Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
My Favorite California Wine
This kind of question is almost impossible for me to answer because of all the amazing wines I have been lucky enough to encounter over the years. But if you put my feet to the fire I would have say to say Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon from the Monte Bello Vineyard.
Do I consider it the very greatest of all California wines? No, but I wouldn’t make that statement about any other wine either, there are just too many great wines. It is my favorite for more personal reasons than just how transcendentally rich, powerful, elegant, and distinctive it can be.
You see when I was growing up I could see Monte Bello Ridge above the town of Cupertino from my bedroom window. As I grew into adolescence and became interested in wine it was so exciting to think of great wine being produced that close to home. Then I grew old enough that they would actually serve me in the tasting room, and the excitement only increased!
To be honest I don’t remember the first vintage of Monte Bello I ever tasted, but I do remember that I have tasted every vintage ever produced commercially. The first vintage of Monte Bello was the 1962 and at the time I tried it, it was the oldest California wine I had ever tasted.
The vintages at the top of the list for me would be the 1966, 1967, 1985, 1991, and 1999, but don’t make me pick between those. My favorite Monte Bello memory (maybe my favorite wine memory period) is drinking the 1977 on its 15th birthday while sitting in the vineyard leaning against a vine.
The 1982 vintage actually taught me a lesson about great wine. Nobody would call it a great Monte Bello (they lowered the price from $50 to $15), but when you drank it (which we did plenty of) you could tell it was a Monte Bello. And that for me defines greatness in wine, not only that it is delicious, but that it is unmistakable in its character and singularity.
Funny that’s a pretty good way to define Ridge Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon, no wonder I dig it so much!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
2005 Gemstone Proprietary Red
James Laube, a noted expert on Napa Valley wines, described the 2005 Gemstone:
"An absolutely gorgeous wine is the blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot, the 2005 Proprietary Red. Pure, vivid notes of black currants, crushed rocks, acacia flowers, and some subtle barrique smells are followed by a wine with hints of hot stones and a gravelly character. The wine has superb intensity, beautiful purity, and full-bodied power, but uncanny elegance and symmetry. This wine needs 2-3 years of bottle age, and should drink well for 25 years."
I don't know what crushed rocks taste like, whether I should want my wine to taste like acacia flowers, or what "barrique smells" are. What I do know is that the first time I tasted Gemstone, I was blown away. I had heard about the wine and the stories about how difficult it was to find because of the limited production and high demand.
Usually I chalk up such rumors to clever marketing, and a feeding frenzy by rare-wine collectors to obtain the most scarce offerings out there. In this case, I could not have been more wrong. For a friend's birthday, I offered to cook some steaks, and my friend's step father brought a bottle of Gemstone.
As soon as I watched it poured into the glass, I could tell it was something different. It was dark -- almost inky. The smell -- what oenephiles would call the "nose" -- was different. To me, most wines smell like, well, wine. This was different; it was complex in a way I typically am unable to discern. The flavors were even more complex, as even I could detect different flavors in the wine. I'm still not certain what they were, but they were there.
But the real magic came when the wine accompanied a slice of medium-rare prime beef. Delicious.
Monday, September 7, 2009
During a wine tasting trip to Napa about a year ago, out party stopped at Dean & Deluca for lunch. While waiting for our sandwiches to be made, I wondered over to their wine area, where I quickly became lost in the in the seemingly endless rows of reds.
While I recognized a few of the larger wineries, quite honestly virtually all of the bottles seemed to be simply variations on a theme – same size bottle, semi-interesting label and price points that were a little on the high side for me take a chance on.
However, all of that changed in an instant, when I came across a bottle that simply had a black and white picture of a man’s hands as its label. The name of the name of the wine – “Papillon” appeared to have been tattooed (hopefully temporarily!) on each of his visible fingers.
Two things struck me immediately – first “Papillon” brought to mind the movie by the same name which stared a very young Dustin Hoffman, and one of my all time favorite actors, Steve McQueen. Second, the man’s hands were filthy! I wondered why on earth would a winery choose to make dirty hands its selling point?
