Sunday, March 13, 2011

Wining, wining, wining...the wining never stops!

Grape of the Night @ VWC
Attended an intimate Grape of the Night at the Valencia Wine Companylast Monday, the 7th. Ringmaster Eve Bushman put out the call, per Rusty Dale Sly's command, for Bordeaux wines. You know, from France. JD & I showed up with a chilled 2008 Chateau Tertre de Launay from the Entre Deux Mers region, setting the bar pretty high, if I say so myself. A couple of attendees, who said they never drink white Bordeaux, had to admit it was pretty tasty (technical term, of course); a crisp, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend that had a soft, honeyed finish. Yum!

Other hits of the night were the 2003 Chateau Franc, a lush blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Franc, and the 2006 Chateau Tour Pauillac Cru Bourgeois, a 70/30 blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. I do love Bordeaux! Next month, GOTN will feature Petit Sirah, that deceptively named grape that is anything but small.

Dined at Bistro Provence the following night with friend Debra B., as I had to cancel my Introduction to Wine with the Goddess class due to lack of interest. I'm still trying to figure out what you all want! You say you want to learn more about wine, but you're not showing up. Tell me what you want to learn and I'll create a class about it! In the meantime, dinner was - as always - excellent. We drank the 2006 Cambria 'Julia's Vineyard' Pinot Noir mainly as an aperitif, and paired Doug Margerum's 2007 M5 with our respective dinners. Yum.

Wednesday night found us at the Toluca Lake Vendome for $1 tasting night with friend - and winemaker - Shawn Shai Halahmy. The wines offered were a mixed bag, but there were a few standouts. I really like the 2009 Comte Lafon Macon Villages - great minerality and crisp fruitiness with a kind of a Jolly Rancher grapefruit finish. The 2009 Kermit Lynch Cote du Rhone Blanc was a bright refreshing blend, and the 2009 Chateau Devoy Martine Lirac Blanc - a blend of Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Clairette, and Roussanne - made me very happy. They were also pouring a bunch of Zinfandels, some better than others, especially the 2006 Madrigal from Napa, but that night my palate was hungering for Pinot Noir, and luckily they had a terrific 2008 La Pancora Pacifico Sur from Chile. We finished up the evening with a 2005 Leon Barral Faugeres Valiniere from the Rhone Valley. It was everything a Rhone blend should be. At $84 it was too much for my wallet, but the taste was sublime.

Thursday was a quiet day with JD having some necessary eye surgery (he's fine, thanks), and Friday I got to see the brilliant production of 'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee' produced by the Children's Theatre Group of Southern California at our own Eclectic Company Theatre in Valley Village. Wonderful!

Saturday I attended a board meeting for this year's LA WineFest. Did I tell you I've been hired as the Fest Sommelier? It means I need experienced wine pourers - people who know how to pour 1 ounce at a time, and talk about the wine while pouring - as well as folks who have some experience setting up a wine class and cleaning up after. You know who you are! I'll be in touch with a bunch of you shortly. Save the dates: June 11 and 12 at Raleigh Studios.

And finally, today I went up to The Wineyard in Thousand Oaks for a special tasting of Four Brix wines paired with amazing chocolates from Mike Ashamalla of Tifa Foods in Agoura Hills. OMG. Do you ever think about pairing chocolate with white wine? Well, we did today. The 2009 Smitten - 64% Viognier/26% Marsanne - paired with a Vosges Naga chocolate spiced with curry. Delicious! And the Vosges Red Fire dark chocolate with cinnamon and chili paired with the 2008 Temptress was so good, it's all I can think about! We tried different chocolates with several of the wines, some pairings better than others. What fun. Mike was so knowledgeable and was happy to tell us about the history of chocolate. I want to learn more!

It was a wine-y week and so much fun. Stay tuned for more news about upcoming events. The future is wide open and filled with wine!


Eve said...

I really wanted to make the Four Brix event too Denise but I had a conflict with the Pulchella party. Tell me, did Gary get a few writers there with you to review the wines I hope? Love to have his wines again soon.

Goddess of Wine said...

I was there first, of course, but 3 other writers were there when I left, and they were expecting around 6 others before 5 p.m. today. It was so much fun!