Saturday, October 17, 2009

Food for thought...

I am doing the wine for a series of lunches (one a month on Sunday at Melisse). My friend, Brigitte Caland, is a classically trained French chef who is incidentally also an expert in ancient languages. She's a very smart and very cool person and an amazing chef. All the food is a modern interpretation of the ingredients they were using in these areas long long ago. Brigitte is even sticking to the utensils and pots used to make these meals. All her research on the food has been taken from ancient texts and their original languages. Above is one of the dishes that will be served next Sunday though I've been sworn to secrecy not to reveal the rest!

Please join Brigitte Caland in her new culinary adventure: cooking at Melisse once a month. Meals are inspired by literary and historical texts. 1:00 pm at Melisse, Santa Monica $65 per person food only ($90 with wine pairing) $450 for the series ($650 with wine pairing) wine list available separately. 

October 25 menu inspired by Mesopotamia 
November 15 menu inspired by Ancient Egypt 
January 24 menu inspired by the Bible 
February 21 menu inspired by Ancient Greece 
March 21 menu inspired by Ancient Rome 
April 18 menu inspired by the New Testament 
May 23 menu inspired by the Abbasids 
June menu inspired by Suleiman the Magnificent  

Brigitte Caland has studied Semitic languages at UCLA and has degrees in Arabic and Hebrew from INALCO-Paris. She is currently preparing her Doctoral dissertation. After finishing cooking school, she trained at Marc Meneau- L'Espérance, Philippe Legendre- Le V (Four Season) as well as the Pourcels brothers Maison Blanche in Paris.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sorting and pigeage...

We began processing 2009 Hocus Pocus this weekend. Picked at 4am on saturday morning and began sorting at 9. It took me, Peter and our friend Susan from Venokado 6 1/2 hours to do 2 1/2 tons. It was a very. very slow process. We lost the sorting table this year, but who cares? What do we need that for when we can just do it the old fashioned way, pull out of the bin cluster by cluster and place on the destemming machine. Fruit looked great! Even though I don't look so good. I look downright possessed. 

And then today I did some pigeage. Finally found a way to use those rain boots I bought 2 years ago. I love this photo. Banana Republic meets the Wine Ghetto. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Trader Joke's

A friend of wine, who (whom?) wishes to remain anonymous or actually wishes to use the pseudonym Cocos Minx, sent this to me. And I can't agree more. I've stopped shopping at Trader Joe's because the food is just downright sub-par. And the wine is for people who don't care what they are drinking. There's a good market for that kind of wine I guess. 

"I shopped there today for the first time in a long time. I needed unbleached coffee filters. I defy any wine-knowledgeable individual to find anything worth drinking on those shelves. The same old product mix of Ancient & Justifieds (Estola Cencibel, La Mancha), Own-Label Swill (Flying Saucer this, that, & the other), & Southern Wine & Dispirited Standard Brands (BR Cohn Silver Label Cab - still only $14.99? Coleridge should write a bleedin' poem about it). You know "Inventory, we have a problem," when you're actually considering buying Stonehedge Reserve Petite Syrah (sic), California, rather than inserting it into the nearest body-modified trisexual cashier."

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Dan Aykroyd makes wine and wants you to taste it. With Him!

Hi my friends, 

It's been a long time since my last post, but harvest has been keeping me very busy! That said today I'm back with a good one and an invite to a local event at Whole Foods at Third and Fairfax. I sadly can't be there because we are pressing pinot on Friday and I have to drive up Thursday night, but I would love to do this! 

I did a commercial for Comcast back in the days when I was still young, and by that I mean I think I was 31, so what was that. 4 years ago? Anyhoo, John Landis directed it and it starred Dan Aykroyd. We didn't have much contact off set, but it was a thrill to work opposite him for the hour or so that we shot that part of the scene. I mean, he is a legend. And I'm like a legend that never got anywhere. So we have the legend part in common. 

Now Dan is making wine, and so am I. So that's more we have in common! I'm in full support. I haven't tasted the wines yet, but I hope some of you can go to the tasting and let me know what you think. Needless to say I have far more faith in this project than that terrible Ed Hardy project.

What I love is that he is out selling it. He has to pimp his goods just like the rest of us do. That means he has some long-term investment in the project. And I dig that. This is no different than me and Peter pouring at Rosso, El Vino, Domaine LA, Silverlake Wine or Colorado Wine Co. You gotta be present.

Below is the invite and also a little more about the wine. 


We would love to have you and your readers join us this Thursday, October 8th, from 4:00 to 6:00 PM at the Whole Foods Market at 3rd and Fairfax (6350 W. 3rd Street, 90036), for an intimate gathering while Dan signs bottles of his new Discovery Series California wines.


About Discovery Series California

Dan Aykroyd first developed his love of wine while working on Saturday Night Live and The Blues Brothers, when musician Steve Cropper introduced Dan to Premier Cru Bordeaux and other world-class wines. Since that time, Dan has immersed himself in the wine world, launching his own brand in Canada in 2007 to rave reviews by wine critics, media and wine lovers alike. In 2008 Dan teamed with the winemakers at DeLoach Vineyards in California's Sonoma County to create a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Chardonnay in a style that reflects his passion for entertaining family, friends, and fans.