Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dolcetto - the other Gamay?

Peter recommends this little wine. He's working hard up there in Lompoc right now!

Cavallotto, Dolcetto d'Alba, Vigna Scot, 2006. 

A great year in Piedmont, this is a fairly fat and ripe wine, with loads dark red strawberry fruit. I like Dolcetto because its fruity, but dark and has good structure and moderate tannin unlike its frequently compared to cousin Beaujolais. 

Since my bank went under last week I've been a little more fiscally responsible. This is $16.99 at The Wine Country in Signal Hill. 

Also, it's hot as balls outside and I've been drinking a lot of Campari and Soda lately. Cheap and refreshing!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

And I haven't even tasted it.

Pictured is Chris Keller with Joe Miller, Syrah, 2006 from Santa Barbara County. 

Ok, for the first time, I am writing about and recommending a wine I haven't even tried! Suffice it to say that I trust Chris, he makes Paige 23 wines, and is a really good guy. You can only get this wine at Joe's in Venice - so head over to Abbott Kinney and tell me what you think!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Cave wine.

Pere Ventura, Cava, Brut Nature, NV.

I'm into alternate sparkling wine only because I can't afford to drink Champagne everyday. Cava is cool though because its made the same way Champagne is made and frequently the same varieites, like Chardonnay and Pinot are used, though traditional varieties like Parallada, Xarel.lo and Macabeo can also be used (This isn't news to some of you out there.)

The Pere Ventura is crisp, clean, minerally and fairly neutral in terms of fruit. I'd also say that the moderate acidity serves as a good palate cleanser as you prepare for your afternoon Sherry. The Brut Nature means that it's drier than dry. Like gnawing on a bone. 

$14.99 at K&L.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Merry Sherry.

Sherry. What in the Jerez are we to do with it? (That's a wine joke). I went to a great tasting today sponsored by the Sherry Counsel of America at Bar Pintxo in Santa Monica, and had them all from dry elegant Fino to the slightly more oxidized Amontillado to downright nutty and dark Oloroso to Pedro Ximenez there's a Sherry out there for everyone. Look at all the colors!!

I really likes the Oloroso because it was almondy and full of dried fruits, pruney and delicious. Perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas. And good with savory foods. 

El Maestro Sierra is available in all flavors and styles at Joe's in Venice and Bar Pintxo for cheap!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Trebbiano to make you tremble.

Il Poggiale, Trebbiano, Tuscany, 2006. 

Yum-o-rama! I can't help but have a soft spot in my heart for Trebbiano. It just that it's so juicy, fairly low in acidity with pears and apple and other enticing fall fruits like... well, ok maybe just apples and pears...

It makes me think of Thanksgiving. And while that may not seem so pleasant right now, I look forward to it because that's essentially when I will see my long lost husband again.

So drink a glass of Trebbiano to the harvest widow. 

Available at El Vino in Venice, $16.99 (I think! I actually can't remember the exact price - but it's under $20!!)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Whazzup? The Great What's It.

My good friend Jill of Domaine 547 is now a brand owner. That's right, you heard it here second (or more likely 6th).

The Great What's It 2005 is 100% Syrah all estate grown from Stolpman Vineyards. It's a deep and luscious wine - dark, masculine and brooding like Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights. One might say the elegant but feisty finish is comparable to Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice. And one might also say that it's limited availability, only 25 cases, is much like Jude the Obscure.

I don't often make references to characters in classic literature when talking about wine, or when talking about anything really, but the Great What's It really brings out the scholar in me. It will make you smarter or my name isn't Orville Redenbocker.

Monday, September 22, 2008

America's next top Rioja.

First of all is anyone else totally irritated by this season of America's Next Top Model? Tyra is killing me with all the acting scenes. My index finger is hurting from fast forwarding through all the crap! Give me models! Give me models that hate each other! But don't give me Tyra acting like a space age robot!

The only thing good about this past Wednesday night with ANTM is the recommendation by Cobras and Matadors' own Bill Fernandez. 

La Rioja Alta, Rioja, Reserva, 2001. I blogged about the 1995 last week. 

The wine helps to ease the model malaise. Bill gives a nice description, he says the wine exhibits lots of tobacco leaves, cedar and orange peel flavors that you get from hanging out in new American Oak. 

