The New and Improved Monday Through Thrusday Routine

October 12, 2017 Uncategorized  No comments

We all know how fun it is to pick out a wine and take it to a fine restaurant - especially if we're meeting a group of fun friends who's presence inspires us. Let's face it - being the one who brings the wine allows up to bathe in the accolades of authority and influence (as long as the wines have been well-chosen), and otherwise be the king of ceremonies for the evening (I hope that means we don't have to pick up the tab, as well).

But the more common scenario would be bringing home an excellent bottle while we cook (or bring home) a nice meal on the more mundane nights of Monday through Thursday. And last night, I did just that - in fact, I do this a few nights a week.  And here's last night's cooking play-by-play.

Wanting to enjoy a nice bottle of red wine, I opted for the 2014

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Wine with Mexican Food? Es mejor que lo creas! (you better believe it!)

September 28, 2017 Uncategorized  No comments

scallops!There used to be a Mexican Restaurant in East Los Angeles that was legendary - La Seranata de Garibaldi - which was to me, and many others, a revolutionary discovery of what we deemed Mexican food. They featured fresh grilled fish and seafood, and a number of unbelievably flavorful sauces that equaled the depth of flavors that one could experience at any restaurant in the city. For those who defined Mexican food as a Number 2 Combination at El Coyote, this would forever change their perception, as it did mine.

The restaurant later opened 2 locations on the Westside - one on Pico Blvd., near the Westside Pavillion, and one on 4th Street in Santa Monica near Santa Monica Place, that were so welcomed that they were booked up for weeks in advance.  Sure - it was initially somewhat of a

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a Few More great Wines………..

September 27, 2017 90+ BargainsHigh End Values  No comments

First off - I suppose a self-introduction is in order. As Los Angeles Wine Company's newest blogger, my name is Randy Gollard, and I've been involved in wine (at least professionally) for over 10 years - and much longer as a hobby. I can recall at my first job, an expensive local neighborhood grocery store on the Beverly Hills border (for which I half-jokingly made up the nickname "Tomorrow's Prices Today"), being beckoned by numerous wine labels that seemed to be calling out to me to bring home, for reasons unknown to me at the time. As such, with some well-earned tip money saved from lugging shopping carts full of bags to the customer's cars, I brought home a bottle of BV Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon. Much to the dismay of the Chateau and winemakers, I probably enjoyed it with a

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A Few of Our Favorite Fall Wines

September 16, 2017 News and OpinionUncategorized  No comments

ridge_geyservilleWith the change of seasons, we often find that our appetite will adapt in tandem. We attempt to phase out the lighter wines such as Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay (well, not completely - this IS California, after all, and we drink those year round - and especially with Thanksgiving!), and we start to incorporate deeper, more full-bodied  reds to suit the heartier dishes that we begin to crave with the colder weather.  Do you have any yearly favorites? We've certainly got a few, listed below - and we'll be featuring more in upcoming blogs as well.

2015 Ridge Zinfandel Geyserville 50th Vintage

One varietal we love during the holidays is Zinfandel - especially with anything we can throw on the outdoor grill with a nice spicy rub (Tri-tip, Chicken, Turkey, and anything else you can

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A Killer Single Vineyard Red Burgundy for $26

May 10, 2017 Daily Drinkers  No comments

FullSizeRender-4Burgundy is the most expensive wine region in the world, and it frankly has a spotty track record - when the wines are on, they are breathtaking, but when they are off, they are expensive disappointments.  This seems to be changing for the better, but time will be the judge.  Knowing this, I'm always excited to try a well reviewed burg in the $30 or less range.  Most choices in this range are generic "bourgone", but I recently had a chance to drink a wine from a single parcel in the southern Santenay region that really impressed me.

