You probably wouldn’t blink at the thought of hiring an architect to create the home of your dreams or listening to your personal trainer for the best tips to get in shape, but when it comes to buying wine the recommendations of sommeliers seem to start and end inside the restaurant walls.
Drinking a nice bottle at home is just as important as finding just the right vineyard’s vintage on a fine dining list, which is why we’ve asked a few of the area’s most well-respected sommeliers and wine directors, with roots in Marin, to tell us their top picks for wines for every budget.
Kentfield’s Greg O’Flynn has owned the lively California Wine Merchant in San Francisco for over two decades. The wine bar and shop has a large by-the-glass list that changes weekly and walls filled with cult wines from producers like Maya, Harlan and Dalla Valle as well as a large selection of bottles with prices that won’t wipe out your kid’s college fund.
Sparkling: J Vineyards Cuvée 20 Brut This J nonvintage brut gracefully opens up with crisp lemon peel, honeysuckle and delicate yeast aromas. Upon entry, these notes follow through to a mix of Fuji apple and grapefruit interlaced with toast, caramel and almond flavors on the palate.