Friday, February 27, 2009

Like my red velour jumpsuit from 1978.

La Croix de Ducru-Beaucaillou, Saint-Julian, 2005. 

I am not a Bordeaux lover, but I love this wine because its so hedonistic, I mean seriously sensuous and luscious. It has all the usual flavor suspects, like graphite and cassis. But the tannins in this wine are so silky and soft its like drinking a velour blanket (see how I didn't resort to "velvety", which is far too cliche for such a radical blogger.) I've had both 1995 and 1996 in the last 6 months and I think the 2005 is, listen up, BETTER drinking even NOW, and I suggest giving it the good old college try. I know, you say infanticide, I say enjoy it young while you still can. 

Prices on 2005s are dropping and now would be a great time to grab a bottle. 

Now I admit, I did not buy this wine. I sell it. So do lots of other people in Southern California, so it available in so many places. For sure you can get it at the Buffalo Club on Olympic in Santa Monica for $150. Tell Ben I sent you. 

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Blue bottles.

Sherman & Hooker's sounds like a Civil War porn flick, I know, but Julian at the Cheese Store of Silverlake gave this two thumbs up and while I haven't tasted it yet I love the packaging and it's a no brainer for your next hipster party. 

It's a bit of a Sanford & Son wine, you know everything but the kitchen sink. Old vine Zinfandel, Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvedre from Sonoma Valley, non-vintage. Yee-haw! My guess is its juicy and pretty easy. Pun intended. 

$19.99 for a liter of naughty fun. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Beans and meat.

Les Vin de Amies, Vin de Table, 2007. 

This wine is from a great Cornas producer, August Clape. This is a wine to drink while you wait for the Cornas to age. Of course I don't have any of the Cornas so.... there goes that plan. Guess we'll just drink this. 

100% Syrah it's fruity and forward for such a traditional producer, really densely packed with meat, game and black pepper. 

We drank this with cannellini bean stew, made with swiss chard and parsley from our garden. It's our favorite recession meal. I fry stale bread and we dip that in the soup. The meaty flavors in this wine are a substitute for real meat which we can't afford. It's literally like the Great Depression around here these days. 

Wow, I sure do miss going out to dinner...

Dave at Mission Wines in Pasadena recommended this to Peter. It's around $20. 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The sixth sense.


I'm not a foodie, I actually kind of hate that word. Nothing worse than a self-proclaimed foodie. And ya'll know I never do restaurant reviews, mostly because I don't eat meat very well. I eat it sometimes because I have to, but usually its with a disgusted look on my face. 

But here, at Umami Burger, I ate more meat at one sitting than I ever have in my life ala the Turkey Confit Burger. I guess the turkey is fried in duck fat and then ground. But its not fatty or oily at all. But not too dry either. The also have a lamb burger and about 8 other burgers made of beef. I have read some negative reviews of the french fry serving, but really, how many french fries does a person really need when you're eating a big piece of beef on a soft buttery bun? In case you don't know, not many. I think it's the the perfect serving size. Especially if you're Mary Kate Olsen. 

Proprietor, Adam Fleishman (pictured on the left), told me that they are working hard on perfecting a veggie burger that will made primarily from mushrooms. YUMMMMAMMMIII!

The BEST thing about Umani Burg, besides the food, is that its BYO. So you can get in and out for cheap, which is REALLY important for those of us with unemployed husbands. (Peter, in case you read this, just making a little recession joke honey!) We went for lunch and spent $20, which was far better money spent than the $24 we spent at the ArcLight seeing The Wrestler (Ugh! the worst script!!!).

Umami Burger is on La Brea between 8th and 9th, east side of the street. It's in my hood, I can literally walk there, so when you come this way, call me, I'll meet you!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

And in the news....