Whatever it was, their marketing ploy worked on me, as I picked up this one bottle out of literally thousands to choose from for a closer examination. After examining the hands a little bit closer, I turned the bottle over and immediately smiled – there was a familiar name – Orin Swift! Their marketing of first release – “The Prisoner” (which was the subject of an previous guest blogger) also featured a unique picture of a man in chains.
Without even checking the price, I headed to the cash register. I simply had to share this bottle with my friends who were with me. Of course I did get a another little surprise at the register – the price was only in the $50 range – not bad at all for a Napa Valley Red Wine that contains over 50% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Returning to our limo, I proudly showed off my purchase, and before the bottle came back my way, it was nearly gone as we simply enjoyed it with our sandwiches as we headed off to our next winery.
This wine is still one of my favorites – I especially like its finish, which seems to last forever, which is about as long as I hope to remember the how, why and when I first picked up a bottle of this wine. (PS - the dirty hands? I later learned that they were the hands of a field worker who had picked some of the grapes that went into Papillon - and yes, the tattoo was temporary).
Sunday, September 6, 2009
A New Friend
As I only recently moved to this great state, my knowledge of California wines was actually pretty much limited to the well known producers, especially the big and bold Cabs that California is renowned for. However, now that I live here, I am struck by all the varieties of grapes that are grown throughout Northern California.
That is why it was extremely hard for me to choose just one wine for this review.
However, after narrowing done my selections, I choose a wine that I associated with a unexpected but yet wonderful experience. Here is the story.
About two months ago, I was working in Napa on a Wednesday afternoon when I looked at my watch and realized that traffic was going to get the better of me so I stopped at a local restaurant off Hwy 29 called Press.
Being a first time diner, I didn’t know what to expect but as luck would have it, Wednesday is the night that Press features a “Blue Plate Special” for only $10 and wines at half price!
The “Special” that Wednesday was Chicken Milanese topped with micro greens and fresh tomato. The Milanese breading was perfectly crunchy with a hint of Italian spices, the chicken extremely tender and the tomatoes garden fresh.
Since I still had to drive back to Sacramento, I consulted with the bartender regarding their half bottle selections. Since I was having chicken, we decided on a half bottle of Robert Sinskey Pinot Blanc.
Now, I’ve had my share of Pinot Blancs but this particular style was bright and had enough sugar to tame the Italian spice on the breading so that each bite was enjoyable. The acidity was low so it didn’t attack my mouth after a bite of tomato while still allowing the micro greens to burst with minerals. It was a smooth wine and could easily have gone with Thai food - which I find can be one of the most troublesome of foods to pair wine with.
I don’t particularly like dining alone but this wine has now become my friend and I thoroughly enjoyed its company. I think you will too!
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Just the other night I picked up a bottle of CA Zinfandel by the name of Quackenbush. I admit that the name made me laugh and that is why I picked up the bottle, but after reading the back I decided to give it a shot.
Friday, September 4, 2009
A Memorable Wine and Memorable Moment
I have a soft spot for WORK VINEYARD 2003 NAPA CABERNET SAUVIGNON. A true Bordeaux Blend - 90% Cabernet, 5% Merlot, 3% Syrah and 2% Malbec. Only 170 cases were made. The wine is exceptional with a complex character. This deep, dark and profoundly concentrated wine boasts a dense ruby/purple-tinged color as well as a gorgeous nose similar to that of a French Bordeaux that is intermixed with notions of crushed blueberries and violets. Full bodied and unctuously-textured wine with flavors of dust, leather and chocolate, it is a terrific, full throttle, palate staining, impeccably well balanced wine that can be drunk for the next 10-15 years. But the reason I love this wine has a little to do with its full bodied taste and more to do with my family. Here is our story...
One evening, Lamya (my wife), Zina (our daughter) and myself were dining at the Calistoga Inn in downtown Calistoga. Our son, John and his girlfriend Jackie arrived and started screaming "Dad I did it".....Mom I did it." When we asked what, he replied that he proposed to Jackie! It was "yes" and he had given her a beautiful 3.5 karat diamond ring.
