Staff Favorites - Gary Westby

Gary Westby
Gary Westby  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
I started at K&L in February of 2000, after 4 years of working down the street for another retailer, and although I take care of the Champagne buying here at K&L, I love to drink wine from all over the world. I prize authenticity in wine, and love representative examples of many different styles, whether it is a spicy dry creek zinfandel or a mineral driven Manzanilla. I almost always drink my wine with food, and am drawn to food wines rather than the softer styles that are good for drinking on their own. My wife Cinnamon and I cook a lot of Italian & French food at home, and my list of wines reflects those food choices. I also love value, at every price point, and can't stand "prestige" labels that under deliver in the bottle. I love honest wines for the table. If you love good wine to go with your good cooking too, I think that by joining my personal Sommelier list you will be treated to a wide variety of wines that represent a strong value for money at what ever price range you feel comfortable with. Give it a try!


Reviews

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Marguet Pere et Fils Brut Rosť Champagne
Review Date: 2-9-2013
This is our driest rose, and was a huge hit at the pre-Valentineís day rose Champagne tasting this year. If you like a wine with lots of red fruit pinot power, but without any trace of heaviness or sweetness, you love the Marguet Pere Et Fils Brut Rose. It tastes great by itself, but will also pair very well with starters like lox or stuffed mushrooms.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Franck Bonville Brut Rosť Champagne (375ml)
Review Date: 2-9-2013
Rose is great to have around in half bottles and this elegant, driven Champagne is my top rose for serving as the aperitif. A colleague of mine once bought a case of this in 750's for his wife, and half of it was consumed the first night at a quite small dinner party... So maybe a half bottle is too small for something this tasty.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Franck Bonville Brut Rosť Champagne
Review Date: 2-9-2013
This elegant, driven Champagne is my top rose for serving as the aperitif. A colleague of mine once bought a case of this for his wife, and half of it was consumed the first night at a quite small dinner party... The Franck Bonville Brut Rose is a little bit too easy to drink! If you want some of the intrigue of Pinot Noir but with the structure of a dry Blanc de Blancs, you have found it!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Small Hand Foods Grenadine 8.5oz
Review Date: 2-9-2013
This is not your mothers Grenadine! This spectacular mixer is a must for any household interested in classic cocktails. At home Cinnamon and I use it to make a version of the Star Daisy from Charles Neal's excellent book Calvados, the Norman Spirit. We use a teaspoon of Grenadine, one ounce of Domaine du Manoir de Montreuil Calvados Pay d'Auge, one ounce of Anchor Junipero Gin, and one ounce of Meyer lemon juice from our tree. Shake it in cocktail shaker and serve it up... Yum!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

La Caudrina "La Selvatica" Asti
Review Date: 2-1-2013
This tasty wine is almost full Champagne pressure at 5 atmospheres. It is produced from 37-year-old vines at about 900 feet. This spumatne is perfect for wine lovers looking for something a little bit drier, more bubbly and fuller bodied than Moscato díAsti. I found it to have lots of exotic aroma, a nice mousse and a sweet but clean finish.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart GR 2 BC 0

Cocchi Vermouth di Torino 375ml
Review Date: 1-26-2013
Cocchi makes my favorite red vermouth. I use it for Manhattanís, in a Negroni, or in my favorite Champagne cocktail, the Negroni Sbagliato. If you are interested in seeing the recipe, search "Negroni Sbagliato" on the blog (blog.klwines.com) to find it, complete with video. If you donít mind waiting, you can also send me an email with the button above, and Iíll send you the link.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Cocchi Vermouth di Torino 750ml
Review Date: 1-26-2013
Cocchi makes my favorite red vermouth. I use it for Manhattanís, in a Negroni, or in my favorite Champagne cocktail, the Negroni Sbagliato. If you are interested in seeing the recipe, search "Negroni Sbagliato" on the blog (blog.klwines.com) to find it, complete with video. If you donít mind waiting, you can also send me an email with the button above, and Iíll send you the link.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Campari (1L)
Review Date: 1-26-2013
This is a home bar essential. Campari is fantastic with just soda, in a Negroni, or in my favorite Champagne cocktail, the Negroni Sbagliato. If you are interested in seeing the recipe, search "Negroni Sbagliato" on the blog (blog.klwines.com) to find it, complete with video. If you donít mind waiting, you can also send me an email with the button above, and Iíll send you the link.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart WE 96 BC 0

