Thursday, August 27, 2009

Deeper and darker.

Petralava. Rosato, Etna, 2008. 

Deeper and darker than yesterday's rose, I really enjoyed this one. Hello friends, welcome to my belated summer rose kick!!

And its totally unique, made from Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccino. Loads of minerals and black stone fruits. 

Venokado, $21.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Rose deliciousness.

I haven't had a glass of rose in so long, and when I drank this I couldn't understand why I don't drink it more often. 

Le Saint Andre, Vin de Pays du Var, 2008. 

Very clean, bright and refreshing. Cherry, strawberry, raspberry, every fresh red berry under the sky. 

When Jill from Domaine 547 gave this wine to me, she said, See, you can like something under $13. This is $12!!! Holy cow! $12?  

Look, you can't ask for much more than that, and as you can see we drained the bottle... didn't take a lot to convince me to have more than one glass.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A real howler.

Domaine de Nerleux, Saumur-Champigny, 2004.

K&L, $23.99. 

I'm not sure what the howling dogs represent, but this wine was so delicious, I was howling too. So was Peter. And when we started howling Bubbles, the dog, started howling. She loves Cabernet Franc as much as we do. Mostly because when we drink it it causes us to be very happy and are therefore less likely to scold her when she barks at the cat across the street. This wine had lots of fruit, and great savory mushroom notes. 

That's what I call YUM-O-RAMA!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Something I've never seen...

One last P.S. from Wisconsin...

There are many ways to save time in this world, and with the hustle and bustle of modern times who doesn't need to skim a few minutes off some of your daily activities?

With the invention of the drive-thru, people no longer had to walk for their food. They could just stay seated and have a meal instantly delivered to the driver's seat. When I was in college, Prell came up with 2 in 1 shampoo. Why put shampoo in, wash it out, only to have to put conditioner in and then wash it out? What a lifesaver for those mornings when the hangover was big and time to get ready for class was small. 

But this product? This product is truly revolutionary. A blend of red wine and chocolate, you now no longer have to chew your dessert. You can just enjoy it directly from your wine glass. Only the Dutch could dream up such a perfect beverage. Smooth Dutch Chocolate blended with Cabernet Sauvignon from France. Apparently this product was developed because when red wine is paired with the wrong chocolate, it can result in an epic disaster for your taste buds. This "wine" ensures that you get the perfect chocolate and wine pairing every single time. It makes health claims too, as both chocolate and wine are rich in antioxidants. In my mind this product is the perfect answer to the desert island game. Because then you wouldn't have to choose between chocolate and red wine. You could have both! Hallelujah! 

ChocoVine, Holland, NV. Around $10 where you can find it. Maybe Spencer's Gifts?

Friday, August 21, 2009

A few last thoughts on Wisconsin.


Well my friends, its has been a great 5 days in Wisconsin, huh?! The hot, humid weather really wetted my palate for some terrific wines, and I hope you enjoyed our sojourn this week. There are a few more pictures I'd like to share with you along with a great bottle that we purchased in Chicago at a terrific wine shop called Red and White. Domaine Guiberteau, Saumur, 2005. We enjoyed it immediately upon arriving home from the airport. It was what one might call totally FAB, a dense and rich Cab Franc. $29.99, and well worth every penny!



I'm sure not everyone in the mid-west spells this poorly, but it does make one think about education reform. How's that coming Obama?


If you've ever enjoyed rabbit stew, it would be hard to do so again after visiting these adorable fuzzballs at the Wisconsin State Fair. "Nibble, nibble! he says and Please don't eat me, I love you!"


It speaks, and Peter listens. At Freiss Lake Pub in Hubertis, you can get your beer opened by a deer's ass. That's worth the trip in and of itself!

Goodbye Chicago and Milwaukee, we shall miss you!

 

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pork takes its hold and Gaja rescues.


I found my true calling in the Swine Barn at the Wisconsin State Fair. It didn't take long for me to decide that I wanted a career in pork. But which way to go? I could now see my path, but it was so convoluted. There were so many arrows directing me every which way, what's a girl to do? Bacon or belly?

Well, I went back to Peg's house in a panic. I needed to make decisions and I needed to make them fast. Wine life wasn't for me anymore. 

When I explained my predicament to Peg, she led me to her pool, just a small part of the beautiful 37 acres she and her husband own on Little Freiss Lake in Hubertis, and sat me down with a half bottle of Gaja, Rossj-Bass, Langhe, Chardonnay, 2005. She didn't say much, we mostly made small talk about the birds and the bees, literally, but soon the wine begin to have an effect. The world seemed less hostile, less confusing and the thoughts of sugar pork fairies dancing in my head diffused into ripe plump grapes bursting on the vine. Peg smiled, this isn't the first time a guest of hers has surrendered to the pork sirens. 

But damn those siren calls! They didn't get me! I was back! This little baby Gaja may just have saved my life. Could you imagine Amy's LA Pork Blog? I think not. 

