A few wines for our Thanksgiving Feast 2012… I hope Lou approves!
I love Thanksgiving- a truly American holiday where we get together to cook, eat, and drink (and drink, and drink, and drink). I just saw this little piece by Lou Amdurand thought I’d re-post it here. He is a genius and some kind of savant when it comes to everything and anything fermented. If you’re ever in the Los Angles area, you can meet him in person at Lou Provisions & Wine.
What an amazing couple of days. Enzo Brezza is in town, showcasing his heart-stopping wines. Come by the Wine House tonight and taste for yourself- this is pure Nebbiolo Magic.
Enzo, looking happy with the 2014 tank sample at the winery this October.
The Brezza family has been making Barolo for over 4 generations. This is the real Langhe. As Enzo puts it, “I like to use a very soft style- we want to take the grapes to the glass”. No filtering, no added yeasts, spontaneous, natural fermentation. A very down-to-earth approach centered around expressing terroir.
Let me set the stage for you. A couple of Chinese wine importers and a few American wine writers and sommeliers walk into a bar. No, this is not the beginning of a bad joke, it’s the beginning of the story of how Ted Glennon almost became the Mayor of Alba.
The view from Pitti Golla’s outside patio (photocredit: @dougzamensky)
When I was younger I had the opportunity to study Italian during the summers in the beautiful city of Firenze (thanks, Mom and Dad!). I didn’t know anything about wine back then- I had no idea I was living smack in the middle of some of Italy’s most prestigious and mythic wine territory. For me Firenze was a lynch-pin experience in my life. This city is magic- a cornerstone of Toscana and the historical incubator for Italian art, science, literature, language. Now I realize that Firenze is also an important heartbeat for Tuscany- birthplace of Sangiovese, Vermentino, Trebbiano. Chianti Classico around the corner, Montalcino down the road. Returning back to the wandering cobblestones streets of this Renaissance dream was a complete revelation for me.
The other day I visited the ladies of Culver City’s newly-minted Bar and Garden. Recently Lauren Johnson and Marissa Mandel rehabilitated an antique liquor store, and have turned it into a beautiful, airy, sunlight-filled space. Their selection of natural wines and small-batch spirits is pretty much unparalleled, and the whole operation is overseen by a quiet and affectionate pooch named Banjo. Now that’s what I call a great neighborhood shop!
Banjo, lovable mascot of @BarAndGarden. Clearly the camera loves him.
Found this baby at Monopole Winein Pasadena yesterday while running around with my fellow-wine geek Peter Kao. 1979 is his birth year, so clearly we had to taste it. I haven’t had a ton of experience with old California wines, but recently Italian Wine Superstar and International Top Sommelier Diego Meraviglia was telling me one of his favorite guilty pleasures are Duckhorn wines form the 1990s… I am officially curious now about the potential of California terroir to age gracefully.
Peter Kao- completely unhinged over Jordan 1979 Cabernet. @ChairmanKao
The 1979 Jordan was simply brilliant. Radiant. Stunning. Initially a little tight and redolent with green peppers and chocolate (nice call, Peter), it flowered open to reveal an earthy-dusty-ripeness that was backed on the palate by an elegant acidity and completely polished tannins. Like holding a piece of beach glass on your tongue- this was smooth. The wine continued to open without falling apart over the next few hours- even after bouncing around in my car, the final sip at home last night was still exciting.
Jordan 1979. Enough to convert even the most stalwart of Italian wine geeks!
Sometimes the best wine discoveries happen when you least expect them. That was certainly my experience the other day when I visited the fine wine merchants at a shop in Chino, CA ominously called Napacabs.com. What could an Italian Wine Geek expect from a place with a name like that? Thankfully, as I was about to find out, these people are about a lot more than Napa. Continue reading →
I love this place. Vintage Enoteca is one of those amazing little spots, tucked away in an unsuspecting place next to a Head Shop that smells perpetually of patchouli. They are serving interesting and honest food, as well as incredibly geeky, fun wines.
The place is very slick, but comfortable: modern Italian-cafe style, with Nina Simone playing on the sound system while a couple of actor-types review scripts over coffee in a corner.
You’d need a local to tell you about it- and they probably prefer it that way.