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Copyright © 2018
Forkmedia LLC


by Fred McMillin
for December 20, 2001


"Houston, We Have A Problem!"

(We need a last-minute Christmas gift.)

Barefoot Reserve Chardonnay 
The solution...give two bottles of wine, the most popular white in the world, and the most popular red. That means the label on one bottle should have in large letters, Chardonnay, and the other label should have the two words, Cabernet Sauvignon.


Our Saint Nick's Picks

Here are recommendations for every budget level:

$20 Total

Buy a Fetzer Cab and Chardonnay, each in the $10 range. The Sundial Chardonnay is one of the best-sellers in the USA...or, think Beringer's Founders' Reserve label. Both the Chardonnay and Cab score well in my tastings.


The Ultimate Stocking Stuffer

Baron Philippe de Rothschild Chardonnay and Cabernet (pictured) for a total of only twenty two bucks.

Quick! Contact Lorraine Raguseo if you can't find em with only 4 shopping days left... phone (212) 765-7279, FX (212) 765-7303. Both rated recommended in their price range" by my panel.

$30 Total—A Barefoot Christmas?

Barefoot now makes a Reserve Chardonnay (pictured) and Cabernet...very solid values.

$50 Peak Package

Daryl Groom and Michael Shroeter may be the hottest wine growing team in California. You can give a dazzling pair of their Block Collection Geyser Peak wines... Highly recommended.

$75 Worth of Mike's Magic

Rothschild CabernetMike Grgich brought California Chardonnay to world prominence 25 years ago. His $45 Cabernet just pulled down an excellent from my panel. That's Grgich Hills Cellars.

$175 -Jarvis Bliss...A Slam Dunk Pair!

Fantastic. I keep hiding Jarvis bottles in my large blind tastings. Yet they never fail to pop up with excellent ratings and almost always win Best of Category.

Not so long ago the Wine Spectator's James Laube wrote that the first Jarvis release were "very impressive for their elegance and finesse." He concluded that Jarvis was well worth watching. We did and it was!



"One common myth needs to be nailed. There is no evidence that the soil in the vineyard conveys flavor to the wine."

Although some 370,000 acres of vines have been pulled up in the last ten years, Languedoc-Roussillon remains the world's largest wine region...with just a little less than the entire USA vineyard [acreage]. It has become France's most dynamic and exciting wine region. [Note: The inexpensive Rothschild wines recommended earlier in this article are from this region.]

Tasmania's sparkling wines are "impressive, including Taltarnis Clover Hill." (See June 28, 2000 WineDay)

What category of wines keeps improving with time the longest? Vintage Port...25+ years. Longest white table wine? Alsace Riesling...10+ years.

If this sounds interesting, give yourself a Christmas gift, and get 912 pages more of these insights from: The Global Encyclopedia of Wine, The Wine Appreciation Guild. Comprehensive, excellent photos, current price: $75. To order, call Bryan, (800) 231-9463.


About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at either San Francisco State University or San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.



This page created December 2001