New Year’s Menu for our Bar

Happy New Years!      Sample 5 top wines in our Bar after 5pm,    your choice:   Bubbly or Serious Reds, taste’em all for    $45.00 plus tax and gratuity   Antoine Remy Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru, la Champagne  $20 glass 100% Chardonnay from some of the best vineyards in la Champagne.. Bernard Gaucher Brut Prestige, Arconville la Champagne  $16 glass 90% Pinot / 10% Chardonnay, meaty and complex, can handle real food. Leclerc-Briant Cuvée de Réserve Brut, la Champagne  $25...

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What’s pouring at the Bar this Week

Aperitif: Canals Canals Reserva Especial Brut, Barcelona Spain  $8 glass Whites     1) Casual but delicious whites  $12 per flight A) Ikella Torrontes 2010, Mendoza Argentina  $6 glass Light and dry with wonderful aromatics, kills boring Chardonnay on contact! B) Nico Dry Moscato Giallo 2012, Sierra Foothills California  $6 glass Complex with intense citrus aromas and a bone dry finish. Amazing with Thai food. C) Stone Fruit Riesling 2011, Pfalz Germany  $6 glass Fresh, ripe & quaffable fruit with a...

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Our Famous 20/20 Night

20/20 Night: Sample 20 diverse wines, just $20 Per Person! Every Monday and Thursday evening, 5pm to close. Fizz 1) Anna Spinato Prosecco Extra Dry, Veneto Italy  $7 glass 100% Glera, Charmat: Softer on the palate, slightly less pressure, almost too easy to drink. 2) Grandial Brut Blanc de Blancs, France  $7 glass Charmat process, bone dry, refeshing, afforable… 3) Cà dei Mandorli Brut Rosé, Piemonte Italy  $8 glass 100% Brachetto vinified DRY and with slightly less pressure than most sparklers. 4)...

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Hello Kitty Sparklers

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty…. Our friend, the lovely lovely Patrizia Torti of Tenimenti Castelrotto Torti in the Oltrepò Pavese zona of Lombardia, has just dropped the latest release of her much sought after sparkling HELLO KITTY wines in four versions ranging from a sweet Rosé to the 40th Anniversary Brut in a special bottle, all priced to move!

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Dear WINE EXPO-isti, a small favor please?

We would like to ask a small favor of any of you so inclined:  We live in a world where not only do more and more people get MOST of their information online and not through traditional media but those SAME people are able to give THEIR opinions back through the same medium creating a much larger set of information about nearly everything. So, we invite you to visit one or more of the following sites (and / or your personal blog or FaceBook page) and tell the world what YOU like about our shop to help us continue...

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The Bacon Chronicles reviews our Bacon & Bubbly Fest

Full Review here   Excerpt: The title on the menu at Wine Expo’s Bacon & Bubbly night said “Bacon + Champagne = Bliss!” and I couldn’t agree more. Never before had I sought out to pair Champagne with bacon. In my own kitchen, I spend all of my energies devising the perfect pairings and ratio of bacon to other foods, and when alcohol comes into the equation it is usually one of Andy “Sampler Tray” Greene’s many beer offerings. Which is to say that I veritably jumped at the chance to taste...

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It’s OK, admit it…you like your bubbly a tad bit sweet…

It’s OK, admit it…you like your bubbly a tad bit sweet… One of the reasons Prosecco is kicking Champagnes ass in the market lately is that its inviting fruit is both more inviting to a lot of people AND is great with the sort of Asian / Mexican / Jamaican / Scandinavian fusion food we love in SoCal. We are always on the lookout for a good Demi Sec Champagne as a step up choice and found a doozy this week:   Lelarge-Pugeot Demi-Sec Tradition Premier Cru à Vrigny  $42.00 This is not some...

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BBQ / Picnic Side Dish of the Year

Gonna stay home and grill all weekend? Try this amazing side dish courtesy of our friend, culinary curator Charles Perry:   “LAST year I made a drop-dead Indian dinner: a lamb curry that took four hours to cook, a majestic pilaf full of toasted whole spices, a rich Moghul coconut-lime soup and a raft of fresh chutneys and side dishes. Everybody was very impressed, and afterward all the guests were begging me for a recipe.   A recipe.   They all wanted the same one. And after all my work, it was the...

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You love spicy wines, how about SPICED Wine?

You love spicy wines, how about SPICED Wine? There is a long tradition in Italy of adding spices (and a little Grappa!) to wines to produce a soothing sipper that both aids digestion and stimulates the senses. Literally every village has its own version, often created by a local pharmacist or even midwife. Thanks in part to the booming cocktail culture these days, many of them are getting broader distribution. We agree that a little dash of one of these will liven up a nice Manhattan or Rob Roy but you’ve got to...

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Believe her…it’s NOT Ketchup!

