Monday, January 31, 2011

WINE AND BEER AT LUCKY DEVILS


The Jug

Meeting friends for a beer is a time honored tradition.  The beverage isn't really important, it's the company and the conversation that count.  However, if all you're talking about is how lousy the beer - or wine - is, it sort of defeats the purpose of the get-together.

There was no such discourse at Lucky Devils in Hollywood.  The beverages spoke for themselves.  A great beer list, a wine list in which brevity left little choice and some tasty snacks combined for a nice little Saturday soiree.

After the usual Hollywood Boulevard hassles - two-dollar an hour parking at the meter, men looking semi-dangerous doing some sidewalk preaching about something or other, LAPD staring intently into the place for an undisclosed reason - we managed to settle into our kitchen-style chairs and let the festivities begin.

Even though it was intended to be a beer gathering, one of the few wines offered caught my eye because it was from the Sonoma County town of Geyserville, a place I visited a while back.  I was impressed with the wines I found there, so I chose a red table wine from Mercury Geyserville called The Jug.  It was an easy-going $7.50 by the glass, but a bit pricey at $19.50 in the 500ml jug.  It appears to be a Bordeaux-style blend from Alexander Valley vineyards.

The Jug is very dark in the glass, inky in fact.  A fruity nose also displays an earthy darkness and some spice.  It really tastes great, with cassis and black cherry flavors accented by spice and smoke.  The finish is a little weak with a sour cherry aftertaste.

Hornin' Nettie Madge Black IPAOthers in the group opted for brewski.  The Hornin' Nettie Madge Black IPA from Anderson Valley Brewing Company is stout-dark with a licorice nose and a tan head that hangs around a while.  The taste reminds me of dates and almonds.  The Craftsman IPA is a more standard-issue India Pale Ale, with characteristics much like Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale.  A golden color and lots of hops will make plenty of summer afternoons more tolerable.