With as much work as we put into tasting, analyzing, and thinking about wine, we must remember that at the end of the day, it’s just a delicious happiness-delivery device. As some old geezer once said, wine is “the oil of conversation…it puts a song in the hearts of men and laughter on their lips.” As Jasper once said, “it makes bad food taste better.” Sometimes we need a straight-up crowdpleaser to snap us out of our role as arbiters and force us to drink up and have fun. Sometimes we need Parts & Labor. Learn More
Sara Pérez and René Barbier make some fantastic wines just outside Barcelona in the east of Spain, just off of the Spanish border with France. This is a region older than Spain, farmed by the Romans, the Gauls and everyone in between. Making wines that are sometimes more French-like than Spanish-like. Better value than a Honda. Sara and René use old school techniques, clay barrels, foot-stomping, and all hand-harvesting to make sure the wines show they history they're part of. Learn More
From a village where everything has to be Grand Cru super fantastic, it takes something special to stand out. This is Champagne that other Champagne wants to be when it grows up. This is all made out of grapes that came from one year's farming - not common. Champagne is usually a mix tape of a few years, a little bit of golden oldies, a little bit of something fresh. This is the single that goes double platinum. Learn More
Riesling is a wine that people who work in wine and people who make wine all go ga-ga over. There are few drinks that pack so much umph into one glass that's still so light and fresh. I know, rieslings gotten to be synonymous with sweet lately, but they don't have to be, and this one isn't. Just like they do in Germany - drink it.
Brea is a partnership between Berkeley-based winemaker/savant Chris Brockway and wine importer Tim Elenteny, who wanted to prove that California Cabernet Sauvignon could behave at dinner without throwing a drunken tantrum. The grapes come from shady spots in Napa & Lake Counties with some more from Lodi, and Chris' dialed-down approach is evident in the wine's acidity and moderate alcohol content. Learn More
Right now Jody & Emily Towe of j.brix are making some of the most interesting and delicious wines in So-Cal. Originally and literally making wine out of their garage, they now share space with Vesper in Escondido. They trained in Santa Barbara so they know where to find the good stuff - like the Riesling grapes from chilly Kick On Ranch that go into "The Augur". Drier than most bones and made in old barrels, it's the kind of bracing Riesling we thought impossible for sunny CA, but restaurants from Paris to Mexico City are now brag-tweeting that they got a case. Learn More
Bryan Harrington lived the Bohemian life as a conceptual artist in NYC in the 80's, but came back to his native San Francisco to find his true calling - making super-unique and captivating wines in a metal shop next to an SF Opera rehearsal space. His Central Coast Pinot Noir comes from a cool, foggy spot in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and Bryan's minimalistic approach to winemaking lets the high-toned fruit assert itself while its spice and earth make up the baseline. Learn More
The winemaker James Christopher Tracy. New York state resident. Long Island to be exactly precise. He believes in angels. His aura is the best that there is. The right colors, shapes, and sounds. James Christopher Tracy was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. His father is an automobile dealer, a former vineyard owner, a racing car driver, and a wine collector. His mother has been a nurse, is a master gardener and a great cook. His family exposed Christopher and his sister Alexis to great wines, wine regions and foods from an early age. This wine is medium bodied and dry. Smells like dark juicy fruit, purple flowers and spice. There is an underlying complexity of smoked meat, brown spice and minerality. There is a nice, friendly quality to "Sculpture Garden" - no doubt a reflection of the winemakers. Learn More