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Tuesday Tributes
Sorting Out The Bubblies

By Charles Olken

A couple of very pleasant folks were driving me around on Friday, and as wine was our common denominator, you can imagine that we had a lively chat as we flitted around the Bay. The most intriguing and enlightening discussion came straight out of left field. I never saw it coming because it started with the most innocent of questions, "What wine would you suggest that I take to our family gathering on Sunday?"

That question may have innocence at its heart but it is never innocent in the answering--at least, not for me. What is being served? How wine knowledgeable is the crowd? How much do you want to spend?

Well, once we sorted that all out, we were left with "educated, wine-liking, Asian food with each family contributing a series of small dishes meant as tastes" - Oh and $25-30 would be a good bottle price.

MY conclusions were the following--and they will not surprise you. High in acidity with a touch of residual and very confident flavors. Riesling, Gewurztraminer and sparkling wine dominate the choices, and after rattling off lists to my audience of two, I pronounced myself as having come up with the two best choices--all because a Safeway ad a few days earlier had caught my eye. On offer was the marvelous J Vineyards Cuvee 20 Brut Sparkling Wine for $17. And that was how I sent a couple of nice folks on their ways Friday.

89 J VINEYARDS Brut Cuvée 20 Sparkling Wine Russian River Valley $22.00
Yeasty, chalky lemony and crisp, all in the manner of J wines if a touch shy on full-blown champenization, this wine comes with a fair complement of medium-sized bubbles and sets its slight edge of palatal sweetness alongside energetic fruit that drifts into lemon and lightly vanilla-tinged notes. Try it alongside Asian flavored bites like rumaki or pork buns.


No Subject
by Anonymous
Posted on:1/3/2011 12:15:28 PM

Charlie, I've been pre occupied with numerous things going on in my life. Is there still a print version or should I consider that it's going to be by the internet only?

If so do I have a password etc?   Lou Kessler


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