Friday, December 20, 2013

1990's Italian Wines 'Ova Here

As you all must know by now, we are fond of wines with some bottle age. Generally, I like the 10 year marker for a good majority of age-worthy wines but when you can get perfectly stored 15(+) years, now you're talking. 
We have sourced some impeccable selections in this category. Here are our five favorite selections at the moment. Prices range from $45 to $140. In the big picture for aged wines of this stature, not bad. Doesn't it make you want to splurge on a bottle or two for New Year's?? There is nothing like it; good food, aged red wine, good friends. Come on…
1999 Fattoria Paradiso Mito Emilia-Romagna $44.99
A luscious blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Intense aromas of black cherry, cherry, blueberry, licorice and plum. As it is 14 years old the wine is still very fresh but well-integrated. Silky smooth. Well balanced. Good grip. Vibrant. Entirely impressive.

1997 Terreno Chianti Classico Riserva Tuscany $46.99
The Riserva is made of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo Nero. Harvested by hand, the must was cool fermented on its skins for 12 days to maximize flavour extraction and freshness of the fruit. Sinfully aromatic with deep black cherry and spice notes. On palate excellent depth of dark fruit with an earthiness that is tinged by tobacco leaf. Incredibly supple, with a finish that recedes gracefully in the distance. The winemaking was led by Franco Bernabei (who makes wine at Felsina and Fontodi among others).

1994 Felsina Chianti Classico Riserva Tuscany $59.99
(90 Points: Wine Spectator) "A serious red with superfine tannins and condensed fruit and earth aromas and flavors. Full to medium in body, with a medium finish. Needs time to open. Better after 1998." -- Having tasting this wine on multiple occasions recently this wine is fantastic. Remarkably fresh. Still plenty of silken cherry fruit and an elegance that only comes with age.

1995 Canalicchio di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino Tuscany $89.99
(91 Points: International Wine Cellar) "Full deep red. Captivating aromas of redcurrant, dried flowers and roasted chestnut. Silky and pliant in the mouth, with excellent depth of flavor and plenty of underlying structure. Quite backward despite its obvious richness. Finishes long, with slightly dry tannins that will require patience."

1998 Fontodi Flaccianello Tuscany $139.99 Italy
(93 Points: Wine Advocate) "The 1998 Flaccianello della Pieve reveals an exotic, intriguing bouquet redolent of flowers, spices and mint. This is one of the more delicate Flaccianellos in this tasting. Everything simply works. Raspberries, flowers, mint and spices are all woven into the highly expressive finish. The 1998 can be enjoyed today, but it also has the pedigree to age well for a number of years. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2023."

Rosso Wine Shop
3459 1/2 N Verdugo Road
Glendale, CA 91208

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Tasting Room with Tom Leykis

 In case you missed our most recent appearance on The Tasting Room with Tom Leykis, here is the link to the segment where we taste and discuss some of my new favorites.

As usual, Tom and I talk about the wine biz and trends while we open bottles and discuss the merits of each wine. The wines I brought in to taste are listed below.

2010 Remoissenet Meursault Poruzots 1er Cru Burgundy $99.99 France
(93+ Points: Wine Advocate) "The 2010 Meursault Poruzots impresses for its gorgeous depth. Layers of fruit caress the palate in this sumptuous, layered Meursault. All the elements are beautifully balanced. The richness typical of the Remoissenet whites comes through in spades. White stone fruits, slate and spices are layered into an expressive finish buffered by veins of minerality. The balance of fruit, acidity and structure is terrific.

2012 Broc Cellars Valdiguiè Solano County $23.99 California
Berkeley-based winemaker Chris Brockway discovered Valdiguié grapes growing on a hillside in Solano County. Perfect for warm-weather drinking, Valdiguié is a grape with roots in the Languedoc-Roussillon. It is fresh and bright and light-to-medium in body. Serve it with a little chill. As always, the wine was fermented naturally with indigenous yeasts with no additives.

2012 Easton Zinfandel Amador County $19.99 California
The Amador County Zinfandel comes from 40-60 year old head pruned vines. The finished wine has full black cherry and blackberry fruit aromas with a beautiful balance and a big, sumptuous, and juicy mouth feel. It also presents complex spicy aromas, with a nice creamy texture derived from the 10 months time it receives in French oak barrels.

