Highly Rated 2014 Carter Cabernets have arrived!


Dear Friends,


Mike Smith

Mid October is always a time of excitement, many great Cabernets reach the shores of Golden Gate Wine Cellars.  As always the Carter Cellars wines crafted by my friend and ace-winemaker Mike Smith are worth the wait!  The current “stash” of 2014 although amazing in quality, is unfortunately very small in the quantity department.   Because of that I have come up with four “mixed offer packs” of these stunning wines.  I know I will not make everyone happy, but I try my hardest.  Please don’t take it out on the messenger!  Mother nature yielded way less for Carter, so I go less!  Most of the 2014 Carter wines scored 96-98 points, a few 93-94, so not a bad run!

We have 4 different FOUR-PACKS and a SIX-PACK to select from:

FREE SHIPPING – use code CARTER14 at checkout

Consists of 1 bottle each of:

  • To-Kalon Grand Daddy  97 Pts
  • To-Kalon The Three Kings  96 Pts
  • Weitz  96 Pts
  • Hossfeld Coliseum  94 Pts

Average score 95.75
FREE SHIPPING – use code CARTER14 at checkout

Consists of 1 bottle each of:

  • To-Kalon Grand Daddy  97 Pts
  • To-Kalon The Three Kings  96 Pts
  • Coliseum Block  94 Pts
  • Fortuna  93 Pts

Average score 95
FREE SHIPPING – use code CARTER14 at checkout

Consists of 1 bottle each of:

  • To-Kalon The Grand-Daddy  97 Pts
  • To-Kalon The Three Kings  96 Pts
  • Weitz  96 Pts
  • Coliseum Block  94 Pts

Average score 95.75
FREE SHIPPING – use code CARTER14 at checkout

Consists of 1 bottle each of:

  • To-Kalon The OG  98 Pts
  • To-Kalon The Three Kings  96 Pts
  • Weitz  96 Pts
  • Coliseum Block  94 Pts

Average score 96
FREE SHIPPING – use code CARTER14 at checkout

Consists of 1 bottle each of:

  • To-Kalon The OG   98 Pts
  • To-Kalon The Three Kings    97 Pts
  • Weitz   96 Pts
  • Coliseum Block  94 Pts
  • Fortuna  93 Pts
  • Hossfeld Coliseum 94 Pts

Average score 95.3

Click here or on the links above to order!


California Pinot is every bit as good as Burgundy

Pinot Noir harvest time at Pisoni

Pinot noir is widely considered to produce some of the finest wines in the world, but is a difficult variety to cultivate and transform into wine. The grape on the vine is highly susceptible to several ailments and once in the bottle, it is known for temperamental and unpredictable aging. The grape is most commonly associated with the Burgundy region of France where it had historically seen the greatest success, but today can be found in vineyards throughout the world.

California Pinot Noir surged in the early 2000’s, and today it is the 5th most widely planted grape in the state. It does best in cooler areas so the coastal wine regions are where you’ll find most of the plantings.

The Anderson Valley AVA is the coldest in the state, and it has become a hotbed for Pinot Noir, with newer artisan producers such as Waits Mast 100% dedicated to this fickle, nuanced grape. A ten-mile stretch with varied alluvial soil that runs north to south just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean, the fog spills into the valley, blanketing the hillside vineyards with cool air in the morning. Later, the sun breaks through in the afternoon, ensuring enough heat for ripeness but the wines are often light with vivacious acidity. The Waits Mast 2012 “Deer Meadows” Pinot Noir out of Mendocino received 95 points from Wine Spectator and is a beautiful example of this appellation.

The Sonoma Coast has also become a major player in the world of Pinot Noir. Most wineries just purchase fruit from the area yet Alma Fria 2013 Dona Margarita Pinot Noir and a hand full of others are based here. Like the Anderson Valley, it benefits from cold, foggy mornings with afternoon sun. It is also windy so, while the Anderson Valley has days when the temperature climbs into the 80’s and 90’s, the Sonoma Coast rarely gets that warm.

