The Coast News Group
Gianni Buonomo winemaker and owner Keith Rolle savoring a glass of Sangiovese. Photo by Frank Mangio
Columns Taste of Wine

Taste of Wine: Staying sharp at Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits Trade Show

Our commitment to our viewers is to bring “Smart Information to Your Table.” This also happens to be our tagline. One of ways that we stay abreast of the wine industry is to attend events such as Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits Trade Show. The San Diego event showcased over 100 suppliers and vendors. 

I was able to visit about a dozen booths. The highlight was a booming crowd at the Mollydooker from Down Under booth. Mollydooker Vineyards hail from Adelaide in Southern Australia’s McLaren Vale region and is led by owner Sarah Marquis. 

Mollydooker Wines’ Samantha Williams displays a bottle of The Boxer Shiraz. Photo by Frank Mangio

The company responsibly grows its high-quality fruit using the self-created Marquis Vineyard Watering Program along with their Marquis Fruit Weight. The fruit weight is a sensory term that measures how far back from the tip of the tongue the velvety sensation of the fruit goes. They then use these fruit weights to classify the wines into five classes: Fun Wine, Lefty Wine (Mollydooker is Aussie for left hander), Family Wines, Love Wines, and its Signature Velvet Glove class with only one wine matching the class name.  Fun Wines have a fruit weight of 55% to 65% up to Velvet Glove at 95%+ fruit weight.   

Also, don’t be surprised when you don’t need a corkscrew to open a bottle of this wine.  Mollydooker preserves its wine with nitrogen to significantly cut down on the sulfites.  However, one must do the Mollydooker shake to expel the nitrogen. Tech Director Rico showed me the shake this summer as we were enjoying the Blue Eyed Boy Shiraz.   Details at

Gianni Buonomo celebrates 2019 harvest

If you are a winemaker and owner of San Diego’s Best Voted Urban Winery, what do you do after crushing and processing 30 tons of fruit and needing to launch your 2015 Sangiovese? Keith Rolle knew. He teamed up with Zafferano Owner and Executive Chef Max Farina for a Harvest Celebration / Sangiovese Launch. The three-course dinner featured homemade tomato soup, homemade fettuccine with Wild Boar Ragu and Tuscan Black Pepper Beef braised in Gianni Buonomo Sangiovese of course. Rico was on site for the celebration and enjoyed the 2015 Sangiovese injected with a 10% splash of Petit Verdot. The Sangiovese had cherry notes with all spice and cinnamon on the finish. 

A huge congratulations as well to Keith Rolle who was just named a Wine Judge Class of 2019 by The American Wine Society. He is one of two Certified Wine Judges in California. Nicely done Keith! Visit

Wine Bytes

• A shout out to Paso Robles friend Allegretto Vineyards. Congrats on their 2015 Willow Creek Cabernet that was just awarded 97 points and Double Gold at the San Francisco International Wine Competition. This varietal is aged in 40% new oak for 40 months.  The result of the aging produced fragrances of blackberry and dark chocolate savory notes on the nose and fresh cherries with smooth tannins on the palate. 

• PAON Wine Bar in Carlsbad will be hosting their second annual Warehouse Sale and Holiday Party from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 8. Admission includes: Wine Tastings, Live Music, and Food Stations. Wines will be priced at a tremendous discount and available for pick up at the event. This is a great opportunity to stock up for the holidays. Tickets are $30 per person. Details at

• West End Bar & Kitchen is hosting five-course Pahlmeyer Wine Dinners from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 5 and Dec. 7. Pahlmeyer features French clones of red Bordeaux varietals  grown in Napa Valley. The dinner includes both Jayson and Paulmeyer wines highlighted by Ossobuco Veal Shanks and saffron risotto for the main course. Tickets are value priced at $75 per person. RSVP at (858) 259-5878.