othenin-Girard, have been working furiously over the past year to build an incredible spirits selection that includes exclusive whiskey bottlings, oak-aged Gin and a wide variety of specialty liquors, liqueurs and cordials to help you up your home mixology game. Visit our Spirits Journal for up-to-the-minute information on our newest booze. In the meantime, here are our picks for the Top 10 Spirits to start 2011. 

10. Firelit Blue Bottle Coffee Liqueur (750ml) A new release from the Bay Area's own St. George Spirits made with Blue Bottle coffee and Chardonnay-based brandy. Pure roasted coffee aromas and flavors that will make any pick-me-up cocktail sublime. And lets not even talk about White Russians.

9. Zubrowska Bison Grass Vodka from Poland (750ml $22.99) A stunningly smooth vodka particularly suited to citrus-based cocktails or the Polish favorite, Tatanka, an unfiltered apple juice. More characterful than your average clear spirit, but less overtly flavored than other vodka, this has notes of vanilla and chamomile.

8. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur (750ml $31.99) This liqueur, made with elderflower blossoms gathered in the Alpine countryside by an army of Frenchman on bikes, adds distinctive character to any cocktail. Simply elegant with Brut Champagne or sparkling wine, and heady in the Montparnasse with Laird's Apple Brandy, lemon juice and a splash of Sauvignon Blanc. 

7. Ron Zacapa Centenario 23 year old Rum (750ml $34.99) A top-notch, full-bodied Guatemalan Rum that's good for sipping or mixing, when the recipe calls for something dark and slightly spicy. 

6. Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon (750ml $19.99) A fantastic price! This sticky-toffee flavored Bourbon might make your Manhattans start singing New York New York with a Southern twang.

5. Ardbeg Uigedail Traditional Strength Islay Single Malt Whisky ($58.99) Pronounced Oog-a-dal, this smoky, tangy Whisky isn't something you'll want to mix into a cocktail, but something you'll want to sit and contemplate in front of the fire.

4. Rusty Blade "K&L Exclusive" Single Barrel Cask Strength Barrel-Aged Gin (750ml $59.99) A cask strength gin made and bottled just for K&L by Davorin Kuchan of Old World Spriits. Aged for 13 months, its still got some of the juniper and citrus character, but now those notes are framed by baking spices. Add a little water to proof it down for drinking straight, or add it to a cocktail that calls for an Old Tom gin.

3. One Barrel Rum from Belize (750ml $13.99) Aromatic, smooth, and with a hint of tropical hibiscus to it, this Rum is the perfect mixer and priced accordingly.

2. Lagavulin 16 year old Islay Single Malt Whisky (750ml $64.99) This special Islay malt sells for about $100 elsewhere, but is just $64.99 here at K&L. Dry upfront, with a sweet sherried character on the peaty finish. 

1. Rittenhouse Rye 100 Proof, Bottled in Bond (750ml $19.99) A Pennsylvania-style Rye that you'll find in any decent bartender's speedrack. 100-proof and wonderfully spicy, this makes a wicked Sazerac. 

Leah Greenstein

Monday
Jan032011

Top 10 Red Wines Under $25 to Start the Year

'Tis the time of year where we all take stock--of goals, mistakes and, if you're anything like me post-holiday season, depleted wine collections. Replenishing your wine stores is easy at K&L, even if you're on a budget. To get you started, we've put together a list of our 10 best selling red wines under $25. Tomorrow, the whites!

10. 2009 Pascual Toso Malbec Maipu Valley ($9.99) K&L's Susan Thornett says: "It's interesting to taste a really expensive wine and to try to figure how much of the wealth of winemaking and vinegrowing expertise, perfect fruit and state-of-the-art facilities cost out. So that's how they achieve such richness, fine structure, body, velvety texture and approachability. But inevitably someone always points out, Yes, but Pascual Toso can do that for 10 bucks."

9. 2009 Urbanite Cellars "Amplio" California Cabernet Sauvignon ($10.99) From K&L's Jacques Moreira: "I tend to shy away from those over-the-top, high alcohol, heavily oaked domestis wines regardless of how many points they are awarded. And that's why I enjoyed this Cabernet. It drinks so well with food or simply by itself..."

8. 2008 Alta Maria Vineyards Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir ($22.99) K&L's Adam Parry says: "This Pinot Noir is a complex little creature. It has a fantastic spicy minerality, with subtle hints of wild cherries and raspberries...it's a tough little guy with a heart of gold!"

7. 2006 Bodegas LAN Crianza Rioja ($9.99) #44 on the Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2010 and only 10 bucks. Need we say more?

6. Urbanite Cellars "Redart" Red Blend ($9.99) Another value from Luis Moya's Urbanite label, and a staff favorite. K&L's Doug Davidson sums it up best: "What a great everyday, all-around drinker! This delicious Cab/Syrah/Zin blend is just the thing for BBQ season...or for Tuesday night pizza."

5. 2007 La Maialina Chianti Classico Riserva ($19.99) A 92-point Chianti Riserva? Parker's Italian wine reviewer Antonio Galloni nailed it when he wrote: "When you factor in the price, these are some of the most stunning values to come out of Tuscany, or anywhere for that matter."

4. 2008 Étoile du Rhône (Stephane Vedeau) Côte du Rhône ($10.99) David Driscoll, who writes K&L's Under the Radar column (and is also one of our amazing spirits buyers) says: "A steal of a deal while it lasts...this '08 from Vedeau is fantastic--mouthfilling fruit, peppery spices and a long finish make for a top-notch bistro-style wine at a friendly price."

3. 2008 Bonterra Cabernet Sauvignon Mendocino-Lake County ($11.99) K&L's Wine Club director, Alex Pross, knows a good deal when he sees one. He says: "The 2008 Bonterra Cab is the perfect example of wine that over-delivers. This wine has juicy red fruit with great balance and subtle hints of vanilla and spice. The finish is long with good lift and there's just enough acidity to make this a perfect food wine. A great everyday Cab that's organic to boot."

2. 2006 Penfolds Limited Release (Koonunga Hill Seventy-Six" Shiraz-Cabernet South Australia ($9.99) A special bottling commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Koonunga Hill from Penfolds, with a retro label and even more depth and concentration than the reglar Koonunga HIll. More of this is coming in soon, so sign up for the waitlist to guarantee you'll get yours.

1. 2005 Terra da Vino "Essensze" Barolo ($19.99) A 92-point Barolo for only 20 bucks? You can see why this has topped the charts here at K&L since it came in. Italian buyer Greg St. Clair says: "This is a full-bodied wine, with lots of dense, forward fruit, a touch of earth and a classic Barolo structure...It has enough fruit to enjoy now, but it's also got plenty of life ahead of it, too. 

Leah Greenstein

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)