It's Saturday! I slept late today - 6am - and have been busy perusing my favorite wine blogs for examples for the MW exam. Here's a few I found:

I heard earlier this week on the UK wine show and then read today on Evelyn Resnick's site that Laurent Habrard is coming up with a new tactic to sell wine in the recession. He is selling small sample tubes, maximum of 3, for 6.90 Euros of Crozes, St-Joseph, Hermitage Blanc and CDR. He's doing this for economical and environmental reasons. If you buy a bottle the cost of the samples is deducted from the bottle cost. Not bad, huh??

I read on Wine & Spirits Daily the new Nielson reports of how the recession (depression???) is changing the wine business in the US. Essentially, on-premise bad, off-premise ok, especially for Costco type, one stop shopping stores. I am guessing this is based on scan data, which is limiting because it doesn't account for all the small indy shops, many of which I know are doing quite well right now. Consumers are drinking more white wine - hello Pinot Grigio! The $3-5.99 category had the most value and volume growth. AND!! Alternative packaging is the next glass bottle. Three liter premium boxed wines are up 27.7% in volume, 34.1% in value. Tetrapak up 44% in volume, 47% in value. 

In other news, my hair is VERY VERY blonde. I think my hair dresser made a mistake. I heard her say "uh-oh" and then she slathered my whole head with something that smelled really bad and burned my scalp and now I am certified platinum. Just when I didn't think I could get more scatter brained, this has to happen. 

Friday, February 20, 2009

j&h... round 2 possibly.

Have I blogged on this wine before? I can't remember everything! Anything really... 

j&h, Chardonnay, Napa Valley, 2006. 

I saw this at Bob's Market in Venice, never been there before and it was super cool to see what a fun wine collection they have there. 

Apple, pear, crisp, light oak, you know the kind of Chardonnay people want to drink! Elegant and refreshing!

We serve BTG at aoc too - so stop in some Monday night - Flights and Bites night and check it out. Or head over to Venice and talk to Rick in the wine dept. at Bob's. 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

For those who still have jobs.

Chateau Charmail, Haut-Medoc, 2005. 

Back when Peter still had a job, like 2 weeks ago, we spent more money on wine. Our average nightly price for a bottle was between $18 and $40. 

So it wasn't unusual for us to enjoy a great little wine like this one, $28 at Rosso Wine Shop in Glendale. 

I blind tasted this wine for Barbera, because I knew Peter was going to Rosso and I has emailed Jeff, the owner, to tell Peter to pick me up a nice bottle of Barbera. Ah! The power of suggestion. Rule number one, do not second guess the examiner. 

We really liked this wine and it goes to show what strides producers in Haut-Medoc are making in quality. Exellent oak integration, very pleasant and typical green notes of Cabernet and nice soft tannins. 

If you haven't lost your job yet, give this one a go. It won't disappoint! Also, its worth noting that Holus Bolus is making an appearance at Rosso this week, so pony up for one of those too. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Art imitates wine.

I thought it would be fun to post some art for a change. Very expensive and beautiful winery art. 

During the MW Seminar, the Napa Valley Vintners Assoc. sponsored several dinners at several different wineries on the same night. I was lucky enough to get to go to Hall, which we carried at aoc in the past, but I knew little about the winery. 

Katherine Hall, the proprietor, was the US Ambassador to Austria. She and her husband, Craig, are both great philanthropists and very successful business people. They must of had a little cash lying around when they decided to build this place. Lots of money clearly helps when you're founding a Luxury brand in Napa of this stature, I can't imagine there is huge return on investment when you're making small amounts of premium Cabernet. This winery is truly a piece of art. The table we sat at for dinner is just off the barrel room - 2 stories underground. (No cell service by the way.) The root structure of a very old vine with thousands of lights and crystals illuminated the room. It was really impressive. 

The truth is I expected that the wines would just be ok, assuming that way more time and thought was put into making the winery space magnificent and the wines good enough to get by. But I thought the wine they served, Kathryne Hall Cabernet, was so well balanced, concentrated black fruits, fantastic round rich mouthfeel and moderate alcohol (well, it tasted moderate anyway - not sure what the abv actually is - I was tired and didn't look - ya'll know how I get lazy sometimes). I was really impressed. Plus I sat next to Cathy Corison, who happens to be a really cool person, and her wines don't exactly suck either. I love her elegant, focused style. What I like about both wines is that though they are made in totally different styles, neither are bombastic or have that Napa vanilla oak bomb thing. Just really great wines. It was good company to be in!

