Analog Wines For the Digital Age

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

From a Southbay magazine article on the perfect outdoor brunch menu . .

Southbay Magazine

Food and wine editor Bonnie Graves teams with
renowned Chef David LeFevre of Manhattan Beach
Post and his good friend, Chef Giuseppe Tentori,
for the perfect South Bay brunch and wine pairing,
hosted in the beautiful outdoor entertaining space
of a private Manhattan Beach home.

Moscato d’Asti, Varja
(Piedmont, Italy—2010) $22
Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Cirelli
(Abruzzo, Italy—2010) $15
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Cirelli
(Abruzzo, Italy—2009) $16
Sant’Antimo Sangiovese, San Polino
(Montalcino, Italy—2009) $22

"In keeping with our theme and in homage to Giuseppe’s roots, we poured some amazing artisanal Italian wines pulled from the portfolio of boutique importer Rinascimento Wine Company. Owner Justin Gallen excels in sourcing small-lot wines that are often made by the farmers who grow the grapes. Standouts from our lunch were the wines from Cirelli, made with organically grown fruit from the Abruzzo region of Italy. The refreshing acidity of the 2010 Trebbiano, a widely planted white in the area, and the easy-drinking red fruit profile of the 2009 Montepulciano, epitomize how Italians view wine—as a condiment to good food and a conduit to good friends. We had plenty of both at our festive lunch." - Bonnie Graves


Sticky buns with pecans and brown sugar
Bacon cheddar buttermilk biscuits with maple butter
Belly button bagel, poppyseed,
cream cheese and strawberry jelly

Beet arancini with shaved fennel,
arugula and Winter Perigord truffles
Turkey sausage patty with sage, cavolo nero and maple
Nueske’s bacon with rosemary, brown sugar and chili

Benedict on a bacon cheddar biscuit with arugula,
La Quercia prosciutto and hollandaise
Chimichanga of scrambled egg, chorizo spiced pork,
pepper jack cheese, yam and Jimmy’s mom’s salsa verde
Blueberry lemon skillet cake
with Noble Tonic No. 1 vanilla maple syrup

Nante carrot cake with cream cheese icing,
candied walnut and pickled carrot
Polito Farms citrus salad of ruby grapefruit,
blood orange, tangelo and pomegranate

G.D. Vajra in the Wine Spectator latest edition . . .

 For the savvy shopper, really, the only choice is the 2007 Barolo Albe from G.D. Vajra

And for you bargain hunters, the Langhe Nebbiolo 2009 could come in handy, too.

Top Value!  Value is always relative.  If it comes with a screw top and is in a gallon jug, it is a "Top Value" to some.  That is not this wine.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lou on Vine closing . . .

In my now many years in the wine business I have come to know many things.  First, all good things must end at some point.  Second, the nicest guys don't always finish first.  Third, that my favorite people in the business are usually the ones who do the least amount of business with me and have the toughest time making it work.

That is the way it has been with Lou and before that with Hayes and Vine in San Francisco and so many others.  The little guys who want real wine.  The little guys who want you to drink real wine.  The little guys who would like to buy more from you but it is usually better that they don't so they don't get too far behind on their payments.

But these are the guys you hang with at the tastings and rip on the big guys and their industrial wines.  These places, like Lou, is where you go to hang out with your friends (if you don't have twins and never leave the house again after 6 pm!).  These are the places where every time you belly up to the bar, you are treated like a member of the family and it just feels like home.

Lou and I go back before he opened the wine bar when we were in a tasting group together and his dream of a wine bar was still just that, a dream. He made his dream happen and for that I salute him.

I am going to miss Lou on Vine, even though I didn't get there enough in recent times.  I am going to miss it for being the beacon the guided a small subset of wine lovers here in L.A.  I am going to miss the idea of having a cool place to go with my wife where I don't need to put on my game face.  I am going to miss getting hugged by Lou and him saying, "Hey man, long time no see!"

For the uninitiated, pulling back the curtain at the entrance of Lou and feeling the heat and noise spill out into the night air had a special feeling.  A feeling of going back in time to a speakeasy or private club.  And now my private club is closing.

I truly hope that when Lou talks about a second act, that this act will begin soon and be exactly what he dreamed it to be.


Lunch with Francesca Vaira at Terroni DTLA . . . best lunch ever!

Francesca Vaira  2010 Langhe Freisa Kye` Library  2006 Langhe Freisa Kye` Library 2014 Luigi Ba...