Like Marc Cohen, Sam Grinels is one of the original founders of Chateau Garage. Sam originally hails from Virginia…making the move to the San Francisco Bay Area on the tail end of the “summer of love.” He finished up college on the West coast (San Jose State and USC). He has a web design and marketing consulting business in Cupertino. He also is part of the “Grateful Dads” band that plays about once a month at Mario’s Italian Restaurant in Mt. View.
Sam’s taste in whites tends to Pinot Grigios and Chardonnays that are crisp, with little or no wood and no malolactic fermentation, and, for reds: Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sryah (yes, even the ponderous Petite Syrah). Favorites include St. Francis Estate Merlot, and Freemark Abbey’s Sycamore Vineyard Cab to name a few.
On the tasting side, Sam particularly enjoys finding great wines at “reasonable” prices (about $15-$20/bottle). This year’s red blend tasting at the San Jose State vs. Stanford game garnered a few that met Sam’s criteria (tasting results here).
Photo below: Sam at the recent USC-Stanford football game tailgate featuring a Zinfandel wine tasting (tasting results here). Note the Chateau Garage banner hanging on the tree in the background.