Friday, January 29, 2010

A good deal...

Wild Earth, Central Otago, NZ, Pinot Noir, 2007.

I blind tasted this wine, of course, I guess I don't need to say that anymore, I will let you know when I DON'T blind taste something and the primary black cherry fruit took me to the new world right away. I struggled between C. Otago and Chile. It had a little herbaceousness that made me think it might be S. American. But it's that black cherry fruit intensity, high acid, low tannins that is consistent with New Zealand and C. Otago in particular. The color was like BRIGHT, star bright ruby. There was a little vanilla / baking spice / new oak character on this, but it was well integrated and the finish was long with loads of black cherry, so it delivers good quality for the price.

This is $23.99 at the Wine House. I think it was marked down from a higher price point, so you PN lovers should go grab a few bottles before it's gone.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pricey Riesling.

Hirsch, Gaisberg, Kamptal, Austria, 2007.

This wine was really great, but it totally threw me off. Generally when I think of Austrian Riesling I think higher alcohol 13.5%ish, dry, taut lime acidity. But this wine had a little residual sugar and the alcohol was 12.5%, the acidity was moderate plus, but certainly not the intensity I usually expect from Austria. It even had a little creaminess on the palate, which I think is due to some lees contact.

But wow, expensive!!

At any rate, a fun wine if you have a little spare change, $45.99 at the Wine House.


Olivier Merlin, Pouilly Fuissé, 2007.

yes, it's true that I sell this wine, but really I'm not biased! It's fantastically beautiful. I love to take it out just so I can drink the remnants at the end of the day.

What I love about it is that it tastes like a really good village level white from the Cote de Beaune. Except that it's impossible to place in a specific appellation. It's rounder and richer than anything in the CdB, but really far too good for almost everything made in the Macon. Think yellow apple lusciousness!

You can get this at Barbrix for around $50, which, of course is a great price. And I highly recommend Barbrix anyway, so get your butt over there.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Not half off.

Leeuwin Estate, Art Series, Margaret River, Riesling, 2006.

Wine House $19.99.

This is a really delicious little Riesling that I blind tasted with 2 other Rieslings. One of those MW questions, "3 wines, same variety, different country". I thought this was New Zealand, Marlborough, but really it was far too juicy and approachable for NZ. I had a New Zealand wine in this flight as well and it was AUSTERE, with a capital A U S T E R E. I guess I'm being redundant, but I'm getting older, so that's what I do.

Speaking of getting older. I am in Ft. Lauderdale right now. For work, not by choice, not that there's anything WRONG with FT. Lauderdale I'm just saying... I was having breakfast this morning. Sat next to 2 old men. They were talking about restaurants. One guy says to the other in a thick NY accent, "You gotta try this new French restaurant down the street, called SAGE. Great French food. The BEST French food. On Mondays everything is half off. $40 bottle of wine, $20. $18 entree, $9. Lamb Chops, I love Lamb Chops, $22 regularly, guess how much they are on Monday?? $11! Martini's $10 usually, not on Monday, they are $5!" I was like OK! We get it! Everything is half off!!!

Anyway, just a side note about how funny old people are. So this wine, ripe green apple, little tropical fruit and high, but not tart acidity. Real nice people. Real nice. And it's only $20 dollar. Though if you go to SAGE maybe you can get it for $10???

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cheap Malbec!

Ambas, Mendoza, Argentina, Malbec, 2008.

Lots of primary red berry fruit, this wine is easy-drinking, easy easy easy. Like totally gulpable. It was a sample sent to me in the mail by Fresh and Easy. I had it pegged as about a $15 retail wine, but from the primary fruit I could tell it was done in tank, but well done, which you know I usually don't say about wine done in tank.

Get ready for this... it's $6. Six dollars people. How can anyone make wine for $6??

Anyway, grab a bottle as you pick up your organic skirt steak on your next trip to F&E.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Gordon Ramsay

There may be some of you who do not know that I am secretly in love with Gordon Ramsay. But I am. When he says, "I'm in the shit." I swoon. My husband perhaps knows this best because he's in love with him too.

So I was pleasantly surprised to get this email... To all of my chef friends you have to do this so that LA is well represented!!!!


Can you cook well despite never having been formally trained? We are currently searching for budding chefs from all walks of life - amateur chefs, passionate foodies, the ultimate
dinner party host/hostesses...

Now one of the world's most acclaimed chefs, GORDON RAMSAY, is giving you the opportunity to become a

MasterChef is a show that celebrates great people who make great food. The show will give contestants the opportunity to develop their cooking skills while being encouraged, mentored and celebrated by the industry's best and evaluated by world-renowned judges!

If you are passionate about cooking and ready to change your life then audition for MasterChef, an inspiring cooking show from the producers of
The Biggest Loser!

Sur La Table
Farmer's Market
6333 W. Third St.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
TIME: 10am-4pm

To pre-book a


Also, please note:

All casting call applicants MUST bring one prepared dish to be served at room temperature. You will be able to plate your dish at the given casting location. You will be responsible to bring any utensils or other materials you may need.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

St. Jo

Domaine Faury, Saint-Joseph, 2007.

What a delicious little gem. I blind tasted it for Crozes-Hermitage, but whatevs, close enough, yes?

I said to Peter, wow, this is the best $25 wine I've had in a long time. It tasted like a $50 wine, Hooray for that! Spicy, some integrated wood tannins, a little smoke and game on the nose, some new French oak, baking spices, super yum.

$25.99 at the Wine House.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A little old wine to bring in the New Year.

Olga Rauffault, Chinon, 1982.

Every few months Brian Kaliel, the sommelier at Melisse, stops by the Veritas Warehouse (just 6 floors up from Palate Restaurant in Glendale, and we sort through all the old and rare forgotten bottles at the back of the warehouse. We found 4 bottles of this wine. You know how I LOVE Chinon, so does Brian, so I was very generous, let him have 3 and I took one for myself.

I wrapped it up and put it under the tree for Peter and I to drink during the holidays. I wasn't sure how it was going to be, the one thing it had going for it was that it had been stored, unmoved, at 55 degrees in a humidity controlled warehouse.

I'm happy to report that it was totally delectable! Lip-smacking good. Brian had the same experience. It had lots of red fruit still, but also secondary characteristics - a little nutty with dried herbs - super yummy. Tannins were silky and it went down very nicely with Hoppin' John, the special southern black eyed pea recipe that's supposed to bring good luck for the New Year.

Stop by Melisse and get one of the few remaining bottles of this wine. It's pretty reasonably priced, at around $125 - well worth every penny!!

Monday, January 4, 2010


Domaine du Bel Air, "les Vingt lieux dits", Bourgueil, 2006.

This was really one of the most delicious wines I've had in long time, just spectacularly wonderful! Bags of ripe red fruit, ripe, soft tannins and that edge of acidity that makesLoire Cab Franc so refreshing and totally gulpable. I did not want to share, but sadly I was at a dinner party, so I had to.

It's $17.99 at the Cheese Store of Silverlake.