The Sacramento Bee from Sacramento, California on September 30, 1979 · 134
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The Sacramento Bee from Sacramento, California · 134

Sacramento, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 30, 1979
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1 111 1 ! ry Food The Sacramento Bee Sunday September 30 1979 Scene Page 8 Mead on Wine VS I By Jerry D Mead t11 f ri r pi r Superb Wines From El Dorado NEW WINERIES proliferate in California at about the same rate as new disco records and have a seemingly similar success rate ‘Will it be a hit or a miss?" The popular musical question of the ’50s seems perfectly suited to the many new labels that continue to appear in wine shops across the country It is my job to try to keep up with new releases and new wineries but the truth of the matter is that it just isn't possible I have a ‘‘grapevine" if you'll excuse the pun that includes retailers consumers producers and even other wine journalists and still I can't keep up with all the new wineries much less all the new releases from long established producers Usually when I taste a line of wines I find one or two that are pretty special several that are ordinary or average and a few that are either mediocre or miserable As a critic I try to tell you about the best and the worst ignoring the also- rans It has always been my policy to tout readers on wines that I find exceptional and warn them of wines that definitely should be avoided Since I can't write about every wine I taste the middle ground will have to take care of itself With that lengthy lead-in out of the way I am about to tell you about the most exciting new line of wines I've tasted in a very long time And I do mean the entire line (well almost) Every wine I'm about to recommend is not only an exceptional wine it is an exceptional value BOECER WINERY IN the Apple Hill district near Placerville is exciting for more reasons than one Not only are the wines generally superb but they come from a new appellation El Dorado County that should eventually earn a reputation the equal of such names as Napa Sonoma Mendocino and Amador Operated by a husband and wife team Greg and Susan Boeger the winery’s output is still small about 6000 gallons but plans are already under way for expansion Next year they hope to produce 10000 gallons and they have both unplanted vineyard land and a winery building suited to enlarging Greg is a UC Davis graduate and the winemaking chores are his Greg and Susan Boeger outside the historic stone building where in the lower level they offer tastings of their wines Susan heads the marketing effort for the winery Greg it seems has winemaking in his blood being the grandson of Anton Nichelini founder of the Nichelini Winery in Napa County in the 19th century I wrote in a previous column of the 1977 Boeger Zinfandel a delightful red wine possessed of that rare combination of fruit-berry Zinfandel character in tandem with the more complex flavors usually found in claret styles It’s an unbelievable buy at under $4 the bottle The Boerger wine that most impresses me though is 1978 "El Dorado County" Sauvignon Blanc Blended to 20 percent Semillion and aged in oak cooperage it is definitely not a light fruity Fume style Relatively austere but not lacking in fruit words like smokey flinty crisp and dry come to mind Two dozen oysters please and another bottle of this wine Another bargain this one priced in the $5 range Boeger Chardonnay you'll be pleased to hear sells for about $6 half 'The Boeger wines carry a new appellation El Dorado County that should eventually earn a reputation the equal of such names as Napa Sonoma Mendocino and Amador' the price of many of its peers Fermented totally dry in small oak coo perage and shows it! A lean crisp but very varietal wine the finish is long with plenty of oak coming through Gets even better when aerated for about 30 minutes assuming you can wait that long THERE IS LITTLE POINT in discussing the 1976 Cabernet Sauvignon as I understand it’s already a sell-out For future reference though the wine is very drinkable in its youth sort of a St Emilion of California Watch for the 1977 to be released 'I One of the best values of all is a proprietally named red wine a blend of a half dozen different red wine grapes “Hangtown Red” sells fofT $275 and is a blend of Carignane Mataro Petite Sirah Barbera n Cabernet Sauvignon and Ruby Cabernet The Italian' and Rhone varieties seem to predominate and the wine comes off as a sort-of youthful very drinkable Petite Sirah with a touch of spice and lots of fruit Hard to beat as a daily accompaniment to pasta or burgers ' Why they call the generic white Chablis instead of "Hangtown ! White” I’ll never figure out but the under $3 price tag combined with J the blend that features Chenin Blanc Grey Riesling French Colom- d bard and Semilion makes for another outstanding value Fruit aroma jumps out of the glass there is more fruit in the flavor pleasantly dry f finish It is the Semilion I suspect that caused my fellow tasters to v imagine Chardonnay in the blend Boeger 1978 Chenin Blanc is one of the best in the state but readers should be forewarned that it is not typical of what usually appears under that name The touch of sweetness that is so common to the state’s Chenin Blanc will not be found here Fermented bone dry and aged for two months in new oak this is more a poor man’s Chardonnay than on afternoon Sipper If the price of Chardonnay has you unhappy buy this wine by the case Suggested retail is $350 AS AN OBSERVATION not a complaint really the Chenin Blanc would be more appropriately packaged in a Burgundy bottle than in the tall Hock bottle in which it actually appears The Hock shape promises sweetness that isn’t there The only wine in the Boeger line with which I found fault was the 1978 Johannisberg Riesling While the wine