During the happy news, Lamya stood up from our table and addressed all the people in the restaurant by knocking on the rim of the glass and saying "Hello everybody. My name is Lamya and I have happy news to celebrate with you! Our son John proposed to his girlfriend Jackie and they are going to marry next year and I want all of you to know that the wine is on the house.”
Meanwhile, I am kicking Lamya's foot trying to tell her that we only had one bottle of wine on our table and how are we going to serve 60 plus people? All of a sudden I saw the restaurant manager approaching us and asking what kind of wine we were going to serve and I replied 2003 Work Vineyard Reserve Cabernet which we produce at our Vineyard. I sent our son to the vineyard, which was next door to the restaurant, to bring a case of wine to share with our fellow diners. John was there and back in the 15 minutes and brought a whole case of wine which we shared with everyone! Everybody enjoyed the wine and we encouraged them to visit our Vineyard and family the next day. The restaurant was filled with hugs and blessing to John and Jackie. It was a simple dinner that turned into a big celebration...and a wine to remember.
Editors note: Work Vineyard Reserve Cabernet is exclusively available at Lakeside Beverages, and is priced at a very reasonable $44.95 per bottle.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
For those of you who missed it, the next crawl is scheduled for the Roseville area on October 14th.
Luxury Limousines is proud to have chosen as the exclusive transportation provider for these fun events.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
When my friend Bill Murray at Luxury Limousines asked me to write a blog about wine, I askedmyself what could I possibly contribute?
I had a gnawing sense of wine ignorance magnified by minimal understanding of the wine language...horticulture?, enology? Malolectic Fermentation?...yikes... and thus a lack of confidence about what to write.
And then it dawned on me like the moment a strong mountain cab explodes on your tongue...rippling a squadron of flavors across your mouth. I like wine. I really like it. And more importantly I know why I like it.
Wine in my life has become a connective force. Whether it's having a post-work glass of The Prisoner with Kimberly while watching Top Chef Masters, a bottle at dinner (Jarvis maybe) with close friends selected to enhance the brilliance of Patrick Mulvaney's menu (or a Morton's Steak) or a Luxury Limousines journey to Napa to see old friends (Hello Ralph at Krug!!) and make some new ones (Hello Collin at Larkmead), wine sharing is a comfortable, centering method of life enhancement. It's a social endeavor with no rights, no wrongs...just opinions, tastes which leads to discussions, which leads to friendships...and isn't that what life is about?
So with that as a backdrop...no wine has been a deeper connective force for me than "The Prisoner" by Orin Swift Cellars. During one of my many tastings some less than sober cat once blabbed every wine should have a story...even BE a story. For me The Prisoner is that wine...that story.
So here's the story.
Picture if you will, sitting with a group of friends at Auberge du Soleil. Outside patio. Scent of flowers and great conversation permeating the perfect 73 degree afternoon. The current bottle of BV reserve is running dry and by your internal calculations you're next to order/purchase. The wallet is a little thinner than you wish it was and worse the wine list of over 1500 carefully selected bottles is beyond intimidating. It's considered by many to be the finest wine list in the country.
So I do what my old hockey coach told me. KISS theory. Keep It Simple Stupid.
1. Recognize that everyone at the table had been enjoying the red blends.
2. Assume there are red blends somewhere in their book (crazy wine list).
3. Pray there's one under $100.
4. Hope that the server doesn't laugh at you when you order.
As you may know 'assume', 'pray' and 'hope' are all bad strategies....but it was all I had.
So halfway down the page, amidst the Hills, the Cellars, the Reserves, and the Vineyards I came across "The Prisoner". Seriously, who names their wine "THE PRISONER". A little Goth, a little morbid. A little crazy.....hmmmm...I like that. I also like the $66 price tag.
Let's take a chance on a wine that took a chance. Maybe I'm stumbling onto a new generation of rogue winemakers who don't spend their time and money on decorating their tasting room but rather on good old fashion R&D. At this point, in my head I already had a story. I ordered a wine with the most ludicrous name I had ever seen.