From vines ranging in age from 30 to 80 years old, the 2014 Domaine Vincent & Sophia Morey Santenay Les Hates could almost fool you as a California wine on the nose, with good ripeness and a little oak showing.  On the palate earthy burgundy flavors

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Stunning Chablis from Louis Michel (Under $30)

April 18, 2017 90+ Bargains  No comments

Louis Michel ChablisThis weekend we held a blind tasting of three Premier Cru Chablis from Louis Michel.  I expected the wines to be good (they were), but what really surprised me was just how different they were.  Each 1er cru vineyard has a certain reputation and this tasting showed that the reputation is dead on - two tasters were able to correctly call all three of the wines.  The fact that 2014 is the Chablis vintage of the decade, doesn't hurt.

Before we get into the wines, let's discuss Chablis.  This is one of the few remaining cases where the very best examples of a grape can still be had for a value price.  Chablis is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes on the northern side of Burgundy.  The cool climate results in super crisp, high acid wines that, to my taste, are exactly what Chardonnay should

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A High-End Pinot for $24 – Calera Central Coast (WA92, $23.95)

October 12, 2016 90+ Bargains  No comments

Calera Central Coast LabelWith the domestic Pinot Noir boom in full force, it's increasingly difficult to find value in this hot category.  As with other hot categories, I look to the top producers' lesser wines.  Calera makes Pinot Noir (and Chardonnay) from exclusive vineyards on Mt. Harlan and the $50+ price points reflect that exclusivity.  But each year they combine grapes from some of the Central Coast's best vineyards and make a Central Coast bottling.  The "Central Coast" label may be generic, but the vineyards are anything but.  Many of the vineyards are used for the flagship wine for other wineries.  Names like Bien Nacido and Solomon Hills are featured on the label which details the percentage that each vineyard makes up.

The look of this wine is decidedly Burgundian with a transparent ruby, but on

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The Brilliant Wines of Ridge

October 4, 2016 News and Opinion  No comments

IMGP6222In the last year I've had the pleasure of visiting two of Ridge's most famous vineyards: Lytton Springs in Sonoma and Monte Bello in the Santa Cruz mountains high above Silicon Valley.  Those two vineyards, along with Geyserville, make up the top bottlings for Ridge, and have for over 40 years.   During that time, very little has changed and the result is one the longest-lived wines in the U.S. (Monte Bello) and two of the most American wines (Lytton Springs and Geyserville).

Here are some of the reasons I love Ridge:

Monte Bello is one of the longest-lived wines in the country.  This year, I tasted a vertical of the '88, '03 and '12 and they were all brilliant.  That's especially impressive considering '88 was a poor vintage in California and the wine was 28 years

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A Wine I Buy Every Year – Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet (RP95, $89.95)

September 28, 2016 90+ BargainsHigh End Values  No comments

Beringer PR LabelI own, or have owned, the '02, '03, '04, '05, '06, '07, '09, '11 and '12 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet.  That's really as much endorsement of this wine as I could possibly provide.  But since that doesn't make for a very entertaining or informative blog post, let's discuss why this is such a great wine year in and year out. Beringer owns tons of acres of vineyards all over Napa in many varied appellations (and many more beyond).  This diversity allows them to take the very best fruit of a given year and blend it to create a remarkably consistent and remarkably high quality Cabernet each year.  And while Beringer does make some ultra high volume bulk wine, their Private Reserve Cabernet is, and has always been, one of the very best wines in California.

I visited the winery in May

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A Killer Single Vineyard Sonoma Syrah for $17

September 27, 2016 High End Values  No comments

baldassari_syrah_nolanThere are less great wine deals than there were 4-5 years ago.  That fact, combined with my increasingly picky taste in wine, means that when you see a post about a great deal on this blog, you can rest assured the wine is noteworthy.  That said, there are great wines available at every price point and there should be no need for qualifiers like"it's good for the price".  Here is a great example:

Fans of cool-climate Syrah are going to want to check out this excellent single vineyard from Sonoma's Bennet Valley.  This cool climate growing region is a sweet spot for Syrah and Baldassari has nailed it with their 2013 from Nolan Vineyard.

This shows like a slightly riper St. Joseph with a deep purple color, beautiful black pepper on the nose and notes of smoked meat with a nice mix of

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