The 2006 is available at 20-20 Wine Merchants in full 750ml bottles. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mas Good.


While Peter was drinking Boombalatty (see below), my friends Peg and Sonoma wine guru turned Wisconsin wine retailer, Phil of Thief Wine in Milwaukee, were drinking their favorite summer rose. 

Mas Carlot, Costieres de Nimes, Tradition, Rose, 2008.

Made of grenache, mourvedre and syrah, its a bit of a fatty boombalatty itself, for rose anyway, and done entirely by saignee method, which I guess is redundant because it's not like it can be made in France any other way (Champagne being the exception, of course). 

Very enjoyable, simply loaded with fresh, ripe strawberry fruit with floral overtones on the nose and a lovely little bit of spice on the finish. Delish! And to top it all off, it's available at K&L for $9.99. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Boombalatty beer.


And now... Peter's Wisconsin beer blog..

Fatty Boombalatty, a slang phrase for a VERY big marijuana joint or a person with lots of junk in the trunk. Don't pretend like you don't know what I'm talking about. 

This was delicious beer! Very hoppy, and true to its name, a bit of a fatty. A Belgium style wheat ale, I found it to have Indian spices, lots of yeasty flavor and Peter says, "has fruity lemon peel notes and good depth of flavor."

I'm not sure where you can find this around here, but definitely pick some up if you run across it and let us know where you found it! 

Monday, August 17, 2009

I was duped!

Well, I have to make an addendum to my post below. I said it was true authentic Wisconsin Sangiovese - and can you believe it??? I was wrong!! 

My friend Phil of Thief Wine in Milwaukee commented:

"No WI terroir in that wine - the Sangiovese is grown in Washington. (Hence the "American" designation) Very little Vitis Vinifera in Wisconsin; Riesling's about the only one cold-hardy enough to overwinter in the Midwest."

I thought the comment should be read by all so I wanted to post it - thanks for the correction Phil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sangiovese.. the perfect pairing with cheddar?


Bet you didn't know I'd look so good with udders, huh? Your wildest fantasies have come true.

Wollersheim Winery, Sangiovese, American Dry Red Wine, 2007. Now this tasted like an honest to God Wisconsin wine! And I was happy for it! While this wine was a little thin in the fruit department, it had nice high acidity, reminded me of slightly unripe cherries, which you know I like, and it the perfect wine to drink in the setting on the Wisconsin State Fair. What I really liked about it is that it tasted true to its, forgive the banal expression, terroir. There was no doubt this was a Wisconsin wine! Perfect with cheddar? I dunno about that. But when I snuck a glass to a prize winning Holstein dairy cow in the bovine livestock stables, it seems to go down well with a big mouth of dry hay. 

No, seriously, I'm kidding people! I didn't feed it to the cows. I drank it myself and enjoyed every drop. You can get it on their website for $13! Support the Heartland!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A week in Wisconsin!

For the next week I am going to take a break from the LA wine scene and feature wines I tasted on our recent trip to Wisconsin! We went to see a very close friend of mine, Peg SanFelippo, a fellow student in the MW program. What a great time we had! 

We went to the Wisconsin State Fair and did a little local wine tasting. I made this video that has terrible sound and was shot sideways, but for my diehard fans (meaning my dog, Bubbles) this will be a riveting video. 

After tasting a few selections, including a Sangiovese, which I will blog about tomorrow, we decided the best was Cht. Saint Croix Cabernet Sauvignon. $20 at the fair and also available on their website. I just couldn't figure out if the pronunciation was "croy" or or "qua"? I think its "croy"... but I digress. I found this wine had nice structure and very good cassis fruit, very enjoyable. So enjoyable it made me think, Wisconsin, really? So I looked at the label and lo and behold the label states "Vinted and bottled by.." as opposed to "Produced and bottled by..." So me thinks this could be very good bulk wine imported from California and bottled in Wisconsin. I could be totally wrong, but the second clue was the alcohol level, 14.5%! I have a tough time believing they can get that high of an alcohol level in that cool humid climate. But then again, maybe they are chaptalizing... but the alcohol was very balanced with the fruit concentration... so I dunno people. I just know it was heads and tails better than the other wines there. Most of which were made of fruit. I tasted a lemon wine in the video at the end and let me just say it was like tart lemonade with alcohol. 


video

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Barbrix.

If you haven't been to Barbrix yet, the new bistro-style small plates endeavor by Claudio Blotta, formerly of La Terza and Campanile, and his wife Adria Tennor, movie star in the making, then you are missing out! It's on Hyperion, just east of the Mayfair and Trader Joe's at Griffith Park Blvd, at Tracy... a perfect way to spend a warm CA evening. 

And this isn't only because they Holus Bolus BTG at the rock bottom price of $10! That's a big reason to check it out for sure, but its so comfortable and inviting, and we love supporting the little guys. Adria, Claudio and their chef, Don, have an efficient and super friendly staff awaiting to pour you terrific wine, serve you tasty plates to share and to make you feel like you're in your own backyard being waited on hand and foot. 

