ApCal Gift Ideas

ApCal is the perfect place to find a gift for anyone (over 21 that is)!

We have lots of wine themed gift baskets to choose from. If a gift basket isn’t your thing, we have a selection of olive oils and homemade preserves.

If you are still having a hard time choosing, then we are definitely the right place for your gift shopping needs! An ApCal Gift Card makes the perfect gift! Our gift cards can be used for wine, beer, food products, or even the ApCal Concerts! Yes that right, you can buy someone the gift of a night out at ApCal. Our festivals will start in March, and our concert season will start in May! Then, gift cards can be used to buy tickets to the shows and wine and beer while they enjoy the music.

So whether you are purchasing for a wine lover, a beer drinker, or someone who likes great music, we have the perfect gift for you!

Wino’s Picks of the Week – Schmall Family Vineyard Blends

Wino’s Picks of the Week: The Schmall Family Blends

E.C. Wino

The question comes every once in a while: “does ApCal make any wine?”
And no, but that is just the short answer.

ApCal does not make wine by any measure — there are no cellars hidden in the basement or wine barrels piled so inconspicuously in the garage. The long answer is much closer to the truth. While ApCal does not produce wine, our fearless leader and internationally-renowned cigar masticator, Monsieur ApCal, fathered two wines from his family vineyards. So instead of the nominal gamut of red, white and sweet, this edition is dedicated to our ApCal-exclusives: Alejandra’s Tres Amigas and Chosen, the Schmall family blends.

Alejandra’s Tres Amigas

This wine bears the Spanish namesake of Mr. ApCal’s first daughter, and was released 2014 in celebration of her twenty-first birthday. “Tres Amigas” is a euphemism for the three featured varietals: Alicante Bouschet, Merlot and Grenache.

Fresh from the bottle, Alejandra draws up hot, peaty, and with a faint aroma of raspberries. As the wine opens, the smokier element shift into a clove-like aroma while the berry notes move from faint to mild and long. Medium-to-light-bodied, garnet in hue. Once decanted, Tres Amigas cools into a mild berry-driven wine with a light tart note and a soft, pleasant smoky finish.



There are, according to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, over 400,000 children in foster care throughout the United States. Over 100,000 of these children are in immediate need of an adoptive family. Chosen is a tribute to the very act of adoption. Upon its release, fifty cases of Chosen were donated to Fresno’s Infant of Prague adoption center. As for the wine itself, it is the youngest of the two Schmall family blends, and was released in 2015. It, like Tres Amigas, is a blend of Alicante Bouschet, Merlot and Grenache, but in different concentrations.

Like Alejandra, Chosen’s is hot and berry-forward when poured fresh into the glass. As the wine opens, it cools into a juicy, blackberry and plum-rich bouquet. Light-to-mild bodied, rich and dark in hue. Whereas Alejandra carries a warm smoky element over the palate, Chosen boasts a soft, balanced composition of black pepper and berry. So there we have it — Madera born and bottled, each with their respective names, palates and purposes. While ApCal may not be a winery, the fruits of our labor are always on the table, open and ready to be shared and enjoyed.

Til next time.

Wino’s Weekly Picks February 29 through March 7 BEER Edition

Wino’s Picks of the Week for Feb. 29 – March 7 (Beer Edition)

E.C. Wino

Wine makes up the backbone of our selections — and that can overshadow the breadth of our beer selection. Riley’s Brewing Co. out of Madera is the star of this ongoing beer show, and there is plenty different tastes for every sort of beer drinker. So for this week, Don Wino dedicated his time to the extent of Riley’s various offering.

Sancha Honey Blonde – This light-bodied, easy-drinking honey blonde may very well be Riley’s best emissary to the Macro-brew drinking crowd. The touch of honey plays well with delicate hints of toast. Cascade hops ease hints of citrus over the palate. The end result is a moderately carbonated and delicate beer that may serve to convert even the staunchest of Macro-brew drinkers. Try it spiced, Michelada style, or as the base of lemon shandy.

