Chateau Tire Pe “Diem” 2012 Bordeaux

On my way home from last week’s Return to Terroir tasting, I stopped into one of my favorite wine shops and spotted a great value I sipped at the event.  Chateau Tire Pe “Diem” Bordeaux is a wine that definitely made a lasting impression on me during the tasting due to its incredible QPR.  Here is a little more about this tasty Bordeaux…

Technical Stuff

100% Merlot from Bordeaux.  Organic with native yeasts and minimal sulfur added.  12.5% alcohol.  Retail price of around $12.

Tasting Notes

Chateau Tire Pe "Diem" 2012 Bordeaux
Chateau Tire Pe “Diem” 2012 Bordeaux

Chateau Tire Pe “Diem” Bordeaux opens with intriguing aromas of musty blackberries and spice.  The palate has rich tastes of blackberries, black cherries, tobacco, and earth  It’s juicy, easy to sip, and a great value. Definitely a great burger pairing!

Return to Terroir

Continue Reading

A Few Highlights From the Return to Terroir LA Tasting!

Yesterday, I attended the Return to Terroir Annual Portfolio Tasting at Republique in Los Angeles.  The tasting featured wines from Return to Terroir’s producers in France, Italy, and the US.  Overall, I thought the tasting was pretty impressive.  The wines were unique, terroir-driven, and largely naturally produced.  Here are a few of my favorite bottles from the tasting:

Charles Dufour Bulle de Comptoir #2 Champagne Extra Brut NV

Charles Dufour "Bulle de Comptoir #2" Champagne Extra Brut  NV
Charles Dufour “Bulle de Comptoir #2” Champagne Extra Brut NV

Clean flavors of apple and pear with hints of yeast and minerals.  Bright acidity and fine bubbles made this one of the best bottles of the day.  If only I had a dozen oysters to pair with it!

55% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay, and 10% Pinot Blanc. Sulfur-free. $45

Sebastien Riffault 2009 Sancerre Blanc “Akmenine”

Sebastien Riffault 2009 Sancerre Blanc "Akmenine"
Sebastien Riffault 2009 Sancerre Blanc “Akmenine”

Sancerre with a little age on it…I was all over it and it was so darn good!  Citrus, apples, golden raisins, and pears with herbs and minerals woven in between.  Rich yet still lively!  The tasting was self-serve so I just may have gone back for seconds (and perhaps thirds).

100% Sauvignon Blanc. Organic. $35

Domaine de la Bonne Tonne 2011 Morgon “Les Charmes”

Domaine de Bonne Tonne 2011 Morgon "Les Charmes"
Domaine de Bonne Tonne 2011 Morgon “Les Charmes”

This bottle showed well at a price point of under $20.  A bright, earthy palate with smooth tastes of cherries and spice.  Straight-forward and very enjoyable!

100% Gamay. Organic. $17

 *Media Samples

Return to Terroir

Continue Reading

Los Angeles Finalists for the 2014 James Beard Awards!

It may have been announced a few days ago, but I want to highlight several chefs and restaurants from my new hometown have been nominated as finalists for the 2014 James Beard Awards!  I am so excited to be part of a city with such an exciting culinary scene.  And the nominees are…

LA nominees for the “Best Chef : West”: 

– Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Animal

– Michael Cimarusti of Providence

LA nominees for “Outstanding Chef”: 

– Suzanne Goin of Lucques

– Nancy Silverton of Pizzeria Mozza

LA nominees for “Outstanding Pastry Chef”

– Dahlia Narvaez of Osteria Mozza

LA nominees for “Outstanding Restaurateur

– Caroline Styne of Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern, etc.

 

Check out the full list of finalists here: James Beard Awards Finalists

Continue Reading

ROK Sushi Kitchen “Tokyo Mule” Cocktail Recipe!

Since I posted my article yesterday about ROK Sushi Kitchen’s new spring cocktail menu, a couple of people have asked me for the recipe for my favorite cocktail of the night, the Tokyo Mule!  ROK was kind enough to provide us with the details so here you go:

ROK Sushi Kitchen Tokyo Mule

3oz Tozai Typhoon Sake

3/4oz Ginger Simple Syrup

1oz Bonzai Bunny Sake

Fresh Ginger

Lime for Garnish

It’s a fairly simple recipe but so delicious.  Just shake, pour over ice, and enjoy!

Continue Reading

ROK Sushi Kitchen Spring Cocktail Preview

Just a few weeks under my belt as an “Angeleno” and I am already joining in on the wine and food community around me.  On Tuesday night, I was invited to preview the new spring cocktail menu at ROK Sushi Kitchen in Hermosa Beach.  ROK has been a staple in the Hermosa Beach community since 2010 but they are now under new management.  After trying out the new menu, it seems like they are really trying to elevate their cocktail program by bringing fresh new tastes to their menu!

photo-2
The new spring creations at Rok Sushi

We had the chance to sip 4 of ROK’s new offerings paired with some tasty apps.  We started off the night with a refreshing cocktail called the Bubbly Cali.  This creation consists of sparkling wine, Medlock Ames Verjus, gin, basil, and simple syrup.  It was a great way to kick off the evening and it paired really well with the fresh shrimp spring rolls we were served.