And just to show you that I'm not totally biased, I am a big fan of the Parigot Rose. A deliciously fruity, raspberry and cherry laden sparkler from Burgundy. And who doesn't love a glass of the elegant but dark and brooding Lambrusco from Medici Ermete?? AND LOOK AT THE PRICE!! TEN BUCKS and SIX BUCKS PEOPLE! What do you want for $6 these days?   

Totally affordable and totally fun! Check it out - but make a res because they are currently very bust being the hippest Resto in SL. 

Monday, August 10, 2009

Jill and Palmina at FO.

Sorry guys, I didn't have a picture of the bottle, so this is the best I could do!

In the background is my good friend Jill Bernheimer, of none other than our fav online retailer, Domaine 547 (soon to be known as Domaine LA, the bricks and mortar version on Melrose just west of Highland.) Last Friday we had an impromptu date at Father's Office in Culver City, where we enjoyed a spectacular glass of Palmina, Dolcetto, SB County, 2008 - IN KEG!

That's right at FO, they love the low carbon footprint and for $9.50 a glass this wine was a knockout. I also just had the Arneis at aoc last night - high acid but totally creamy - a strange and wonderful sensation... Me likey Palmina

Friday, August 7, 2009

Like a mood ring in a bottle.

Podere Il Palazzino, Grosso Senesi, Chianti Classico, 2004. 

I was having a very bad day. So bad that nothing Peter could say or do could possibly make me feel better. So he did what every good husband would have done and picked out the best wine we had in the house that was drinking good now. 

He blind tasted me on it naturally and I was stuck between an excellent Barbera, like Elio Grasso, or Sangiovese. The more I swirled it in the glass the more complex it became and soon I thought BINGO! This is Sangiovese and its either an excellent Reserva or a more mediocre Brunello. It was neither. It is just plain old Chianti Classico, but so fabulous it will knock your socks off. What great length and complexity and a terrific good mood bring-abouter... Thanks to my hubby. 

Wine House, $39.99.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Chinon blah blah blah.

Philippe Alliet, Chinon, l'Husserie, 2006. 

A great deal at K&L, $27.99. 

This is what they have to say about it:

Philippe Alliet with his wife Claude work 17 hectares of vines in and around their village of Cravant-les-Coteaux in the Chinon appellation. The only producer in Chinon to land two stars in the Revue de Vin de France's prestigeous Classement, Alliet uses no chemicals, plows his vineyards continuously is a minimalist in the cellar. He believes that the wines are made in the vineyard. The grapes are destemmed completely followed by a long fermentation, but not by an extended maceration. The wines are never drying, and Alliet believes that wine should taste good in the first year and in the 10th year. The result is astonishing with huge extraction, perfectly balanced fruit, tannins and acidity to make the wines approchable in their youth, but able to age forever.

Blah, blah, blah, nothing new... its made in the vineyard, no chemicals, blah, blah. Who cares right? Does it taste good?

Well, my friends, I'm happy to report that it's delicious! Lots of fresh raspberry fruit with savory mushroom like undertones. Grab a bottle before its gone... You know once I write on a wine, the whole city goes out and buys it... I'm that popular...

..hello? Is there anyone out there???

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Good riesling, cheap price.

Gerhard, Rheingau, Feinherb, Riesling, Spatlese, 2007. 

This was really beautiful. Not too sweet, actually for Spat, quite dry, and the perfect balance of acid and fruit. BUT the best thing about this wine is the glass stopper, called a Vino-lok, its so elegant and really makes you feel like you're drinking something special. Which, of course, you are. And the price is right....

Wine House, $23.99. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Boochee...

Bucci, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Classico, 2007. 

Now, I have to say, I have never had a Verdicchio like this. Usually Verdicchio is, ummm, you know, a little spritzy and cheap tasting. No oak, just light and refreshing. So when Susan at Dominick's recommended this wine to us, I wasn't expecting to be impressed. But, of course, because Susan recommended it us, I should have known it would be delicious!

It was so richly textured. Creamy and soft. Not at all austere. It still had citrus and lemon components, but more like lemon curd vs. biting into a lemon!

It's a great deal too. Around $25 (I can't remember exactly - oops!) on the wine list. 

Monday, August 3, 2009

Underground...

Angelus Dinner, an undergound dining experience with aoc's own, Ria Soler. 

Hey guys, check this out if you've got a hungry tummy and a free night next Thursday, August 13th. Cost all inclusive of tax and tip is $80.

Chef Seth Nathan puts on a great dinner for only 20 people once a month. Click on the link above and check out the menu...

Wines to be served:

Francois Mikulski, Aligote, 2006
JCB Rose, Russian River Valley, 2007
Chateau de Pierreux, Beaujolais, Brouilly, 2005
Holus Bolus, Syrah, 2007

Delish people!! Join Ria for a great night of food, wine, music and mingling. 

Reservations: 510-406-1097