WineSpeed | Medeiros Family Wines

Weekly insights from veteran wine writer Karen MacNeil.

BY Karen Macneil | Life | Mar 5, 2018

MEDEIROS FAMILY WINES | “Saudade” Red Wine 2014

(Santa Clara Valley, CA) $30

When I think of affordable cabernet, I imagine something that costs about the same as a latte in Manhattan. Here’s that wine—it’s about $6 a glass. The cassis-like fruitiness and beautiful structure were cabernet sauvignon to the core—or so I thought when I first tasted it. Turns out, the wine is mostly cabernet franc followed by malbec. No matter; it’s spicy, minerally, floral, very alive, and surprisingly not hot despite the 14.9% abv. This is a small family-owned winery. Saudade (so-da-day) is Portuguese for “love that remains after a loved one is gone.” (14.9% abv)

90 points KM

Available at Medeiros Family Wines

What country imports the most dry white Bordeaux?

A. Japan

B.  United Kingdom

C. China

D. United States

Scroll down for the answer!

A Winery’s Best PR Star

In most places, a dog is a dog. But in a California vineyard, you might as well spell dog backward. A good vineyard dog oversees all public relations. She (or he) greets and announces visitors. She attends wine tastings, pre-sampling the baguettes for freshness. A vineyard dog is faithfully dusty from stalking mice, owls, wild turkeys, rabbits, and deer in the vineyard. Ever the connoisseur, she joins the vineyard crew for lunch, helping in the consumption of burritos con pollo and tacos al pastor. Above all, a good vineyard dog knows (this is true) when the grapes are ripe and will nibble a cluster right off the vine when the time is right.

“I still get intimidated when I have to order from a sommelier, or when someone in the business asks me about my favorite wines. The question is a sneakily polite way for them to figure out what kind of person I am. Usually I defer by answering truthfully: Most of the time, I order light beer or sake with food. But the older I get, the more I seem to be drinking wine.”

– David Chang, restauranteur, author and television personality

“Dear Karen: What do you think about the strategy of ordering the second-cheapest wine on a restaurant’s wine list?”

—Michael Z., Boston, MA

Hi Mike, this strategy has been around for a long time, and indeed, the second-cheapest bottle on a wine list is often one of the restaurant’s best sellers (no one wants to buy the lowest-priced wine). The problem is, smart restaurants know this too. So, they sometimes put a high-margin wine in the second- cheapest spot. I only order the second-cheapest wine in restaurants that are very wine-focused, places where the sommelier is often the owner. For sommeliers, it’s often a point of pride to find real “steals” that are delicious. The steals are often the cheapest to the fifth-cheapest wines on the list.

Have a wine question for me? Great. I love questions, and I’ll do my best to get you the right answer. Send your question to

Windspeed with Karen MacNeil - Winespeed blog

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B. The U.K is currently the leading importer of dry white Bordeaux wines—14 percent of all dry white Bordeaux is imported into that country. The U.S. and Japan aren’t far behind, importing 11 percent and 10 percent of all dry white Bordeaux respectively. But China doesn’t yet appear to be interested in Bordeaux’s amazing dry whites, the best of which (like Château Haut Brion Blanc) cost many hundreds of dollars a bottle. While China imports a whopping 65 percent of all red Bordeaux, it imports just 2 percent of white Bordeaux.




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