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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Hennessy Paradis Cognac 750ml
Review Date: 2-14-2013
I count myself very lucky to have had a chance to taste this monument of Cognac on a number of occasions, and it has never failed to impress. The last time I tasted it we had it right next to the unbelievably expensive (as if $800 wasn't expensive!!!) Richard Hennessy- and I preferred the Paradis. Made with Cognac's dating all the way back to 1800's, this unbelievable brandy balanced pure grapey fruit with Amontillado like rancio effortlessly. There is no substitute for time and the patience of Hennessy delivers a product of both incredible pleasure and complexity.
Price: $899.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Cocchi Aperitivo Americano Rosa 750ml
Review Date: 2-13-2013
If you are a fan of bitter aperitivo's, the Cocchi Americano Rosa can't be missed. This bottle was open in the K&L tasting bar at the same that I was doing the staff Champagne seminar, and between groups I could not resist making a little Champagne cocktail with it. It was spectacular mixed with half good quality blanc de blancs, and also quite tasty on its own. I am going to buy a bottle today and try it at home in a black (or shall I say Rosa?) Manhattan with Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Bourbon and a Luxardo Maraschino Cherry!
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Daniel Ginsburg "Grande Reserve Sous Bois" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 2-12-2013
We kicked off the 2013 K&L staff party with a case of this, and loved it for its complexity; complexity that was arrived at through patience. With eight years of ageing on the lees, it is hard to believe that the retail price is so reasonable. If you love the "English style" of Champagne, with brioche and richness at the forefront, and plenty of Christmas spices on the long finish, you will love this wine. It went exceptionally well with the ham crostini that was being served as an appetizer!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2001 Ridge Vineyards "Monte Bello" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 2-12-2013
I brought a bottle of this to Quattro restaurant in the Four Seasons for their "Friday Nights Uncorked" promotion, when they invite you to bring your own wine. My oldest friend and I enjoyed the wine with Quattro's 16oz bone-in Piedmont rib-eye, and went for the black truffles on top for good measure. This is the biggest, ripest, most opulent Monte Bello I have tasted, and since Cinnamon worked up there for years I have been fortunate enough to taste a lot. At 12 years old it is still young, but certainly into its drinking window. I can't recommend it highly enough for a steak night!

Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne (375ml)
Review Date: 2-9-2013
These are more than just cute half bottles, this is the benchmark in rose Champagne, and it deserves every bit of its fame. I find it elegant and balanced every time that I have it, and the blushing pink color is always perfect. If you are looking for a famous producer that delivers the goods, the Billecart Salmon Brut Rose Champagne is a great choice. I like the wine best as an aperitif, the only thing it need to pair with is a good glass.

Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne (1.5L)
Review Date: 2-9-2013
Nothing is better than Champagne from magnum, and this is the benchmark in rose Champagne, and it deserves every bit of its fame. I find it elegant and balanced every time that I have it, and the blushing pink color is always perfect. If you are looking for a famous producer that delivers the goods, the Billecart Salmon Brut Rose Champagne is a great choice. I like the wine best as an aperitif, the only thing it need to pair with is a good glass.

Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 2-9-2013
This is the benchmark in rose Champagne, and it deserves every bit of its fame. I find it elegant and balanced every time that I have it, and the blushing pink color is always perfect. If you are looking for a famous producer that delivers the goods, the Billecart Salmon Brut Rose Champagne is a great choice. I like the wine best as an aperitif, the only thing it need to pair with is a good glass.

Bruno Michel "Les Roses" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 2-9-2013
This was the most controversial (and also one of the best selling) Champagnes at our recent pre-Valentine's day tasting. One taster described it as tasting like shoe leather, and many others described it as savory and the best of the day. It might be my favorite rose Champagne in our stock and pairs perfectly with cedar plank salmon and no more than one other person... Unless you have extra bottles! Deep, intense and very red wine like in flavor you need to be ready for it before opening it!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Franck Bonville Brut Rosé 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 Rosé 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 d’Asti. 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 Manhattan’s, 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 don’t mind waiting, you can also send me an email with the button above, and I’ll 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 Manhattan’s, 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 don’t mind waiting, you can also send me an email with the button above, and I’ll 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 don’t mind waiting, you can also send me an email with the button above, and I’ll send you the link.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart WE 96 BC 0

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More Favorites

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2009 Bodegas Alejandro Fernandez "Pesquera" Reserva Ribera del Duero ($49.99)

2012 Bernabeleva "Arroyo del Tortolas" Garnacha Vinos de Madrid ($39.99)

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2007 Bodegas Puelles Rioja Reserva ($19.99)

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2013 Ancient Peaks/K&L Wine Merchants Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon ($24.99)

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