Saturday, December 11, 2010


Luzzano Malvasia Seta

Los Angeles fans of Italian wines have a great place to find the fruit of their passion and some pretty tasty eats, too.  Cube on La Brea Avenue is a cafe, a wine bar specializing in Italian vino, a cheese bar and a market all rolled into one location.

We stopped in there for lunch during a break in a hectic shopping day.  The place with the "What's Up D.O.C." sign above it was once again the right choice.

We opened with a couple of cheeses - Holzhofer (a strong cow's milk Swiss) and Smokey Blue (a delightfully pungent cow's milk blue cheese from Oregon.)  I followed with the braised bacon on polenta.  The "bacon" was more like slow-cooked pulled pork, only a hundred times more flavorful.

The wine - Luzzano's "Seta" Malvasia - is made from 100% Malvasia di Candia grapes grown in the Colli Piacentini D.O.C. of Italy's Emilia-Romagna region.  It is aged six months in stainless steel.  The price is an affordable $9 per glass and the bottle price (to take home) is $16.

The Seta's nose is quite green.  Mostly floral aromas with an herbal twist are laced with a bready, yeasty edge that's amazing and intriguing.  Minerals and zesty lemon lime abound on the palate.  There's definitely a steeliness there, but it flies in the face of the full, round mouthfeel.

It paired with both cheeses well - better with the Holzhofer - and was a near-perfect mate for the savory bacon dish.

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