Key Art of "Summer of Rockets" featuring Keeley Hawes and Toby Stephens.

Summer of Rockets

Start watching
6HWbNHN-show-poster2x3-c7tgE2Y.png

Artbound

Start watching
FZG3mkG-show-poster2x3-nOossfs.png

SoCal Update

Start watching
Death in Paradise Series 10

Death in Paradise

Start watching
millionaire still

KCET Must See Movies

Start watching
MZihTLV-show-poster2x3-5CKaGu8.jpg

Independent Lens

Start watching
MJ250sC-show-poster2x3-Bflky7i.png

Tending Nature

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching
HvlSxHY-show-poster2x3-4ik43uV.png

Earth Focus

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Member
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

California Wine: What You See, Ain't What You Get

Support Provided By
sbcopnhighpost

The world of wine seems, at a glance, to be full of purists. There are many people who swear by their specific wines, particular regions or preferred vintages. Offer them anything that does not fit within their myopic view of things and they will scoff at the thought.

People purport to have favorite varietals, such as Chardonnay, while quickly dismissing others, such as Sauvignon Blanc. There are wines that have reputations of greatness and those that are still recovering from cinematic badmouthing. I am also sure that if you asked many of these people what was in the bottle in their hands labeled Cabernet Sauvignon, they would respond Cabernet Sauvignon. And that would be true ... to an extent.

When it comes to varietal labeling in California, the law states that a wine must be seventy-five percent of a particular grape to carry that name on the front of the label. The label need not include any information at all about what comprises the other twenty-five percent. So, when someone says to me, "I love California Pinot Noir," I wonder how much. How much Pinot is in that bottle, and how much is it the Pinot that they love.

Perhaps what they love is the other twenty four percent of Syrah, or even more bizarre, Mondeuse. Mondeuse? I know. It's not a grape that most people in California have heard of. Hell, it is not a grape that most people in the world have heard of, outside of the Savoy region of France. However, Au Bon Climat Winery owner Jim Clendenen has heard of it, and he proudly adds a percentage to his Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir, as is stated on the front of the bottle.

Maybe that's because he knows that a good blend can offer more than a single grape, even though that singular name often sells better. This wine offers a nose of dark brooding fruit, with chunks of chocolate, and funky undertones. It's a great barbeque Pinot, and a real crowd pleaser. For a wine labeled Pinot Noir, it's a bargain, hitting the shelves under twenty dollars.

Pinot Noir is a temperamental, delicate grape and an expensive wine to make. Many winemakers have found ways to make an affordable wine by sacrificing quality, and leave their labels simply reading Pinot Noir. Jim Clendenen has done neither. His wine delivers both quality and honesty by letting you know exactly what is in the bottle.

Au Bon Climat 2010 Pinot Noir, retails about $18.

Support Provided By
Read More
An illustration of the Three Sisters Garden depicts a tall stalk of corn with beans growing up its stalk. Broad leaves from the squash plant and squash are at the bottom of the stalk.

The Importance of Restoring Ancestral Seeds to Indigenous Communities

Through the process of seed rematriation, where seeds are returned to their place of origin, Indigenous communities restore relationships with their ancestral seeds.
A blue and purplish corn on a table.

Acoma Blue Corn Restored to Its Community of Origin

The restoration of Acoma blue corn to its community of origin represents a hopeful example of how seed rematriation can improve Indigenous foodways.
An asymmetrical ceramic dish holds a small, bite-sized piece of white steamed fish sitting in a thin, broth-y sauce. The fish is topped with a fine green powder. Additionally, someone is pouring more of the sauce from a small ceramic container.

Jon Yao of Kato Finds Confidence in the Flavors of His Taiwanese Upbringing

Los Angeles' Kato Restaurant, where the dishes are edible mnemonic devices for Asian Americans, is an homage to Chef Jon Yao's Taiwanese heritage.