2009 Fontodi Chianti Classico Tuscany $37.99 Italy
(92 Points: Wine Advocate) "The 2009 Chianti Classico is a model of elegance and class. Firm yet well-integrated tannins provide the backdrop for expressive red cherries, licorice, tobacco and spices. The 2009 radiates across the palate with notable class. It has great fruit and plenty of structure."

2009 Renato Corino Barolo Arborina Piedmont $65.99 Italy
(92 Points: Wine Advocate) "The '09 Arborina shows dark characteristics of ripe fruit and dark cherry wrapped within extra layers of spice and tobacco. It flaunts a bold, fruit-forward side with soft layers and enormous richness at the back. Arborina offers more meat and pulp with full-bodied charm." 

As Tom likes to say "Get in the game," meaning get out there and taste; like at a wine shop like ours, where we seek out interesting wines and host regular tastings every weekend.

**Check out our library of Tom Leykis appearances here: rosso on leykis

And visit our site and sign up for our weekly email to stay in the loop:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Is There Such a Thing As Wild Yeast Fermentation?

You have undoubtedly heard the words "wild," "natural," or "indigenous yeasts" over the last few years, as it has become quite to go to descriptor amongst some in the wine business. Essentially, it means the wine makes itself, there is no inoculation. So whatever yeast is already in the air (or on the clusters) starts the fermentation process. Many have argued that this way is the purest expression of the wine. Well, now we have some evidence that this idea of "wild" yeast may not even exist to its full extent. The fermentation may in fact start indigenously, but commercial yeasts eventually take over and dominate the fermentation, thereby eliminating the once "wild" yeasts.

In the August issue of Wine Business Monthly, the headline reads:  
Study Indicates Commercial Yeast Strains Take Over Fermentation - The yeast strain you think is fermenting your wine probably isn't doing the job- unless it is a dominant commercial strain.

The start of the story:

"That exotic yeast you used to ferment your wine? It probably didn't. That wild yeast fermentation you prefer? It probably isn't. So suggests three years of research at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada. "The winemaker assumes that what they inoculate with is what they get in their fermentations," said Dan Durall, a biology professor at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan in Kelowna, British Columbia, who has led the research since 2010."

 More here:

"His investigation indicates that likely is inaccurate: The yeast strain you think is fermenting your wine probably isn't doing the job-unless it is a dominant commercial strain. The study began in 2010 when graduate student Jessica N. Lange spent time at three Okanagan Valley wineries to study yeast during multiple stages of fermentation in Pinot Noir. Lange collected samples during cold soak then during early, mid and late stages of fermentation."

"What she found was startling: Regardless of which yeast started the fermentation-indigenous or otherwise-a dominant commercial strain took over during the process, essentially wiping out any other forms of yeast that might have been present, Durall said."

The full story can be read here (in PDF form): Full Yeast Story

Create an informed opinion. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Porchetta: Tuscan Style

Porchetta is an impressive and remarkably easy dish to pull off. You must first start to top notch ingredients (as with all the best Italian cooking). I recommend going to McCall's Meat & Fish in Los Feliz and ask for a pork shoulder, butterflied. And tell them what you are making. They will have some helpful hints.

In addition the pork shoulder, you will need a nice piece of slab bacon or pork belly. The idea is to marinate the meat with herbs, olive oil and garlic as long as overnight, or 8-10 hours at least, wrap together, tie off, and slow roast until delicious.

Season with fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, red pepper flakes, crushed fennel seeds, sea salt, ground black pepper, fennel fronds, plenty of crushed garlic and loads of good olive oil.

Once you are marinated, roll the pork belly up with the butterflied shoulder and tie it off. Here is a good video demonstrating the butcher tie: tying stuffed pork

Then we like to use a tin to roast in with some aromatics as a base: fennel, carrots, onions, etc.

