Visit with Ryan Deovlet, a hangover cure that’s not menudo, John Kelly is a schmuck, and other Notes on a Wine Card

I had the pleasure of meeting Ryan Deovlet, owner and winemaker extraordinaire of  Deovlet Wines located in San Luis Obispo.  I’ve been tasting Ryan’s wines for a number of years now and I have to say Ryan is making some of the best wines in the central coast, specifically Sta Rita Hills.

Ryan stopped by The Tasting Room this week and poured us his outstanding lineup of wines from Deovlet Wines.  He also is winemaker at Refugio Ranch Vineyards, and Biddle Ranch Vineyard.  He has worked with such luminaries in the wine industry such as, Richard Sanford, Paul Hobbs, Ulises Valdez, Stephen Dooley, and Ruben Solorzano.

The superb wines he crafts speak of the location and the specific vineyard from which they were born. He lets the wines speak for themselves, with a deft and subtle touch that produces wines that are bright, savory, and balanced.  Hopefully we shall have his wines in stock soon at The Bottle Shop.  Keep an eye for his wines as he is fast becoming one of the most acclaimed winemakers in California.

Speaking of Ulises Valdez – owner of Valdez Family Winery and Valdez & Sons Vineyard Management – Ulises Valdez is a shining example of how illegal immigrants can and do easily assimilate into American culture. Ulises came to this country illegally and worked his butt off as he rose through the ranks and eventually became one of the most sought after vineyard management consultants in California.

I met Ulises last year at Packing House Wines in Claremont while celebrating PHW’s 10th anniversary with Sal Medina, owner of Packing House Wines. Ulises spoke to my son and told my son that if he worked very hard, he could be anything he wanted to be and that Ulises was proof of that.  He also told my son that he was forever grateful to President Ronald Reagan for his part in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 that helped Ulises become a U.S. citizen.

I mention Ulises (and there are a whole lot more like him) because of the comments John Kelly made this past week when he said “The vast majority of the people that move illegally into the United States are not bad people. They’re not criminals. They’re not MS-13. … But they’re also not people that would easily assimilate into the United States, into our modern society. They’re overwhelmingly rural people. In the countries they come from, fourth-, fifth-, sixth-grade educations are kind of the norm. They don’t speak English; obviously that’s a big thing. … They don’t integrate well; they don’t have skills. They’re not bad people.”

Guess who I’d rather sit down over a bottle of wine with…Ulises by a landslide.

John Kelly’s face should be on the bottle of wine I tried the other night – Stu Pedasso – an actual wine from Sonoma County.  Meh! Nothing to write home about.

I hear a professor from UCLA might have designed an antidote that could help people enjoy wine or cocktails or beer without a hangover. Yunfeng Lu along with fellow USC professor Cheng Ji, and graduate student Duo Xu have tested the antidote on mice with very promising results.  Should the research report be titled “Of Mice and Hungover Men?”

By the way, I don’t eat menudo because I am suffering from a hangover.  I eat menudo because I love it!  My favorite place for menudo is Los Amigos on Holt Boulevard in Ontario.

A royal wedding this weekend with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle walking down the aisle on Saturday.  I’m not a huge royal family follower – didn’t we get over that infatuation back in 1776? – but I have read that the wine that might be poured at the wedding will be an English wine called Chapel Down.  Chapel Down produces still and sparkling wines.  If you are an anglophile and you have to have your British wine while watching the royal wedding at 4am, here’s a link to where you can purchase Chapel Down.  Chapel Down at

Lookalikes: Kevin Kline (in Silverado) and Ryan Deovlet.


Last word: You know you might be drinking too much wine when your birthstone is a wine cork.



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