Staff Favorites - Melissa Smith

Melissa Smith
Melissa Smith  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
Growing from a Redwood City sales position in 2009, to the company sake buyer in 2011, and then to the Head Sommelier in 2013 my love of wine spreads the gamut from mineral laden Sancerres to California Zinfandels aged over 20 years, Urban wines to classic Bordeaux, and 99% of the spirits that we carry. As a CIA trained chef I spent 15 years in some of the top kitchens in the country until my love of wine won out and I transitioned to the wine industry in 2004 where I began utilizing my skills as an instructor, a writer, and a restaurant consultant after passing the introductory level exam of The Court of Master Sommeliers. In 2010, I developed the first iPhone app for wine pronunciation, the Enotria Guide. In 2011, I became one of the few certified Sake Sommeliers in the country through the Sake Education Council. Outside of K&L I run private and corporate wine and spirits events around the Bay Area, consult on private cellars, and attempt to write professionally.


Reviews

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2003 Daniel Ginsburg "Cuvée Sous Bois" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 3-10-2014
It's hard to pick a favorite of the Daniel Ginsberg lineup, they are all so incredible. This one has almost a maple characteristic on the finish...making it the perfect breakfast champagne. In my opinion.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2006 Baron Fuente "Grand Millésimé" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 3-10-2014
Richer, rounder, and a touch more RS than the other Baron Fuente bottlings. Another stunning champagne at an incredible price.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart WS 91 BC 0

Baron Fuenté "Grande Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 3-10-2014
Such an incredibly made Champagne, and an incredible price! Spending three years on the lees, the texture of this wine is lush, while the stainless steel aging preserves the racy acidity and aromatics. This is a daily drinker champagne.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart WS 91 BC 0

2012 Dare (Viader) Napa Valley Cabernet Franc
Review Date: 3-10-2014
It is such a privilege to be able to carry this passion project by Viader. In 2003 Delia Viader decided to start bottling her estate grown Cabernet Franc. An integral part of the signature Viader blend, on its own the Cab Franc is crushed blueberries, violets, cocoa, and pencil shavings. A stunning representation of the varietal.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Viader Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 3-10-2014
I recently ventured to a property I haven't visited in nearly a decade, and just as before it took by breath away. We sat on the balcony overlooking the northern region of Napa Valley, high above the Valley floor, and directly above the organically farmed "hillside" (it's more like a cliffside). Viader's commitment to quality, and honestly made wines is so evident in the glass, it's a wonder that not more people know of this exclusive, small production wine. Dark fruit, with stunning balance, elegant aromatics...the property is captured in the glass. Once you taste Viader, I am confident you will strive to experience previous vintages, and collect their future releases. Our ability to obtain the current releases was a generous offer from Viader, thanks in part to a very passionate plea to carry their stunning wines.

2012 Montefresco Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
Review Date: 3-8-2014
If you're looking for a wine in the under $15 category this is a steal! Peppery, with lush fruit, this is great for a backyard barbecue or weeknight sausage loaded pizza party.
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Castello di Buttrio "Mon Blanc"
Review Date: 3-7-2014
A very interesting white, that reminded me of those little wax bottle candies filled with colored liquid, minus any residual sugar.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Erik Banti Il Vermentino Toscana
Review Date: 3-7-2014
A Summer quaffer filled with tropical fruits and mouth watering acidity!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Sartarelli Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi
Review Date: 3-7-2014
Nice texture, a bit creamy, and surprisingly layered. A perfectly good wine at a great price.
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart JS 91 BC 0

2012 Pieropan Soave Classico
Review Date: 3-7-2014
As my introduction to Soave several years ago, the Pieropan is still making a delicious, light, refreshing, mineral driven wine. Lime pith comes through on the clean finish finish.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart JS 91 BC 0

2012 I Stefanini "Selese" Soave
Review Date: 3-7-2014
Just a touch off dry with great acidity, and a touch of green almond. I'd stick a straw in it.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Lynch Bages Blanc, Pauillac
Review Date: 3-7-2014
The white wine that is produced by Lynch Bages, is nothing short that exquisite. It is the definition of delicious. This is a wine that I either want to hoard all to myself, or share with someone that will appreciate the true bold grace of the blend. I'd be hesitant to prepare any dish that would interfere with the dynamic nose and palate of this wine. Herbaciousness that would compliment a pristine fillet of locally caught river fish, napped with a seductive butter sauce that has been slowly infused with fresh thyme and melted leeks.