Six to seven minutes later, our server emerged from the cellar and stood by me with a strange smirk that only I had spotted through the glass tilting conversation that distracted the others. The table silenced as I inquired, "why the wry smile?"
"The servers here taste almost all the wines, it's part of the job", she said. "This one has become a cult favorite amongst the staff...and when I was making my way back from the cellar, the other servers were giving me head nods and finger points...We're big fans". So for the one AND only time in my life, I felt like a wine connoisseur.
The best part of the story and the real magic of the experience though is that THE PRISONER delivered. Layers and layers of flavors with the strength of a pure cabernet, a tobacco, blackberry spice with a slender, plush, multi-flavored finish. We all loved it.
Quick note here...The Prisoner is a featured wine on the Auberge du Soleil Private Menu.
THE PRISONER (and it's story) has now become local legend amongst my friends, a connective force if you will, as we have all shared it with others on birthdays, holidays, special dinners and gifts as well (think MAGNUM!).
Craig Amazeen is a frequent client of Luxury Limousines when in need of some Prisoner.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Other stats of interest were that only 7.5% of the limousine company owners had a Masters or Professional Degree (not to toot my own horn, but I have both), 41% of the companies have between 4 to 10 vehicles (we currently have 8), and only 54.1% of customers report that they are very satisfied with the service they received from their limo company (this is exactly the reason why I got into the business - I was unsatisfied with the service that I received as a customer).
Speaking of customer satisfaction, only 39.6% of limousine operators report that they treat their chauffeurs as employees. I believe that if chauffeur is not an employee, it is much more difficult to control his or her behavior - that is why we treat all of our chauffeurs as employees, not independent contractors. In addition, as a CPA, I know all to well how the IRS makes distinctions between employees and contractors, and believe me, the other 60.4% of limousine companies would have a hard time justifying their tax treatment of their chauffeurs.
Finally, only 68.6% of the companies report that they utilize a chauffeur training system. Interestingly, the system we use (The Smith System) is used by only a little over 8% of these companies. This is despite the fact that the Smith System is the mostly widely used system by Fortune 500 Companies.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
For the third time in four years, the Bay Bridge will be closed on Labor Day Weekend. According to Cal Trans. the bridge will close on Thursday September 3rd at 8PM, and will reopen at 5AM on Tuesday September 8th.
During this closure, a football size portion of the eastern span will be cut and rolled away to make room for a double-deck detour that will be used until the new bridge opens sometime in 2013. For a great simulation of how this engineering feat will take place (including a time-lapse sequence of a similar procedure performed back on Labor Day Weekend in 1997) check out the Cal Trans video by clicking here.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Lionel Lucas, Plan B’s co-owner, greeted my friend and me with a smile as we entered and admired the restaurant’s contemporary atmosphere, clean lines and open space. Even though it was a lazy weekday evening, my gut (and not just its growling) and nose led me to believe this would be an enjoyable dining experience.
I am a big believer that every great dining adventure begins with a cocktail. The toughest part is deciding which one! Admiring a beautiful bar manned by a skilled mixologist is like shoe shopping at Nordstroms. So many pretty bottles, textures and colors to choose from that you want to try each one. Our bartender Matt, like any good cocktail consultant, created the “Perfect” Perfect Manhattan; with just the right amount of vermouth and that hint of bourbon. For my companions drink, he chose Patron’s favorite companion, the Margarita. Although Matt created one that most bartenders would be proud to shake, my friend’s discerning taste and more importantly his sampling of my own ‘rita concoction, has spoiled his taste buds. My Jimmy Buffet loving uncle taught me that all girls should know two things in life; how to change a tire and make a Margarita. Thank goodness I have AAA!
We were one of the first diners to arrive and I was utterly impressed to see that Lionel, who prefers to be called Lucas, was taking orders and juggling roles and plates in his own place. I’ve learned through my own hospitality industry experience, it should be admired when an owner roles up his sleeves to know first hand what the troops face on the battlefield.