Cougar Pale Ale – This American interpretation of an English Pale Ale boasts malty biscuit notes with hints of caramel and a soft, palate-pleasing bitterness. At 5 percent ABV, this APA serves best as a flavorful session beer.

Riley’s India Pale Ale – This West Coast IPA exchanges tongue-blinding hops for flavor and drops hints of grapefruit and cedar-like aromas. Pours bright orange with an off-white creamy head. Modest carbonation and a medium body make this IPA a great introduction to craft beer newbies.

Beer-shots-reviews by wino

Catching Up IPA – The more complex cousin of Riley’s IPA, this blend of five hops runs the gamut in bouquet and flavor. Notes of orange peel back a pine float above a rich head, laces nicely against the glass. Finishes brisk and off-bitter.

Kilty as Charged Scotch Ale – This Wee Heavy boasts notes of smoke and caramel that open up as the beer gains temperature. Rich, malty and pleasantly aggressive.

Rain Dance Imperial Stout – Toasty, chocolatey, smokey and boozey, with slight hints of coffee on the finish. This rich imperial stout is a great sipper, or served chilled over vanilla ice cream.

Wino’s Picks of the Week for February 22-29

Wino’s Picks of the Week

February 22nd-29th

E.C. Wino

It’s Monday – we know how to play this game. Now once more – with feeling!

Red Wines

Epix Blended Red Wine

Equal parts Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet make for mellow tannins and a fruit-driven red wine. Each varietal is fermented for at least 12 months in its own respective barrel and is blended prior to bottling. The result is a crowd-pleasing and flexible wine that pairs wonderfully with grilled proteins.

Robert Hall Zinfandel (2013)

Paso Robles born and cellared. This oak-barreled wine is a practice in balance and complexity. A big raspberry aroma takes the lead, and is carried through by a full-bodied mouth-feel and a warm but subtle, peppery finish. Approachable, smooth, and a wonderful tribute to the California Zinfandel tradition.

White Wine

Mariposa Malvasia Bianca (2014)

This little gem has the honor of being one of the few locally sourced wines in stock. While many of our wines are vinted, cellared and bottled in the Central Valley, this Malvasia is sourced from Madera’s own Malvasia grapes. The bouquet begins with a hints of ripe pears and demaree sugar, but the wine lands rather softly on the palate. Low in acidity, and just off-dry – best chilled.

Sweet Wines

True Temptation Mango Mambo

San Joaquin winery specializes in what one may describe as “putting alcohol in very well-hidden places.” This flavored white wine does exactly that: tropical flavors take the palate in this deceptively light wine. Whereas some sweet wines might blind the palate with sugars, True Temptations Mango eases itself over the palate with a refreshing hints of tempered sweetness. Serve chilled or over ice, or as company to spicy foods.

Wino’s Wine Picks for February 15 – Through 22, 2016

Wino’s Wine Picks for the week of February 15th – 22nd

E.C. Wino

Wine Trail came and went with the weekend — it’s Monday, and this cat is thirsty. We’re going to take a bit of a detour this week and present our first beer pick of the series: a dark wheat beer from the good folks at Riley’s Brewing Co. For now, though, let’s get to the wine.

Red Wine

Robert Hall Merlot 2013 – Once more, Robert Hall has produced an exceptional Paso wine. This Merlot begins with a cherry wood bouquet and peaks out on the tongue with a bright and pleasant acidity. The finish is long but mellowed, and consistent with the opening bouquet. Bold enough to accompany the richest of meals and mellow enough to sip slightly chilled.

White Wine

Apothic White 2013 – If, perchance, you cannot decide on a white wine, then Wino advises towards this approachable blend. Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Riesling give this crowd pleaser a stone fruit bouquet – think apricots. Mellow in body, and slightly sweet — if you can’t decide, let Apothic White decide for you.