Lallier Grande Reserve Grand Cru Brut Champagne
Review Date: 3-7-2014
Served at Fete with tasty passed hors d'oeuvres encased in puff pastry, this champagne was absolutely delicious. Full, rich texture, palate cleansing acidity, and fine streams of magic bubbles.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

Club Price: $34.99
WE 92 BH 91 ST 90

2011 Montrose, St-Estèphe Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 3-7-2014
Tasted at Fete- Great fruit, savory notes of sage, racy acidity that comes through, extending the finish. Velvety tannins. I'm looking forward to tasting how this one evolves.

2010 Bodegas Valdemar "Inspiracion" Rioja
Review Date: 3-6-2014
Ripe, crushed blackberries, a little port-y, and a lovely floral finish.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart WS 91 BC 0

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More Favorites

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2011 Eyrie Vineyards "Estate" Dundee Hills Chardonnay ($23.99)

2013 Bedrock Wine Company Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc ($23.99)

2010 Te Whare Ra (TWR) Syrah Marlborough New Zealand ($29.99)

2011 Spreitzer Winkeler Jesuitengarten Riesling Spätlese (end of vintage) ($23.99)

2011 Stein "Blauschiefer" Riesling Trocken ($16.99)

2011 Hirsch Lamm Grüner Veltliner Kamptal ($54.99)

2011 Hirsch Heiligenstein Grüner Veltliner Kamptal ($23.99)

2011 Umathum Zweigelt Burgenland ($19.99)

2010 Moorooduc "Robinson Vineyard" Chardonnay Mornington Peninsula Victoria ($54.99)

2010 Moorooduc "Devil Bend Creek" Chardonnay Mornington Peninsula Victoria ($24.99)

2011 Brooks Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($21.99)

Moet & Chandon "Impérial" Brut Champagne ($37.99)

2011 La Gatta Moscato d'Asti ($10.99)

Pierre Paillard Grand Cru Brut Champagne ($39.99)

Bruno Michel Premier Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($39.99)

1999 Fugue de Nenin, Pomerol ($29.99)

Bulleit Rye Whiskey 750ml ($21.99)

2011 Les Clos Perdus "Le Rouge" Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes ($13.99)

George Dickel No. 8 Tennessee Whiskey 750ml ($14.99)

Zwack Unicum Liqueur 1L [cannot ship] ($26.99)

Campeòn K&L Exclusive Blanco Tequila 750ml ($29.99)

Ascendant Spirits Breaker Limited Edition Bourbon Whisky 750ml ($44.99)

2011 Erik Banti "Carato" Toscana ($7.99)

2012 Ermacora Pinot Bianco Colli Orientali del Friuli ($15.99)

2011 Casa Ferreirinha "Papa Figos" Douro ($14.99)

2011 El Libre Malbec Mendoza ($9.99)

2012 Viña Cobos "Felino" Merlot Mendoza ($16.99)

2011 Alto los Romeros Pinot Noir Reserva Valle Central ($11.99)

2010 Seven Hills Columbia Valley Merlot ($21.99)

2011 Rieflé "Bonheur Convivial" Pinot Noir ($17.99)

Mount Gilboa Barbados Aged Pot Still Rum 750ml ($30.99)

Piper-Heidsieck Brut Champagne ($29.99)

2006 Piper-Heidsieck Brut Champagne ($59.99)

Piper-Heidsieck Rosé Sauvage Champagne ($49.99)