The Durand Corkscrew for Removal of Old Corks with Confidence
Review Date: 1-25-2013
This excellent tool revolutionized opening old wine for me. It used to be that I planned on the corks disintegrating into a crumbly mess and I would have a tea strainer on hand to aid in the decanting of the wine. Now, I can even get bottles of port from the sixties open without breaking the cork! Be warned, this is not an all purpose corkscrew, and the same support that it brings to an old cork will jam a young cork in the bottle. If you have occasion to open great old wines, you should definitely own the Durand Corkscrew!
Price: $124.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Riedel "O" Riesling/S. Blanc/Zin/Sangiovese Wine Tumbler 414/15
Review Date: 1-25-2013
Every wine fan should own a pair of these great tumblers. They are just as good for drinking out of as the Vinum Zinfandel/ Chianti which says a lot, since that glass is the most flexible instrument I have ever enjoyed wine from. Since they have no stem, they fit in cupboards that would not fit regular glasses and you can't break the stem off of them, which is the most common way glasses break. The best thing is, that if you keep the two glass box they come in, you can take them anywhere with you. No more Dixie cups for your wine on picnics, no more awful thick, rolled hotel room glasses ruining your carefully chosen vacation wine!
Price: Hidden View Price BC 0

Riedel Vinum Prestige Champagne 6416/48
Review Date: 1-25-2013
This is a great design for drinking Champagne. While I prefer to taste our of a regular wine glass for the larger bowl that allows more aroma to develop and a wider pour of liquid over my tongue at work, this is a great shape when you have more time to spend with the Champagne. The tulip shape allows the bubbles to cascade up and makes the wine a lot more enjoyable to look at than a regular wine glass. It also has a wide enough opening at the top to allow one to smell the Champagne and pours widely enough across the tongue to taste properly. Straight sided flutes are very hard on Champagne- if you are still using them, you should audition a pair of these Riedels!
Price: Hidden View Price BC 0

Riedel Cabernet Decanter 750ml 1440/13
Review Date: 1-25-2013
Cinnamon and I collect decanters, and use them almost every night we are home drinking still wine. At last count we had 30 of the things, taking up a lot of the surfaces in the house- on top of the liquor cabinet, on top of the record racks and on the kitchen counters. This is the one that we use most, and for good reason. It takes up the least amount of space on the table, pours the best, cleans up easily, and inverts nicely for drying. If you are only going to have one decanter, this should be it! If you buy a second, take a look at another shape, otherwise you will forget which wine is in which carafe at dinner parties!
Price: Hidden View Price BC 0

Riedel Sommeliers Burgundy 4400/16 (Can't Ship)
Review Date: 1-25-2013
Are these glasses fragile, expensive and to large to store easily? Do they put a magnifying focus on any flaw in an average Pinot? Yes- guilty as charged! I don't recommend them to everyone, but for the right home there is simply no better glass. Cinnamon and I have owned six of these for more than a decade, used them at least once a week, and never broken one. If you love Burgundy and elegant Pinot Noir from other parts of the world, and are willing to invest the time to hand wash these incomparable glasses and the money to purchase them, you will not be disappointed!
Price: Hidden View Price BC 0

Ariston Aspasie "Brut Prestige" Champagne (1.5L)
Review Date: 1-18-2013
This is your last chance for the old vines- they were destroyed in hail in 2003.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Stiegl Brauerei "Goldbršu Premium" Lager, Austria 16oz Cans
Review Date: 1-18-2013
I wonder how much of the Stiegl that we buy for our stock at K&L is sold to the staff. If I were to guess, I would say over 50%. These tall boys are perfect after a long day, and do an exceptional job of washing away the tannin after tasting to many overblown red wines. The style is Germanic; clean, lively, refreshing and the execution precise. If you love a good lager, and like having 4 oz. left after 12 have been enjoyed, this is the beer for you!
Price: $2.19 Add To Cart BC 0

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