Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, March 9, 2024

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

MVNews this week:  Page 9



Mountain View News Saturday, March 9, 2024 




I’m Gustavo Lira, Tasting Room Manager 
and Wine Buyer at The Bottle Shop in 
Sierra Madre with another wine and spirits 

Old Friends, they shine like diamonds. 
That’s a verse from the late Guy Clark song 
“Old Friends.” Guy was one of America’s 
greatest singer/songwriters. I always think 
of that song when I am drinking Old Vine 
wines. Wines made from old vines shine like 
diamonds too. 

What is an old vine? The Historic Vineyard Society has compiled a list of California’s 
Historic Vineyards. The criteria for being on the list is as follows: 

1] the vineyard is a currently producing California vineyard. 

2] Original planting date at least 50 years ago. 

3] At least 1/3 of existing producing vines can be traced back to original planting date. 

Many believe that old vines produce wines with more concentration, flavor, depth, and 
character. I’ll be featuring four wines that are considered old vine wines.

Two Shepherds Cinsault Ancient Vine, Bechthold Vineyard Lodi 2021 is produced from 
grapes sourced from 135-year-old Bechthold Vineyard in Lodi. This organically dry 
farmed vineyard is the oldest surviving Cinsault Vineyard in the world. Light bodied, 
delicate, refined. Gorgeous aromatics. A stunning example of Cinsault. 

Scar of the Sea Alicante Bouschet, Galleano Ranch Vineyard Cucamonga Valley 2022 is 
sourced from a local organically dry farmed vineyard just 37 miles east of Sierra Madre. 
The Galleano Ranch Vineyard was planted in the 1890’s. This wine has lift and vitality. 
Dark fruit, spice, leather, and plum notes bring this wine to an incredible finish. 

Delicious local history in a glass!

Erggelet Brothers Red Table Wine, Contra Costa County 2022 is sourced from a 
vineyard originally planted in the early 1900’s. The Del Barba Ranch Vineyard is dry-
farmed. This wine is 55% Zinfandel, 17% Grenache, 17% Carignane, and 17% Mataro. 
It’s a savory wine with freshness, black and red berries, licorice, and blood orange notes 
with a zesty and lively finish. A frigging tasty wine.

Bedrock Old Vine Zinfandel, California 2022 is sourced from over a dozen vineyards, 
some being planted back in the 1880’s. This wine has been a favorite of mine for years. 
The 2022 vintage is a blend of 76% Zinfandel, 11% Carignan, 5% Petite Sirah, 4% 
Grenache and 3% Cinsault. It’s always one of the best value wines around, as well as 
being one of the best made. There’s gorgeous spice, fruit, and floral notes. It’s fresh and 
vibrant and insanely good. 

Join me next Thursday and Friday at The Tasting Room and taste all four of these 
amazing old vine wines. Bring an old friend with you and meet some new friends too.

Until next time – Salud!

Upcoming Wine Tastings – Old Friends Old 
Vines. Spanish Wines with Premium Tinned 
Fish (Conservas). Fresh Shucked Oysters and 

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


My dearly departed pappy Elmer Dills would tell me, don‘t argue sex, politics and or religion, 
I must add tipping to the list. I have used this topic many times on my radio show, Dining 
with Dills on Radio to get the phones buzzing. Last week a caller asked about tipping at 
Jersey Mikes.

There is a law on the books, actually an old law that is now being enforced. The IRS classifies 
automatic gratuities as service charges that are taxable as regular wages and subject to payroll 
tax withholding. That might sound like a bunch of tax law mumbo jumbo, but what it means 
is that restaurants have to treat those tips like regular wages.

Typically, the IRS left it up to the waiter or tipped employees to declare that money. But with 
this change the waiter won't see those "tips" until payday—instead of the end of the shift. And 
restaurants will have to withhold federal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes on that 
money, too.

What it means for the diner is that those automatic 18% gratuity charges on tables of 6 or 
more may well be a thing of the past. The addition has been added onto large parties to 
ensure that servers are paid for catering to a large group.

That doesn't mean you should use this an excuse to start stiffing people. Remember, the 
minimum wage laws here in the States for tipped workers is still at a shocking $7.25 an hour. 
(California thankfully pays all of it's workers, tipped or untapped, a minimum of $15/hour.) 

