Balla Géza Winery, Romania

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As the Sun went down in the city, I was lucky enough to taste of the most delicious and totally unique wines from Romania. Yes, from Balla Géza Winery @ballageza16 in Romania. One white, one red. And no, vampires don’t jump out of the bottles! Thanks to this lady @orshi.kiss you’ll be drinking them soon as well. They’re both delicious, fun, and affordable. I’m hoping they land on your by the glass list and I’ll be right over to drink.

The white: 2016 Mustoasă de Măderat & The Red: 2015 Fetească Neagră

Web: Blue Danube Wine

Balla Géza Winery, Romania

Albariño “al basc” 2016 Sierra Foothills

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GRAPE: Albariño REGION: Sierra Foothills COUNTRY: USA AVE PRICE: $24

The mesmerizing and delicious al basc is here! I punched down this fermenting juice with my bare feets. And no it doesn’t taste like my feet, although I’ve been told my feet taste delicious. And don’t worry, I had been getting pedicures on a regular basis. But it’s also true I walk barefoot where most are afraid to walk with shoes, but I assure you before doing punch downs with these pretty toes I hosed them off well, the goats insisted.

8 months skin contact. You know how much I love skin contact, I’m referring only to a winemaking process, of course.

Thank you @laclarinefarm

Albariño “al basc” 2016 Sierra Foothills

Lini Lambrusco at Rossoblu

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Beautiful night to sit outside @rossoblula and taste these most delicious Lambrusco by @lini910 Where can I find the 2004 Metodo Classico? I love those meatballs as well! So damn good.

@dobianchi @enoicala Great seeing you both! And a pleasure meeting you @dinasam.

Downtown Los Angeles, you’re growing up so quickly with so much talent and creativity. I hope that one day soon someone much smarter than me and with a much bigger heart finds a solution to help the thousands of people on the streets. Some of us have such great fortune, some of us not so much. And with every sip I drink and every bite of a take somewhere in the back of my mind I can’t stop thinking of all those less fortunate living on the streets. Maybe it’s just guilt, but guilt doesn’t feed or house anyone.

Lini Lambrusco at Rossoblu

White Bordeaux

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Rethinking White Bordeaux.

Audience: [moans & grunts]

Release your prejudice. I did. Not until after the tasting, of course.

It had been quite awhile since a white Bordeaux touched my lips. Probably a few years ago in a WSET class. Before that it was in Brooklyn. About 6+ years ago I was at a show at Barbès. I wanted something cold. White Bordeaux the chalkboard read. I placed my order and slammed it. It was insignificant, but cold. It filled my need at the time. But who even knows where to find one?

I think white Bordeaux might be a refreshing by the glass replacement for all the cheap New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc’s that seem to dominate those tiny wine lists in the venues where many of us refuse to drink wine. You know the places. For instance, your local dive bar or your favorite music venue.

I had a preferred the selections where Sémillon was 30-50% of the blend.

Standouts:

2010 Château Marsalette – 50/50 Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon – Pessac-Léognan (Jeffery M. Davies Selection)

2014 Château Respide-Médeville Graves Blanc Sec50/48/2 Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon/Muscadelle (Martine’s Wines)

2014 La Croix de Carbonnieux Blanc – 65/35 Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon – Pessac-Léognan (Duclot La Vinicole)

Thank you @anthonycailan for the invite.

White Bordeaux

Once you go Champagne…

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GRAPE: Pinot Noir/Chard REGION: Champagne COUNTRY: France AVE PRICE: $47

CHAMPAGNE FLEURY!

I’m over the PetNat (AKA: Sparkling wine for the impoverished) craze. Don’t take me too literally of course there are PetNats I adore, but there are plenty more that I abhor. So many bottles are mislabeled wine that are actually lemon juice with alcohol. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about.

The Fleur de l’Europe Brut Nature mouthful of liquid luxury with childhood playground energy. It’s rich with a beautiful salty and floral expression. Focused and tightly structured with teeny tiny bubbles. A combo of Pinot Noir & Chardonnay, aged 6 years on lees. Fleury was the first winemakers in Champagne to convert their vineyard to biodynamic in 1998.

WEB: Fleury

Once you go Champagne…

Liquid rock.

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GRAPE: Nebbiolo REGION: Valtellina COUNTRY: Italy AVE PRICE: $30

I’ve been off of reds lately and finding it a bit frustrating. Especially since I’ve been cooking a lot of gamey meats: elk, venison, and boar. But I knew I was missing a liquid partner. A couple of weeks ago I found myself on the West Side of LA (boos, hollers & hisses) so I decided to drop in @winehousela. I dig their Italian section. It goes on forever the way an Italian wine section should. But in a world of uncertainty one thing does remain constant, my love for Northern Italian wines. Oh wait, nothing against my Sicilian ancestors. But for Christ’s sakes, Northern Italy has stolen my heart, at least for now. If I remember correctly, the 2005 Balgera Sassella retails for about $35. And according to McCrum’s website it spends a year in tank then 10 years in large barrels. This math doesn’t make much sense to me, but alas, I’m not a businessman. One sniff, one sip and you’ll see this is an extraordinary wine for the price in comparison to much of the rotten juice floating around at this price point. Don’t bore me with economic rationalizations of why one wine cost more than another. I’ve been experiencing too many wines both domestic and imports at a similar price point that are either pretty damn boring and some that taste like dirty dishwater. I guess my point is, that this is a wine that is worth every dime and more.

The Balgera is liquid rock. There is something special about the wines from this region. Maybe it’s the decomposed morainic rocks. The tannins are gentle. The fruit is finessed. The acid is fresh. It was delicious with my pan seared elk and vegetables cooked along with boar bacon. This juice will cause a similar experience to what your brain experiences while staring at an expressionistic painting. It will enhance the beauty wipe away the ugliness in front of you and set fire to your imagination.

WEB: OM Wines

Liquid rock.

Sparkle, sparkle!

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GRAPE: List Below REGION: Alt Penedès COUNTRY: Spain AVE PRICE: $32

Look what I found @winehousela on Sunday. I needed this. It’s plush. It’s fun. It’s a mine of minerals and salt. It’s liquid sex and complex as an intimate relationship. Delicious and crunchy Cava @cava.recaredo Terrers 2010 Brut Nature Gran Reserva.

Grapes:
54% Xarello
42% Macabeu
4% Parellada

@rosenthalwinemerchantfanclub thanks for the introduction.

WEB: Recaredo

Sparkle, sparkle!