Roast for about 2-3 hours, depending on the size of the porchetta and temp of oven. We roast on our gas grill outside at 300 degrees for 2 hours. This roast was about 5.5 lbs.
Fully roasted porchetta
The sliced view
Paired with a sublime '97 Brunello & '08 Chianti Classico
Try it for yourself!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Palari Wines with Salvatore Geraci

Some of Sicily's most stylish wines come from this small producer located in the hills around Messina. The winemaking philosophy under Salvatore Geraci is simple: make two wines with the same indigenous grapes but with different selections. His top wine is the Faro. Faro (which means lighthouse) is a little DOC, almost the smallest in Italy. With just above 6 hectares (15 acres) in the DOC area, the production is clearly tiny. The Rosso del Soprano is the little brother of Faro and meant to be drunk younger. But he also produces in very small quantity a special bottle called Santa.Ne, which he only makes in exceptional vintages. It is made with pre-Phylloxera grapes that are over 100 years old, and to this day not yet identified. Superb wine but in very limited supply.

The principle grapes used are Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio with smaller quantities of Nocera, Cappuccio Tignolino, Acitana, Galatena and Calabrese. These wines have an ethereal quality to them. Ruby red in color with garnet reflections. Ample and intense notes of jasmine, cardamom, balsamic and ripe red fruits on the nose. Velvety, dry and inviting, you feel the softness of the tannins, and the long and persistent fruits. Silky smooth.

Drago Centro once again hosted this fantastic tasting event in their private Vault Room.The service and dinner were top notch. Many thanks to Salvatore for the wonderful wines, Vinity Wine Co's Dino Capriotti for bringing the wines to the U.S., and, of course, all of the attendees.

albacore tuna tartare, pinenuts, olives, tomato, basil
2010 Palari Rosso del Soprano
egg yolk raviolo, ricotta, brown butter, shaved summer truffles
2004 Palari Faro, 2005 Palari Faro
sausage stuffed quail, shaved fennel, garlic aioli
2006 Palari Faro, 2007 Palari Faro, 2008 Palari Faro
new york steak, parmesan potatoes, pancetta, spinach
2004 Palari Sante.Ne'

Selection of cheeses
2002 Palari Sante.Ne'
Our group!    

Drago Centro, 525 S. Flower Street, Suite 120, Downtown Los Angeles, 90071  

Event organized by Rosso Wine Shop

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Adams Hill Feature on Rosso Wine Shop

Our local Adams Hill Neighborhood Association wrote a nice feature on us and the fact that we have been Adams Hill residents for over 12 years.
Joe Selph got a little history on the origin of the Rosso Wine Shop and my background. Take a look. Link to the full article: here
"When shopping for wines in Glendale, there are numerous liquor stores throughout the city that carry large selections. But none can match the variety and customer service of Rosso Wine Shop on North Verdugo Road."

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Look for Alto Piemonte Wines

The Alto Piemonte region is very well respected amongst the wine-obsessed, but not as well known among the average wine drinker. OK, you may have heard of (and had) Gattinara and Ghemme, but on the whole, these Nebbiolo-based wines can really be special under the hand of the right producer.

These are some really fabulous picks currently on the shelves. If you like and drink Barolo and Barbaresco you are sure to enjoy these wines.

2011 Luigi Ferrando Canavese Rosso La Torrazza $21.99
Produced predominantly from Nebbiolo with roughly 30% Barbera, this tastes-better-than-it-costs red is vinified in stainless steel and bottled 12 to 15 months after harvest. Full of wild berries (notably strawberry and raspberry), spice and a touch of warm earthiness. The tannins are delicate and fine which enables this wine to be consumed with pleasure in its youth. Maybe the best vintage of this wine in the last 10 years.

2008 Az. Ag. Bianchi Ghemme $29.99
The Bianchi Cantina was created in 1785 by Giuseppi Bianchi. This wine comes from several vineyards owned by the Bianche family in Ghemme. Of the pure nebbiolo wines made here at the estate this is the roundest most fruity though it carries about the same body weight as the two Gattinara wines. The wine spends about 18 months in large oak (50hl !!!) barrels.  Clay and higher acid soils.

