by Fred McMillin
for March 15, 1999


The Best Buy of the Course


"We are now upgrading Barefoot Merlot to a California appellation."

...President and "Head Stomper" Michael Houlihan

The Rest of the Story

Jennifer Wall

Winning Winemaker, Jennifer Wall

And some upgrade it was. The earlier Merlot was made from French (Midi region) grapes,while the new Merlot uses primarily Napa Valley fruit. My panel tasted both blind and the California wine received a twenty five percent higher rating!

Campus Capers

Furthermore, I poured it at the last Ft. Mason Campus (S.F. City College) course. Bottles from 40 wineries were evaluated and the class selected the Best Buy of the Course. It was the new Barefoot Merlot. Here are the details.

The Wine

Barefoot Merlot, California, Non-Vintage
Winemaker—Jennifer Wall. After she became head winemaker, sales soon shot up an additional 50,000 cases a year. She's been averaging about 40 medals annually.
I know winemakers who would kill for those kinds of numbers.
Contact—Another important reason for that sales increase is creative Marketing Manager Adrienne Barner. Her office can give you all the scoop at (800)750-8828, X-102.


Jennifer Wall wrote me, "Fred, Thanks for being such a great Barefoot supporter. We love your column!"...Jennifer Wall

Obviously, flattery will get you everywhere, (although the French Merlot didn't make the cut, and was never in WineDay.)


About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


WineDay Annex

More articles by
Fred McMillin


Welcome to WineDay, the electronic Gourmet Guide's daily update. Monday through Thursday, WineDay presents a wine profile. Then on Fridays we present the Winery of the Week to take you through the weekend.


Winery of the Week
A Super Piece of Dirt

Big Winery, Small Prices

ZD Glee

From Monks to Meyney

Whatsa Sub-AVA?

Winery of the Week
Argentina Enters
The Arena

The Susan and Bill Show

Africa? Eureka!

Live and Learn
with Peter Stern

Pick a Fight


Current WineDay

January WineDays
February WineDays

1998 WineDays

1997 WineDays

The Global Gourmet

Copyright © 1999—the electronic Gourmet Guide, Inc. All rights reserved.