by Fred McMillin
On Wine reader Sean Wong asked how well affordable California wines score against bottles of the same varietal and price from any other part of the world. In our Ft. Mason classes we've made such comparisons with wines from 10 other countries (France, Australia, Israel, etc.) and three states including Oregon and Washington. For example, a $12 Sauvignon Blanc from Chile was paired with a California Sauvignon Blanc of the same price and vintage.
White ($25 maximum)|
|World||$14||Aligote, Shooting Star, Washington State, 2006|
|World||$10||Chardonnay, Oak Knoll, Oregon, 2005|
|California||$25||Grenache Blanc, Adelaida, 2005|
|California||$6||Riesling, Forestville, 2006|
|World||$12||Sauvignon Blanc, OOPS Wines, Chile, 2006|
Pink ($15 maximum)|
|California||$13||I'm Rosé, I'm Wines, 2006|
Red ($30 Maximum)|
|California||$30||Cabernet Sauvignon, Steele, 2004|
|World||$19||Pinot Noir, King Estate, Ore., 2006|
|California||$12||Red Muscat, Electra by Quady, 2006|
|California||$24||Tempranillo, Shenandoah Vineyards, 2004|
California certainly stood up well, producing six of the 10 best values—and Oregon and Washington State furnished most of the rest. So if your taste buds agree with those of my students, you can find fine values made right here on the West Coast of the USA!
Franciscan Friar Narcisco Duran made California's first fine wine brandy some two centuries ago. A peer described it as "crystal clear, doubly distilled, and as strong as the reverend father's faith!"
Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He was voted one of the U.S.A's 22 Best wine writers by the Academy of Wine Communications. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.
Copyright © 2008, Fred McMillin. All rights reserved.
This page created July 2008
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