2010 Massimo Clerico Spanna Coste della Sesia $35.99
The steep hillside vineyards planted to soils of glacial moraine produce a rigorous wine in Clerico’s hands that is aged gently and long in mid-size barrels. Further, the fascinating, and sometimes difficult, Vespolina grape plays a minor but intriguing role in the Alto Piemonte, providing brightness and spice to the mix. Clerico’s domaine is only slightly larger than two hectares so production is severely limited. The Spanna (local name for Nebbiolo) is from the Costa della Sesia appellation.

2006 Monsecco Gattinara $45.99
Monsecco is the creation of the Zanetta family, a clan with deep roots in the Alto Piemonte and its world of wine.  The objective of the Zanettas is to produce the finest versions of each of the appellations they present to the public as Monsecco. That includes for us their powerful Gattinara, the elegant Nebbiolo known as “Pratogrande” from the Novarese hills. Deep, rich and solid tannic structure.

2006 Rovellotti Ghemme Chioso Dei Pomi $45.99
Visiting the Rovellotti family in the heart of the town of Ghemme is a moment of deep immersion in the history of this area marked by its position just beneath the massive form of Monte Rosa, one of the highest Alpine peaks. Ghemme has been a crossroads for both trade and war and the ancient brick buildings in the center of town hold a trove of tales as well as much of the wine produced by the Rovellotti family whose cellars are within the walls of the old fortress. The Ghemme “Chioso dei Pomi” arrive with the advantage of having already experienced considerable barrel and bottle aging.

2008 Le Piane Boca $71.99
(96 Points: Wine Advocate) The 2008 Le Piane is more than a worthy follow-up to the gorgeous 2007. In this vintage, the wine is much more classic in style. The sweetest of black cherries, grilled herbs, menthol, spices and licorice all meld together in this beautiful, delineated, totally vibrant wine. The balance of focus and power is simply stunning. This is a dazzling effort from a small estate that seems to be ratcheting up quality with each passing vintage. One of the attributes of Nebbiolo-based wines from northern Piedmont is that they are often easy to drink when young, yet also age effortlessly for years, sometimes decades. That certainly appears to be the case here. This is magnificent effort.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Cured Meats in Los Angeles

In case you missed this list of great spots in Los Angeles to find quality cured meats (courtesy of the L.A. Times and S. Irene Virbila), here it is. Most of these we frequent already but there are a few we will now work into the routine. Remember the most important point: support independent shops whose sole focus is to find the best artisan products. You will be happier and they will continue to exist. 

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery

Santa Monica's popular Italian deli has a good selection of salumi, including several kinds of prosciutto, speck and various salami.

1517 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 395-8279

The Cheese Store of Silverlake

A pretty big selection from a number of purveyors, including Fra' Mani (Berkeley), Creminelli (Utah), Zoe's (Sonoma) and Olli's (Virginia). Sold by the pound or, for smaller salami, by the piece. Convenient, especially if you're making a stop at Intelligentsia next door for coffee.

3926-28 W. Sunset Blvd. (at Sanborn in Sunset Junction), Los Angeles, (323) 644-7511.

Chi Spacca

Salumi master and executive chef Chad Colby says you can stop by Chi Spacca and order the various house-made salumi ($12 each) or an affettati misti (salumi plate, $24) to go. They're not set up to sell retail, but if you're willing to pay restaurant prices, you can enjoy his superb salumi at home. It would be a great item to bring to a dinner party instead of a bottle of wine.

6610 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 297-1133

Cube Marketplace

An extensive selection of top-quality salumi (see the menu online) sold retail by the ounce or the pound, whatever you want, but only during restaurant service hours, generally 11:30 a.m to 2 p.m., and 5 to 11 p.m.

615 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 939-1148

Garo's Basturma

Instead of prosciutto or speck for your salumi plate, why not pick up some of Garo's justly famous basturma, a cured beef coated in a secret spice paste. You can buy it with or without fenugreek, lean or fatty. You want it with the fenugreek and the fat for best flavor. Reasonably priced at about $12 a pound.

1088 N. Allen Ave., Pasadena, (626) 794-0460

Guidi Marcello

Well known to Italian expatriates, Guidi Marcello specializes in the real deal, everything imported from Italy and all top quality. Among the cold cuts: bresaola (cured beef), baby mortadella, prosciutto di Parma and San Daniele, sopressata, lardo, even San Daniele pancetta.