Coho winemaker Phil Titus

inspecting this year’s Pinot Noir

The Russian River, however, became known as a top area for Pinot Noir in the state with Williams Selyem attracting worldwide attention. There are now a host of small, boutique wineries including DuMol and Walter Hansel (see their multiple 93 Point 2013 Pinots), making waves of their own. Encompassing Chalk Hill in the east and the Green Valley in the West, it too benefits from ocean fog that rolls onto the vineyards in the afternoon. With clay based alluvial soil, the wines typically have more body than those from the Anderson Valley and Sonoma Coast.

Carneros, an AVA that is shared by both Napa and Sonoma, is not as cool but still gets enough wind from the San Francisco Bay on its southern border to make Pinot Noir with firm acidity. The soil is predominantly clay. There is often a marked difference between Carneros Pinot Noir and those made further north in the Anderson Valley and Sonoma, with the former often having more body and cherry fruit. Even though Carneros is a well-established and expensive area for Pinot Noir, it continues to attract burgeoning producers such as B Kosuge and Coho Wines who buy grapes from numerous vineyards.

Paul Lato has crafted several

amazing Pinot Noirs

Of course the Central Coast has become very well known for its Pinot Noir, with pioneers such as Mount Eden (their 2013 Estate Pinot Noir received 94+ Points from Galloni) helping to lead the charge in the early 80’s. From the Santa Cruz Mountains to Santa Barbara County, ocean fog and breeze cool keep the temperatures down. There is also a preponderance of limestone, adding mineral notes to many of the wines. Over the last decade smaller appellations within the Central Coast have captured the attention of up and coming winemakers such as  Paul Lato, who makes wines from the Santa Rita Hills and Santa Lucia Highlands.

This is just a snapshot of the variety of California’s Pinot Noir growing appellations. It is amazing how on one hand this grape has flourished and taken over so many regions yet on the other, the areas where it first received acclaim, especially Anderson Valley and Santa Barbara County, continue to set the standard.

If you have any questions about the many California Pinot Noirs, as always, I am available to answer your inquiries. Please don’t hesitate to call or reach out! My contact info is at the bottom of this email.


100 Point Winemaker’s STUNNING $50s Napa Cab Blend

The “Tether” wine is a new project between Benoit Touquette (who has made MANY 100 POINT wines as well as 96+ Kata, and 95+ Fait-Main & Teeter-Totter Cabernets) and my dear friend Kimberly Jones (wine broker to the stars).  The 2014 Tether Proprietary Red is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc, 14% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec. This is value in a bottle.   When I tasted the wine I figured, another $100, but I was wrong, it was ½ that price!  That said, the production is very limited at only a few hundred cases, so you’ll have to act quick!

Tether 2014 Cabernet Blend, Napa Valley
Retail 56.00 – GGWC 53.99
Use code TETHER upon checkout

Amazing color and gorgeous aromas jump out of the glass.  Black stone fruit, a whiff of dark chocolate and anise greet you upon impact.  On the palate this youngster will really wow you.  Lush, beautiful and well-balanced.  Bold black fruit from the Cabernet Sauvignon, balanced nicely with the silkiness of the Merlot and a crescendo of intensity from the Petit Verdot lead into a long finish – a good 30 seconds!   This is hidden gem that want to impress with!

Click here or on the links above to order!


California Wine Country 2016 Harvest Report

Frank Melis’ 2016 California Wine Country Harvest Report


Dear Friends,

Although I didn’t drive across the entire state to partake in the 2016 harvest, I did have a chance to taste and meet with many winery owners and have more-than-basic reports and pictures to share with you from Mendocino to Santa Barbara.

