August 20, 2009

Blogger Wine Tastings at Silver Lake Wine

Our first wine tasting happened on August 12th, where a number of food bloggers and writers joined me on a series of structured wine class. We started with typical Californian varietals, being that these wines are most often the ones we run into at restaurants. Silver Lake Wine owner Randy Clement guided us through five excellent wines, all moderately priced yet above the standard Trader Joe's bottles we're all used to.

talking about wine saarloos 0&2 syrah

First up was a Lioco Chardonnay from Sonoma County (2008), made by the former wine director of Spago in Beverly Hills. It was a crisp, oak-less Chard that would've paired perfectly with lighter dishes, seafood, or perhaps risotto. Second was Copain Viognier "Tous Ensemble" from Mendocino (2007), an organic wine that was more fragrant, more luscious in texture than the chardonnary. Barbara Hansen of Table Conversation correctly asserted that this would pair well with Indian food. In fact, the minerality of the wine, and similarity to a top-notch Gewurtztraminer would have lent it toward any Asian or spicy food.

Third was an inexpensive bottle of Stephen Vincent Pinot Noir (2008) which was extremely light bodied for the kind of red wine people normally drink. It didn't quite have the finesse of a Burgundy, but it still had the relative structure to help it pair with a variety of medium-bodied foods, such as roasted chicken or duck. The penultimate wine was Khroma Cabernet Sauvingnon from Alexander Valley. A stellar Cabernet that wasn't overly alcoholic, it still exuded a typical Californian Cabernet style with forward fruit. Last was Stolpman Syrah Estate from Santa Ynez Valley (2006), a heavier Syrah.

The last wine (the bonus wine of the evening) was from my bottle of 0&2 Syrah from Saarloos & Sons. It had been decanting for about two hours before pouring. I wish I had more time to enjoy this immense wine, practically teeming with flavor on the nose and palate. A nice grilled skirt steak would've been perfect. At the winery's tasting room, a bottle of such wine was around $55. I got an email a few days ago from Keith Saarloos stating that the new price of the wine was more than 5 times this original price! Ah, what a treat! (not that the price made the wine taste any better, but it does bring the appreciation up a notch).

cheeseboard

April prepared two cheeseboards containing some excellent choices to pair with the wines. They included Roaring 40's from Tasmania, a mean (in a good way) blue cheese. A bit of aged pecorino toscano might've had the most complex flavor and the longest finish. 3 Sisters "La Serena" and Sweet Grass Dairy, both cowsmilk cheeses were delicious as well. We had some Fra'Mani Salametto & Salametto Piccante salumis, as well as some lucques olives.

You can join us at the next pairing on Sept 2nd at Silver Lake Wine at 6:30PM. Email me at mattatouille AT gmail DOT com for a spot. I'm capping the attendance so email me soon! Price will range $15-20 per person.

16 comments:

H. C. said...

great selection of wines for the inaugural tasting ~ had the Lioco before and would've LOVED to try the Viognier & Pinot Noir.

Hope your Sept 2 event is equally well-attended and fun, if not even better! Cheers.

SAarLooS said...

WHY DINT YOU CALLL ME?!?!?!

Gastronomer said...

Count me in for Sept. 2. I'll be the chick eating Cake Monkey in the corner.

Gastronomer said...

Count me in for Sept. 2. I'll be the chick passing on the wines and eating Cake Monkey in the corner.

mattatouille said...

HC: Would've loved to have you there. Please come to another one in the future!

mattatouille said...

Keith: if you'd like, I'd love to have a full tasting of your wines :) let me know by email

mattatouille said...

Cathy: eating Cake Monkey in the corner is not a bad consolation. Oh, and we still need to tour the CM baking facility!

ila said...

sigh, i would love to go but it's soooo far. hope you guys have fun tho :)

mattatouille said...

Ila: sorry it's so far, maybe one of these days I could do it on Friday so you can make the trek, or even saturday. i still need to give you your sweater back.

Diana said...

Sounds great - I can't wait to join on September 2nd! :)

(I'll be the chick standing next to the other chick eating Cake Monkey in the corner)

Cafe Pasadena said...

These wine classes look good. But, Sept 2nd is too early for my schedule. Move them around to different wine joints!

mattatouille said...

Diana: looking forward to seeing you!

Cafe Pasadena: I would move them around to other wine shops, except that no place in LA does it better than Silver Lake Wine. I've stepped foot in the venerable Kermit Lynch and even that place wouldn't have been better. Other shops like K&L, Wally's, Wine House, and even 55 Deg are inferior for this sort of experience. You should come sometime soon!

Food, she thought. said...

I am drawn to that description of the viogner, a varietal I love.

burumun said...

Sorry I couldn't make your inaugural tasting! Seems like it was a success. Nice descriptions of the different wines too, I'm sure writing up all these wine tastings will help you more and more. (I still totally think you should do the sommelier school :P )

mattatouille said...

Fiona: you should have been there! It's okay..there's always the next one...and by that, I mean after I come back from Asia! I'm not sure if I'm quite good enough of committed to being a full on sommelier, but heck it's fun hosting these things.

ila said...

matt, you should SO go to sommelier school. and then i'll get my tea sommelier certification and we can be all cool like that :P