Northside SF
Wine Report from the Fort
A Merlot moment
Northside San Francisco reader Mrs. Maeck asks the name of some good Merlots and what they taste like. Merlot is described as Cabernet Sauvignon with training wheels. Here are some my S.F. City College students like:

• Veni Vidi Vici Vini Wines Thracian Valley Merlot 2009, $8

• Blackstone Winery Winemakers Select Napa Valley Merlot 2008, $10

• Bogle Vineyards California Merlot 2008, $11

• Chateau Julien Monterey County Merlot 2008, $12

• Pedroncelli Winery Bench Vineyards Dry Creek Valley Merlot 2008, $14

• Shooting Star Lake County Merlot 2007, $14

• Concannon Vineyard “Conservancy” Livermore County Merlot 2007, $15

• Steele Wines “Steele Stymie” Founder’s Reserve Lake County Merlot 2006, $45

Enroll in a spring semester wine class at the Fort Mason Campus of S.F. City College on the following Saturdays, 1 p.m., 20 wines, $55 a class.

• Feb. 25: Taste the Terms – Taste wines that illustrate the 100-plus terms used to describe them.

• March 10: California vs. the World – Golden State wines compared to others of the same vintage from France, Australia, Chile, Italy, and other wine-producing areas.

• April 7: Taste More Terms –Taste more wines illustrating the more than 100 terms used to describe them.

• April 21: Five Wine Districts of California – Learn the state’s five wine districts and how they are different.

To enroll or wait-list, phone San Francisco City College at 415-561-1840, or visit Register one week before classes begin to receive a $15 discount.

At a Napa Valley winery, we enjoyed a very entertaining one-man show put on by an elderly movie star. After the show, a reporter congratulated the actor, and asked why he didn’t retire and just go fishing.

His answer? “Fish don’t applaud!”

Credits: Edgar Vogt (tastings); Ophie Mercado (statistics)
Fred McMillin has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents and was voted one of the 22 best wine writers in America by Academy of Wine Communications. E-mail:

March 2012
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