Charcuterie Wine Pairing – Yves Cuilleron Les Vignes d’à Côté Syrah

If you are coming over for dinner or to watch a football game at our house, you can pretty much bet on enjoying a charcuterie plate.  I love to swing by Belcampo Meat Co. and pick up some delicious meats for guests to feast upon.  When it comes to wine pairing, I often uncork a bottle of cool climate Syrah.  One of my favorites for under $20 is Yves Cuilleron Les Vignes d’à Côté Syrah.  The naturally made wine from Northern Rhone is an excellent companion for charcuterie!

Yves Cuilleron Les Vignes d'à Côté Syrah
Yves Cuilleron Les Vignes d’à Côté Syrah

The nose of Yves Cuilleron Les Vignes d’à Côté Syrah offers aromas of pepper, savory herbs, and red & dark fruit.  The palate is not overly complex but it delivers with notes of violets, black currants, plums, pepper, and smoked meat.  Bright, savory, and delicious…definitely give this bottle a little bit of time to open up! (12%, alcohol, $18)

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Les Terrasses d’Eole Ventoux Rouge 2013

It’s definitely still BBQ season in SoCal (isn’t it always?), so Brandon and I are throwing burgers on the grill for a quick mid-week meal pretty regularly.  As for the wine to pair…Les Terrasses d’Eole Ventoux Rouge is an easy pick!  For under $11, the blend of Carignan, Grenache, and Syrah from the Rhone Valley is an impressive value.

Les Terrasses d'Eole Ventoux Rouge
Les Terrasses d’Eole Ventoux Rouge

The nose of Les Terrasses d’Eole Ventoux Rouge has aromas of ripe, red fruit along with herbs and spices.  The palate is packed full of rich fruit, savory herbs, and licorice.  Definitely not shy as far as alcohol is concerned but the wine maintains balance and an old world style.  Simple, satisfying, and great with grilled meats! (14% alcohol, $11).

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Domaine Guion Bourgueil Cuvée Prestige 2012

It’s been pretty hot throughout California (by hot I mean sweltering), and I keep finding myself reaching for a light-bodied Cabernet Franc.  When it comes to finding a great Cab Franc for the price, it’s hard to beat bottles coming from the Loire Valley.  The latest bottle to grace my dinner table was Domaine Guion Bourgueil Cuvée Prestige.  I fell in love with the wine’s clean, delicate flavors during my first sip.  It’s 100% organically farmed Cab Franc made naturally.

Domaine Guion Bourgueil Cuvée Prestige
Domaine Guion Bourgueil Cuvée Prestige

“Cuvée Prestige” opens with aromas of black cherries, pepper, herbs, and a bit of earthiness.  The palate is incredibly fresh and fruity with fine tannins, healthy acidity, and nuances of minerality.  It has an addicting purity, making it super hard for me to put down my glass.  Best served slightly chilled and with dishes such as pork chops or rack of lamb! ($16, 12% alcohol)

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The Taste happens this Labor Day Weekend!

Looking for something to do over the holiday weekend?  Look no further than The Taste, an epic culinary affair hosted by the Los Angeles Times.  The event is a gathering of some of the top chefs & restaurants from Los Angeles along with plenty of wineries, breweries, and other vendors.  This year, there are tons of great events occurring between Friday and Sunday.  Here are a couple not to miss:

imgresField to Fork – Hosted by Russ Parsons, Times Food Writer and Columnist, and Gary Menes, Chef/Owner of Le Comptoir; Sat., Sept. 5th, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

California’s bounty of fresh produce inspires this homage to seasonal cooking, punctuated with engaging demos from Jessica Koslow (Sqirl), James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef Sherry Yard (Helm’s Bakery) and Niki Nakayama (n/naka). In addition to offering a glimpse into these locally-inspired perspectives, the event will feature a roundtable moderated by Parsons that examines the rise of the “root-to-stem” philosophy with Menes, Bruce Kalman (Union) and Ari Taymor (Alma). Restaurants include Hinoki & The Bird, Kye’s, M Café, Mayura Indian Cuisine, Michael’s on Naples and Westside Tavern, along with Choctal ice cream.

Flavors of L.A. – Hosted by Jonathan Gold, Times Restaurant Critic, and Carlos Salgado, Chef of Taco María; Sun., Sept. 6th, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.

The depth, breadth and diversity of flavor that make Los Angeles one of the most exciting places to dine are showcased in the closing-night celebration. Taco maestros Salgado and Wes Avila (Guerilla Tacos), along with critically-lauded chefs Curtis Stone (Maude) and Suzanne Tracht (Jar), will each choose a favorite dish to demo for festival-goers. Delving into the latest SoCal culinary phenomenon, Gold will discuss Things in a Bowl with Alvin Cailan (Ramen Champ/Eggslut), Christine Moore (Lincoln/Little Flower Candy Co.) and Minh Phan (Porridge + Puffs). Restaurants include Bar Pintxo,CHAYA, Gasolina Café, Joe’s Restaurant, Madcapra, Racion and Worldwide Tacos.

For more info, including tickets, visit The Taste!

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