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Hello everyone. I was honored and pleased to be 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 about 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 me, it's 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 to be 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 month are 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.


FOR NOVEMBER : You may leave a message for Michael here



SILVER LAKE WINE, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
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SILVERLAKE WINE
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SILVER LAKE WINE ARTS IN DTLA
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SILVER LAKE WINE ARTS IN DTLA
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