Sunday, May 6, 2012

Franco's Italian in Cypress

Friday, April 4, 2012

We ended up with a table of 10 tonight. Cora was able to come. That was nice for her and for us to enjoy her company. We are aware and so is she that these times will no longer take place in the future. But for now we are enjoying whatever comes our way.

Alex the waiter and the son of Franco has dumped me for a much younger woman. So sad for me. Alex is now engaged and although the lady does not cook (Alex does) she had other attributes. Saw her as I left this evening and she is a looker.  Gave him a thumbs up. Alex is very happy man.

All the food tonight was good as always. 3 of us had the Mussel, Clam, Seabass  with tomato broth on Linguine. We all agreed it was a great dish. There was a Pork Chop dish order, 2 Racks of Lamb,  a Chippino, a stuffed chicken breast and a pasta dish. I did not see what the 10th person ordered as I was only taking notes on the wines. The quality of the food at Franco's is top notch and the flavors are outstanding.

We started out with a Flying Goat Bubbles and a Borgo Magredo Proscecco. The Proscecco I brought. Seems I am on the Italian Sparkling kick right now.

I also brought a 2001 Stolpman LaCroce. This wine is at its optimum and was outstanding. I thought it was the best wine of the evening, Terry and Cora brought a 2004 Tornest Brunello de Montalcino which was my second favorite wine of the evening.

Also on the table was 2004 Gustavo Thrace Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009 Stillwater Viognier, 2005 Curran Sangiovese, 2007 LeCuvier Sangiovese, 2006 Enoirin Barbera, 2004 Parusso Langhe Nebbilo, 2009 Kiamie White Cuvee, 2010 Tablas Creek Cotes du Tables Blanc, 2001 Collosorbo Brunello di Montalcino and a 2005 Renato Ratti Marcenasco Barolo. Many wines from the Central Coast tonight.

This was a lot of wines. I did not try any of the whites except for the bubblies. The wines that I tasted were the Barbera and the Barolo along the with Cab.  That was more than enough but then I was enjoying the LaCroce and the Brunello so much.

Its been awhile since we have had 10 people at the table. We try to keep it at six for conversation but tonight for some reason seemed to work well. Everyone was in the conversation  mode.

Edge of LA Wine Fest

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Made the drive to San Pedro today to attend the Edge of LA Wine Fest.  It has been a venue for the last few years but this was the first time for me. I had heard stories about the lack of parking and they advertised to park in a downtown lot and take a shuttle to the venue. So I started out early. This event was held at Michaels Tuscany Room on 7th St. There was a metered parking lot next to the building so I did secure a all day parking spot for $2.50 which was not bad at all.

This was a smaller "wine & food " events  than the ones I usually go to. There were numerous wine reps there that I knew and I ran into countless people that I had not seen in a long time. A big reunion for me.

Most of the wines were are on the ok side. I did find some really interesting ones but on the whole it was not "high end" These reps are the ones selling wines to Off The Vine Wine Store in San Pedro, They are one of the sponsors of the event, along with 7th Street Chop House and Whale &  Ale.

When the opened the doors for the public I headed upstairs before it got crowded. I came across a winery "Cuatro Dias". The owner/winemaker is a fireman for the City of Redondo Beach. Nice wines and he sources from some really good vineyards. No tasting room. I did get his card and will check him out. I would not mind buying a few bottles from him.

Food was good. They had two stations set up. Meatballs, Calamari, Stuffed Mushrooms, Bruschetta along with cheese and fruit. They did keep the trays refilled which is more than I can say for the "high end" tasting I did in Newport a few months back. Those "dollies" could learn from this venue.

My biggest gripe was the fact that the temperature was very warm inside the building. They finally got the a/c unit kicked it but for an hour it was not pleasant. It also had an effect on the red wines. I heard several wine reps complain about the lack of ice.

I was told that the turn out  today was much smaller than last year. I would not have liked too may more people. My suggestion to them is to have a set amount of tickets that would accommodate the room size and only sell that many. I know they want to make money but if you are not enjoying the scene you will not come back. I will try this again next year.

Silver Oak & Twomey Wines

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Normally I do not post about my weekly wine tastings since I usually do several but this one was interesting.

ABC in Long Beach hosts a "higher" end tasting about once a month. Tonight it was Silver Oak which turned out to be the Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and Twomey Wines. Twomey is not a second label of Silver Oak . They brought about Twomey wines to bring other varietals into the picture and to  keep Silver Oak as Cabernet Sauvignon.

I have never been a big fan of Silver Oak - nice wine but very overpriced for what it is.

Tonight we started off with a Preseco from a different distributor. Don't have the name with me but I did order some bottles of this wine. When I pick up the bottles I will edit this post and insert the name.The rep for this label I met last Saturday at the Edge of LA Wine Fest.  This Proseco to me was the better wine of the evening.

We tasted Twomey Sauvignon Blanc which was nice. Had a creamy, citrus taste and a rich mouth feel. I did like this but I have given up on Sau Blanc because  of the acid.

Next were 3 Pinots. I had several glasses with me so I had all three in front of me at the same time. Russian River, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Coast. My preference was the Alexander Valley A little leaner wine. The Russian River Pinot was heavy on the upfront fruit and the Sonoma Coast was a little stemy.

They did pour the Merlot and a blend, Both  were good. But again I find the price a tad high for what these wines are. I have bought Twomey on occasion.

The fun part was after the tasting 4 of us that were left and the 2 wine reps that were there and finished the bottles. Someone decided we should go to Michael's on Naples and off we went. The upstairs at Michael's was closed for the night but they opened it up for us. We ordered an  Italian wine that someone had recommended and some flatbread pizza.

Rounded out an enjoyable evening. Good conversation