Hello everyone. I was honored and pleased
asked to write a wine column for downtownlalife.com. My 40 year professional
wine background (yes, I am that old) includes many years as a sommelier,
wholesale wine representative, retail consultant, and even a short time making
wine although I will readily admit it wasn't my strong suit. I did learn a lot,
especially that I shouldn't be a winemaker. For the last 10 years I've
been working with a well-regarded French wine importer with responsibility for
Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties. I'm using "The Wine Guy" as
that's how all my friends refer to me.
It is my intention to share some knowledge
wine and especially in pairing with food. I'll also recommend wine shops that
offer something different than the run of the mill offerings at many shops and
especially those that have regular tastings each week with knowledgeable staff
and fair pricing. Wine isn't rocket science and is totally subjective. If you
find something you like, buy more. If not, don't drink it. It's a pretty simple
philosophy that has served me well professionally and personally. I'll share
more about my background and experience in future columns.
The subject at hand is Thanksgiving. To
the one holiday that opens all the wine doors to pairing with food. The one
caveat I have is that any wine bolder than a medium-bodied Merlot is, in my
opinion, too heavy for turkey and all the trimmings. I know that won't stop
some of you from drinking big Cabernet Sauvignons and monster Red Zinfandels.
If that works for you, enjoy.
I believe every special occasion deserves
honored with sparkling wine. In fact, I'm of the belief that when in doubt as
to what to drink, choose bubbles as they go with just about everything.
Cremants and Champagnes from France, Prosecco from Italy, and Cava from Spain
all deserve a place at your table. One of my favorites is Allimant Laugner
Cremant d'Alsace Brut Rose from the Alsace region in eastern France
(Transparency alert, this is one of the wines I represent). The winery has been
in the Laugner family for over 500 years. Made from 100% Pinot Noir, it is
perfectly balanced with just a hint of wild strawberry on the lingering finish.
It is available in wine shops around Los Angeles and California including my
featured stores this month. The choices for still wines are nearly endless.
Whites, Roses, and light to medium bodied reds are all good and will pair well
with most of the dishes served at the Thanksgiving table.
And to that end, my featured shops this
all related to each other: Silverlake Wine on Glendale Blvd. in Silverlake,
Silverlake Wine Arts on East 7th St in DTLA (silverlakewine.com), and Everson
Royce on Raymond in Pasadena (eversonroyce.com). Each of the stores offers 3 wine
tastings a week and carry an amazing choice of esoteric and mainstream varietal
wines from all over the world. The staffs knows their stuff and are friendly
and eager to assist you in choosing wines that will make your Thanksgiving
memorable and delicious. George Cossette, a founding partner of Silverlake
Wine, suggests starting with sparkling as well, perhaps a Lambrusco. Whites
from the Rhone like Rousanne, Viognier, or Grenache Blanc. If you go into
Silverlake Wine, ask about "Orange" wines. They are interesting and
thought provoking wines that George promises will be a source of conversation.
I hope you have a joyous Thanksgiving
and that all
the wine you drink is perfect. Cheers.