Showing posts with label Artisanal L.A.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Artisanal L.A.. Show all posts

Thursday, October 28, 2010


The Pairing

This wine was purchased as a food and wine pairing experiment.  It started at the recent Artisanal L.A. show in downtown Los Angeles.  Max Lesser, owner of Morning Glory Confections, asked Denise and I to come up with a pairing involving his New Mexico Chili and Pumpkin Seed Brittle.  I had the idea of pairing it with a Roussanne because I felt the grape’s natural funkiness was a good match for the offbeat brittle ingredients.  Denise thought some goat cheese would form an unbeatable triple play.

A fortunate mistake had me pick up herb goat cheese instead of plain, but Denise felt it worked even better than she had imagined.  The mouthful of brittle, herb goat cheese and a Roussanne blend was nothing short of fantastic.  Max liked it, too.

The Roussanne blend is produced by Andre Brunel, a Châteuneuf-du-Pape producer, but these grapes are from the Côtes-du-Rhône - 50% Roussanne, 30% Grenache Blanc and 20% Clairette.  It has 13% abv and carries a price tag of $17.  The grapes are grown in the clay and limestone soil on the Rhône Valley, and the wine does not undergo malolactic fermentation.

It’s a pale yellow wine, with a nose showing a banana-meets-guava tropicality, some minerals and spices along with a vanilla note.  Full and round on the palate, the taste offers a savory tartness or zestiness of citrus, a ripping acidity - a must if you’re pairing with candy - and a lemon-lime finish with an underlying nutty flavor way in the back.

By the way, the wine also paired quite nicely with another purchase from Artisanal L.A. - the Welsh Cakes from The Welsh Baker!  They call them "Not quite a cookie, not quite a scone," and that seems a reasonably good description.  Welsh Cakes and wine make a pretty good little snack.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


The Free Beer's Here!

October 23rd and 24th, 2010, Artisanal L.A. populated the Cooper Building in downtown Los Angeles with locally grown and produced food items.  Bee people were there, brittle people were there - even a few tarts

The beer people were a little late setting up their display on Sunday - beer people are like that, sometimes - but when they finally did show up, half the people in the penthouse space rushed the unadorned folding table.  I call the image at left “The Free Beer’s Here,” because this is what the crush looked like when everyone tried to get next to a tap.

I was eager to try Eagle Rock Brewery’s suds, because I have yet to make it to the actual brewery despite invitations - even pleading - from friends.  I’m sure Eagle Rock has quite an assortment of brews available at any one time, but they offered only two at this event.  Here’s what they were pouring:

Solidarity, Black Mild Ale - A British style of ale, medium-bodied and with a low alcohol level - 3.9% abv - for easy drinking.  It’s quite dark, much like a stout, but has neither the head nor heft of a stout.  It seems a little thin, perhaps because I expected something a bit more robust considering the dark tint.  That aside, it’s a flavorful drink.  Rather complex on the nose and palate, the aromas and flavors of coffee and nuts abound.

Stimulus, Belgian Amber with Intelligentsia Coffee - Smelling of lemons and caramel, the coffee in this one is a delicious surprise feature.  First of all, the color doesn’t tip its hand.  It’s amber colored, with no unusual darkness to suggest a jolt of caffeine.  Even the flavor profile, which reminds me more of a Heath bar, allows the coffee feature to take quite some time to come around.  This one is a more full-bodied affair than Solidarity, with a much greater weight and clocking in at 7.75% abv.