However, some of California's best wine comes out of Randall Grahm's Bonny Doon for mirth and Rhône style wines, Paul Draper's Ridge Winery for Cabernet Sauvignon (think 1976 Paris Tasting), and David Bruce for some excellent Pinot Noir.
The ideal temperature to store Pinot Noir and other red wines is 52 degrees fahrenheit; however, a storage temperature that ranges from about 40 degrees to 65 degrees will work provided there is very little fluctuation in temperature.
It wasn't until David Lett of Eyrie Vineyards in Dundee placed a Pinot Noir in the 1979 Gault-Millau French Wine Olympiades and landed in the top 10 that Oregon found its true calling as a producer of world-class Pinot Noir wines.
Pinot Noir: This glass has a wide bowl and a turned out rim to allow the liquid to be directed to the sides of the tongue where the sweet and sour flavors are best tasted. The stem is shorter than most other wine glasses.
True Champagne comes from France and is produced from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes using the méthode champenoise, a system of fermentation that produces bubbles by introducing a second fermentation in the bottle.
While "Velvet Mistress" and "Liquid Seductress" are not your typical Pinot Noir descriptions, they are the type of remarks that lead one to believe there is so much more to Pinot than what you can find on a wine aroma wheel.
But some to try are Chalone near the Pinnacles Monument east of Salinas Valley, Talbott in Carmel Valley for beautiful Chardonnays and Pinot, and Bernardus which doubles as a double whammy rejuvenating winery and spa resort.
If you can get your hands on a bottle, try the spectacular Williams-Selyem Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Bucher Vineyard, 2008, which earned a 94 point rating from Wine Spectator and promises to drink well through 2017.
If the wine on the list is a little too pricey for you, here's a helpful hint: most of the Pinots above come from the Willamette Valley, so look for other, less expensive bottles of Pinot produced in the same region.
Instead of striving for the traditional dry, crisp Pinot Gris of France or following the lead of other wine producers who reduced the dryness and played up the sweetness of the grapes, Tremani's Pinot Gris is dry.