Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, February 17, 2024

The Bottle Shop: Wine & Spirits - Subscribe to our Newsletter

MVNews this week:  Page 8



Mountain View News Saturday, February 17, 2024 


I’m Gustavo Lira, Tasting Room Manager 
and Wine Buyer at The Bottle Shop in 
Sierra Madre with another wine and 
spirits selection. Do you like red wine 
blends? You’re not alone. 

The 2023 Silicon Valley Bank State of 
the U.S. Wine Industry report stated 
that Red blends are the second most 
popular red wine type consumed in the 
U.S. after Cabernet Sauvignon. What’s 
the difference between a Red Blend and 
a single varietal wine such as Cabernet 
Sauvignon? To be labelled a single varietal 
wine in the United States, the wine must 
contain at least 75% of a specific varietal. 
If a winemaker decides to have 75% 
Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot 
in the wine, the wine can be labelled as 
Cabernet Sauvignon. Anything less than 
75% of a single varietal, and the wine is considered a blend.

Some of the world’s most classic wines are red blends – Bordeaux and Rhone Valley are 
prime examples. Here in the U.S., The Prisoner Red Wine is one of the most popular 
Red Blends sold. In 2000 when it first started production it was a very good wine. 
Now, with production at 250,000 cases, it’s too sweet for my taste and seems to follow a 
formulaic recipe with the other wines they produce. For $50 a bottle I expect more from 
wine. Here’s a much better Red Blend alternative – Maldonado Proprietary Red Wine 
Napa Valley 2018.

Hugo Maldonado is the winemaker and owner. Hugo holds a degree in Enology & 
Viticulture from U.C. Davis. His father Lupe came to the U.S. in 1962 and became an 
exceptional vineyard manager. Hugo and his father founded the winery in 2007. Total 
production for Madonado is 6,000 cases – making this a wine that is family run and 
small production – attributes that tend to lead to excellent wines. 

The wine is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 10% Syrah and was 
aged for 20 months in French oak barrels. It is bold with gorgeous fruit that is balanced 
and not over ripe. There are layers of spice, chocolate, leather, and dark fruit. The 
tannins are well integrated and there’s enough acidity to lift the wine to a lengthy and 
savory finish.

The Bottle Shop has the Maldonado Red Blend Napa Valley 2018 at an extraordinary 
price of $29.99. Don’t pay $20 more for a mediocre wine, get this one instead. I know 
you’ll love it!

Until next time – Salud!

Upcoming Wine Tastings – Thursday & 
Friday February 22 & 23 Blissful Blends. 
Sunday February 25 From Italy With 

Click on the QRCode to subscribe to The 
Bottle Shop newsletter and stay informed 
on our weekly wine tasting, beer tasting, 
and special winemaker events. 


“Xin nian kuai Le”

During the Lunar New Year, many food items are a representation of the culture that is looking 
for luck and prosperity. What type of dishes can you enjoy if you are in the mood to celebrate? 
Fish is number 1 (one) in fact it is a requirement at the Lunar New Year dinner table, the reason 
is that the word fish (yu) goes with the word for surplus. 

Oranges are also a holiday tradition, the word tangerine (gam) means gold, please don’t ask how 
I got oranges and tangerines mixed up, just treat this as a brief history lesson. 

Rice… ? You bet sticky rice represents togetherness. People of the Philippines, a predominate 
Catholic country with a lot of Chinese people share a dish called (Tikoy) sticky rice fried in an 
egg batter, (try ordering that at your local Panda Express) the stickiness again represents close 
relations with friends and family.

Dairy is also used in many dishes, the “white” symbolizes to purify what’s dark, as the moon 
does in the night.

No matter if it’s Panda Inn, PF Chang’s or Egg Roll Express here a few of my favorite Chinese 

• Lettuce Wraps

• Peking Duck

• Dumplings

• Spring Rolls

• Hot and Sour Shrimp

• Chicken

Fun Fact

The Fortune Cookie isn’t Chinese at all, well at least it wasn’t invented in China, the cookie hails 
from San Francisco, also home of the white go container with the handle, now you know!

