Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, March 4, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:9



Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 4, 2017 


My friend, Roger Mendez, says “top shelf” or “third 
floor” when he wants a good brand-name drink 
when he is at a bar. Reader Bob Carlson might 
think I have lost my mind, but friends and readers, 
we are moving to the high rent district today. It 
took me a few years to figure out (and maybe just 
in time now) that when you are at a supermarket 
looking for your favorite wine and frustration sets 
in, you should search by price - the most expensive 
wines are on the “top shelf” and the bottom shelf is 
usually where you’ll find lowest prices. You’ll find 
me somewhere in the middle. Please let me, just 
for this one week, introduce you to the top shelf at 
your local wine department because that is where 
I found the Oracle 2011 by Miner. Yes indeed, the 
technology of blends and business is all a part of 
the Miner story. Miner is a family-run business in 
the heart of Napa Valley and was founded by Dave 
and Emily Miner. Dave’s uncle is Robert Miner, co-
founder of (you guessed it) Oracle Technology. 

 As we have learned over the last couple of years, I 
do believe in “blends”, and this Oracle is 
“top shelf”. The grapes are sourced from 
vineyards in the area including cabernet 
from Stage Coach Vineyard in Napa 
Valley. I am told that Black Bart used 
to rob the stagecoach that ran from 
St. Helena to Monticello. If Bart could 
have gotten his hands on some Oracle 
wines, he would have appreciated the 
fruitiness of the first taste. The tannins 
are very smooth, and like many blends 
that include petit verdot (regardless of 
the price) has a touch of boldness and 
a bit of spice. This blend is perfectly 
balanced, and I recommend a pairing 
it with spare ribs, chicken or steak. No BBQ sauce, 
though, as that will take away some of the natural 
flavors from your wine. Price is $75 - top shelf, 
indeed, but when it’s time to treat yourself, Oracle 
is a great option.

Dills Score 90

Retail Around $90 on sale $75 limited distribution 
throughout So Cal

 Each week I will give you my Dills Score. I have 
added points for value. I’m starting with a base of 50 
points; I added 8 points for color, 7 points for aroma 
or “nose”, 8 points for taste, 8 points for finish, and 
9 points for my overall impression, which includes 
my value rating.

 Email Peter at and 
follow me on Twitter @KINGOFCUISINE, watch 
Dining w/Dills on Spectrum 188 Sunday at 3 PM

TABLE FOR TWO by Peter Dills

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