A butter lettuce salad with blue cheese, dried cherries, walnuts and a dijon vinaigrette caught my eye and taste buds. I have been obsessed with butter lettuce lately and by far this salad continued that obsession. For our wining and dining pleasures, I complimented my salad with a bottle of Arrogant Frog Rose. This French wine and its rosewater essence brought me to les domaines de Provence and complimented the blue cheese and cherries perfectly.
My cohort had the half chicken breast with ratatouille. We learned that in addition to his charm, smile and Perfect Manhattan, Matt could also recommend the perfect wine. In this case the Deloach Pinot Noir. The succulent chicken fell off the bone allowing one to try and capture the juices between the tasty pieces of skin and white meat. The flavorful broth was unable to be soaked up any more because the chicken was already so juicy. The ratatouille with all its rustic Italian flavors made each bite one to savor . Even the side of “skinny” fries were rave-able!
We retired to the patio to finish our wine and enjoy the last hints of flavor that it brought out from our meal. To my surprise, my friend ordered cheesecake as the final note. I was too engulfed in the last bits of strawberry, rosemary and floral tastes of my Arrogant Frog to desire something sweet and creamy. However, the presentation enticed me towards a bite and I can’t say I regretted it. Plan B is a Luxx recommendation for those wanting to experience a great meal with an equally great setting. Don’t forget to tell Matt we said hello!
Plan B Restaurant – 555 La Sierra Dr, Sacramento
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Yesterday at 11:54am · Comment · LikeUnlike
2 people like this.
Adrian is amazing..lets invite him over for the bbq!
Yesterday at 12:15pm
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
- One acre of land is home to between 900-1300 grape vines.
- One vine annually produces about 4-6 bottles of wine, or 20-30 glasses.
- A ton of grapes makes about 720 bottles of wine or 60 cases.
- One barrel of wine equals roughly 20 cases or about 1200 glasses.
- Each bottle of wine contains about 2.8 pounds of grapes; Each 5 ounce glass holding a little over half of a pound.
For more fun facts, or to schedule your own private tour, give me a call.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Welcomed there by a very courteous and professional staff and provided with a wine list that would make any novice drinker drool made this an experience fit for a Queen. Which, by the way, my dining companion claims me to be!
While wine is always at the top of our list we did have to try what Ella’s bar is famous for, specialty cocktails. When I say that, I don’t mean your average bar that boasts “specialty” with it's variations on a Cosmopolitan, Margarita or
We then had a bottle of Elizabeth Spencer Cabernet with luscious berry flavors and a silky finish. Coupled with Meatballs, Braised Shortribs, Paparadelle Pasta, Hangar Steak all that came out in the fashionable European style that Ella's boasts. You eat, enjoy and share with your neighbor! Dinner had hit well so we thought dessert would be comparable but we were wrong... It was beyond what we had expected! A trio of chocolate that our bartender Rene served with grace a glass
We thoroughly enjoyed Ella's and its fabulous staff and will return!
Friday, July 17, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Quite honestly, I was unaware that there was a wine collection this extensive in Sacramento - combined, the two cellars hold over 16,000 bottles of wine - easily the largest collection in Northern California outside of San Francisco.
The collection was built almost entirely by Mario, who started at the Firehouse as a bus boy at age 16. I was given an opening to order something off the list so after much debate, I went with a 2003 Harlan "Bond". I seriously started crying when I smelled the bouquet on this wine since the palette was not too far off of pure ecstasy.
We then tried a 2002 Scarecrow and found it to be equally as delightful with a silky velvet texture - and although the cellar itself looked more like a dungeon, I literally imagined that this could easily be my heaven.
My companion almost got the best of me and wanted to cap the evening off by opening up a Lokoya, but I put a halt to the festivities to save it for our hands down return to Firehouse which will happen very, very soon and I hope to see you there!
Not only is it surrounded by the Culinary Masterpieces of Thomas Keller, Michael Chiarello and Keller's fiance Laura Cunningham, but the art galleries feature landscapes that literally explode with vibrant color. Not to mention the great wines of Hope and Grace, Cornerstone, and Hill Family Estate.