Peter Dills wishing you prosperity

Gung hay fat choy 




•2 cups uncooked spiral pasta

•1/2 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)

•1/2 pound Italian turkey sausage links, 

 casings removed

•1 small onion, finely chopped

•1 garlic clove, minced

•2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced 

 tomatoes, undrained

•1/3 cup tomato paste

•3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

•1/2 teaspoon chili powder

•1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

•1/8 teaspoon salt

•1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

•1/8 teaspoon dried thyme

•1/8 teaspoon pepper

•2 ounces sliced turkey pepperoni

•1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim

 mozzarella cheese


•Cook pasta according to package directions. 
Meanwhile, crumble beef and sausage 
into a large skillet; add onion. Cook and 
stir over medium heat until meat is no longer 
pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. 
Drain. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste 
and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; 
simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

 • Drain pasta; stir in meat mixture and pepperoni. 
Transfer half of the pasta mixture 
to a 2-qt. baking dish coated with cooking 
spray. Sprinkle with half of the cheese; repeat 

 • Cover and bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes 
or until bubbly. 

Yield: 6 servings.



One of the Largest and Oldest Lunar New Year 5K/10K/Kiddie/PAW’er Dog Run/
Walk & 19/50-Mile Bike Ride Events in the United States



WHAT: L.A. Chinatown Firecracker 5K/10K Run/1K Kiddie & PAW’er Dog Run/
Walk & 19/50-Mile Bike Ride — Celebrating 46 years, the L.A. Chinatown Firecracker 
is one of the largest and oldest running races in the U.S. with its upcoming Lunar 
New Year run, walk, cycling and dog walk events held over the weekend of February 
24-25, 2024, at the historic Los Angeles Chinatown Plaza.


Registration is now open for the Year of the Dragon 46th Annual L.A. Chinatown 
Firecracker with a choice to participate in-person or virtually. Each registered 
participant receives a commemorative 2024 Firecracker race bib, exclusive collectible 
finisher’s medal, limited edition t-shirt (Paw’er Dogs receive their own commemorative 
Firecracker t-shirt), goody bag, and much more. All registered participants 21+ years 
of age are also eligible for one complimentary beer at the Beer Garden. In addition, 
participants and their guests will enjoy the Lunar New Year Celebration in the heart 
of historic Chinatown with an opening ceremony filled with lion dancers and the 
traditional lighting of 100,000 firecrackers. The Firecracker festival includes vendors 
and booths. The 46th Annual Firecracker has been approved as a 2024 USATF 
Sanctioned Event.


The annual L.A. Chinatown Firecracker is produced by the nonprofit L.A. Chinatown 
Firecracker Run Committee (LACFRC), a group of volunteers who donate their time 
and energy to organize and stage events and programs promoting healthy lifestyles, 
fitness, cultural awareness to the greater Los Angeles community. All proceeds are 
reinvested in the community and surrounding areas in support of elementary schools 
and other non-profit organizations, providing service and programs.


The 46th Annual L.A. Chinatown Firecracker sponsors include McCourt Partners, 
San Antonio Winery, American Bio-Clinical Laboratories, Winston & Joanne Young, 
Cathay Bank, Empire International, Longo Toyota/Lexus, Rose Burton, and Central 
City Optimist.



February 24-25, 2024

• Sat, Feb 24: 50-mile Bike Ride; 8:00 a.m. (new route goes through Pasadena & 

• Sat, Feb 24: 19-mile Bike Ride; 8:20 a.m.

• Sat, Feb 24: 2K PAW’er Dog Walk; 9:00 a.m.

• Sun, Feb 25: 5K Run/Walk; 8:00 a.m. Run / 8:20 a.m. Walk

• Sun, Feb 25: 10K Run/Walk; 8:20 a.m. Run / 8:40 a.m. Walk

• Sun, Feb 25: 1K Kiddie Run: 9:00 a.m.



Los Angeles Chinatown Plaza

943 N Broadway, Downtown Los Angeles


REGISTRATION: $38 - $75 with discounts for participating in multiple events



• Firecracker L.A. Website:

• Registration:

• Facebook:

• Instagram:

• Twitter:

• Email:

• #firecrackerLA; #46years

• L.A. Chinatown Firecracker Trailer/B-roll:

626.253.1323suecookrealtor@gmail.comDRE02015404Real Estate Cooked to Perfection!
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