is sound and well made it is finished totally dry and rather high in alcohol As a result there is a touch of bitterness to the finish a common faulhof Rieslings when finished dry at least in California Hopefully the 1979 vintage will find the wine with a percent or two of residual sugar and an equal drop in alcohol Sales of Boeger wines are currently restricted primarily to California and mostly at the best specialty wine shops That should change with distribution expanding possibly as early as spring 1980 Those having trouble finding Boeger wines may write for informa-i tion directly to the winery at: 1709 Carson Road Placerville Calif ’’ 95667 7 Despite Four Decades Of Ridicule Spam Is Still A Winner By Thomas Knudsen The Wall Street Journal w HEN JOSEPH BOSCH sits down to lunch he sometimes breaks a vow he made 35 years ago "1 swore I’d never eat Spam again” says Bosch a 63- year-old World War II Army veteran from Jefferson City Mo “We just had so much of it But after a while Spam isn’t as bad as you once thought I still eat it occasionally" Spam lives believe it or not Even Geo A Hor-met & Co the Austin Minn- based company that makes the stuff is somewhat surprised “We thought Spam might be another wartime casualty” says James Silbaugh a Hormel vice president “but it never really suffered” Sales have risen steadily since the war Hormel sold 90 million pounds of Spam last year — despite or perhaps because of nearly four decades of ridicule that has made Spam a household word “Spam is ham that didn’t pass its physical” was one standard GI joke Another: “Spam is a meatball without basic training” Spam isn’t a meatball It is “pork shoulder and ham" as Hormel describes it The mixture is chopped spiced and then plopped into tin cans while it is still raw Then it is cooked in the can — a process that means it can last seven years on the shelf That durability made it standard fare for soldiers in the field during the Second World War it bread it and even cream it” The steady diet took its toll on some "You could do anything with Spam except enjoy it” says Vincent Lucas a 71-year-old Milwaukee veteran “I haven't eaten it since 1944 and I won’t ever eat it again" Most of the Spam that GIs cursed wasn't really Spam at all Hormel says It usually was a competing brand of canned meat or Hormel’s own “Government Spam” a war- time product that differed slightly from the Spam sold in supermarkets today But soldiers indiscriminately called all canned meat Spam probably because Hormel put its product on the market in 1937 before other brand appeared I U W E HAD SPAM fried for breakfast raw for lunch and cooked for supper” recalls George Moentenich a veteran in Davenport Iowa “After a while I got fed up with it” So did a sergeant named GA Allen Jr who wrote a poem that found its way into Hormel’s files It reads: The fellows here the fellows there Know the meaning of despair They dream of sirloin steaks and ham But all they ever get is Spam The spate of Spam was worst on Army cooks “I had to disguise Spam to get the guys to eat it” recalls Chris Odegaard a former mess sergeant who lives in Madison Wis “I would bake it fry it scramble RONICALLY the jokes and curses that Spam has endured have made it so well known that it has easily stayed ahead of the competition Spam has about 70 percent of the $187 million canned-meat market in the US Hormel says while competitors such as Armour’s Treet Swift's Prem and Wilson’s Temt slice up the remaining 30 percent (The name Spam is concocted from the first two letters of “spiced” and the last two letters of ’’ham”) Hormel says it doesn't know just how much Spam it sold to the government in World War II but it adds that the armed forces don’t buy much of the stuff for field rations anymore Instead they generally opt for freeze- dried meats (because they are lighter and less bulky the Pentagon says) Hormel now sells Spam mostly to the “blue-collar lunch-box market” says Eric Brown Hormel’s Spam sales manager Nikita Khrushchev took note of Spam in his memoirs “There were many jokes going around in the army some of them off-color about American Spam it tasted good nonetheless” he said in the book “Khrushchev Remembers” “Without Spam we wouldn’t have been able to feed our army" Spam jokes are still around On a “Monty Python” television skit a waitress shouted this menu to customers: "Spam and bacon sausage and Spam eggs bacon sausage and Spam Spam bacon sausage and Spam and Spam Spam Spam eggsandSpam” By now Hormel is used to the mockery “We don’t care what they say about Spam” says production manager John Beige “as long as they keep talking about it" FRESH PORK SPARERIBS si 29 JJLB SMALL 3 & DOWN RIBS BBQ READY CORTI BROS OLD-FASHIONED SMOKED ojti Pnv HAM $ OLD-FASHIONED BONELESS -LLLB HAM WITH NATURAL BONE IN FLAVOR TRY ONE TODAY ITie Store That Really Cares V BONELESS ALL STORES CLOSED SUNDAYS 'BEEF BRISKETS ROLLED AND TIED FOR CARVING (CORTI BROS HASS AVOCADOS I FRESH BULK OR FROZEN LBPKGS WHOLE FILET STRIPS RIPECASABA MELONS FANCY RED DELICIOUS APPLES 4i?l LB CUT AND WRAPPED TO YOUR AT NO EXTRA CHARGE AVG WEIGHT 7 TO 8 LBS GROUND CHUCK jjj EXCELLENT VALVE NEW YORK STYLE ITALIAN § SAUSAGE v HOT SWEET PLAIN LOUIS RICH GROUND TURKEY JEY M3Ca15§0J §111$ V T JJL LB ? LOW IN FAT ' LB KAUKAUNA GOUDAS OR EDAMS 70Z ROUND IMP FRENCH BRIE CHEESE SIMPLY DELICIOUS FRESH FROM FRANCE LOUIS RICH ft TURKEY a) ROLL TOLLABLE AT AlL FOUR STORES RUGGIERI JUMBO PITTED RIPE OLIVES 300 SIZE CROSSE & BLACKWELL ORANGE MARMALADE W 16 OZ BESTFOODS MAYONNAISE QUART SIZE UPTON TEA BAGS 100 COUNT BARENGO RED WINE VINEGAR 28 OZ CRYSTAL YOGURT FOLSOM BLVD BIRDCAGE WALK ARDEN WAY THE CROSSROADS7 59th and Folaom till Sunrise Blvd Cit Hts 1739 Arden Way 5760 Freeport Blvd ' BOl IS: 9 AM M 7 PH HOIIS: f 1 AH I 7:M PH t HOIIS: II fir nt PH 7m I 452-6222 966-6100 927278? 391-0300 4 y

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