Charles Heidsieck "Brut Reserve" Champagne ($49.99)

Charles Heidsieck "Rosé Reserve" Brut Champagne ($69.99)

2000 Charles Heidsieck Brut Champagne ($89.99)

2013 Fabre Montmayou Rosé Mendoza ($7.99)

2011 Conte di Gropello Brachetto d'Acqui ($13.99)

2010 Correggia "Marun" Barbera d'Alba ($32.99)

2012 Unti Vineyards "Cuvée Blanc" Dry Creek Rhône Blend ($24.99)

2011 Dragonette Cellars Central Coast Grenache ($36.99)

2011 Dragonette Cellars "Seven" Central Coast Syrah ($37.99)

2013 Dragonette Cellars Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara Rosé ($19.99)

2004 Billecart-Salmon Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($169.99)

2010 Adega Pena Das Donas "Almalarga" Godello Ribeira Sacra ($17.99)

2011 Domaine de la Noblaie Chinon ($16.99)

2012 Lafond Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay ($18.99)

2011 Matanzas Creek Sonoma County Chardonnay ($19.99)

2012 Tablas Creek "Côtes de Tablas Blanc" Paso Robles White Rhône Blend ($24.99)

2012 Matanzas Creek Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc ($15.99)

1997 Potensac, Médoc ($26.99)

2009 Brown Rouge, Pessac-Léognan ($39.99)

2010 de Gironville, Haut-Médoc ($14.99)

2009 Mylord "Cuvée Milady" Bordeaux ($12.99)

2010 Troplong Mondot, St-Emilion ($179.99)

2010 Pichon-Baron, Pauillac ($224.99)

2011 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc ($34.99)

2011 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($99.99)

