Staff Favorites - Chiara Shannon

Chiara Shannon
Chiara Shannon  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
Chiara moved north from her hometown of La Canada Flintridge in the foothills of Los Angeles to attend college at UC Berkeley. Not knowing what to do with her Bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish literature, Chiara pursued several careers, from education to marketing to fashion, before she realized her destiny lay in the wine business. She started out as a marketing assistant at Schramsberg Vineyards. After a year in wine country, she relocated to Los Angeles to try out the retail side of wine at a specialized wine shop near her family’s home, Mission Wines. Working under the tutelage of a seasoned veteran sommelier-turned-retailer, Chiara was inducted into the world of fine wine. She has since returned to the Bay Area joined the team at K&L, received her WSET Advanced certification, now manages the K&L Personal Sommelier Service. In her free time, Chiara is passionate about dance and travel, loves her husband and their life of food, wine, and music in San Francisco, practices yoga and reads in her leisure time, and is eternally grateful to her friends and family.


Reviews

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Batiste Rhum Agricole 750ml
Review Date: 8-16-2013
The latest release of this spectacular rum is the best yet. It still has all the power and complexity that characterizes Rhum Agricole (a rum tradition and style distinctive of the French West Indies) but in the latest release they've used a special vacuum still (the kind used in Sake production) and the results are astounding. This rum initially impressed me with its polish, vibrancy, and smooth mouthfeel, but now with amplified aromatics and layers of flavor on the palate it is not only one very distinctive rum, but mouth-wateringly delicious too. Lychee nut and rich tropical fruits leap out in the nose, with subtle hints of cane grass and flowering herbs. The palate fans out like a peacock's tail, intense yet never overwhelming as it winds down towards a smooth, glassy finish. The superiority of Batiste's sustainable grown, hand-cut, organic cane and natural processing methods is evident in the fine quality of this Agricole. Sip neat, on the rocks, or in a classic Ti’ Punch: 2 oz. Rhum Agricole, squeeze of half a lime, cane syrup to taste, 1-2 ice cubes (optional).Combine and serve in an old-fashioned glass or tumbler garnished with a lime twist.
Price: $36.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Bench Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 7-1-2013
Comprising mostly Sangiacomo Amaral Ranch Vineyard fruit, the 2012 Pinot shows off the excellent quality of the vintage in its bright fruit character and supple texture. All native yeast fermentation followed by aging for seven months in 30% new French oak ensures richness, body, and length on the palate.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Cantina Terlan "Vorberg" Pinot Bianco Riserva
Review Date: 6-27-2013
From a vineyard so extreme in its alpine situation that it can only be accessed via suspension bridge and worked by shovel we get one of the most magnificent expressions of Pinot Bianco on the planet. It is intensely mineral and acid-driven, with lemony citrus and crisp pear aromas and flavors, leesy richness on the midpalate, and a nervy, saline finish that goes on and on. Tasting it made me crave a handful of those wonderful old-fashioned sea salt potato chips, but the food pairing possibilities (not to mention aging potential) for this gorgeous white are seemingly endless.
Price: $26.99 Add To Waiting List AG 94 BC 0

Cocchi Aperitivo Americano Rosa 750ml
Review Date: 2-12-2013
Lovely stuff! A brand new offering from Cocchi, this is a fresher, lighter in body, and a fruitier version of their Vermouth de Torino with subtle aromatic suggestions of Chinato. Red and blackberries, earth flowers, and woodsy, spiced herbs meld for a similarly fruity yet sweetly bitter style of Vermouth. Serve on the rocks (with or without soda) with a lemon or lime twist or top with Champagne for a sparkling aperitif. Not to heavy, not too sweet, there is a lot of potential for creative cocktail-making here...from martinis to Sangria! Served chilled after dinner, this would also make a delicious pairing with a strong spicy blue cheese (like cabrales, gorgonzola, or roquefort) accompanied by a side of spiced chutney, candied citrus peel, or quince paste.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart BC 0