The harvest is almost done for many wineries, only a few Cabernet producers were still waiting for the last heat spikes to get the fruit that extra boost, and for some folks it is winding down already.  I’d say everyone is happy but not screaming from the rooftops.  The quality is very good to excellent but the quantity is still down from average, yet much better compared to the disastrous 2015 harvest.

Coho, Napa Valley

Coho Winemaker Phil Titus

Gary Lipp, owner of Coho is content with the quality from all of his vineyards throughout the Napa Valley, but could have been happier if the yields would have been 10-15% higher.  He took a big beating in 2015 (although the quality was very good) as he is down an average of 50%.  The Stanly Ranch Pinot Noir will be one of the best ever, says Gary.  He is also excited about two new vineyards that were added to compensate for the loss of the Diamond Mountain vineyard.

Check out the current releases from Coho:


FYI: The 2013 Headwater will be out in late October!

Inherit the Sheep, Coombsville Napa Valley

Inherit the Sheep

2016 Harvest

Clay Gregory, owner of Inherit the Sheep was very excited about the 2016 harvest.  His yields were much better compared to 2014 and 2015 and can’t wait to have this baby in the barrel and the bottle!

Clay said that the berries looked and tasted great. It’s  been a wonderful, relatively cool vintage which helps with the fruit/acid balance and overall complexity and flavor profile of the wine.  Some similarities to the great 1995 vintage, which was a vintage that wind up lasting a good two decades in people’s cellars!

He also mentioned that he has never picked before the second week of October and he didn’t expect that to change this year. The beauty of the Napa Valley’s  Coombsville Appellation is its long, cool growing season, which helps to produce beautiful purple color in the wine as well as an oily and luscious texture paired with a beautifully perfumed nose. Clay told me that he cannot wait to taste the 2016, and neither can I!

Dyer, Diamond Mountain Napa Valley

Dawnine Dyer owner/winemaker of Dyer Vineyards and Winery on Diamond Mountain in the Napa Valley said: “Picking has been steady on Diamond Mountain since Sept. 20 as winemakers watched for the combination of factors that indicate optimal ripeness. The heat over the weekend has changed all that and Cabernet has been coming in fast and furious since Monday. The next two weeks will tell the tale.  Overall 2016 will not yield a big bounty, but the quality is very good, so it is very promising”

Their new release will be out in November

Switchback Ridge Calistoga, Napa Valley

Switchback Ridge Owner

Kelly Peterson

Kelly Peterson and her winemaker Robert Foley were very ecstatic with the fruit coming from the Peterson Estate in Calistoga.  Kelly said that after a very disappointing quantity harvest in 2015, they were very happy to see rain falling on their vines over the winter and early Spring.   They feel lucky to have a good aquifer below their vineyard, but still needed a lot more as the vines really struggled in 2014 and 2015, and probably would not have produced much at all in 2016 if it weren’t for a good rainy season.  They’re not dancing of joy yet, as they need 2-3 more heavy rainy seasons to wipe out the drought of the past 5 years.

Overall, fruit came in with good to average yields.  The flavors are any bit as good as the 2012 and 2013 vintage with good acidity, which should mean another great year at Switchback Ridge!

Check out the 2013 releases:


MC4 Winery, St. Helena

Another full tub of Cabernet

from MC4

The Martin and Croshaw (MC4) families had all hands on deck for this great harvest.   Paul Martin told me that the 2016 vintage could be the best  in the almost 10 years since the first harvest.  The fruit set was great, no shatter and the flavors were amazing.  The yield much higher compared to 2015, was still a little below the 2014 vintage but he was not complaining.  I cannot wait to taste this wine in a few years!

Make sure to check out the latest MC4 release:

Pisoni, Santa Lucia Highlands

Mark Pisoni, puts it bluntly: “I hate to say this, but it’s looking like a nice, boring vintage.”

Even if the drought is far from officially over, California winemakers might be just fine with boring, especially considering the roller coaster they’ve been on since the drought began five years ago. The 2012 and 2013 vintages were great years, with growing conditions resulting in increased crops with very good quality. But in 2014 yields slipped as the long-term effects of the drought began to show.

