November 23, 2013 |
This is an elegant Napa Valley Chardonnay from Chateau Montelena, very much still in the style that won the famous Paris Tasting of 1976 and launched California Chardonnay onto the world wine scene. Silky on the palate, the 2011 has aromas of pear, citrus and honeysuckle. A bright acidity and a discrete touch of oak give the ripe fruit flavors a lift. A wine to savor. This would be a great bottle to take to a holiday dinner with people who would appreciate its finesse. It shows best with shellfish or fish in sauce -- coquilles St. Jacques, lobster with drawn butter or Dungeness crab, but also a simple roast chicken.
May 26, 2012 |
I don't know anything about the Fat Monk depicted on a bottom corner of the label hoisting a wine glass, halo hovering over his head. But I would like to second that halo for making a terrific everyday Pinot at an everyday price. I first tasted this wine when an astute friend brought it to dinner months ago. She'd scooped up the last few bottles at Surfas but kept an eye out and when they restocked and picked up half a dozen bottles for me. Now it seems to be around at a few more places.
August 3, 2013
The Chianti region is large, and while the wines from the Classico region are the best known, for price and quality, look to the lesser-known Chianti Rufina, a small area in the northeastern corner of Chianti proper. Selvapiana is one of the best estates in Rufina, turning out first-rate Sangiovese-based reds. I've been buying its Chianti for years, keeping it on hand for pasta nights and grilled skirt steak or chops. A deep ruby in color, the 2010 Selvapiana tastes of bright cherries and plums, but a touch of earth gives it some weight.
May 26, 2012
Dear SOS: Recently, my boyfriend and I went to try Zengo in Santa Monica Place, and I ordered its Thai chicken empanadas. It was amazing, and I ordered another round. I was so tempted to ask the chef for the recipe, but I was, like, "Why would he give away his recipe to his customers?" If you guys can manage to get the recipe from the chef, that would be fantastic. Joseph Gallana Van Nuys Dear Joseph: It's so hard to eat just one of these. The little Thai chicken empanadas are a project but are well worth the time and effort, and they make a perfect appetizer for a party or gathering.
May 12, 2011 |
What a lovely expression of Pinot Noir from New Zealand's Mountford estate. Elegant and smooth, this New World Pinot carries the taste of Santa Rosa plums and sweet Asian spices. The scent jumps right out of the glass — sandalwood, and something leafy and delicate. In this weather, chill it just a bit and serve with roast chicken, sweetbreads or roast leg of lamb. Region: Waipara Valley, New Zealand Price: $29 to $35 Style: Rich and full-bodied What it goes with: Roast chicken or leg of lamb Where to find it: Flask Fine Wines in Studio City, (818)
February 10, 1999 |
Chimichangas--crisp-fried tortilla bundles of tender chicken with cheese and sour cream--are ridiculously easy to make when you have leftover roast chicken. Kids love them, grown-ups love them and, if you feel like rewarding yourself for making dinner on a hectic weeknight, they are terrific with margaritas.
May 6, 2009 |
Such a pretty Gewurztraminer from Alsace -- aromatic, scented with spices and flowers, it has the faintest touch of sweetness married with a lively acidity, so it's never cloying. Helfrich's 2007 Gewurztraminer excels as a match for Asian foods -- Thai, Vietnamese and spicy Chinese dishes. But it would be wonderful, too, with a fresh pea soup or risotto, or a spring minestrone and a simple roast chicken.
February 17, 2011
Giorgio Rivetti of La Spinetta in Piedmont started out as a Moscato d'Asti producer but dreamed of making a serious red wine. First he got into Barbera with his extraordinary Cà di Pian. Next he took on Barbaresco and Barolo and became a powerhouse in the region. And now at La Spinetta's estate in Tuscany, he's producing this stunning Vermentino. Crisp and golden, it tastes of grapefruit rind and ripe pears. It has a wonderful freshness and minerality coupled with a lush texture and a long finish.
December 8, 2012 |
Always on the lookout for a juicy California Pinot, one with some character and grit, I think I've found it in the 2011 from August West. The label is a collaboration between Ed Kurtzman and growers Howard Graham and Gary Franscioni. The grapes - a tiny crop this year - came from the vineyards Rosella's, Sierra Mar and Sberanes. Tasting of black cherry, plums and earth, this latest vintage of Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands, their fourth, has gorgeous fruit and ripe tannins.