The second cocktail we tasted from the new menu was the Shishito Pepper Martini.  This cocktail featured shishito pepper infused vodka combined with shishito pepper simple syrup, Combier Orange Liqueur, and lime juice.  Light, not too spicy, and pretty creative.

Pouring the Shishito Pepper Martini
Pouring the Shishito Pepper Martini

Next up was an innovative take on the trendy Moscow Mule called the Tokyo Mule.  A blend of Tozai Typhoon Sake, house-made ginger simple syrup, Banzai Bunny Sake, and fresh ginger.  This was the stand-out of the night for me.  Not overly sweet and really aromatic.  I am pretty sure dinner guests at my house will be served one of these in the near future. 🙂

We wrapped up the night with ROK’s Floral Citrus cocktail.  A beautiful drink containing gin, Aperol, lemon juice, Combier Orange Liqueur, and violet liqueur.  This was a little on the flowery side for my taste buds but it was definitely a well-presented creation.

The beautiful presentation of the Floral Citrus cocktails
The beautiful presentation of the Floral Citrus cocktails

Overall, ROK Sushi Kitchen’s new spring cocktail list is a great showing of well-conceived cocktails that really pair well with Asian fare.  I am definitely going to stop back in to enjoy a Tokyo Mule in the near future!

ROK Sushi Kitchen

*Hosted event

Continue Reading

Broc Cellars 2012 Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc…it can be so good or so very bad.  Luckily, Broc Cellars did an awesome job producing a beautiful version that I had a chance to sip a couple of weeks ago.  It’s pretty hard to find, so, if you can get your hands on a bottle, I would definitely take advantage of the opportunity!

Broc Cellars Cabernet Franc
Broc Cellars Cabernet Franc

Technical Stuff

100% Cabernet Franc from Santa Barbara County.  Whole cluster pressed and naturally produced.  11.9% alcohol.  Retails for around $30.

Tasting Notes

Beautiful aromatics of red fruit, black pepper, herbs, and earth.  The elegant palate offers layers of bright fruit…cranberries, raspberries, and red cherries are abundant.  There are also notes of pepper and spice woven throughout.  Vibrant, fresh, and pure. Not your typical California Cabernet Franc (thank goodness)!

Broc Cellars

Continue Reading

Mini-Review – Natural Process Alliance 2012 Sparkling Rose

Late last year, we had an awesome tasting with Kevin Kelley of Salinia Wine Co. and Natural Process Alliance. His juice is nothing short of brilliant and we are anxiously (yet patiently) awaiting to open some of the bottles we brought home with us.  A couple of weeks ago we were in a celebratory mood and decided to open up a bottle of NPA 2012 Sparkling Rose.  It was just as impressive as when we last sipped it at NPA’s tasting room in Santa Rosa.

The Natural Process Alliance 2012 Sparkling Rose
The Natural Process Alliance 2012 Sparkling Rose

This naturally produced Rose hails from Mendocino County and weighs in at 12% alcohol. Kevin bottled it straight from the barrel for us (the wine is part of his bottle exchange program) and crown capped it.  The wine opens with aromas of strawberries and red cherries surrounded by hints of minerals. The clean palate has beautiful minerality along with tastes of bright, red fruit. Balanced, delicious, and refreshing…I would sip this all summer if I lived closer!

Natural Process Alliance

Continue Reading

Cimarone 2012 3CV Bank

I love this time of year.  New releases from all of my favorite producers mean so many new wines to try. This week, I uncorked the new vintage of Bank from Cimarone’s 3CV line. It turned out to be a really nice wine…easy to sip and full of flavor!

Cimarone 2012 3CV Bank
Cimarone 2012 3CV Bank

Technical Stuff

A blend of 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 20% Malbec, 12% Petit Verdot, 12% Merlot, and 6% Syrah from the Happy Canyon AVA of Santa Barbara. 14.3% alcohol and retails for $19.99.

Tasting Notes

Aromas of anise and rich, dark fruit. The palate is full-bodied but not overwhelming. Tastes of anise, tobacco, and ripe, dark fruit are coupled with smooth tannins and hints of earthiness. The finish is spicy and long.  I think this is a great showing from Cimarone that really delivers for under $20!

(This was just bottled in February. While it is definitely approachable now, it would benefit from a little more time in the bottle.)

www.cimarone.com 

*Media sample

Continue Reading

Vesper Vineyards 2010 McCormick Ranch Carignan

I never thought I would write much about San Diego County wine.  Every bottle I have had from south of Santa Barbara has been pretty bad (at best).  Lately, I started hearing some buzz about a small producer in SD called Vesper Vineyards and even noticed that Jon Bonné included them in his “Winemakers to Watch 2014” (article here).  So, before we packed up and moved an hour north to LA, Brandon and I headed down to Vesper’s tasting room in Escondido.

It was a pleasantly surprising experience tasting through their lineup.  We brought home a couple of bottles and uncorked the Carignan last week.  It is a fresh wine that is super light and easy to sip.

Vesper Vineyards 2010 McCormick Ranch Carignan
Vesper Vineyards 2010 McCormick Ranch Carignan

Tasting Notes

This 100% Carignan opens with lovely herbal aromas along with hints of citrus.  The palate is light bodied and balanced with lots of bright, red fruit.  Straightforward and very easy to enjoy…I think this wine could evolve into something even tastier in the next couple vintages! ($23, 12.5% alcohol)

Vesper Vineyards

Continue Reading