Harvesting on the Pisoni vineyard

By last year, there was cause for concern. The 2015 harvest start was one of the earliest — if not the earliest depending on vineyard location — in history, and some vintners called it disastrous, with yields down 40 to 90 percent. In addition to the drought, many vines experienced a condition called shatter, touched off by unseasonably cold temperatures and wind in May, when the tiny, delicate white flowers were knocked off newly formed clusters, resulting in fewer overall grapes.

“It is refreshing to have more normal looking yields,” Pisoni says.  He says also a longer growing season.  The grapes are maturing very slowly, vines are focusing on ripening.    This will be a great vintage!

We have limited amounts of Pisoni (750ml and Magnum), Lucia Pinot, Chardonnay and Syrah in stock, click on the link below:
Gary Pisoni’s Latest Releases

Paul Lato, Santa Barbara

Paul Lato is excited about

his 2016 prospects

Paul Lato was very excited about the fruit from all of the vineyards he is working with. It has, however, been a roller coaster vintage as they had some heat spikes early, which made them look at the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir sources for a possible early harvest, then some cooling which was good as the fruit needed more maturity to gain more flavor, acid and complexity.  At the end, the result was very good for these two varietals.  They have not started on the Syrah and Grenache harvest yet, Paul said, but walking the vineyards and tasting the fruit, he looked like a very happy man.

To sum up Santa Barbara as a whole, the yields were very good, and the harvest was somewhat early but not in a record-setting way.  This was a healthier year, and could only hope and pray for a good rainy fall and winter.

Paul received great press again this year.  I have small amounts of his Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, Syrahs and Grenache remaining

Click on this link for a detailed run-down of all the current highly rated Paul Lato wines
Paul Lato’s Multiple 97 Point Scores!
Atrea & Saracina Winery, Hopland Mendocino

John Fetzer proprietor of the 100% organic and bio-dynamic estate that produces both Atrea and Saracina was a happy man this harvest.  When I visited the winery to write this harvest report, John told me that he was 85% finished.  They were still waiting for some Syrah, Petite Sirah and Zinfandel to ripen and he anticipated them to be ready for harvest by the third week of October. He was extremely pleased with the quality and quantity this year.  His yields in 2015 were abysmal so with a 5% below average yield in 2016 he says he’s not complaining.  The quality is on par with the best vintages he produced!

Take a look at the current Atrea & Saracina releases

To sum it all up, 2016 looks to be an interesting vintage with both quality and quantity ranging widely from one region to another. Production is generally up from last year, but most areas are still producing smaller than average yields. In spite of this, many of the people I talked to are optimistic for this vintage and we will be looking to the winemakers now, as they work their magic to transform this varied harvest into finished wine.


LAST CALL – Under $30 Napa Cabernet MUST HAVE


The latest release of Fisticuffs will really knock your socks off!  Rob Lawson has been making stunning wines under various “cult” Cabernet labels such as Ghostblock, Mirror, Pahlmeyer and Kapcsandy for many years and did not skip a beat with the stunning 2013 vintage. For those who dream of big and expensive Cabernets and don’t want to pay the big bucks… I have got news for you! This is a wine that tastes a lot more expensive than its price point! This wine is “the” real deal!

Retail 33.00 – GGWC 29.99
Use the discount code “FIST″ during checkout

Fisticuffs elicits classic Napa Cabernet characteristics.  It has a dark ruby color with tantalizing aromas of dark chocolate, cinnamon, espresso beans and black cherries, leading to a concentrated palate of blackberry, black raspberry and cassis. The tannins are fine grained and velvety, providing a full bodied wine with a lingering finish of baking spices, vanilla and black cherry. Well balanced and delicious, this Cabernet is perfect for your summer barbecue or your winter beef stew. It should age well over the next 10 years – but why wait?