2011 Alain Voge "Vieilles Vignes" Cornas Pre-Arrival ($69.99)

2011 Chante Cigale Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($32.99)

2008 Paul Jaboulet Aîné "Incognito H" Côtes du Rhône ($39.99)

2012 Mas del Périé "Les Escures" Cahors ($16.99)

2010 Jean-Louis Denois Grande Cuvée Limoux ($14.99)

2009 Bodegas Sierra Salinas "Puerto Salinas" Alicante ($14.99)

2011 Shafer "One Point Five" Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon ($79.99)

2010 Dashe "Florence Vineyard" Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel ($31.99)

2010 Guardian "Gun Metal-Connor Lee Vineyard" Columbia Valley Red Wine ($42.99)

2010 Veedercrest North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon ($24.99)

2012 Hobo "Branham Vineyard" Rockpile Zinfandel ($24.99)

2011 Corvidae "Rook" Columbia Valley Red Blend ($13.99)

2011 Calder Wine Company Napa Valley Charbono ($19.99)

2012 Waxwing "Spring Hill Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($34.99)

2011 Obsidian Ridge "Obsidian Ridge Vineyard" Red Hills Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon ($25.99)

2012 Sarapo "Donato Lot 4" Sonoma County Pinot Noir ($19.99)

2012 Kalinda "Cuvée Reserve" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($24.99)

2006 Launois Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($49.99)

2011 Torbreck "Juveniles" Grenache-Shiraz-Mourvedre Barossa Valley South Australia ($18.99)

2011 Limerick Lane Russian River Valley Zinfandel ($29.99)

2011 Limerick Lane Russian River Valley Syrah/Grenache ($31.99)

2009 Aldo Conterno "Colonnello" Barolo ($129.99)

2008 Bruna Grimaldi "Camilla" Barolo (damaged labels) ($29.99)

2009 Cantine Ascheri Barolo ($29.99)

2009 La Massa "Giorgio Primo" Toscana ($69.99)

2011 Bibi Graetz "Soffocone di Natale" Toscana ($34.99)

2010 TorCalvano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano ($18.99)

2011 Riecine Chianti Classico ($23.99)

2011 Jacques Bavard Saint-Romain Blanc "Sous le Château" ($32.99)

2011 Jacques Bavard Monthelie Blanc ($29.95)

2002 Lopez de Heredia "Viña Tondonia" Reserva Rioja ($41.99)

2012 Kalinda Santa Ynez Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($12.99)

2009 Clarke (Baron Edmond de Rothschild), Listrac ($24.99)

2011 Château de la Charrière Savigny-les-Beaune Blanc "Vermots Dessus" Domaine Yves Girardin ($23.99)

2011 Domaine Champy Beaune 1er Cru "Aux Cras" ($34.99)

2011 Château de la Charrière Santenay 1er Cru "Clos Rousseau" Domaine Yves Girardin ($24.99)

2011 Château de la Charrière Bourgogne Rouge Domaine Yves Girardin ($15.99)

2009 Capbern Gasqueton, St-Estèphe ($24.99)

2010 Mamete Prevostini "Botonero" Nebbiolo ($16.99)

BenRiach 12 year old Single Malt Whisky 750ml ($44.99)

Mezcalero Release #7 San Juan del Rio 750ml ($75.99)

Tequila Tapatio 110 Proof Blanco 1L ($39.99)

2006 Marguet Pere et Fils Grand Cru Brut Champagne ($49.99)

2005 Launois "Spécial Club" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne (ships as 1.5L) ($59.99)

2007 Viader Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend ($114.99)

2012 Hanzell "Sebella" Sonoma Valley Chardonnay ($34.99)

2011 Green & Red "Chiles Canyon Vineyard" Napa Valley Zinfandel ($19.99)

2010 Amici "Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($59.99)

2010 Whitehall Lane Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($29.99)

2011 Alexander Valley Vineyards "Wetzel Family Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon ($16.99)

2011 Tablas Creek "Esprit de Tablas" Paso Robles Rhône Blend ($54.99)

2011 Tablas Creek "Esprit Blanc de Tablas" Paso Robles Rhône Blend ($36.99)

2012 Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($37.99)

2012 Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Chardonnay ($32.99)

2011 Raventos i Blanc "de Nit" Rosé Conca del Riu Anoia ($22.99)

2011 Algueira Merenzao Ribeira Sacra ($39.99)

2012 Carlos Diaz "Estrela" Ribeira Sacra ($14.99)

1982 Marques de Murrieta Reserva Rioja (slightly torn capsules) ($199.99)

1982 Bodegas Riojanas Monte Real Reserva ($119.99)

1964 Faustino I Gran Reserva Rioja ($199.99)

2012 Te Whare Ra (TWR) Pinot Noir Marlborough New Zealand ($26.99)

2009 Vrai Canon Bouche, Canon Fronsac ($26.99)

2010 Beychevelle, St-Julien ($99.99)

2011 Margerum "M5" Santa Barbara County Rhône Blend ($22.99)

2012 Melville "Estate-Verna's" Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir ($23.99)

2011 Hendry "HRW" Napa Valley Zinfandel ($16.99)

2011 Ponzi "Tavola" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($23.99)

2012 Chehalem "3 Vineyards" Willamette Valley Pinot Gris ($18.99)

2010 Cédric Parpette "Montmain" Côte-Rôtie ($49.99)

2010 Bosquet des Papes "À la Gloire de Mon Grand-Père" Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($99.99)

2006 Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($79.99)