Sweet Wine

Saviez Muscat Canelli 2007 – There are some sweet wines out there that have the character of a wet paper bag. One taste, and you’re tongue blind. This Muscat Canelli, however, is on a whole different level. It begins with a bold bouquet of bruléed peaches and toasted almonds. Rich and complex — and easy to match with any sort of food — it’s one of a kind, and a must taste for any dessert wine lover.


Riley’s Brewing Co.Vixen (Dark Wheat) – Madera’s own made this interpretation of a traditional dunkelweisen. Chocolaty, toasty notes come off this beer’s head, like a mild stout, and yet it is surprisingly crisp, bright and easy on the palate.

Wino’s Picks of the Week for February 8-15

Wino’s Picks of the Week

Your tasting list for Feb 8th-15th

E.C. Wino

They call it stormy Monday, but its sunny with a 100 percent chance of wine here at ApCal. As per our top of the week tradition, here is a fresh set of Wino’s Picks.

Red Wines

• Engelmann Cellars (Gravel Pit) Syrah (2012) – Boasting a name that implies grating teeth and truck tire slips over a country road, this Fresno-vinted, full-bodied Syrah boasts a surprisingly smooth and complex palate. A soft and sweet berry finish close off what begins as bright and smoky, with a subtle hint of cocoa. For the geography buffs, “The Gravel Pit” sits on the banks of the San Joaquin River, and are home to the Syrah grapes that make this wine.

• Big Guy Blended Red Wine (2013) – Cabernet, Syrah and Merlot make up the bulk of this blended red wine. Rich with dark fruit characteristics and a subtle, oaky sweetness – complex enough for even the most discerning palate, but gentle enough for weekend wino’s. Pair with a Santa Maria seasoned tri-tip or George Thoroughgood the situation and drink it alone.

•Solitary Cellars Syrah (2013) – Born in the Santa Lucia Highlands, this garnet-hued wine boasts a delicate berry nose and a velveteen finish. Pleasantly dry with a lingering minerality – pairs best with Korean BBQ.

White Wine

• William Hill Chardonnay (2014) – This Central Coast Chardonnay boasts a hints of citrus and tropical fruit. Hints of toasted oak and vanilla add depth and body, leading this crowd-favorite to a balanced, creamy finish.

Sweet Wine

• Allure Bubbly Moscato – Ceres, California born. This lively, floral and fruit-forward carbonated Muscato is a clinical study in “crowd pleasing.” Hints of apricots and pears dominate the front – the sparkling texture and subtle sweetness close out the back. Food-friendly, party-approved.

Wino’s Picks of the Week for February 1-7, 2016

Wino’s Picks

Your Tasting List for Feb 1st – 7th

E.C. Wino

Mondays mean many a thing: a fresh work week, a Bangles’ song, serial complaints from Jim Davis’ obese, lasagna-loving owner — but here and meow, Monday’s mean a fresh set of libations.

As is standing tradition, here is what we have to look forward to in the week. Mind us, of course, that this is (as always) only a short list. Stop on by and check out our full menu all through the week, from 12 – 5p.m.


Red Wines

• Balletto Zinfandel (2012) — American oak faintly spice this estate grown and bottled ruby-colored wine. The berry fruit notes are deep and subtle, finishing up with a lingering, mellow acidity. Wino advises peppered rib eye and other rich fare. Sip slowly — this cool-climate Zinfandel benefits from a short rest inside the glass. From the Russian River Valley, with love.

• Cardella Boccale (2012) — “Boccale” means “pitcher of wine,” allegedly. Wino is not Italian — nor does Wino use Google Translate — so Wino cannot really say. Cardella’s proprietary blend defies the notion either way: toasty, sweet on the tongue and rich and off-dry at the finish, this Mendota, CA winery makes good on its reputation for fine wines. Great as a crowd-pleasing table wine or partnered with sharp cheeses and hors d’oeuvres.