As it was the case with previous vintages this wine will sell out very fast! Fisticuffs is a joint-venture between Jeff Smith owner of Hourglass, and Rob Lawson (Mirror, Ghostblock) is the Ace at the wine wheel!

Click here or on the links above to order!


Must have Magical 6 Barrel White


The “Benandant” name is rooted in the Friulian culture of the winemaker. The Benandants were said to be vagabond healers, born “with their shirt on”, or wrapped in their placentas, which infused them with their healing powers. According to the Friulian legend, these Friulian shamans were repeatedly sighted in the Valleys of the Natisone River, wandering at night in the woods by the shores, fighting witches and evil spirits, protecting farmers and their crops. Arbe Garbe’s Benandants White spotlights the Malvasia Bianca from Catie’s Corner in the Russian River Valley

Benandants 2015 Malvasia Bianca “Catie’s Corner” Russian River Valley
Retail 45.00 – GGWC 39.99
Use code BENANDANTS at checkout

Mix & match with Arbe Garbe White

The 2015 Benandants Malvasia is a gorgeous and aromatic wine, with notes of honeysuckle, peaches and hints of tropical fruit that jump out of the glass on impact. This might be one of the best “late-summer” whites of the year. Well-balanced, well-made wine that is delicious with good weight and bursting with stunning fruit!  No residual, just very aromatic and exotic spices.

Anthony Galloni 93 Points: “Arbe Garbe’s 2015 Benandants Malvasia Bianca Catie’s Corner Vineyard is a real head-turner. Deeply varietal to the core, the 2015 offers tons of Malvasia exoticness and perfume, with beams of supporting acidity that give the wine its freshness and verve. Lemon confit, jasmine and mint are all given an extra kick of brightness on the intensely mineral finish.”

Click here or on the links above to order!




In a recent blind tasting of 10 Cabernets, one wine surprised our group of 15 tasters.  The lineup included:

  • 12C Beckstoffer George III (95 Parker)
  • Roberts & Rogers (95 Parker)
  • Aiken (95 Parker)
  • Fait Main (95 Parker)
  • Aperture (94 Parker)
  • Beau Vigne (96 Parker)
  • Myriad (94 Parker)
  • Perfect Season (95 Parker)
  • Scarlett (95 Parker)
  • Steven Kent.

The Winner = STEVEN KENT.  The SKW received 9 First place votes, while Beau Vigne received 2, and 12 C, Aiken, Perfect Season and Scarlett each received 1 first place vote.


Steven Kent 2013 “Premier” Cabernet Sauvigon “Estate”
Retail 105.00 – GGWC 99.99
Use code SKW at checkout

The Premier 2013 is convincingly a wine of its vintage. Ripe and rich, this wine is replete with the aromas of cocoa, dark fruit, espresso, and toasty oak. On entry, the richness of aromas is mirrored in texture, though leavening the opulence of fruit and wood is a focused beam of acidity that is most easily described as a note of red fruit threaded through the more obviously darker notes. The acidity freshens the wine and carries it with wonderful pace through the rich mid-palate where the wine begins to show substantial tannin and astringent structural elements. As one would expect with a young Cabernet, there is significant tannin and wood showing upon release. And though these elements will fold into the larger and more important organoleptic notes with time, even in its youthful bravado, The Premier does not lose its fruitful identity. In fact, on the extremely long finish the complex layers of fruit show up quite wonderfully, riding on the back of the wine’s great acid. This wine should age gracefully for more than 15 years.


Click here or on the links above to order!


Screaming Eagle Winemaker’s Grenache Rocks!



