Last week, JD and I actually had a weekend where we didn't have many plans, and it was a long weekend! Saturday morning, we ran our usual errands, breakfasted with friends, and made a last minute decision to visit the California Wine and Cheese Company in Monrovia. We had not been there previously, but I was on the email list, and it looked interesting, so we headed east.
We entered and were greeted cheerfully by Manager, Jeff Schultz, who, when we asked if they were pouring, responded, "If the doors are open, we're pouring!" My kind of place!
We took a walk thru the store, admiring the diverse selection of California wines, international cheeses, and charming wine and cheese accessories and gift items. Then we bellied up to the bar and checked out the tasting menu to see what was being poured.
One of the things I do on a fairly regular basis is host opening night parties at the Eclectic Company Theatre, where I am a long-time member. It's always challenging to find inexpensive wine to pour for folks who are not necessarily looking for great wine, just something the wet their whistle and improve their theatre-going experience.
We've bought various Argentinean and Chilean wines at Trader Joe's, but the inventory there changes pretty quickly, and recently we haven't been able to find the La Boca Malbec from Argentina, so we went a bit further afield. A new store, Fresh and Easy owned by British company that also owns Tesco, opened in Burbank (and all over LA, as far as I can tell). JD went to do some grocery shopping and came back with info about a huge wine sale taking place: Wines that were already seriously inexpensive had additional discounts in case lots. So, he picked out 2 whites, 2 roses and 2 reds, paid under $12 for the 6 bottles, and brought them home to taste.
Yikes. Got an email from Ian at LearnAboutWine - 'Can you quit your job and take this class?' Um...no, can't quit the day job yet, but I can take a couple of vacation days to learn about Spanish wines. This was a certification program presented by the Wine Academy Spain. I spoke to the boss, who has actively supported my wine ventures from the very beginning, and took Monday and Tuesday to broaden my horizons in the wine world. My good friend and colleague, Debra B., was also taking the class, and as it turned out, I knew a few other folks in the class, so it was friendly and mostly fun.