Chuck Furuya, Master Sommelier Reminisces About Ridge Wines From the 70’s

Chuck Furuya MS

Master Sommelier Chuck Furuya, of DK Restaurants in Hawaii wrote a blog post where he reminisces about a few older vintage California wines that made an impression on him in his career. A few Ridge wines, which include 1968, 1970 and 1977 Monte Bello bottlings as well as the 1976 Lytton Springs make an appearance on his list. Here are a few brief excerpts from the post.

“I was a young lad of 23 when I landed a server job at the soon to open Alioto’s Restaurant, which was then located at the corner of Kaheka & Makaloa streets across from the old Holiday Mart location. Alioto’s was & still is an iconic, family-owned San Francisco restaurant located on Fisherman’s Wharf. This was to be their Hawaii “branch”…It is quite remarkable how back then Californian wines were a hard sell here in the Islands. Local wine drinkers wanted European wines. Quite the flip-flop nowadays…As time went on & my getting used to what the Californian wines had to offer, I really started to get into them…From the 1976 vintage–the 1976 Ridge Zinfandel “Lytton Springs” was truly something special & the most memorable Californian wine of the vintage for meFrom the 1977 vintage, I was especially taken by the 1977 Ridge Monte Bello…”

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