• Alejandra’s Tres Amigas (2014) — A blend of Alicante, Carignan and Merlot compose this bold, off-dry red blend. Reminiscent of blueberries; earthy, hints of raw leather. Sip slightly chilled. Best accompanied by braised beef.

White Wines

• Edna Valley Sauvignon Blanc (2013) — This Central Coast Sauv Blanc makes for a nice study in balance. A citrus-loaded nose gives way to a pleasantly acidic, earthy and grassy brisk wine. Bold enough to stand out but mellowed enough to accompany chicken or fish. Wino advises grilled striped bass.

• Saviez Syrah Rosé (2012) — This San Joaquin Valley estate rosé has a faint aroma of strawberries and subtle sweetness. A great stand-alone summer wine, but flexible enough to stand up to any thing: from BBQ to spicy eastern cuisines. Wino advises it be served chilled.

Sweet Wines

• True Temptations Pomegranate Sangria — Madera’s own San Joaquin Winery vinted and bottled what could only be described as “party in a bottle.” Rich, sweet, deceptively drinkable and full of pomegranate and dark cherry flavors — watch yourselves! Serve chilled or over ice and you might forget where you left that sneaky bottle.

Wino’s Picks of the Week For January 25-31, 2016

Wino’s Weekly Update

Your Tasting List for Jan 25th – 31st

E.C. Wino

The top of the week is about time that we Mavens set our in-house pour set. And of course, we like to keep everybody to date on what we are featuring for the week. Variety is the spice of life, anyway, or so goes the cliché.Jan-25-wineo-blog-picture-New
So here are a few stand-outs from this week’s featured wines, and, of course, a few tasting notes in case you need’em. Keep in mind, this is a short list — there is plenty more behind the bar!

Red Wines

Yribarren Westside Red (2012) — A blended red wine produced and bottled in Kerman, CA, featuring Tempranillo and Grenache Noir among others. Smoky, earthy and fairly mellow. Wino suggests hard, aged cheeses or braised beef.

Robert Hall Cabernet Sauvignon (2013) — A Paso Robles Cabernet; ripened berry, spice and bitter-sweet cocoa jump out of the glass. Pair with BBQ ribs for a sweet/spicy contrast. An E.C. Wino Favorite.

Solitary Cellars Barbera (2013) — A Shenandoah Valley Barbera: bright and medium-bodied with prominent berry notes. E.C. Wino suggests a creamed mushroom soup or the traditional green bean casserole.

White Wines

Rancho Sisqouc Riesling (2014) — This Santa Barbera Riesling is the epitome of “crowd pleasing.” Mild acidity, unobtrusive sweetness and a nice candied apple aroma. Pairs well with spicy food — from Thai to tacos.

Two Friend’s Chardonnay (2013) — Bottled in Madera, this California Chardonnay is half stainless steel/half oak-barrel fermented. Subtle hints of toast, vanilla and pears. Try it with a mild curry.

Dessert Wines

Salt of the Earth, Flor de Moscato (2014) — Orange Muscat takes the center stage in this dessert wine. Rich, fruit-forward and best served chilled, or over ice. A local favorite.

Ficklin Raspberry Passport — Punchy, sweet and potent. This fortified and flavored ruby port is an ApCal staple. Best when served straight up, or as a key component to an adult Affogato. All you need to make it is a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a few ounces of Ficklin.

2015 Pre-Thanksgiving Wine Sale at ApCal

This is the time to stock up on wine for Thanksgiving! For that matter you might as well stock up for the Holiday season in general! All wine at ApCal is 25% off November 20, 2015 through November 22, 2015! Don’t miss this sale, you wont find anywhere else you can get so many great local wines and great wines from around California in one place – and all 25% off!

Sweets, Blush, Whites, Reds, Ports and Bubbly – all are 25% OFF

Winter Hours – Daily 12-5pm