In case you didn’t know her yet, It all started in the late 80s when Heidi Barrett began working for Dalla Valle as an “independent winemaker”. She began to develop a tiny project called Screaming Eagle shortly afterwards, and from there, things escalated quickly. With 5 perfect 100-point scores for her wines in the span of just a few years, Heidi skyrocketed to international fame, setting a world record for the highest price ever paid for a single bottle of wine – $500,000 for a 6L of 1992 Screaming Eagle at the Napa Valley Wine Auction in 2000. Today, Heidi maintains a stable of ultra-premium client wineries, including Paradigm, Lamborn, Amuse Bouche, Au Sommet, Fantesca, and Kenzo, as well as her own brands La Sirena and Barrett & Barrett. She and Bo live among their vineyards in Calistoga. In her free time, she enjoys scuba diving, flying her helicopter, making art, and gardening.
LA SIRENA 2013 Grenache, Napa Valley
Retail 50.00 – GGWC 46.99
Use code LAS13GREN upon checkout

Heidi Barrett says: “This 2013 Grenache from La Sirena is dark ruby in color with wonderful open clean aromatics of ripe red plums, currants, and dried cranberry, definitely red fruit driven. There are pretty, sassy, spicy notes in the nose as well from French oak. This wine is dense for Grenache, juicy yet has moderate textural tannins and a flavor profile that lasts several minutes. The blend is 100% Grenache from two steep hillside vineyard blocks in St. Helena. Concentrated and bigger than our inaugural release last year. Quite delicious upon release and will continue to evolve and improve with a bit more time in the bottle. Suggested pairings –Paella, hearty pasta dishes, burgers, sausage, or wild duck. Quite delicious, Enjoy!”

Click here or on the links above to order!


Scarecrow Winemaker’s Sensational Inaugural Cab & Sauv Blanc Releases

Celia Welch does not need an intro, but in case you wouldn’t know who she is – She’s the brainchild (i.e. the amazing winemaker) behind the following highly rated and highly regarded wineries including Scarecrow, Corra, Barbour,  Keever, 2480, Kelly Fleming, Bucella, etc.  For the past couple of years she’s been involved with a new project called Yount Ridge.  The property is based in Oakville, I know with a name of Yount Ridge, you’d think Yountville!  I was excited to taste the latest releases and was completely smitten by the wines.

Yount Ridge 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate, Oakville
Retail 100.00 – GGWC 94.99
FREE SHIPPING on 4 or more
Use code YR14CS at checkout

The wine is a blend of 97% Cabernet Sauvignoin, 2.5% Malbec and 0.5% Merlot.
This is a the new Scarecrow!  Goregous dense ruby/purple color. The wine has a lovely nose loaded with dark fruit, plum and blackberry.  On the palate you are greeted by fresh, deep, dark and rich black stone, dark chocolate, anise and a touch of spice  flavors that roll over your tongue.  The wine is robust in body, yet very-well put together, well-balanced fruit to acid ratios. The Yount Ridge Cabernet is a very sophisticated wine that show class, balance and finesse!  This is Celia at her best’ wine!  The wine finishes with seductive and silky grained tannins.

Yount Ridge 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, Estate Oakville
Retail 40.00 – GGWC 37.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more
Use code YR15SB at checkout

Only 3 tons were yielded from the property (2 Tons of Sauvignon Blanc and 1 Ton of Sauvigon “Musque Clone”.  All the grapes were selectively hand-harvested from their organically farmed vineyard. This might be the best SB in Napa this year.  The wine offers up a greenish hue and shows of its great aromatics on impact.  On the palate you are greeted by elegant notes of citrus, mango, grapefruit a medium body with nicely layered flavors and the right touch of crisp acidity.  This is a gorgeous wine and probably Celia’s best white ever!

Click here or on the links above to order!


Myth or Reality? The top four misconceptions about wine.

Whenever you have something that is so widely enjoyed and in so many different was as wine is, you will have an abundance of myths and ideas about it. This week I wanted to highlight a few of the myths about wine that I run into most frequently.

Myth #1: A great place to store your wine is in the kitchen fridge?

