Miz en Place, invited me to cover the opening of a new wine bar in Malibu, Malibu Beach Wines. MBW is the brainchild of Jim Palmer, proprietor, grower and winemaker of Malibu Vineyards wines. It's a lovely space, right on Pacific Coast Highway, where you can taste and purchase boutique wines grown in the proposed Malibu AVA and Central Coast. When I say 'boutique' I mean small production, lovingly-tended and passionately-made. The winemakers and wines being spotlighted for this opening event were Jim Palmer and Malibu Vineyards, Carol Hoyt of Hoyt Family Vineyards and Shawn Shai Halahmy of Shai Cellars.
|Winemakers Jim, Shawn & Carol|
There are about 50 vineyards in the Santa Monica Mountains, some as small as half an acre. "There are a lot of small producers making 20 to 30 cases a year of great wine, and they have few outlets to sell them," says Palmer. His aim is to carry as many of the local wine producers as possible, especially those with whom he has a personal relationship. Each winemaker has a unique story to tell that is reflected in the wine they produce.
To enhance the tasting, MBW had other local foodies there with generous amounts of delectables. Freshly roasted nuts from Magee's Nuts, luscious fruit spreads from Just Jan's Jams, cupcakes from Gotta Have Smore, and the most amazing handmade Teleme cheeses from Franklin's (available at Whole Foods), plus McQuade's Celtic Chutneys and Rustic Bakery Crackers. There was also a platter full of charcuterie, and gourmet pizzas supplied by local restauranteur Francesco V. of Tra di Noi Ristorante.
Carol poured several of her wines, including a lovely Chardonnay, that despite lots of oak and full malolactic conversion, maintains a tremendous balance of fruit and acid. My favorite of her delightful reds is her proprietary blend called Dylema (a portmanteau of her kids' names, Dylan and Emma), a 2009 melange of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah and Malbec. $19 at MBW.
Some of the other wineries featured at MBW that were not poured on Friday include Dolin, Pizzulli, La Vina Gomez, Republic of Malibu, and Casa Dumetz.
It was also a special day as I got to play with so many of my wineaux and foodie friends - Eve Bushman of evewine101 and Claudia Sheridan made the long trek from the Santa Clarita Valley, Shawn Burgert aka The Wandering Wino, Georgina Stassi of La Vita Fresca, Joe Wehinger of the Daily Ovation, and more!
|The Goddess is happy|
And the day continued as Rico and the lovely Jodi B. and I hit the Cornell Winery for a bottle of Gioia 'Tiggy' while waiting for the Saddlepeak Lodge to open. But that's a story for another day. Cheers!
Oh, and all photos courtesy of Rico Mandel Photography. Thanks, Rico!