St. George Terroir Mt. Tam Gin 750ml
Review Date: 11-1-2012
This is wild and crazy Gin, for folks who like intensity, bold herbal flavors, and a lot of local Bay Area flare in their Gin. Macerated with native pine and herbs from Mt Tam, among many other botanicals, this smells and tastes like a Christmas trees, cut with fresh sage and ground peppercorn. For Negronis.
Price: $30.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Martin Miller's Westbourne Strength London Dry Gin 750ml
Review Date: 11-1-2012
A very dry, aromatic Gin, this is all Juniper and lemony citrus, with pretty floral, cedar, and ginger root accents. Light and ethereal, just gorgeous stuff! Takes the Gin & Tonic to a whole new level.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne (1.5L)
Review Date: 10-30-2012
Even better out of magnum! Less oxygen in contact with the wine in bottle makes for a Champagne with increased intensity and a magnified expression, not to mention longer life! If you love the 750 ml version then you will be floored by how incredible this shows out of the larger format. Its distinctive fruit and brioche aromas and flavors take on added dimension, and everything about the wine - mouthfeel, palate impression, finish - is more expansive and lingering. If you plan to be sharing Champagne with more than three people, a magnum like this is the way to go.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Louis Roederer "Brut Premier" Champagne
Review Date: 10-25-2012
Made from half estate and half purchased fruit, all 1er and Grand Cru sources, Louis Roederer's Brut Premiere is a sophisticated, elegant Champagne that has minerality, flavor, acidity, and length of the sort you might expect to find in a bottle from one of our small grower-producer DIs as opposed to a "big" house. This can be attributed to the fact that even at this entry level, the wine originates as a vineyard or fruit selection, not a tank selection like other large production houses. This is a superb Champagne and great value. Whether you are a Champagne novice or connoisseur, shopping for a gift or a bottle to open and enjoy yourself, don't overlook this because you recognize the label - this seriously good Champagne is sure to impress.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

Club Price: $34.99
WE 92 ST 91 WS 91

1999 Fugue de Nenin, Pomerol
Review Date: 10-9-2012
A lovely Pomerol from the 1999 vintage, showing classic Merlot plum and red berries in the nose against a backdrop of chocolate, wet earth, and sweet tobacco. Medium-bodied and graceful, with a soft ripe fruit on the midpalate, fine tannins, and a smooth finish. This is open enough to enjoy tonight with a steak or roast chicken, but has the structure and balance to age further.
Price: Hidden View Price BC 0

