A Winter evening in the Valley of Southern California often adds up to dark nights mingled warm gust of wind. Saturday evening on my way to a friend's house for dinner I realized that I'd somehow forgotten to bring the two bottles of wine that I bought. So I was ecstatically forced to stop by one of my favorite wine stores. As I stroll the aisle looking for a bottle of Pinot and Chardonnay I realized that I was in need of a third bottle. So many choices, I was beginning to feel overwhelmed. As I hovered over the various bottles of Sauvignon Blanc I was approached by a gentleman with a lovely foreign accent.
"If you're looking for a Sauvignon Blanc I have a lovely bottle over here that I'm sampling."
Fern Ridge Sauvignon Blanc is a joyous white wine with a burst of flavor and character. It's perfect for the warm Winter nights of Los Angeles. I was lucky enough to stumble upon Ashton Ireland, Managing Director of the sustainable New Zealand winery. He is in town for the very special occasion of introducing his wine to Angelinos.
I look forward to exploring more of Fern Ridge winery.
Florence is a city of beauty, character and inspiration. Around every corner there is something to be found. What amazed me about Florence was the artistry embedded in the very frame of the city. One of the moments I loved the most was the impromptu opera performance in the square by a talented woman in black. The food in Firenze is exquisite and there is no such thing as bad table wine. Oh how I miss Italy!
Photos copyright of Decor and Wine
This Italian beauty comes to us from a family winery in the Abruzzo region. It's slightly dry with smooth, soft notes. The finish has a slight edge to it. This is a great wine for a cheese assortment and cured meats.
I recently came across an article from Wine Enthusiast stating the health benefits of wine. Now, I never need an excuse to indulge in the fermented juice of the grape but with these added benefits, well let’s just say it makes the indulgence that much sweeter. Here are a few highlight from the article which I sincerely hope you’ll read.
Wine Enthusiast “Head to Toe Health Benefits of Wine”
With the warm weather on its way its time to get reacquainted with the crisp libations of white wines. Summer parties are on there way and it might fun to know a few fun facts about some of our favorite wines.
Sustainable design is an important part of keeping the balance in our material world. So these are a few of my favorite wine related creations that aim to inspire and lessen our frivolous waste.
I love cork! So much so that I save almost every cork from every bottle I indulge in. LizzieJoeDesigns makes great use of the unused corks.
Shop Here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LizzieJoeDesigns?ref=shopsection_shophome_leftnav
This is a lovely way to make use of those used wine barrels that have served the excellent purpose of creating delectable wines. Wine Stave Crafts creates 100% recycled wine racks.
Shop here: WineStaveCrafts
Richly purple in color Santa Julia Organica Malbec Mendoza 2014 is not an edgy Malbec but the soft nose of slight earth with distinct cherry notes, (I almost hint a chocolate aroma) makes this a very drinkable wine. The smooth sip escalates into abounding spices with a tobacco, fruit finish. I am very much a lover of Argentina's wines Malbec being one of my favorites and it makes my heart happy when the product of the grape is grown organically. The price point of this wine (around $10.00) makes the purchase well worth it.
The rich depth of red cherry seduces my plate as I sip a handsome glass of Banshee Pinot Noir. Regina Spektor serenades as I sit relaxing on the mid-century modern loveseat. I gaze out to the charming but busy street of Toluca Lake. As I sit the wine breathes and I take in my surroundings…. The outer shell of the room houses various bottles, cozy in their wooden shelters. The Bar itself modern and sleek, wine box wood slats with a smooth white counter top. I take another sip as the tannins make love to the tip of my tongue.
A little over a year ago Spin the Bottle opened it's doors to the public of Los Angeles. The owner of Spin the Bottle, Doug LaGambina, grew up in a mostly Italian American household in New York where wine was a staple of the family. He spent 20 years in the music business traveling and experiencing great food and wine. Upon moving to The Golden State his interest in California wines grew. Doug began taking classes at UCLA, WSET, and most recently the Court of Master Sommeliers. After investing in the much loved restaurant and bar Wood & Vine and watching the process from start to finish, Doug took an exit from the music industry and enter the world of wine. In partnership with Scott Kay (Wood & Vine) Spin the Bottle was born into the growing world of up and coming wine bars North/East of the Hollywood sign.
I thought it was odd that you couldn't easily find a place where you could have a glass or two of wine and also have options to take some bottles home. So I decided that would be the model for my place. I thought it was important to create a space that was inviting and provided a different environment from the usual dark, cluttered wine bar as well as a more stylish shop that would set it apart from BevMo etc. Also it was important to focus on small production wineries that delivered great quality for the price.
The wine shop happens to neighbor my favorite Argentinian restaurant which makes this the perfect place to stop in before a good meal. The shop does offer a few of the typical wine bar snacks, herbed ricotta crostini, mixed olives, and of course there is a cheese plate…. Hummmmm cheese. As the afternoon progresses the calm kicks in and the cherries flourish the longer they are exposed to the atmosphere. Smooth and void of complexity but rich with flavor this is the perfect glass for my mood. For this moment in time I can be still, not thinking where I have to go next or what I have to do. I can just sit, relax, and sip.
As if I dug into the earth myself to retrieve the pregnant fruit of the vine. The smell of rich cherry permanents my sense. The playful aroma of the lush fermenting liquid and the time it spent dancing the curves of the oak barrel, this is the image that sprang to mind as I closed my eyes to take a sniff.
As I sip the young fruit pops in my mouth and lingers on the sensitive buds. The saliva begins to flow... The thought appears, if only I had the rich makings of a pepper steak to accompany this spirited glass of wine.
Les Portes De Bordeaux, Bordeaux 2013
For the price I say this is certainly a good find, though I am not familiar with Bordeaux wines. Bordeaux is a compilation of grapes bring forth complexity in flavors and a pleasant surprise to the palate. So with the cold nights rapidly approaching this is the perfect time to explore what Bordeaux has to offer and suggestions are always welcome.
This years wine festival was a blast and supported an amazing cause Rock Against Trafficking.
R.A.T is a non-profit in support of ending child slavery worldwide. It always feels good to support a great cause while having a little fun.
And fun was had until the wee morning hours...
The food was great, the wine flowed, and the summer fashion was abundant!
Wine festivals are a great way to explore a variety foods, wine, and spirits. I highly recommend making it a point to attend The Calabasas Malibu Wine & Food Festival next summer. Be sure to get your tickets early as the event will sell out!
"Design is conceived when an inherent need to be creative manifests itself into physical or visual form."