The Coast News Group
Taste of Wine

Notes from the Wine Warehouse spring tasting

I have reported several times this year on the extraordinary number of wine events and outreach that have been staged in an effort to get before the trade and public. The pace has been dizzying (no pun intended) to keep up with all of them and bring you up to date on the newest and best releases.
One of the most influential wine marketing and distribution companies in the world is Wine Warehouse. For 30-plus years it has offered more than 10,000 wines and other beverages for sale to the retail trade in California. Retail and restaurant customers look to Wine Warehouse for  superior wine and related products.
More than 500 new release wines were brought by recently by some 120 wineries from all over the world. Many of the owners and winemakers were at this gathering at the Hilton Bayfront in San Diego, to engage firsthand with potential and current customers.  When I arrived, I went over right away to Temecula’s Thornton Winery to visit with owners Steve and John Thornton with winemaker Don Reha. They were excited about the seven new Spring wines that have just been released that I will be reporting on in a future column.
Then I moved over to Enrico Nicoletta’s booth. He manages the Italian wine portfolio for Wine Warehouse and was anxious to have me taste the latest from Felsina and Barone Ricasoli, both Chianti Classico front-runners from Tuscany. The Felsina 2007 “Beradenga” with 100 percent Sangiovese sells for $20 and is made by one of the master makers, Guiseppe Mazzocolin. 
Barone Ricasoli is a bigger winery that is just north of Felsina. Its Chianti Classico 2006 was in the top five wines in the world awarded by Wine Spectator in 2009. My “Taste of Wine Top Ten Tastes for 2009” had the Brolio Ricasoli Chianti Classico Tuscany 2003 listed. Price is just $11 if you can find it. Just a dash of Merlot and Cabernet adds great depth to the Sangiovese base.
Finally I want to mention a strong, fruity find in Consilience from Santa Barbara County and its 2006 Syrah. Brett Escalera is the owner-winemaker. Brett also served at Byron and Fess Parker wineries. Normally I don’t think much of wines with more than 15 percent alcohol, but this one is balanced to perfection. It’s a true premium Syrah and one to watch for at just $18. Look it up at www.consiliencewines. com.
Water in wine is the purest
Most people know that wine is made up of mostly water but what they may not know is that the water in wine is the purest available. As the wise and humble Ben Franklin once said: “In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.” In the fermentation for wine, there is a process of boiling, filtering and fermenting. So, enjoy that glass of wine. Not only does it taste good and make you feel good, your body is getting the most healthy irrigation known to man.
Wine Bytes
— VINZ Wine Bar downtown Escondido is back with Vinnie Griffin as owner with the wine bar and German beer garden linked up. The V Lounge again has Friday entertainment with guitarist Jimmy Patton from 7 to 9 p.m. Call (760) 743-8466 for more information.
— Wine Steals in San Diego, Hillcrest and Cardiff now has a wine cask feature with wine on tap! They are offering great low prices on wine by the glass. Call the location nearest you for more.
— St. Germain’s Café in Encinitas has a “Yappy Hour” on Fridays and Saturdays with special incentives for your dog and you from 4 to 7 p.m. On June 18 and June 19 enjoy Pannini “Yappetizers” and a glass of local Poway  Old Coach Wines. Local music and raffle drawings. Call (760) 753-5411 for more information.
— La Costa Wine Company in Carlsbad has light and refreshing German Riesling wines for tasting from 5 to 8:30 p.m. June 18. Cost is $15 each. On June 25, Sonoma wines for tasting for $20 per person. Call (760) 431-8455 for more information.
— San Diego Wine Company on Miramar Road is pouring 10 terrific Pinots for $10 from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. June 19. Erath is one of the featured wines. Call (858) 586-WINE for details.
— Island Prime on Harbor Island in San Diego is hosting a Great Fathers Day Wines sale from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 19. Sample select wines and hors d’oeuvres and win prizes with each purchase. Contact Maurice at (619) 557-9441, ext. 203 for the wine list.
— Café Merlot in the Bernardo Winery in Rancho Bernardo extends an invitation to join them for a TAPS benefit dinner and wine tasting to help troubled teens and their families from 6 to 9 p.m. June 26. Cost is $75 per person or $120 per couple. For tickets, call (858) 668-2273.