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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

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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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« What the F is this? #3 | Main | Champagne Friday: Les Crayeres »

What the F is this? #2

I had this great plan to start typing up this series at least once a week and then I got totally sick. I wasn't drinking anything, let alone the oddball bottle of wine, so the "What the F is this?" series got completely sidetracked. Now....where were we? Ah yes. We were talking about those bottles at K&L that don't turn up on emails, nor in the monthly newsletter, and they don't adorn the bright yellow staff pick stickers when you peruse the store aisles. Your eyes glaze over as you observe an entire wall of Austrian varietals that both look and sound entirely unfamiliar. You pick up the bottle and ask yourself, "What the ____ is this?"

Claus Preisinger is a young Austrian winemaker that we need to keep a close eye on. His first vintage was in 2000 and he has dedicated himself to hands-off winemaking, letting the purity of the grapes speak for itself. We currently have this fantastically delicious 2008 Claus Preisinger Zweigelt $14.99 that I picked off the shelf completely blind. First off - what is Zweigelt, you ask? Is that the name of the region or of the grape? In this case, it is indeed the name of the varietal. Zweigelt is a crossing of two different grapes: St. Laurent and Blaufrankisch devloped in 1922 by an Austrian viticulturist named Fritz Zweigelt. It is sometimes also called Rotburger.

The part I found most appealing about the Claus Preisinger Zweigelt was how approachable the wine is. It's fruity, soft, round, and easy to like. If I were to have tasted it blind, I would have guessed Zinfandel or a California red blend. The red fruits are concentrated and pure, not overly ripe and well-balanced. The alcohol is also a low 12.5%, which really does make a huge difference. The lower percentage allows the fruit to shine and me to have an extra two glasses without waking up with a headache.

Overall, this is a wine that any red wine drinker would appreciate. It's nothing wild, crazy, or new on the palate, but rather just a great table wine for just about any meal you can whip up on a weeknight. If you want a familiar flavor in an exotic package, or if you just want to learn more about the red wines of Austria, I think you'll really like this bottle.

-David Driscoll

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