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Style Magazine

The Hot List: Reader Favorites Beer & Wine

If you want a great wine that is made for quality not quantity, Leoni Farms is it! The Humbug Hill Red Blend is the perfect red to stock up on—it pairs beautifully with BBQ, pasta, or an afternoon cheese plate. And I love knowing that every bottle I buy from Leoni supports a small local business. Winemaker Jon Campbell is always the first to support charity fundraisers in his community. I am glad that I can return the favor.
—Kat Ebster

I love wine. It’s no secret that I look forward to my daily 5 o'clock (OK, 5:30 if any of our employees are reading this) “generous pour.” But when I’m feeling indulgent (perhaps like “Yay, it’s Tuesday—let’s celebrate!“), my go-to bubbly is Helwig Winery's Rosé Sparkling Wine. I’m no sommelier, so I cannot spout fancy wine terminology, but I like what I like, and I love this sparkling wine. I love the bubbles, I love the taste. Hey, it makes me happy, and isn’t that what we all want?!
—Wendy Sipple

Helwig Winery

The best local beer is Red Bus Brewing Co.! The beer is fresh and well-crafted, and they brew a wide variety of styles—not just a bunch of IPAs. I personally like a good sour, and they always have something for me. My favorite is the Meyers Manx, a kettle sour with pomegranate. The Samba Juice Smoothie IPA is popular among my friends and family right now as well. They also have a locally named 95630, which is a West Coast Pilsner—it’s great!
—Dana Porter McCargo

My favorite is the Petite Sirah from Rancho Victoria Vineyard—it has a distinct flavor that pairs perfectly with spicy cuisine or BBQ. And it’s just yummy.
—Ramona Arnold

Hold on, the grapes for the Silt Wine Company Pinot Noir are grown in Clarksburg, just 15 miles from Sacramento, not in Napa, Russian River, or Mendocino? While the capitol is buried in political gamesmanship, there is no gamesmanship going on here...this is one fabulous Pinot. It’s pretty much everything I look for when it comes to this varietal, hitting all the right notes with cherry standing out and a perfect balance between light and complex.
—Terry Carroll

Wise Villa Winery


The Pinot Noir from Wise Villa Winery is one of the best Pinots I’ve ever had the pleasure of drinking! Try it, and you'll truly understand why this wine and others produced by Wise Villa have won so many awards. It’s medium-bodied with a smooth, fruit-forward beginning and a crisp finish. Hints of smoky sandalwood and chai linger on the palate making this a very well-balanced wine. What's more, it's the first red Pinot ever produced in Placer County.
—Debra Linn

I am a home-based bread bakery owner (Garcia Bread Co., and an avid wine drinker. I like to enjoy my homemade artisan breads with Cante Ao Vinho’s  hand-crafted wine in Rocklin. We love their wines so much that my husband (and co-owner) and I became members of their wine club last year. Our favorite right now in these warmer months is the Rare Rosé. It’s so crisp and refreshing but not too sweet and can be enjoyed with any type of food.
—Maria Garcia

Anything from Casino Mine Ranch! Mackenzie Cecchi is the fabulous woman who runs the place (she and her husband also run the Sacramento restaurant Canon). In my opinion, there isn’t a dud in their portfolio of wines, and I am a picky gal. The Rosé, which is a blend of Mourvèdre and Grenache, is crisp and delightful, and the Vermentino is amazing with a refreshing hint of lemon. Their Grenache Blanc has a minerality that I love, and their reds are all fabulous—most notably for me, their Simone blend of Grenache Noir and Mourvèdre and the Marcel, which is Tempranillo with Teroldego. Gosh, now I’m feeling thirsty and need to place an order!
—Bella Kramer

Karmère Vineyards and Winery’s The Temperance Tart’s Naughty Bawdy; Photo by Jeri Murphy Photography


Karmère Vineyards and Winery is my favorite local winery, and I’ve been a wine club member for years. It’s family-owned, the staff is always welcoming and most of all, the wines are wonderful! I have many favorites, but I always come home with a jug of The Temperance Tart’s Naughty Bawdy. (Yes, I said “jug.”) It’s a red blend that pairs with just about anything, including wine-tasting picnics, weekend getaways with the girls, or just sitting at home waiting for the stay-at-home restrictions to be lifted.
Equally delightful is the origin of its name. As the jug label says, “Karmère’s land was previously owned for over 195 years by the original Shenandoah Valley settlers the Jamesons, whose heritage was steeped in the temperance movement. Mr. Jameson swore vines would never darken his land.”
Thank goodness the Hoopes family did not share his sobering attitude! You can read more at
—Jeri Murphy

Lava Cap Winery's Chardonnay! I love the taste, plus the price is reasonable and it’s one of the few Chardonnays produced locally.
—Barbara Dwyer

Vindicator IPA from Loomis Basin Brewery Company is my favorite. The best way to describe it is a dry beer with a citrus and pine finish. When you’re ready to graduate from Blue Moon this is the beer for you.  Once you have an IPA you never go backward!
—Jenny Giallanza

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