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Aromas of heady, red apple fruit have you the minute you put your nose in the glass. Memories of crisp summer apples, their juice running down your fingers as you take a crunchy bite quickly come to mind. Yet the red apple fruit is just the beginning of your aromatic journey with Smith Madrone’s Riesling. They draw you into this wine’s delicious depths, adding Asian pear, guava, crushed stones, mineral, and a wisp of zesty lemon as you continue along its sensory path.

Aromas of heady, red apple fruit have you the minute you put your nose in the glass. Memories of crisp summer apples, their juice running down your fingers as you take a crunchy bite quickly come to mind. Yet the red apple fruit is just the beginning of your aromatic journey with Smith Madrone’s Riesling. They draw you into this wine’s delicious depths, adding Asian pear, guava, crushed stones, mineral, and a wisp of zesty lemon as you continue along its sensory path.

Do you ever wonder how to know if a California chardonnay is oaked or unoaked? While wineries are not required to tell you, some producers bottle unoaked chardonnay with labeling that states the wine is unwooded and has been fermented and aged only in stainless steel tanks. Because of the latter, these unoaked chardonnay wines sometime have silver labels. Other good choices for inexpensive chardonnay wines that have little to no oak aging are those from the French appellation of Mâcon-Villages and other denominations within the Mâconnais region of southern Burgundy. And if you’re willing to splurge on a special unoaked chardonnay, it’s hard to beat the elegant, steely whites from Chablis.

Imagine friends showing up to your home and you pouring something other than a glass of wine? It’s fun to be introduced to a new (or new again) drink. This is cheating just a bit as it is made from wine but it is lightly fortified and has heady aromas of fresh and dried herbs, roots and citrus peel. Serve it chilled and with lots of ice for a refreshing sip. Its sweetness is balanced by its crisp acidity; this is not one of those cloying, super sweet duds.

Although Kraft Classic didn't receive marks as high as the winner, tasters were pleased with its balanced flavor and called it "generic and inoffensive" with a great consistency and pleasant, egglike aroma.

Tucked off Bodega Bay’s main drag, right along the coast, is Gourmet Au Bay, a hip little spot filled with heady kitchen aromas of Slow Coast Fish Stew, Cajun Roasted Prawns, and Wood Roasted Mussels — and including a bar and eclectic wine shop.