Campo de Encanto Pisco de Peru 750ml
Review Date: 6-28-2012
From Peru’s Ica Valley, this truly is one of the best Piscos on the market today. It is an elegant, creamy and textured ‘Acholado’ style, made from sustainably grown traditional Pisco grape varietals and distilled only once, with absolutely nothing added. Bottled at proof, this Pisco is good enough to enjoy on its own, but its intent is for use in cocktails like the legendary Pisco Sour. My husband and I love this delicious Peruvian cocktail so much, it was the signature drink served at our wedding! Pisco Sour : 2 oz. Pisco, 1 oz. fresh lime juice, .75 oz. simple syrup, 1 egg white. Shake with very little ice or blend. Top with cinnamon or bitters as preferred.
Price: $35.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Cocchi Aperitivo Americano 750ml
Review Date: 6-6-2012
The Cocchi Americano has been produced according to an all-natural recipe in the Piedmontese town of Asti since 1891. It is a lightly fortified, orange and herb-flavored bitter infusion that not only works wonders in reviving appetite, but will protect against malaria, too. A blend of Moscato d'Asti wine, cinchona bark (which contains the anti-malarial quinine), the roots of gentian flowers and a secret combination of other botanicals, this is a must for anyone interested in a real deal aperitivo. It is considered to be the Italian version of Kina Lillet, the key ingredient in the "Vesper" cocktail James Bond orders in the novel 'Casino Royale'.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Jean-Louis Denois Pinot Noir Brut Rosé
Review Date: 5-4-2012
Composed of 100% Pinot Noir, Denois' sparkling rose is made in the traditional method with the same care and attention given his other bruts. Also a direct import, this new rose is a real treat, with juicy strawberry and fresh watermelon aromas and flavors adding a whole new layer of fun to its creamy mousse and delicate honeyed toast foundation. A kiss of framboise adds impact to finish. A delicious and refreshing sparkler, this will complement many foods and bring an inspiring burst of color and flavor to any occasion!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Franck Bonville Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 4-24-2012
I was reminded at today's Champagne staff tasting of what a fabulous bottle of bubbles this is for the money. Based mostly on the 2007 vintage, with the rest older reserve wines, this Champagne offers an expressive nose of golden apple, creamy lees, chalky minerals, and the subtlest of baking spices. It is full on the palate, with a creamy mousse lended structure and power by vibrant acidity. The chalky mineral component adds edge and focus to the long finish. Its richness and fruit offers broad appeal, but its complexity and depth promise to intrigue even the most discerning of palates. This is a superb Champagne to enjoy now and over the course of the next five years, for any occasion!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Blason Isonzo Bianco (3L Bag-in-aBox) (cannot ship)
Review Date: 3-27-2012
A K&L direct-import, Blason's Isonzo Bianco (3L Bag-in-aBox!) maintains a permanent residency in my fridge whenever it is available, and has done since it first hit our shelves in 2008. Crisp, fruity, and refreshing, the latest release is great. It's the perfect quaffer to enjoy while cooking, as an aperitif, and it's vacuum-sealed packaging makes it great for all kinds of outdoor activities, from camping to picnics to boating. Cheers!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Launois "Cuvée Reserve" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 12-30-2011
This Blanc de Blancs, made from 100% Grand Cru Chardonnay, enjoys cult status in France. The vintage-inspired bottle shape is eye-catching, but what’s inside the bottle is truly brilliant. From Mesnil, the southernmost Grand Cru in Champagne (home to Salon and Krug’s Clos de Mesnil), it has a crisp, mineral-driven nose, with subtle lees and butter undertones and a hint of fennel. The flavors deepen on the palate, expanding to coat the mouth, ending with a long, refreshing finish. It steals the show as an apéritif, accompanied by light, salty snacks, but possesses the depth and complexity to pair with richer foods as well.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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More Favorites

Chiara Shannon is also a fan of the following items. To become a fan of Chiara Shannon, click here to join Chiara Shannon's Personal Sommelier Service.
2011 Mustilli Fiano Sannio ($17.99)

2009 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien ($139.99)

2010 Claiborne & Churchill Edna Valley Pinot Noir ($24.99)

2001 Lopez de Heredia "Viña Tondonia" Reserva Rioja (damaged labels and capsules) ($39.99)

2009 Paloumey, Haut-Médoc ($23.99)

2004 Bodegas Fernandez "Escudo de Plata" Gran Reserva Jumilla ($16.99)

2012 Giuliano "Terre di Chieti" Pecorino ($14.99)

2009 Saarloos & Sons "His" Santa Ynez Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($39.99)

2006 Trabucchi Amarone della Valpolicella ($74.99)

2009 de Birot, Côtes de Bordeaux ($9.99)

2005 Bodegas Muga "Prado Enea" Gran Reserva Rioja ($54.99)

2009 Plaisance "Cuvée Alix" Bordeaux Supérieur ($15.99)

2004 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc ($19.99)

1997 Potensac, Médoc ($26.99)

Elisabeth Goutorbe "Cuvée Éclatante" Brut Champagne ($34.99)

2008 Pyramid Valley Vineyards "Calvert" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic) ($39.99)

2007 Poujeaux, Moulis ($34.99)

2000 Coufran, Haut-Médoc ($29.99)

Billecart-Salmon "Brut Reserve" Champagne ($44.99)

2007 Langoa-Barton, St-Julien ($59.99)

1989 Chasse-Spleen, Moulis ($109.99)

2006 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc ($44.99)

2005 Mount Eden "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon ($99.99)

Bruno Michel "Les Roses" Brut Rosé Champagne ($49.99)