2012 Domaine de Pouy Côtes de Gascogne Blanc ($9.99)

2011 Fort Ross "Fort Ross Vineyard" Fort Ross-Seaview Chardonnay ($34.99)

2011 Arterberry Maresh Dundee Hills Oregon Chardonnay ($24.99)

2012 Envolve Winery Sonoma Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($16.99)

2011 Tatomer "Vandenberg" Santa Barbara County Riesling ($22.99)

2012 Truchard Carneros Chardonnay ($26.99)

2011 Joseph Swan "Hawk Hill Vineyard" Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($39.99)

2010 Wynn's "Black Label" Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra South Australia ($39.99)

2010 Dalwhinnie "Moonambel" Shiraz Pyrenees Victoria ($49.99)

2011 Oakridge Local Vineyard Series "Denton Vineyard" Chardonnay Yarra Valley ($24.99)

2012 Yalumba "Y" Pinot Grigio South Austrlia ($10.99)

2011 The Winery of Good Hope "Vinum" Bush Vine Chenin Blanc ($15.99)

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

2007 Michel Arnould Vintage "Carte d'Or" Brut Champagne ($49.99)

2010 Domaine Galévan "Esprit Devin" Côtes du Rhône-Villages ($19.99)

2012 Bench Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($19.99)

2010 Franciscan Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($18.99)

2011 Columbia Crest "H3" Horse Heaven Hills Washington Cabernet Sauvignon ($10.99)

2012 Ferrari-Carano Sonoma County Fumé Blanc ($12.99)

2007 La Lecciaia "Manapetra" Brunello di Montalcino ($39.99)

2012 Viñedos Culturales "Ramblis Arco" Alicante ($24.99)

2012 Anselmo Mendes Alvarinho "Contacto" Minho ($19.99)

2010 Correggia "Val dei Preti" Nebbiolo Roero ($32.99)

2011 Cyprus Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($21.99)

2010 Robert Mondavi "To Kalon Vineyard - Monastery Block" Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon ($199.99)

2011 L'Aventure "Côte a Côte Estate" Paso Robles Rhône Blend ($79.99)

2010 Knez Winery "Demuth Vineyard" Anderson Valley Chardonnay ($34.99)

2010 Porter-Bass Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($32.99)

2010 NXNW Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.99)

2011 Chehalem "INOX" Wilamette Valley Chardonnay ($15.99)

2012 Ancient Peaks/K&L Wine Merchants Paso Robles Zinfandel ($19.99)

1989 Uitvlugt 23 Year Old Duncan Taylor Single Barrel Cask Strength Guyana Rum 750ml ($159.99)

2011 Vinos Ambiz Malvar Sobremadre ($24.99)

2010 Louis-Antoine Luyt "Pais de Quenehuao" Maule Valley ($19.99)

2005 La Rioja Alta "Viña Arana" Reserva Rioja ($26.99)

Osocalis Rare Alambic Brandy 750ml ($42.99)

Osocalis XO Alambic Brandy 750ml ($105.99)

2005 Pierre Moncuit Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne ($54.99)

Pierre Moncuit "Cuvée Pierre Moncuit-Delos Grand Cru" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($39.99)

2004 Pierre Moncuit "Cuvée Nicole Moncuit Vieilles Vignes" Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($74.99)

2010 Montrose, St-Estèphe ($249.99)

2009 Angélus, St-Emilion ($349.99)

2009 Les Forts de Latour, Pauillac ($269.99)

2010 Sandro Fay Valtellina Superiore Valgella Carteria ($29.99)

2010 Sandro Fay Valtellina Superiore Valgella Ca' Morei ($29.99)

2012 Bethel Heights "Estate" Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Blanc ($16.99)

2011 Martinelli "Moonshine Ranch" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($69.99)

2004 Heitz Cellar "Martha's Vineyard" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($149.99)

1991 Spottswoode Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($109.99)

2011 Francois Villard "De Poncins" Condrieu ($74.99)

2011 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos "Cuarteto" Rioja ($9.99)

2001 Malescasse, Haut-Médoc ($21.99)

2010 Potensac, Médoc ($29.99)

2010 Haut de Poujeaux, Haut-Médoc ($18.99)

2010 D'Anice Blanc, Bordeaux ($14.99)

2012 Waterkloof "Circumstance" Sauvignon Blanc Stellenbosch ($16.99)

2011 Waterkloof "Circumstance" Chenin Blanc Stellenbosch ($16.99)

2010 Waterkloof "Circumstance" Cabernet Sauvignon Stellenbosch South Africa ($24.99)

Campo de Encanto Pisco de Peru 750ml ($35.99)

Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva Rum 750ml ($35.99)