One of the fabulous hidden experiences in Yountville is one that won’t even break the bank. It is a “garden tour” at the boutique winery of Hill Family Estate. On my recent visit, Ryan Hill narrated a tasting and tour of the gardens that none other than Mr. Keller himself uses for both the French Laundry and Bouchon. After the tour, Ryan leads you back and conducts a private tasting of his family wines.
A trip like this can easily satisfy the Monday "Blues", "Toots" of a Tuesday, "Woes" of a Wednesday and as my favorite boys do, a "Thirsty" Thursday. Call me and we'll get this exotic day underway!
Monday, July 13, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
I finally broke down last week and purchased my first iPhone and as my one of my friends kept saying as he watched me playing with it the "phone's techknowledgy is almost alien!"
The interface is extremely easy to use, the intelligent spell checker is scary smart, and the ability to automatically find and connect to Wi Fi hot spots makes browsing and blogging at least 10 times faster than I was used to with my Blackberry. Couple these features with the thousands of free or very low cost apps (including the one I am using to write this post) and it makes me think that I should call my broker tomorrow morning and sell my stock in Rim, and replace it with Apple!
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
When I say "best restaurants", I do mean the best! For example Biba, Ella, The Firehouse, Hawks, Mortons, Mulvaneys, Sofia and Spartaro are all participating (you can tell where I am going to be!).
For more information including other participating restaurants and their menus, follow this link, and if you decide to make a party of it, we have cars available!
Monday, June 29, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Pictured here is our newest employee, Joey Campodonico handing out fans to some our future prom goers and brides!
My first recommendation is Cakebread Cellars Rubaiyat, which is a blend of 83% Pinot Noir, 15% Zinfandel and 2% Syrah. The unusual name comes not from the grape itself, but rather from a famous verse in a book of poems by Persian philosopher Omar Khayyam. With flavors of fresh strawberries and cherries with a hint of spice this wine is sure to complement any type of picnic fare.
If neither of these strike your fancy, then you can always turn to my personal favorite - bubbly, which I think goes with any type of food be it fried, raw, roasted or BBQ!
Monday, June 15, 2009
Visiting a winery Monday thru Thursday can be exciting because it is almost as if you have the Valley to yourself. You get into a tasting room and find that all the attention is yours, all the questions you can think of answered, and this time its you who could have 2 Hosts!
Some wineries are so happy to see guests this time of the week they may even be inclined to offer a few extra tastes maybe even from the barrel and aren't afraid to take you "behind the scenes" to see where the magic happens. For a different kind of winery experience plan a weekday trip with friends! Especially with Harvest Season coming up it could be a fun way to really get to know wine!
Food and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided, as will free wi-fi (this was a big hit with last months winners from Intel!). To enter, simply either follow this link, or email Kris Stringfellow at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, your companies name and contact information. It is just that simple!
Friday, June 12, 2009
Curiosity got the better of me and after researching a bit about Jeff Gordon's wine I came across Bennett Lane Winery which actually sponsors a car that races in Nascar! And from there I was directed to a Nielsen Sports survey that said wine consumption among Nascar enthusiast is up 22%!
Sunday June 21st this car will be racing at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma and I think I may have to check this out and enjoy some wine!
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Colin's spoke with a distinctive Scottish brogue, and after we learned that the winemaker is also from Scotland (and more recently from Gemstone), it didn't surprise us at all to hear bagpipes playing in the distance (that is Colin, Steve the Bagpipe Player, and yours truly in the picture).
In addition to Colin, we were also hosted by Sonny, who had us first taste the Larkmead Sauvignon Blanc. This was only the second time Larkmead had produced this wine, and unfortunately, only 873 cases were made. Luckily some are still available!
The next wine that Sonny brought to us really caught our attention. The "Firebelle" is made from 100% estate grown grapes. It is a Bordeaux- style blend and was sumptuous. There is also quite a "scantily" tale, of how the wine got its name, which I will leave to Sonny to repeat to you but here is a hint - it involves the Coit Tower in SF!
The tasting fee is waived at Larkmead if you decide to purchase 3 or more bottles or become a wine club member. The prices range from $30 to $75 and are actually quite a steal when compared to the enjoyment these wines bring.