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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Cadenhead's Old Raj Gin 110 Proof (750ml)
Review Date: 01-20-2009
When is a gin worth $50 a bottle? When it tastes like this! I have far too much English blood in my veins, and gin is part of my heritage... I can't resist the stuff. This is simply one of the best, combing the wild exoticism of saffron with the staid authority and elegance of royalty. Cinnamon and I always keep a bottle in the house; it is a luxury worth indulging in. I love it for gin & tonic, as it says on the label "after the hunt"...
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Ardbeg 10 Year Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 01-14-2009
How does one judge a fine drink? My father and I have talked about this subject a lot, and one of his key questions is, "would I return to it?" With this expression of Ardbeg, my answer is a big yes. Susan just sold me a bottle of what will be the sixth expression of Ardbeg in my liquor cabinet at present. I love this distillery, and jump at the chance to buy each new bottling that comes our way... Yet I am drawn back most often to the distillery ten. It is the lightest, the brightest, the most untamed by wood and time of all of the Ardbegs we carry. It is full of peat - My wife Cinnamon can often smell it from across the room as I pour and will complain about it. So, don't by it for someone who does not like peat - they will hate it! I am sure that I return to it because it has the peat flavor that I love, but without the oily heaviness that I don't want after a big meal, and after a big meal is when I want Scotch the most. Don’t get me wrong, I love the variety and still drink my other bottles (all of which were more expensive), but I just empty this one fastest. It is delicious, and well worth the modest price.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
WA 93 WE 91

2001 Cos d'Estournel, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 09-22-2008
I have been lucky enough to taste this wine many, many times and each taste was a real occasion. Going back into my old notebook, I see that I tasted it for the first time in barrel at the Chateau on March 29th 2002, and it made a huge impression on me. I felt that it was one of the best wines of the vintage; with exclamation points all over my description- it reminded me very much of the 1990. We tasted it several more times on that trip, and once we compared it to the 2000. The K&L group was unanimous, the 2000 Cos was good, but the 2001 was the better wine- an opinion that has been confirmed again and again by many others in the trade that have done the comparison. This is a classic sleeper, an insider’s vintage, and a smart buy. When we tasted it again on release, when the wine's signature exoticism was really starting to blossom. This Cos is much more modern than bottles from the old days, but somehow Jean-Guillaume Prats and his team have updated the wine without compromising its soul. It is still (I have tasted up to 2005) one of the most identifiable wines in Bordeaux with its perfectly balanced components of coffee, cinnamon and clean-clay-earth. This is big Bordeaux, and while I think it would show very well in a comparative tasting now (it may even be a "spoiler") the real pleasure in drinking is still yet to come. I give this my highest recommendation for my patient friends and customers!
Drink from 2011 to 2011

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Gary Westby is also a fan of the following items. To become a fan of Gary Westby, click here to join Gary Westby's Personal Sommelier Service.
Baron-Fuenté "Galipettes" Brut Champagne ($34.99)

2011 Proprietà Sperino "Uvaggio" Costa della Sesia ($29.99)