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foodwine.com | WineDay | Annex

Bay Area Wine Authors
Mingo Lingo
by Fred McMillin

Wannabe Guide To Wine

Jack Mingo

Contact RDR Books, Oakland, CA
Ph. (510)595-0595, FAX (510)595-0598. $9.95.

Jack Mingo covers all the essentials. Examples...

  • Beer Wine Service:
    requires a bit more than using glasses that all have the same picture of Snoopy on their sides.

  • Pink Wines:
    There's only one word to remember if you are thinking of serving a pink wine to a serious wine drinking crowd: "DON'T"!

  • Grey Riesling:
    Serve with Cheese-Whiz and crackers.

  • Sauvignon Blanc
    Experts insist that they can taste wild flowers, mint, herbs and cedar. with a description like that, it's hard to know whether to drink it or splash it on after shaving. By now you get the idea. Alameda resident Jack Mingo is funny, but his knowledge is sound. His small book would make a fine, inexpensive gift and/or an entertaining bedside companion.

  • Favorite Wines:
    We also asked Jack about his favorite wines. After mentioning Rosenblum Zinfandels, he turned the tables and wanted to know what good Pinot, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon bottles my panel has tasted recently. Here they are.

  • Merlot
    If you drink Merlot under $l0, you'll like these.
    $9 Vichon '95 Mediterranean Merlot (new Robert Mondavi import)
    $8 M.G. Vallejo '94 Merlot (voted Best Buy in a recent tasting)

  • Cabs
    These three scored very well.
    $18 Lockwood Partners' '93 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Monterey
    $20 Gundlach-Bundschu '94 Cab, Sonoma Valley
    $45 Clos Du Val '92 Reserve Cab.. absolutely huge!

  • Pinot Noir
    California Pinots keep improving; try these.
    $20 Rutz Cellars '94 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
    $22 Steele '94 Carneros Pinot Noir
    $26 Robert Mondavi '94 Carneros Pinot Noir

Postscript: Lest I leave the impression that the book is mostly gags, there are many other arresting aspects. Here's one.

Wine History—1917 in the Bay Area: The situation looked pretty bleak for the two young brothers. Their uncle Mike was finishing five years in San Quentin. Their father's Oakland saloon was about to go out of business as Prohibition approached. Yet, they could see the potential of California viticulture and went on to found what became the largest winery on the planet. Those brothers were Julio and Ernest Gallo.

 
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