Believe her…it’s NOT Ketchup! From Santa Monica based WINE EXPO-ista Erika Kerekes: “I’m an obsessive home cook and food blogger. I created Not Ketchup because I am constitutionally unable to pass up ripe fruit but got sick of making jam. I’ve tested Not Ketchup on kids, grownups, and the members of FBLA (Food Bloggers Los Angeles, which I co-founded in 2009), and everyone loves it. The first three flavors of Not Ketchup are Cherry Chipotle, Blueberry White Pepper, and Smoky Date....

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So, What’s the deal with Corks & Bad BOTTLES

So, What’s the deal with Corks & Bad BOTTLES  You may wonder why we capitalized the word bottles in the headline above. Well, we spend a lot of time explaining to folks who got a bad bottle of wine that it is just that: THAT individual bottle is bad due to cork failure and that is NOT evidence of a grand conspiracy in which the winemaker made crappy wine which we then heartily recommended just because we hate you. And, OF COURSE we will replace it or credit you for it. But, in very nearly every case the...

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Party Planner for our Bar

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Black Hole of Flavor?

A Flavor / Terroir / Joy Singularity? Somehow Giampaolo has managed to create a Black Hole in a bottle using only the sun, the unique terroir of Montefalco and minimalist cellar techniques. This makes our beloved Pigmento (which means “inky”) look like Kentish Pinot Noir and brings a fully stocked larder of flavors to your table: plums, dark cherries and prunes, earth and smoke, aged meat and an exotic spicy note in the background. Mmmm Mmmm GOOD! Tabarrini Montefalco Sagrantino Colle Grimaldesco 2003,...

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The Blood of Jove…Sangiovese!

The Blood of Jove…Sangiovese! First a word about what Sangiovese is NOT: properly vinified Sangiovese is NOT black and thick and tannic and trying to be Cab meets Syrah. It is more like Tempranillo or even Pinot in that it has a fascinating array of flavors and aromas yet is lighter in color and body. What it IS is one of the most versatile wines at table made. This week we feature outstanding examples from Toscana, Marche, Emilia Romagna, Santa Barbara and even the Republic of San Marino:   Podere dal...

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Sexy Beasts…seduction wines!

Seduction by wine…bottles that get the job done. Different folks have different “W Spots” that get tickled by different wines but here are a few tried and true “Does this make you feel RANDY baby?” selections:   Borgo Imperiale Sangue di Giuda, Oltrepò Pavese  $18.99 Are you MAN enough to drink a Fizzy Red? Yes Drill Sergeant! Things happen here at your favorite wine emporium that we couldn’t make up if we tried but THIS one really made an impression: one Sunday three years ago a cab pulled...

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That’s Amaro!

When the herbs hit your tongue like a big bitter bomb, that’s Amaro… If you’ve ever been to Italy you know that Italian EMBRACE the bitter side of the flavor spectrum: from espresso to 89% cacao bittersweet chocolate to radicchio, they GET that lush and sweet flavors are better when balanced with a firm kick in the palate by bitterness. As a result, every town larger than Playa del Rey has it’s own local Amaro, often with roots in a local pharmacy where it was first concocted as a cure all and...

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Too Hot! Must! Have!! BEER!!!

You want Beer? We’ve got it and at GREAT pricing…   Brewer of the Week: Epic Brewing, Salt Lake City These guys are ambitious: they make nearly FORTY very diverse beer styles and they really pull it off. We were first totally knocked out by their Straight Up Saison ($6.49 / 22oz), the first American beer labeled “Saison” we’ve tasted that really made us think of classics like Saison Dupont. then we sampled a few more and brought you these:   Epic Hop Syndrome Lager 22oz ...

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Caution: Physically Addictive!

Do you Spritz? Try it, you’ll like it! One of the most delightful parts of an afternoon in Italy is the ritual of the Spritz: Prosecco with some sort of not too strong bitter aperitivo added and perhaps a splash of soda, all served ice cold with chips, olives and, believe it or don’t, corn nuts. We’ve come up with a variation that has become a sensation amongst WINE EXPO-isti:   One and a half ounces of Cocchi Americano or Aperol in a white wine glass, fill with Prosecco, top with a splash of sparkling...

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“Wow! That’s DRY!!!” (and why “Extra Dry” really means a little sweet…)

“Wow! That’s DRY!!!” (and why “Extra Dry” really means a little sweet…) A lot of casual Champagne and sparkling wine drinkers will tell us they only like REALLY DRY wines (without telling us that their reference point is the Extra Dry Cuvees of the large houses which are actually fairly sweet). This may seem counter-intuitive but it has a fun historical explanation: Most Champagne was originally VERY sweet (that is how the French and especially Tzarist Russian clients liked it). The Brits started...

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What the hell is a RADLER?

What the hell is a RADLER? Perhaps the most refreshing thing you will drink this year! Many of you from the east coast or those who have visited the Caribbean will be familiar with Shandies from various breweries: lager beer bottled with a good shot of lemonade. These are the same concept but made with better beer from one of Austria’s best breweries and with little to no sweetness PLUS, at just 2.5% ABV, you can pound them with impunity with Thai, Oaxacan, Fried Chicken, Fruit & Cheese, you name it. Even...

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