California Wine Is the Answer

Bright Wines for Dreary Days


Experimentation and mastery collide in the California wine scene, which endlessly renews itself to our delight. We’re interested in the diversity of voices that make this state one of the most prominent wine hubs in the world. Take a tour of current California wine with recommendations from sales associates Josh Mizrahi, Jon Miner, Jared McGuire, Tammie Teclemariam, Marcarthur Baralla, and sales managers Bambi Ray and Doug Yacka.

Au Bon Climat “Los Alamos” Chardonnay $29.96

This Chardonnay from Santa Barbara is a wonderful example of what California wine can be. It strikes the perfect balance between the finesse and elegance of the Old World, and the power and approachability of the New World. – Josh Mizrahi

Edmunds St. John “Rocks and Gravel” $29.99

A rare Mourvèdre-dominant blend from California, “Rocks and Gravel” is an expression of New World terroir from biodynamic fruit. It will come as no shock that the wine is profoundly mineral, its juicy backbone of dark fruit accented by dusty earth, bacon fat, and white pepper. – Jon Miner

Ramsay Cabernet Sauvignon $14.99

A dollop of Merlot and Petit Syrah add depth and rounded edges to this currant-laden Cab.  The nose is fresh, the palate is bright, and the tannins are ripe and restrained. – Jared McGuire

Hardesty Cellars, Blanc du Nord $19.96

This vibrant, green-tinged, unfiltered wine made from Humboldt County grapes is the antidote for anyone who thinks California whites are boring. The palate is all fresh pear skin and enduring tang. It’s an excellent example of a natural wine. – Tammie Teclemariam

Melville Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay 2014 $26.96

A Chardonnay from the Santa Ynez valley that shows a lot of energy with good amounts of stone fruit and fresh citrus notes. An excellent wine for all type of cheeses. – Marcarthur Baralla

Marietta Old Vines Red $14.96

Do you enjoy a history lesson in a bottle? Following California’s grape planting past, this Zinfandel-dominant field blend is just that, made from varieties that share space in the vineyard as well as the bottle. Enjoyable year round, the plum and dark-berried fruit has just enough spice to keep things interesting. It’s flexible enough for pairings from roasted winter veggies to summer barbeques. – Bambi Ray

Clendenen Family Vineyards “The Pip” Pinot Noir $26.99

An excellent example of New World Pinot Noir, where force meets finesse. Jim Clendenen, winemaker for Au Bon Climat, somehow finds time for personal projects like this. Crafted to exhibit fruit and spice, this wine offers ripe cherry, red currant, and anise. A touch of vanilla from the judicious use of oak adds a decadent component, but subtle earthy notes and just enough tannin keep the party from getting too wild. – Doug Yacka