François' Picks

Domaine du Pré Semelé lies in a tiny valley a few miles northwest of the hilltop town of Sancerre. The estate is now managed by the third generation of the family Raimbault. This is another wonderful example of the younger generation taking over the reins of a family estate and elevating it to a new, higher level.

François enjoys Domaine du Pré Semelé Sancerre ($21.99) as it is a classic Sancerre (aka Sauvignon Blanc), filled with ripe gooseberry fruit and zesty acidity. Notes of grass, nettles and stone minerality. A great value for a true Sancerre. Pair this wine with shellfish, white meats, salads and most vegetarian dishes.

Tonel 46 Malbec ($12.99) is what François is enjoying at home now. The lively color of this Malbec speaks volumes about a fresh wine with good acidity. Its aromas are still quite obvious but the concentration of fruit and the notes of ripe cherries, plum and blueberries are also strong. Smooth tannins and good freshness. Goes well with grilled meats.

Big and bold is this week's pick from François, Rivallana Rioja Crianza ($15.99) Made by Bodega Ondarre, this is an intense oak-aged Rioja with flavors of cherries, plums and vanilla. Aged in French and American oak barrels for one year before bottling. Good structure and ripe fruit flavors. Perfect for sipping by the fire, or with a hearty beef stew.

François, born and raised in the Loire Valley, a well-known wine region of France, has been in the retail wine business for over 30 years. His extensive wine knowledge allows him to offer expert advise on food and wine pairings, as well as party and event planning.

Customers will be surprised at the extent of wine knowledge that François has. If you are looking to try something new, tell François what you enjoy currently and he use that information to help find a new favorite for you.

One of his favorite wines is Amarone, a wine which is made from dried grapes and is unique to Italy.