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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2008 Americo Nunes Seabra "Americo" Dão
Review Date: 4-1-2014
This wine is really cool, with complex fruit, soft tannins, aromas of quince peels and laffy taffy, this wine at six years of age has mellowed and is drinking really well now, and is at an unbeatable price!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart WS 90 BC 0

2012 Fournier Urban Uco Malbec
Review Date: 4-1-2014
Always a charming wine, inexpensive, food friendly, well made, and a fantastic candidate for a delicious sangria!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

2011 Bodega Mendel Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 4-1-2014
Explosive aromatics, rich, lush wine. Sandlewood and blackberry preserves.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart ST 90 BC 0

2012 Viña Cobos "Felino" Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza
Review Date: 4-1-2014
Rich, ripe, with well integrated fruit, blackberry and cocoa powder, nice balancing acid on the finish.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Peñalolen Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley
Review Date: 4-1-2014
Very pretty nose, ruby red grapefruit and cranberries on the palate, and a very unique complexity.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart WS 91 BC 0

2013 Bodegas Colomé Torrontes Valle Calchaquí Salta
Review Date: 4-1-2014
Steely, refreshing, concentrated, with an emphasis on sun ripened apricots.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart ST 91 BC 0

Amaury Coutelas "Cuvee 1809" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 4-1-2014
Every time I taste this champagne I am blown away. This is so incredible and so unique. Aged in used Burgundy barrels, the makeup is similar to Krug and Tarlant at 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir, but the results are purely Amaury Coutelas.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Poppy Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay
Review Date: 4-1-2014
A very well made California Chardonnay at an exceptional price. Butter and oak balanced with lively tropical fruits.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1995 d'Yquem, Sauternes (375ml)
Review Date: 4-1-2014
Originally tasted July 2012, the 1995 d'Yquem is straight sex. Concentrated, honeyed, aromas of frangipane and poached quince. This will live on for decades if you can be prevented from drinking it now.
Price: $179.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Rieflé "Bonnheur Fertif" Cremant de Alsace
Review Date: 4-1-2014
Balanced , with baking spices, and great texture. The Auxerrois grape of Alsace (also known as Luxembourg in Germany) is a close relative of Chardonnay and often blended with Pinot Blanc to make Cremants in Alsace.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Rusty Blade K&L Exclusive "Cask A" Single Barrel Cask Strength Barrel-Aged Gin 750ml
Review Date: 4-1-2014
As far as I know, Blade was the first to start making barrel aged gin in the craft cocktail movement. Similar to previous iterations, this batch his exploding with Christmas spices. Really fantastic and dynamic. This should be a blast to play with in cocktails, perhaps paired with fresh apple cider?
Price: Hidden View Price BC 0

2012 Charles Smith "Kung Fu Girl" Evergreen Columbia Valley Riesling
Review Date: 3-31-2014
The best vintage I can remember of this wine. I bought 2 bottles for Thanksgiving because I KNEW it would go with everything on the table, and the leftovers, and the MIL. A great wine to buy by the case and have on hand.~I followed my own advice and bought a case. So far the most winningest pairing was thinly sliced roasted beets, with sliced avocados, cilantro, and spicy, tangy, salty, yuzukoshu. So incredibly good!

2004 Moet & Chandon "Dom Pérignon" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 3-31-2014
Such a huge bounce back from the awkward 2003 vintage. Pear orchard, with white flowers, and hints of toasted almonds. We enjoyed this in the sun with a plate of salty prosciutto, sliced apples, and local cheese. My only complaint was that we didn't have another bottle!

2010 Königschaffhausen Steingrüble Spätburgunder Trocken
Review Date: 3-31-2014
A product of the sun drenched, volcanic soil vineyards of Baden, this is one of the richest, and most lush Spatburgunders that I have ever experienced. The grapes are hand picked from a single vineyard where the vines are at least thirty years old, are then macerated on their skins for two weeks before spending eleven months in a large neutral oak barrel. I happily enjoyed this with Dijon and herbed panko crusted rack of lamb with an enriched red wine and rosemary demi glace.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Poet's Leap (Long Shadows Vintners) Columbia Valley Riesling
Review Date: 3-29-2014
Off-dry, bright, clean, and mouthwatering acidity. Delicious with Thai food.

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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)

Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne ($34.99)

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)

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 "Red Shoulder Ranch" Carneros Chardonnay ($54.99)

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

2011 Foxglove Central Coast Chardonnay ($11.99)

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)

2007 Mastroberardino "Radici" Taurasi ($39.99)

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)

2008 Masi Brolo di Campofiorin Oro ($19.99)

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)

1991 Cambus 21 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Whisky 750ml ($109.99)

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 Proprietary Red ($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)

Ferreira "Duque de Braganca" 20-year-old Tawny Port ($54.99)

2009 Vrai Canon Bouche, Canon Fronsac ($26.99)

2010 Beychevelle, St-Julien ($99.99)

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)

2012 Baker & Brain "Paragon Vineyard" Edna Valley Grenache Blanc ($21.99)

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)

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)

Collard-Picard "Prestige" Brut Champagne ($39.99)

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

2012 Bench Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($19.99)

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)

2010 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien ($139.99)

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)