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May 16-22, 2007

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Wine Tasting

Generation Wines

By James Knight

Well, the final issue of Wine X magazine is still hanging on to the shelf, doing its fresh best even as it fades away. What killed the electric wine magazine? Was it the big money wineries, so unhip as to snub an upstart magazine that merely trashed them in its mission statement? Or do we blame the demographically targeted twenty-something consumers, maybe a little too hip on being hooked with a caricature of themselves?

Yet to hit the wine road these days, it would seem that the grand campaign to electrify twenty-something consumers has succeeded, even while its chief cheerleaders falter. To get a sense of how wine's flowing through the pulse of generations X and beyond, I naturally looked to the must-be spot for the anti-wine snob--but it's also temporarily out of service.

Roshambo Winery is only a victim of its own success. The facility sold, but the old hands at rock-paper-scissors central are building a new estate winery. In the meantime, a Roshambus wanders the byways, or you can track its product down in a new wine lounge that claims the "Generation" and ditches the "X."

Generation Wines is improbably located in a Windsor industrial park. Opened in fits and starts over the past year, owner Ryan O'Harren says it's now good to go five days a week. Generation is a multilabel tasting bar and wine shop, selling locals like Fanucchi and imports like Australian Barossa Valley Shiraz. There's sofa seating and a tiki-style bar made of recycled sorghum stalks. An iPod mix plays in the background, Air thrown in with cha-cha-cha. O'Harren readily owns that he's aiming to welcome a young crowd, but joint's style is not painfully hip, and his affable mien make it chill, as the young folks say.

Generation currently offers two tasting flights, Bonneau and Roshambo, for $7 each. Pours are not stinted, and the fee is refunded with purchase. Here's your chance to sample Roshambo's 2002 "the Reverend" Zinfandel ($22), burly and brambly, and the 2005 "Justice" Syrah, which lays down licorice over sweaty leather, the aroma of roasted coffee beans wafting down the street.

Bonneau hits the spot with the 2004 Chardonnay Catherine's Vineyard ($28), smelling almost of glinting gold with refined woodsiness and lemon honey. Bonneau's got two disparate Zinfandels, brewer's yeast and white pepper on the one hand--the 2005 Egret Zinfandel ($15)--and solid jam flavor on the other, the 2005 Shenandoah Valley Zinfandel ($28). Add in some light food that O'Harren says is in future plans, and what's not to like about going a little out of the way in Windsor?

Generation Wines, 810 DenBeste Court, Suite 103 (at Conde Lane), Windsor. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 11am to 6pm, or by appointment. 707.836.9401.

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