Anglim Winery – What a Kit Hath Wrought



Steve Anglim at Hospice du Rhone 2010

It started somewhat insidiously – with a gift of a winemaking kit one Father’s Day.

“It was god-awful disgusting stuff,” said Steve Anglim, owner and winemaker of Anglim Winery.

But it was enough to get him making wine, eventually leading to the winery, which began in 2002.  Steve and his wife Steffanie Anglim run the place, taking turns pouring at events and running the tasting room in Paso Robles, California, while their younger daughter plays in the back room.

“You have to divide and conquer because there’s so much to do,” Steffanie said.

The winery produces 3,500 cases of mostly Rhone-style varietals, like syrah and viognier.  Steve sources his grapes from several local vineyards but really has no yen to get out and start farming, himself.

“It’s just what you enjoy doing,” he said.  “They’re fundamentally different kinds of work.”

After Anglim’s first winemaking kit failed to produce anything really drinkable, Steffanie encouraged him to see what he could do if he got some good fruit.

“That’s how I met James Ontiveros, from Bien Nacido and others,” Steve said.  “Of course, he would laugh hysterically when I would call and ask for Bien Nacido pinot in the mid-nineties.”

Nonetheless, Steve was not deterred and ramped up his personal production considerably over the next few years, to the point where maybe they had a little too much.

“My friends said they couldn’t drink anymore,” Steffanie said.  “You know, when you’re a home winemaker, you have to give it away.  And we had a lot of it.  So it needed to be either smaller or bigger.”

The final push came when Steve’s employer at the time, Nissan, decided to move its headquarters to Nashville, Tennessee, and Steve decided that he didn’t want to go.  It was time to change careers.  As for the old saw about making a small fortune in the wine biz by starting with a big one, well….

“Our mistake was that we didn’t have one of those,” Steve joked.  But, “We’ve been doing it for eight years.  I’m not dead yet.  I’m still here.”

You can find out more about the winery and order wines at their website,

Contest Winner Announced




Win a shirt with this cool logo on it

Well, there’s some good news and some bad news regarding our recent Wine FAQ contest, which officially ended on Monday.


The good news is that we have a winner – Stuart Yaniger, who sent us two great questions:

1. What’s all this sulfite stuff? Is it true that only American/French/Australian/
Slavokian wines use them?

Every wine has sulfites – yeast produce sulfur compounds along with alcohol, carbon dioxide and other substances. Most wineries can or do add sulfites to help preserve wine because it resists spoilage by other organisms. So even German and Italian wines will have sulfites.

2. Why do I get headaches when I drink red wine? (often mistakenly coupled with question 1).

Allergic reactions to sulfur are common. But nitrates and nitrites can trigger reactions and they are present in wine through natural processes. Since the skins are what give red wines their color, the problem may be in compounds that were in the grape skins.

The bad news is that we didn’t get enough entries to pick more than one winner.  Sorry about that.

But if you still have a question, by all means, please send it to us.  And we might just try another contest in the near future.

La Fenetre 2006 Cargasacchi Pinot Noir

Type: Dry red
Made With: Pinot Noir grapes
Plays Well With: Salmon, pork or grilled beef.

This is a wine that is all about balance – no mean trick when it comes to the notoriously finicky pinot noir grape.

Winemaker and founder Joshua Klapper started with some amazing fruit – from farmer and winemaker Peter Cargasacchi’s vineyards in the ever-so-hot Santa Rita Hills.  Cargasacchi has his own Point Concepcion label (which we have had the good fortune to taste), but does sell a fair amount of his crop to several local vintners – including La Fenetre.  In fact, one of our dream tastings would be side-by-side comparisons of wines from Cargasacchi’s many clients next to his own decidedly yummy version.

Klapper’s wine had some berries and a slight whiff of rose petals.  Taste-wise, the acidity was bright, but not harsh and the texture in the mouth was silky.  But the best part was the balance.  We may not be talking angels on the head of a pin, here, but there was just enough fruit, just enough acid and just enough tannin to make this wine perfect for sipping with a really good dinner.  Maybe some salmon in paper pouch with plenty of garlic, lemon and herbs.  Or perfectly grilled pork chops.

Celebrity Wine FAQ: Scott Krinksy



Scott Krinsky, courtesy NBC


While Anne has been hobnobbing with the folks at the twice-yearly Television Critics Association Press Tour, she’s been checking in with people to find out what their Wine FAQs are.  After all, we’re pulling together our Wine FAQ page and want to know what everyone else wants to know about wine.

Scott Krinsky plays Nerd Herder Jeff on the spy comedy Chuck on NBC.  Fun thing is, he likes wine.

“I’m a big malbec fan,” he told Anne.  “I love malbec.  They have a nice little spice to them, kind of medium to full bodied.”

But he did have a question for us: “What is the average time to age a bottle before it goes to market?”

Our Answer:
This is an area where winemakers have great flexibility over the final product and a lot depends on the wine, itself and the winery’s need for cash.

Most red wines will spend up to a year after being made in a barrel or some bulk container before being bottled. The bottle may spend an additional year or longer before being shipped to a distributor. After that, the wine will start showing up at restaurants and store shelves.

White wines, on the other hand, will usually take about a year from grape to store shelf.

Don’t forget to enter the contest.  Click here.

Celebrity Wine FAQ – Wallace Langham





Wallace Langham, Courtesy CBS

It’s really interesting how many people have questions about wine – even folks who don’t drink or can’t drink at all.

Take Wallace Langham, who plays lab tech Hodge on CSI.

“I stopped drinking wine,” he told Anne at a party at the TV Critics Press Tour.  “I stopped drinking altogether.   But I can think of one.   Ah.  Is it all right to drink rosé all year round?”

Langham was asking on behalf of his wife, who loves rosé.  We say you go, Mrs. Langham (assuming that’s your name).  Rosé is a great option all year long.  Admittedly, we’re not talking white zinfandel, which does have a tendency to be over sweet and medicinal.

A dry pink has some of the fruit of a red wine, but it’s also light and dry like most whites – a perfect summer compromise when you want something to stand up to a great grilled steak, but it’s too hot for a red.  And great in the winter when you want something to go with your scampi and spaghetti alfredo, but a red wine’s too much and a white wine just isn’t up to the heavy garlic and cream in the alfredo.

When a lot of us think of rosé, we think about the sugar-laden pinks of the past, such as Lancers and Mateus.  And, yes, white zinfandels.  Well, if that’s what you like, then drink with pride.  A good wine is the wine you like.  But do check out some of dry pinks that are becoming more and more available.  They’re often a real bargain, too, and definitely great all year round.

Don’t forget to submit your question for our Wine FAQ contest – Click here for more information!