I had the same experience with the wine, although it was far more advanced in age than I expected it to be. That's not a bad thing, it's just that it had an oxidative style that I associate with a wine at least 5 years older. Bill is the expert on la Rioja Alta, so perhaps he can fill us in on why this is the case (something about Reserva really being a Gran Reserva?)

I bought it for $28 at the little wine shop next to Cobras on Beverly which looks a fright right now due to some serious remodeling. Still, Bill is ever present peddling his Spanish goods for the tapas loving crowd. 

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Not sticky, sweet or purple.

I was surprised to see this wine on the list at Gjelina in Venice because the only thing I've ever had from Cassis is purple and sticky. 

Domaine du Bagnol, Cassis, 2006 is Grenache Blanc based with a little Ugni Blanc and its very soft and easy drinking. Appley with a fresh crisp lemony finish. I'm not saying that its the most complex wine in the world, but at $40 its perfect for the end of summer when you're broke from that European vacation and too many trips to BCBG for that perfect flirty little warm weather number. You know what I'm saying ladies!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Truth is, I really hate Sauvignon Blanc, which is why I haven't blogged about very many... but sometimes a good Sancerre gets me going... Reverdy, 2007 is $29.99 at the new wine shop El Vino on Abbott Kinney in Venice. Very crisp, clean and delicate with fresh green flavors and upfront grapefruit flavors. Perfect for you Sauvignon Blanc-o-files that like 'em tangy and lean.

You gotta check out El Vino, because its cool. You can buy pottery and wine.. That's what I call one stop shopping!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Famous husband.

Because its so late and I'm a lazy blogger today, please check out Jellyroll, Piedrasassi and Holus Bolus on the cover of Food & Wine. Now that my husband is famous, I think I will quit my three jobs and sit around the house eating bon bons all day. I wanna just let myself go. 

What's the meaning of life anyway? I'm not sure, but the sound of chocolate and ice cream and days spent with the Golden Girls sounds like a good way to try to figure it out. 

My friend Julian from the Cheese Store of Silverlake sent me an email that Didier Dagueneau died today and I was sad about that and momentarily paralyzed with thoughts of my mortality (because of course its all about me). But then I read Food & Wine, which is pretty good brain candy, and I went back to all my normal pedestrian thoughts about what I'm going to eat for dinner tonight and are the Chinese really the eighth largest wine producer in the world?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Shut up and ship it.

Emidio Pepe, Trebbiano d'Abruzzo, 2001. A totally amazing Italian white wine! The age gave it a real diesel, Riesling-like appeal with serious complexity. Apple, pears and herbal notes. The problem  is, it's expensive. And I know I keep recommending these expensive wines that are hard to find, but you know, maybe you'll actually like it and love that you spent $67 at the Cellar Online.

It's romantic, ethereal and mysterious. And well worth the shipping and the money!  

Monday, September 15, 2008

One of the seven deadly sins.

Another casualty of our NY dinner at Quality Meats. Pride, Merlot, Moutain Vineyards, 2006.

Now now I know, Merlot ain't fashionable, but you know, it ain't so bad. You have to look for good growers. And I enjoyed this wine. It's juicy, you know in a blackberry jam sort of way. Merlot is funny because I'm always trying to figure out exactly WHAT it tastes like. A little green like Cabernet, but not as tannic, and not quite as cassis like...

Pride is a solid wine for a special occasion because it's $55.99 at Wine Sellar in San Diego. 

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Drink me now.

Has it really been since Wednesday that I've blogged?? I've been traveling, but still it's no excuse!

And so just for that I've got a good one for you! Orobio, Rioja, 2006 by the maker of Artadi. We had this wine next to the Pesquera, and it was totally clean, full of fresh raspberry fruit, low tannin, moderate acidity and really easy drinking and pleasant. It's 100% tempranillo, aged 6 months in new French oak (it's VERY subtle oak) and the experts say it can age up to 10 years. But there's no need to wait. It drinks pretty great right now. 

Orobio sells for $44 at Quality Meats in NY, but that doesn't do us  a lot of good, huh? 

Rumor has it, that Orobio is available (2004) at Silverlake Wine and Rosso Wine Shop for under $20. What a good find. You can thank me later...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mama Mia - not the musical.

Pira & Filgli, Chiara Boschis, Barbera d'Alba, 2003. Yum-o-rama! With barbera you never know what you're going to get. Could be austere and acidic, could be full and fruity. This one was very clean and bright with with stewed red fruit, and the acidity was very persistent on the finish. You know I like that! A great little wine. 

