This summer has been incredibly busy and delicious so I figured I would share some pictures of some of our recent adventures. We just spent a fun-filled weekend in San Francisco. Here are some of our favorite moments and places you don’t want to miss!
As we hit the peak of BBQ season, it is always great to stumble across an excellent steak wine. Last weekend, we fired up the grill, threw on a couple of sirloins, and uncorked a bottle of Domaine Rimbert “Les Travers de Marceau” Saint-Chinian. Domaine Rimbert is run by owner and winemaker Jean-Marie Rimbert, who organically farms his 20 hectare parcel in the St. Chinian AOC. Domaine Rimbert “Les Travers de Marceau” is a blend of 30% Mourvedre, 30% Syrah, 25% Carignan, and 15% Cinsault. The grapes are hand-harvested and the wine is fermented with native yeasts.
Les Travers de Marceau has an incredibly intriguing nose. There are aromas of paprika mingled with leather, red cherries, and pepper. The palate is meaty and funky (in a good way). Red fruit is met with earth and minerals. It’s an incredible wine for the price. Definitely give this wine some time to open up (and perhaps even some more time in the bottle). An excellent pairing with our steaks! ($15, 12.5% alcohol)
Hey LA…one of the coolest wine festivals in California is coming our way this week! The Garagiste Festival is arriving in Los Angeles on Saturday, July 11th. This year, the festival will take place at The Wiltern and will feature over 60 of the area’s hard-to-find, micro-production commercial “garagiste” winemakers. Each winery has a production of 1500 cases or less.
The event will take place from 2pm-6pm. Here is more info regarding the tastings:
2:00-6:00pm – VIP Early Access – $99
This ticket allows attendees to enter the Festival one hour early to taste and meet the winemakers with a smaller group of tasters. Unlimited tastes of over 200 ultra-premium, hard-to-findwines provided by over 50 wineries, including exclusive tastes of “Rare & Reserve” wines* ONLY being poured from 2-3pm for VIP Attendees. Includes bread, cheese & charcuterie, as well as product samples provided by Artisanal LA vendors. These tickets are limited.
3:00-6:00pm – Grand Tasting – $69
Unlimited tastes of over 200 ultra-premium, hard-to-find wines provided by over 50 wineries from all over California. Includes bread, cheese & charcuterie, as well as product samples provided by Artisanal LA vendors.
Every year, I pick up at least a case of Kermit Lynch Côtes du Rhône. The blend of Rhone grapes vary from year to year (generally Grenache with Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault, and Mourvèdre) but the outcome is always the same…a darn good wine that you can easily score for far less than a $20. The wine is fermented with natural yeasts in temperature-controlled, cement tanks. It is then aged in cement tanks and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Kermit Lynch Côtes du Rhône 2013 definitely fits the mold for the quality I have come to expect from this wine. The approachable palate is fruit forward with ripe notes of red fruit and spice. There are also hints of earth that help balance out the sweetness of the fruit. Simple and to the point…but that’s quite alright for $11. A great midweek find!
Beach, pool, porch, hammock, boat…what do these words all have in common? They are all great places to enjoy a bottle of Olivier Lemasson Pow Blop Wizz. Pow Blop Wizz is the perfect wine for summertime sipping. This Pet-Nat is a blend of Grolleau and Cabernet Franc from the Loire region of France. Naturally made and incredibly light & balanced, it’s the type of wine you most definitely want to have on hand for pool parties and BBQs.
Pow Blop Wizz is fruit-forward with a touch of residual sugar but it has enough eccentricity to balance the palate. There are tastes of melon, strawberries, and yeast with delicate bubbles and a bit of a creamy texture. Incredibly fresh and sooooooooo easy to sip but, be warned, one bottle of this gluttonous wine is not enough! I would buy a case if I could find more in LA! (10% alcohol, $20)
Life is too short not to have lots of bubbly on hand! Those are words to live by (at least in my house), and I am constantly in search of great sparkling wine for under $30. Although sometimes tough, it is not an impossible feat. Last week, as I was perusing the sparkling wine section at Hi-Time Wine Cellars, I spotted a bottle of sparkling wine from the Jura region of France. When I saw the price of $18.98, I couldn’t help but grab a bottle. I mean, I generally love Jura wines and the price…was it too good to be true? Fortunately, Benoît Mulin Crémant du Jura Brut intrigued my palate from the first sip. Méthode Traditionelle is used for this blend of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir. Reminscent of Champagne in style yet a fraction of the cost.
