I just finished an amazing tasting with the senior editors of the magazine and owner/publisher Marvin Shanken. We tasted old California reds from the 1960s and 1970s in a secret hideway during editoral planning meetings for the magazine.
I had dinner in Florida on Saturday night in Coral Gables at a friend’s house and he laid out a fabulous dinner with excellent food and stunning wines. There’s nothing better than being from out of town and being made to feel like being part of the family.
After the UGC tasting in Santa Monica , I went to a dinner and tasting for Les Carmes Haut-Brion at a trendy restaurant called Adobe, put on by Steve Winfield of LiquidLink, an LA –based wine importer.
I went to the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux tasting on Friday in Santa Monica, Calif. And I was excited to see how the 2005 Bordeaux would be showing a month after I t asted them in Bordeaux in December for a massive report in the magazine.
I had a fun dinner last night at Craft in Century City with Gordon Trachtenberg, who is the guy who won the competition last week in my blog for a dinner with me. I like Craft for its New York chic décor and precise, well-made food.
Is it only me, or does anyone else get ripped off late at night in bars? I pulled in with a friend of mine last night to the bar at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills after a fabulous dinner at Il Grano in West Los Angeles for a late-night glass of Champagne, and we got totally fleeced.
I hosted a dinner in Bordeaux before Christmas at the hotel Les Sources de Caudalie , for the winemakers of four of the five first growths, as well as Alain Vautier of Ausone , which in effect is a first growth.
Did any of you hear or read the story about a California Institute of Technology "study" that proved that people are influenced by the price when assessing the quality of a wine? In other words, the majority of the 21 people in the test preferred the expensive wine.
I had lunch on Saturday with a friend from Los Angeles and a couple of his wine collector buddies in Santa Monica at a restaurant called Locanda Portofino. It was good, simple Italian food—things like soft and creamy burrata cheese with Parma ham or a short pasta with squid in a spicy tomato sauce.
“That’s the last bottle,” said the owner of the restaurant. Those words are like great rock n’ roll to my ears, when I score a great bottle for a great price in a restaurant. It’s happened many times in my career.
Went to a wine bar in Pasadena, Calif., last night with some friends. Something annoying happened. Some might find it amusing, but I think it’s not cool. And it gives sommeliers a bad name. Moreover, I would have thought more of the service at Vertical , which is a wine bar and restaurant located one story above street level.
Sometimes it’s better not to know the value of a wine. Otherwise, you may never drink it, or you might sell it instead. It’s meant for drinking. I was thinking of this yesterday during a lunch in Los Angeles with some friends, Michael Frey and his lovely wife Catherine Bloom Frey.
It was a full circle on December 31. Just like 2006, I spent my New Year’s Eve at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar in Rancho Mirage, Calif., with my 13-year-old son, Jack, and my 9-year-old daughter, Isabel, and my mother and stepfather.
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