Anyway, it was fun to find wines from Napa that were made in a more subdued style that fits me a lot better than many cult cabs. 

Monday, February 16, 2009

I usually don't blog on my own wines, but I couldn't help myself with this one. 

Camille Giroud, Gevery-Chambertin, Les Crais, 2006. 

Everything you want in a Burgundy. For reals. It has meat, it has depth and concentration of sweet cherry fruit, it has high acidity, and moderate alcohol, all deliciously balanced. I love showing this wine, because then I can come home and drink the rest of it. 

Crais means chalk, and as is typical for those Burgundians, the soil where the vines grow have a high percentage of chalk. Good permeability, good porosity. Perfect soil for high quality wine.

Cafe Stella in Silverlake for around $100.  

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Boy goy.

My obsession with Loire Valley Cabernet Franc continues. 

Now, I have no idea how I got so into Cab Franc lately, but its been one of those things that literally had to grow on me. Like Sherry. I also still have trouble pronouncing Bourgueil (Bor goy?).

Catherine & Pierre Breton, Trinch, 2007. 

This was a gift friends brought to our house. "Trinch" is named from the noises glasses make when they "clink." Biodyanmic viticulture, minimum SO2. 

Usually those low SO2 wines are full of stink. But this was lovely wine - with no stink. Fairly high acid and moderate tannin and violety qualities (am I finding violets in everything these days?) But the fruit was nice, very restrained, but still nicely balanced with the minerality. Masculine in a boyish kinda way. 

I like the label too. The Loire river and its tributaries.  

And its fairly cheap - $17.99 at K&L in Hollywood.  

Saturday, February 14, 2009

New post!

Bovio, Annunziata, Langhe, Nebbiolo, 2004. 

Speaking of Italian - we really liked this wine. Not too tannic, which can be a Nebbiolo turn off. The floral violety components really came out in this wine. Very high acid which made for a tangy refreshing finish. 

In trying to find some information about I was again directly to, which I often seem to be directed to whenever I am looking for info on any wine. Snooth is useless. There's never any info, never any pictures and never any information on where to find the wine. I have no idea why this site exists. Does anyone know it's function. 

We picked this up at Wine Exchange for $32.99.  

And apologies for not writing very often. I have been having problems with blogger and haven't had a lot of time to figure them out. Anyone else out there have issues uploading pictures on this thing? Does it seem to take forever??? 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

No Wonder We Love Brunello.

The U.S. accounts for 25 percent of all Brunello sales (6.5 million bottles per year total output). There is really no wonder we love these wines. They can be voluptuous but supple and can take us to a special Tuscan place, in our minds.

OK, enough of the sappy stuff. This 2001 Collosorbo Brunello di Montalcino is exceptional. It has an amazing perfumed nose of red cherry fruit, licorice and minerals. There are layers of ripe fruit on the palate, great acidity and rounded tannins balance it all. But one of this wine's best qualities is its silky texture. The more and more I taste, texture means a lot to me. This wine is elegant and full-bodied at the same time. That kind of quality cannot always be achieved, but when it does happen, it creates a special experience.

Go out and find some 2001 Brunello (if you can find any) before the amazingly expensive and not-ready-to-drink-yet 2004's come out, starting next month!

2001 Collorsorbo Brunello di Montalcino price: $50-60

Guest blogger:

Jeff Zimmitti
Owner: Rosso Wine Shop

And from Amy: I love the guest blog!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Es no mas.

A beautiful Chinon from Silverlake Cheese. 

Chateau de Vaugaudry, Chinon, 2005. 

I bought this ages ago but I think it is no longer in inventory at the store, so I'm sure Julian cam recommend something comparable. Lovely fruit, not too green, not actually green at all. Tastes good. I don't think there's a need to say anything more, do you?