The new rule actually went into effect in 2012, however the IRS postponed enforcement until 
later to give restaurateurs enough time to adjust and properly comply.

While it might seem great to have some freedom as a customer, the service industry isn't so 
excited about the idea.

Tips… To insure proper service. Here is my rundown and no it hasn’t changed in twenty 
years of reviewing restaurants.

Anyone in any country that provides a service should be rewarded.

10% buffet plus $2 directly to busboy that brought you water and had to clean up after the 
kids through Jell-O on the ground.

$1 for each drink at the bar

$2 for a to go order, as long as they got it right

12% fair service, means they brought you the food and came back with your check

15% Good service brought you your food and drinks and refilled drinks and asked how 
was it

18% Very Good service all of the above plus asked you if your meal was prepared to your 

20-25% All of the above, brought items in proper 
order, waited for you to ask for check, asked if there is 
a validation needed and please ask for me next time.

One more note… I subtract 5% when the server blames 
the kitchen for a mistake, got it !!

This a fun conversation please follow me on Facebook !!

Listen to my Podcast:

Dublin Coddle - Irish Sausage, 
Bacon, Onion and Potato 

626.253.1323suecookrealtor@gmail.comDRE02015404Real Estate Cooked to Perfection!
About This Recipe

"This traditional supper dish of sausages, bacon, onions 
and potatoes dates back at least as far as the 
early eighteenth century. It seems to be more of a city 
dish than a rural one: it was a favourite of Jonathan 
Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels and dean of Christ 
Church Cathedral in Dublin. In Dublin itself, coddle 
retains its reputation as a dish that can be prepared 
ahead of time and left in a very slow oven while the 
people who're going to eat it have to be out of the 
house for a while - making it an excellent dish for 
very busy people! The name of the dish is probably 
descended from the older word caudle, derived from 
a French word meaning "to boil gently, parboil, or 
stew". The more recent version of the verb, "coddle," 
is still applied to gently cooked eggs, "Coddled 
Eggs". Please note, the sausages used should be the 
best quality 100% pork sausages you can get your 
hands on! This recipe would also work VERY well 
if cooked in a crock-pot, reduce the liquid by about 
half if cooking the coddle this way. Serve with Guinness 
and Irish soda bread. Although this is an easy 
to prepare one pot meal and its simplicity belies its 
amazing taste and flavour - comfort food at its best! 

-- French Tart


4 1/2 lbs potatoes 

2 large onions, peeled and sliced thickly 

1 lb good quality pork sausages 

1 lb bacon, piece thick cut 

2 cups water 

1 ham stock cube or 1 beef or 1 chicken stock cubes, if ham stock isn't available 

 3 -4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped 

 salt and pepper to taste


Peel the potatoes. Cut large ones into three or four pieces: leave smaller ones whole. Finely chop 
the parsley. Boil the water and in it dissolve the bouillon cube. 

Grill or broil the sausages and bacon long enough to colour them. Be careful not to dry them 
out! Drain briefly on paper towels. When drained, chop the bacon into one-inch pieces. If you 
like, chop the sausages into large pieces as well. (Some people prefer to leave them whole.). 

Preheat the oven to 300F / 150°C In a large flameproof heavy pot with a tight lid, start layering 
the ingredients: onions, bacon, sausages or sausage pieces, potatoes. Season each layer liberally 
with fresh-ground pepper and the chopped fresh parsley. Continue until the ingredients are 
used up. Pour the bouillon mixture over the top. On the stove, bring the liquid to a boil. Immediately 
turn the heat down and cover the pot. (You may like to additionally put a layer of foil 
underneath the pot lid to help seal it.). 

Put the covered pot in the oven and cook for at least three hours. (Four or five hours won't hurt 
it.) At the two-hour point, check the pot and add more water if necessary. There should be about 
an inch of liquid at the bottom of the pot at all times. 

To Serve. Guinness, bottled or draft, goes extremely well with this dish (indeed, adding a little to 
the pot toward the end of the process wouldn't hurt anything). Another good accompaniment 
is fresh soda bread, used to mop up the gravy!

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: