Bel Arbor, Valle Central, Chile, '97, $6
The Final Five
The quality rating divided by the retail price is
used to determine the Best Buys. Good white wines
generally cost less than good red wines. Hence,
it's no suprise that #5 through #2 are white.
(There are plenty of good, inexpensive reds in this month's annex.)
Johannisberg Riesling, Fetzer,
Calif., '98, $8
Calif., '98, $7
Sauvignon Blanc, Amberhill
Calif., '97, $6
Johannisberg Riesling, Wente,
Central Coast, Calif., '97, $6
The Best Buy
This was a suprise. The oldest wine grape in the
world yielded the only $5 wine all year that every
panelist said tasted good, or even better.
The grape is the Muscat of Alexandria and the
Moscato (light dessert wine),
Sutter Home, '97, $5.
(Serve with sharp white cheese on water crackers, or with
un-iced pound cake.)
Raisin production in California is big business.
In fact, in the 1960s, as many grapes were made
into raisins as were used to make wine. The
Golden State raisin business was started by
the legendary Count Agoston Haraszthy in the 1850s
when he brought from Europe...The Muscat of Alexandria.
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.