1649 10th St., Santa Monica, (310) 452-6277

La Española Meats
If you want to go Spanish for your cured meat platter, this is the place (you can also order online) with a great selection of jamon, top-grade Iberico hams and chorizo. You can even buy a whole jamón Ibérico de Bellota for … $1,220.

25020 Doble Ave., Harbor City, (310) 539-0455

Nicole's Gourmet Foods

South Pasadena's venerable French food emporium is where you can find rosette de Lyon (French salami) and D'Artagnan's jambon de Bayonne (a delicious French ham). They also stock various Italian salami, including finocchiona, mortadella and prosciutto.

921 Meridian Ave., South Pasadena, (626) 403-5751

Pascal Epicerie & Wine

This French spot from Pascal Olhats offers French hams and saucisson (cured sausage), along with Italian prosciutto and other cold cuts.

1000 N. Bristol St., Newport Beach, (949) 263-9400

Roma Italian Deli

This is where my friend Rafael gets his prosciutto di San Daniele — it's always sliced perfectly. If you go, pick up one of the simple sandwiches. Just one kind, a roll sluiced with olive oil sandwiching mortadella, salami and provolone. Good guanciale too.

918 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena, (626) 797-7748

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Rosé Sales on the Rise

We are happy to report from the retail "trenches" that rosé sales are up, way up. It seems to be the perfect storm of great weather (the norm in SoCal), the education (people realizing the joy of dry pink), the trend (people talking about it), and a slightly bettering economy (rosé aren't that expensive).

We for one, are very happy about this confluence of events. Here are some new rosé wines to hit our shelves. Try some.

2012 Grande Cassagne Costieres di Nimes Rosé $11.99 France
A blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre, and comes from tiny berries of 40+ year old vines. Fermented a short time on its skins, it retains an electric pink color, soaring aromatics, and fully dry palate.

2012 Sainte Eugenie Corbieres Rose $12.99 France
The estate is located within the foothills of the Pyrénées along the Mediterranean coast. Made from Cinsault, Syrah and Grenache. A wonderful, bright rosé displaying fresh raspberry notes with a slight touch of mineral and dried herbs with a dry finish.

2012 San Giovanni Chiaretto Rosato Lombardia $14.99 Italy
This bone dry rosé produced mainly from the Gropello Grape grown on the western shore of Lake Garda is a pure delight. Coral pink with bright red flashes. Floral primrose with sweet fruity notes of raspberry. Fresh, balanced and juicy, with a lingering flavor and crisp acidity.

2012 Bargemone Provence Rose $16.99 France
(90 Points: International Wine Cellar) "Pale peach skin color. Aromas of tangerine, pit fruit, lavender and chalky minerals. Juicy and focused on the palate, offering sappy nectarine and citrus fruit flavors sharpened by a kick of white pepper. Closes with very good energy, thrust and length, leaving notes of soft citrus and pit fruits behind. Made from a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon."

2012 Ameztoi Getariako Txakolina Rubentis $19.99 Spain
(92 Points: International Wine Cellar) "Pale pink. Potent mineral and floral aromas of raspberry, cherry pit and blood orange, with a touch of white pepper coming up with air. Dry, racy and precise, offering bitter orange zest and cherry flavors and a touch of honeysuckle. Very fresh and energetic on the finish, offering sexy floral and spicecake qualities."

2012 Mas Jullien Rosé Coteaux du Languedoc $22.99 France
Olivier Jullien is a talented vigneron. His Coteaux du Languedoc Rosé is a tour de force with power and spice that makes this a truly distinctive effort. Made from a classic mix of local grapes, including Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Carignan.  Much like the formidable Rosés of Bandol, this effort from Mas Jullien will stand the test of time.

2011 Clos Cibonne Tibouren Rosé Tradition Cru Classe $23.99 France
This classic rosé is a wine destined for the food of Provence. Full of flavors, it makes a great pairing with red mullet fillets or tomato bouillabaisse. Aromas of orange peel with spicy notes. On the palate, the wine is fresh and vibrant with fruit tones and saline notes. Made with 90% old vine Tibouren and 10% Syrah. Fantastic!

And there will be more...