At first whiff, there are intriguing floral aromas mingled with brioche and apricots. The palate is rich and complex with delicate bubbles. Layers of green apple, apricot, and grapefruit are surrounded by dominant notes of yeast. The wine finishes with more bready notes and hints of pine nuts. Powerful yet balanced, I will definitely be grabbing a few more bottles! (12.5% alcohol)
There are some “go-to” wines that you can almost always find in our house and among those wines is Marcel Lapierre Raisins Gaulois. Marcel Lapierre was a genius winemaker and his legacy still carries on through his family and the wine they produce. His Raisins Gaulois is 100% Gamay from Beaujolais and is made without any addition of S02. This natural wine is made with indigenous yeasts and bottled unfiltered.
The wine pours a cloudy, ruby color in the glass and opens with aromas of bright, red fruit. The palate is filled with juicy tastes of red cherries, cranberries, and red currants with hints of earth and minerals. It displays such purity that each glass is hard to put down. I seriously love this wine and think it’s incredibly hard to find a better Gamay for under $15. Best served slightly chilled! (12.5% alcohol, $14)
Pasta nights are at least a monthly occurrence in our house. We start from scratch, using flour, water, and a lot of love to create delicious noodles and sauces. A wine that is often a staple when we make pasta is Roagna Dolcetto d’Alba. The Roagna family has been making wines in Barbaresco since the mid-1800’s. Their wines are naturally made and the vines for the Dolcetto are 35 years old. The grapes are destemmed and then fermented in wood casks. We love this wine because it is incredibly food friendly and tends to pair well with a lot of the sauces we make. Plus, a price point under $20 doesn’t hurt!
Roagna Dolcetto d’Alba opens with aromas of dark berries and earth. The palate is soft and approachable. Tastes of red cherries, dark fruit, earth, and spice are met with gentle tannins and a dry finish. The wine also has balanced acidity and alcohol. Truly a gulpable wine perfect with Italian fare! (12.5% alcohol, $18)
I have been on a Gamay kick lately. I am uncorking bottles that are young and fresh along with bottles that are more serious and Burgundy-like and have been mesmerized by both. Last weekend, I picked up a bottle of Le Telquel because it caught my eye (yes, it’s Gamay but I am pretty sure the cute dog on the label may have also swayed my decision). Le Telquel comes from the Loire Valley in France and is imported by Louis/Dressner Selections. It is made by Thierry Puzelat, who makes his wine with as little intervention as possible. Something about this Gamay just did it for me…
Le Telquel is a simple wine yet the purity is complex. The aromas are intriguing and the palate is musky, bright, and fresh. There are tastes of juicy red berries and spice that are entwined with racy acidity. Pure and unadulterated. This Gamay is definitely heading to the top of the list of my personal favorite wines for under $20! Serve slightly chilled and allow time to decant. (12.5% alcohol, $17)
Although I don’t believe that Rosé is only for warm weather, I definitely start drinking more of it this time of year. Last week, I uncorked a new vintage of one of my everyday favorites for the first time; Domaine Fontsainte “Gris de Gris” Corbières Rosé. It is a blend of Grenache Gris, Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre, Carignan, and Cinsault from the Corbières appellation in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France.
The wine pours a bright salmon color in the glass and has soft aromas of strawberries and cherries. The palate offers fresh flavors of strawberries and cranberries that mingle with traces of minerality. There is also healthy acidity and a refreshing finish. When I think of a beautiful yet affordable wine to sip by the pool, I think Domaine Fontsainte “Gris de Gris” Corbières Rosé! (12.5% alcohol, $14)