Wine should only be “cooled” in the fridge for a short period of time.  Some of us living in very warm/hot regions might feel the need to use the fridge as a storage vessel.  I am against it, unless you have a designated wine fridge.  Unfortunately, a “real” fridge might be too cold for your wines – so not a good idea.  The other issue, the vibration from the fridge might be an issue for the longevity of the wine.   On top of this, when you have cheese, leftover Chinese, or other “smelly” items in the fridge, the wine can easily take on the flavors of those -  not pleasant!

If you don’t have a “real” wine cellar may I suggest to store it in a dark closet, nice and cool – or in the basement (away from any heating devices there).  The biggest enemies of wine are heat, light and vibration.

Myth #2: Decanting is only for old, expensive wines?

This is a question that comes up almost every day.   Decanting has its purpose both for young and old wines.  When decanting an old bottle of wine, it is used to separate sediment that might have built up over the years.  My suggestion for old(er) wine is decanting it very slowly, gingerly and still use a strainer to pick up any sediment.  Do not decant too long in advance before serving if the wine is very old – you might have vinegar by that time.

When you have a young (red) wine like Cabernet or Syrah, I have two suggestions that I have learned over the years:

  1. I open up the bottle in the morning (when I brew my pot of coffee), and decant the wine into a decanter.  I let the wine sit (in my wine room at 55 degrees) till I get home and pour it back into the bottle.
  2. This one may shock and surprise you, but If I forgot to set the wine out ahead of time, or we have last minute (extra) dinner guest, I will grab my blender and throw in a YOUNG red or tannic wine (no need to do this with Pinot Noir, Merlot, Zin or Grenache) and blend it for 15-30 seconds. Occasionally I will only blend ½ of the bottle and have my guest taste the wine from both the bottle and blender.  The result is amazing – the wine from the blender is always silkier in character.  It is like using a meat tenderizer of sorts.  By using this aggressive decanting method, you introduce more oxygen into the wine and it softens the tannins very fast – it mimics long-term aging!  Of course, this is not something you want to do with a 1982 Chateau Margaux or 1987 Dunn Howell Mountain.  With wines like that, you should only use the traditional decanting method!

Myth #3: Whites should be served from the fridge and reds at room temperature.

When you want to drink wine, white or red alike, the most important factor is the temperature.  The right glassware is second – although some might argue this.  The Temperature will influence the aroma and taste of the wine greatly.

Some people might have multi-climate zones in their wine cellar and that comes in handy when storing whites and reds at different temperatures.  I know that many people put whites in the fridge for some time or even in ice buckets.  When you serve wine right from the fridge at 40° F it is way too cold and you cannot smell or taste anything. It is just like the flowers in your yard.  When it is too cold outside, you cannot smell them but when the temperature rises a little you get those beautiful aromas. That is the same with wine!

For whites, I like to recommend storing at 50-55 degrees. If you opt for the fridge or ice bucket, I want to suggest to remove the wine a good 20-30 minutes before serving it.

As for Reds – when you store them at room temperature, usually 70-72° F you’ll encounter high alcohol-like aromas and flavors. I like to suggest serving them at 60°-62° F.  Here you might do just the opposite. If the wine is too warm, do put it in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to bring it down to the 60-62° F.

Again, a double climate zone cellar does this trick for you.

Myth #4: Red wine with meat, white wine with poultry or fish.

I’d say that this is an old myth.  You want to drink what you like!  Of course, the right wine with the right food could do wonders as well.  And a great food-wine pairing can do wonders!

Fish and Chicken (or other white meats) don’t always need white wine – they can easily go with a good red like Pinot Noir or Grenache. A pork chop can often be served with a Syrah or Cab Franc.  I personally drink 49 out 50 reds versus white anyway!  When eating Thai or Vietnamese I like to drink a bottle of Champagne or Sparkling wine (not beer, sorry).

What are some myths you have run into? Do you have any amusing stories about wine myths or mishaps? Visit my blog at http://FrankMelisWine.com or our facebook page http://facebook.com/GoldenGateWineCellar and tell me about them!