I think what was most appealing about this wine is that it was $64 on the list. Totally affordable and was perfect with arugula salad and pizza. Mama Mia!! The next logical move in the night was tequila. And the next move after that was me becoming a certifiable Dancing Queen. 

You can get the Pira & Figli at... crap.. I don;t know... I'll get back to on this one. If you go to NY - get it at Lil Frankie's on the LWS. 

We've got the funk.

I have a thing for Alejandro Fernandez, Tinto Pesquera, and on Saturday we drank the Ribera del Duero, 2003, Reserva. I've never had the Reserva - meaning it spent an extra year in barrel - but I thought it was a solid effort - even if it was FUNKY!!!   

One thing this wine is not lacking is a healthy dose of brettanomyces which in essence equals leather and barnyard. It's like George Clinton without the dreads. Maybe it was because 2003 was a very ripe year and those sort of conditions can breed more microbial activity, or maybe that's just the style of the wine. Whatever it is, we liked it for all its funk!!

You can get this at The Wine Country in the OC for $44.99

Sunday, September 7, 2008

High on Rioja.

We are in NY this weekend, and had this beautiful wine at Alta. La Rioja Alta, "904", 1995. It had a soft silky texture, probably because it's 13 years old. It's totally cool that his is the current release. Well worth checking out. Its fun to drink old wines especially when you don't have to store them yourself and pine about when to open them. I hate that. 

Peter enjoyed its modern, slightly oaky style, I liked it's perfumed nose with lots of dark fruits and a chalky mouthfeel. The oak doesn't express itself in rich vanilla notes, rather in a more subtle spicy way, loads of baking spices. And it just got better and better as it sat in the glass.  

Looks like you can get it at K&L for $51.99. 

90 Points from Parker just in case that sort of thing interests you.  

Friday, September 5, 2008

Patagonia - not just ski clothes.

While I was sick Peter drank Noemia, A Lisa, Malbec, 2007 from Patagona, Argentina. He says this about the wine, "I liked it because it wasn't rustic. It was modern with good structure of tannin but still fruity in style. On the one hand it it didn't taste like Malbec so maybe that's a bad thing. On the other hand, I don't really like Malbec, so maybe that's a good thing."

This is their high end blend, and Peter got it for $28.99 at Venokado on Fountain. Now officially open for business!!!

As for me I will REALLY be like Carrie Bradshaw this weekend because we off to the big city to romp around for a few days before harvest starts and our relationship ceases to exist.  

Thursday, September 4, 2008

V is not for aliens.

Prosecco is from the Veneto regionin Italy. The best come from Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. Vettori is from the former, and unlike the previous Prosecco post which was a brut (dry) style, this one is extra dry, which means it has a little bit more sweetness. Only around 3000 cases were made which makes this super small production. 

It's more floral and fruity and less earthy that the Zonin. From what I recall after mixing the first Prosecco with Vodka, this one is more frizzante in style, a little less bubbly. 

I love the label. So modern and austere. It reminds me of that TV Series in the 80s "V" where the aliens invaded earth, remember that? Wish they'd brought some Prosecco with them instead of all that anger and disease. 

You can get the Vettori at K&L for $15.99. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Prosecco party.

On Saturday night I went to a Prosecco and Whiskey party at the house of my new friends Jennifer and Temil. Cocktails were aplenty, made by a beautiful professional bartender, Lindsey of Beso. I had the "James Bond" (pictured above), a blend of Zonin Prosecco, bitters, sugar, campari and vodka with a sugar rim. Yowzers! Mama did not drive home! 

I think Prosecco is great on its own, but its perfect for mixing too because its so much less expensive than Champagne and adds a wee sweetness. Zonin is both perfumed and earthy, and has that amylic flavor (aka floral / pear drop) that Prosecco is known for. 

If you're at all curious, amylic esters are produced during the fermentation process which is the opposite of methode champenoise, where the secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle. Prosecco is made by the Charmat Method, where the secondary fermentation takes place in large tanks and is bottled under some serious pressure. The Champagne method produces far more complex wines, but who wants Champagne every day anyway? (well, I do I guess, but that's beside the point)

Zonin is available at Mission Wines in Pasadena for $12 a bottle. 

A little tip: Always serve Prosecco super cold or it's slightly bitter flavors come out.  

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Out sick.

I've had the flu and have not been able to post! Will begin again tomorrow :) AMY