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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 Wine (52)


Getting to Know: Kirk Walker

There is only one Captain Kirk, and we are not talking about he of bad acting and poor commercial choices. No, we're talking about K&L San Francisco's Captain Kirk. He writes the Captain's Log in our newsletter, quotes Heidegger on occasion and, of course, loves wine. Read on to learn more about the one and only Kirk Walker...

What do you do at K&L?

Wines sales, I also moonlight as the assistant to the assistant to the assistant manager.

What did you do before you started here?

I worked for the Wine House in West L.A.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Yoga, cooking, eating, drinking and reading.

What was your “epiphany wine?”

I had two epiphanies. The first was 1994 Ravenswood Napa Valley Merlot (the one that most young men choose when trying to impress the ladies!) and 1998 Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Brücke Spätlese (I’m still speechless!).

Describe your perfect meal. What wine(s) would you pair with it?

I don’t have a perfect meal. Good food, better company and simple, delicious wines—that sounds like a near-perfect meal!

How do you think your palate has changed over the years?

Once I found what I really liked (see below) it hasn’t changed. I guess I’m stuck in a rut, but what a good one to be stuck in!

What do you like to drink?

Italian wines from Sicily to the Valle d’Aosta, grower-producer Champagnes, German wines, Austrian wines, beer and Scotch.

What words of advice do you have to offer people just getting into wine?

Do not leave your wine in your car on a hot day. Think of it as a pet or family member; there should be laws against this type of alcohol abuse!

If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would you invite?

Richard Feynman—Rhum and a lot of it. Baruch Spinoza—a Donnhoff Spätlese or two. Joseph Campbell—a Campanian red, Aglianico or Casavecchia served with spit-roasted lamb.

Want to drink like the Captain?

Join our Personal Sommelier Service and have Kirk Walker choose your wines!


Wine of the Week: 2007 Tenuta San Francesco Tramonti Rosso

The Amalfi Coast is not the place to visit if you get vertigo or have a fear of heights. Nearly everything, from the houses to the hotels to the roads to the ubiquitous lemon trees, tempts gravity from chiseled hillsides overlooking the cerulean Mediterranean Sea. This goes for the vines, too. The grapes grown here are the same as the rest of Campania--Aglianico, Tintore, Piedirosso, Falanghina, Biancolella and Pepella--but the steep slopes and persistent influence of the sea crashing hundreds of feet below give them a character all their own. 

Tenuta San Francesco is located in the tiny town of Tramonti, in the hills above Maori and Ravello, where there are fewer than 5,000 year-round residents. The city, like most on the Amalfi Coast, dates back to the 800s, when Amalfi was a powerhouse Republic, though today it is perhaps best known for the tangy, herbaceous sheep's milk Ricotta di Tramonti (and the countless pizzaioli who grew up here). But this winery, which was established in 2004 on the old Di Palma family estate, has the potential to put Tramonti on the map for wine, too.

The 2007 Tenuta San Francesco Tramonti Rosso ($22.99) is a perfect introduction to coastal Campanian wine, and so it was a natural choice for this week's Wine of the Week. The Rosso is 40% Aglianico, 40% Tintore and 20% Piedirosso from 100-year-old vines. It is wonderfully spicy and meaty, a bit like a cool-climate Syrah, with wonderful tension from fresh acidity and a slight saline snap. With some air it starts to reveal plummy fruit dusted with bittersweet cocoa powder, and earthy-sweet undercurrent of forest floor and hints of tobacco. Try pairing this delightful Rosso with pizza topped with fresh ricotta, or pasta tossed with colatura, the anchovy elixer from nearby Cetara. 

Leah Greenstein


Getting to Know: Susan Thornett

What's your position at K&L and how long have you been with the company?

I've been with K&L for two years and a bit. My official position is liaison for Loire, Alsatian, French regional, German and Austrian wine at the San Francisco store. My unofficial but main responsibility is making sure everyone is well-supplied with crispy pints!

What did you do before you started working here?

I worked at a San Francisco restaurant, Campton Place, with a number of inspirational chefs, wine directors and generally wonderful folks. I worked a range of jobs there from runner to restaurant manager. Before that I waited tables in Santa Monica, Sydney, London and Birmingham.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Two words: crispy pints.

What’s your favorite movie?

Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Some quality gags and a great score.

What was your "epiphany wine"—the bottle or glass that got you interested in wine? Is there a current wine that you consider the equivalent?

Honestly, I don't really know what the wine was. It was likely snaffled by my best friend Kate from her parents' cellar and consumed with some nice French cheese and bread at their place after work. Good wine, good friends and a little food are all that most people need to get hooked on the good stuff!

Describe your perfect meal (at a restaurant or prepared at home). What wine(s) would you pair with it?

I don't have menu details for you, but if it was to be perfect it would be a long, all-day affair with many simple courses prepared by my husband and me and with plenty of quality, easy-drinking grower fizz like Michel Arnould or Elisabeth Goutorbe on hand for the chefs.

How do you think your palate's changed over the years?

I now favor highly extracted, high alcohol wines with lots of new oak… ha! Only kidding, but I always wish someone would say that in this segment! Truly, we have so much well made, honest wine to choose from here at K&L, I've become less accepting of flavors that seem artificial—you know, when it *really* tastes like passionfruit or blueberry syrup there is a problem!

What do you like to drink?

Besides crispy pints? I’ll tend to go for an everyday SW French or Tuscan red with dinner, a Mâcon or Touraine white for everyday drinking. If I'm out I love a glass of Crémant or Champagne, or some kind of aromatic whiskey cocktail.

What words of advice do you have to offer people just getting into wine?

Taste as much as possible! Seek out wines that go with the kinds of food you enjoy. Don't fret if you don't taste the same things as others, our palates are all built differently. Describing fruit flavors found in wine only works well for some people, for many others the character and structure are far more useful.

If you could have dinner with any three people in history, who would you invite? What wine would you serve each of them?

I'd invite three of my favorite composers and serve wines I think pair with their music.
JS Bach would have to get an exquisite, pure, perfectly balanced Mosel Riesling, probably a Kabinett from a classic vintage. Béla Bartók would get an aged Barolo, something vibrant with streaks and flashes of volatile brilliance. Dmitri Shostakovich would get a rich, buttery Meursault paired with a seared piece of Foie Gras; I think it would cheer him up.

Want to drink like Susan?

From crispy pints to Barolo, she knows her stuff.

Join K&L's Personal Sommelier Service

and select Susan to buy wine for you!