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Tasting Room with Tom Leykis: Spring Wines and Red Wines for Korean Style BBQ

This episode of the Tasting Room with Tom Leykis I brought a couple of my favorite, fresh Spring wines; a white from Umbria and a rosé from France. And I also brought some all-day marinated Galbi style Korean short ribs to grill. For these we paired a lighter Barbera from Italy and a heartier Chateauneuf du Pape from France. Both worked well for different reasons.
Listen to the show here; either through a browser, iTunes or TuneIn:

Assorted Banchan -- cabbage kimchi, marinated tofu, pickled cucumber, pickled daikon

2011 Scacciadiavoli Grechetto Umbria $15.99 Italy  
An impressive white from Umbria at a great price. Fresh, bright citrus on the nose. The juicy fruit follows through on the palate with a vibrant acidity. With time more minerals come through in the pleasing finish.

2012 Les Grands Bois Cotes-du-Rhone Rosé $16.99 France
A pale pink color with perfect brightness. The nose releases a fruity bouquet and late summer citrus and raspberry with a hint of a floral note. On the palate it's generosity envelopes the palate with a silky mouth feel with accents of crushed strawberries, grenadine and a touch of licorice. The finish is very nice and balanced with pleasant ripe fruit. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.

Korean BBQ -- Marinated Galbi Short Ribs

2011 Agostino Pavia Barbera d'Asti $14.99 Italy
Fresh acidity and berry flavors are the hallmarks of Barbera, but low yields and old vines give this wine very good depth and concentration. Fermentation is done in stainless (seeing no oak) and then straight to bottle. Aromas of red berries and mineral; palate is classic Barbera, bright raspberry/cranberry flavors with a very long finish.

2010 Clos des Brusquieres Chateauneuf du Pape $46.99 France
(93 Points: International Wine Cellar) "Glass-staining ruby. Intense dark fruit and floral aromas are given depth by hints of licorice and bitter herbs.  Brighter on the palate, offering potent red and dark berry flavors and a touch of cherry skin.  Smooths out with air, picking up a smoky note and finishing with firm but harmonious tannins and excellent persistence.  Let this promising wine age for at least five more years."
All of these wines available at

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Three Bottles, One Shop: Rosso Wine Shop in Glendale

The L.A. Weekly's Besha Rodell came by Rosso Wine Shop to see what we do. And in case you missed the coverage from earlier this week, here is a direct link to the article. The feature covers a bit of our origin and then zeroes in on some of my favorite wines.

Besha Rodell

The wines I chose represent what I like to call "country" wines; and they are precisely what we like to turn people on to.

The Three Bottles
 And here is my "artsy" shot that didn't make the cut.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Raj Parr Pours Sandhi Wines at Rosso Wine Shop

In March we had a very special Supper Club with Raj Parr of Sandhi wines.

Sandhi is a small production California winery focusing on select vineyards from the Santa Rita Hills in Santa Barbara County and was founded in 2009 by Rajat Parr, the wine director for Michael Mina Restaurants, Charles Banks, the former owner of Jonata and Screaming Eagle, and esteemed winemaker, Sashi Moorman. Sandhi is dedicated to making wines of finesse, minerality, acidity, structure and balance.

The Los Angeles Times S. Irene Virbila was in attendance and wrote a review of the event. Click here for her feature story.

This was the menu paired with the Sandhi selections:

Reception with  
2010 Maison L'Oree Bourgogne Blanc (Raj's Burgundy Project)

Dinner Menu

2011 Sandhi Santa Barbara Chardonnay
2010 Sandhi Rita's Crown Chardonnay

chowder/lemon thyme/celery

2010 Sandhi Bent Rock Chardonnay
2010 Sandhi Sanford & Benedict Chardonnay

crispy pork

2011 Sandhi Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir
2011 Sandhi Sanford & Benedict Pinot Noir (Fall 2013 Release)

duck leg

2010 Sandhi Evening-Land Tempest Pinot Noir (Library Release)

A great evening.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tasting Room with Tom Leykis and Oinkster

Tasting Room with Tom Leykis
Rosso Wine Shop – Jeff Zimmitti
Oinkster and Maximiliano - Chef Andre Guerrero 

This time around for the Tasting Room we decided to pair wines with Oinkster food and the Maximilano meat balls. Check out the episode with us and Chef Andre Guerrero here: Tasting Room with Tom Leykis February 16th.

1. BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich (Oinkster)

2011 Weingut Niklas Schiava Alto Adige $16.99 Italy
Made of two different types of the Schiava variety (also called Vernatsch or Trollinger) from the vineyards around Lake Caldaro, in the South Tyrol; all stainless steel vinification. Pale red in color; aromas and flavors of fraises do bois, herbs, and orange peel. A very versatile wine. Best served with a little bit of a chill, 20 minutes in the fridge.

Notes: Perfect with the pulled pork. Meant to be consumed young (usually within a year of the vintage date). The grape has connections to German (Austria) & Slavic orgins. Italian styles of Schiava tend to be similarly light but are more often dryer and more noticeably acidic.

2. House-Cured Pastrami Sandwich (Oinkster)

2011 Domaine des Braves Regnie $18.99 France
From nearly 70-year-old vines planted by Joel Rochette’s father on shallow, feldspar-rich decomposed granite at the eastern edge of its appellation. Aromas remind of cherry blossoms and spring wildflowers over warmed cherry juice, with a hint of baking spices. The mouth is medium-bodied and pure, with good spice and excellent acidic balance; small red berries mix with red plums and pomegranate, juicy and ripe.

Notes: Gamay. Very little tannin. Great pairing with the Pastami. 

3. Classic 1/3 Pound Hamburger (Oinkster)

2009 Knez Pinot Noir Cerise $39.99 California
(92 Points: International Wine Cellar) "Ruby-red. Assertively perfumed aromas of black raspberry, sassafras and musky herbs, along with a hint of star anise. Lush and expansive but surprisingly lively, offering an array of spicy red and dark berry flavors and a hint of bitter cherry.  Seamless and smooth on the finish, which leaves notes of dark berry preserves and candied violet behind. This wine's mix of depth and vivacity is pretty compelling; it was fermented with 40% whole clusters."

Notes: Great, fresh pairing with the burger.

4. Meatballs: Pomodoro (Maximiliano)

2010 Brovia Barbera d'Alba Sori del Drago $26.99 Italy
(91 Points: Wine Advocate) “The 2010 Barbera d’Alba Sori del Drago is refined, supple and quite beautiful. As is often the case, the estate’s Barbera needs quite a bit of air to open up and reveal the full breadth of its pedigree. Sweet dark raspberries, cloves and flowers are layered into the juicy finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018.”

Notes:  Mid-weight. Dark red fruit. Fermented & racked into stainless steel. No oak. 40+ vines. Great bright fruit to pair with the meatballs.

All of the wines available at Rosso Wine Shop and of course the food at Oinkster and Maximiliano.

Websites here:

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Burgundy at Drago Centro

Another superb Burgundy group dinner. Many thanks (as usual) to Michael for organizing. And again an excellent menu prepared by chef Ian Gresik of Drago Centro

The wines were stellar but the Chapelle-Chambertin flight was on another level. 

Start: 1990 Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame

baked black cod, spinach potato puree, beurre blanc sauce (no photo)

2002, 2004 Dauvissat Les Clos Grand Cru Chablis

tagliatelle, king trumpet mushrooms

1993, 1996 Denis Mortet Gevrey Chambertin Champeaux
1995, 1996 Denis Mortet Gevrey Chambertin Lavaux St. Jacques

Risotto, pancetta, morel mushrooms, gorgonzola

braised veal cheeks crispy garlic polenta, vegetable ragout, salsa verde

1990, 1993, 1996,1999 Louis Jadot Chapelle Chambertin

Chefs selection of assorted cheeses

A good time was had by all...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sides Hardware and Shoes

When you find yourself in Los Olivos next do yourself a big favor and have dinner at Sides Hardware and Shoes. It is a Brothers Restaurant, as in Mattei Brothers Tavern. They recently sold their original location and opened a different concept in this space. It is a modern menu using incredible ingredients.

Here is the link to their website: Sides Hardware and Shoes

And here are some photos of the food. A great dinner!