For a long time, BYOB in Las Vegas was pretty hit-or-miss. Some restaurants welcomed BYOB diners with open arms, some charged outrageous corkage fees, some said they didn’t allow BYOB, while others said it was illegal [I believe it actually was in some parts of LV, maybe still is]. Some of these inconsistencies occurred at different restaurants on the same hotel property.
Since the onset of the most recent recession, my wife Karen and I have noticed an overall loosening of these policies. I’d like to share with you some of our favorite restaurants in Las Vegas – including our most recent exciting find – that do allow diners to bring their own wine, but first…
In any article about corkage, I feel obligated to mention a few rules. First, please bear in mind that BYOB is a privilege, not a right. You, as a diner, should appreciate when a restaurant owner allows you to bring in an outside product for consumption. Part of showing this appreciation is to bring in a wine appropriate to the meal, not some budget product hurriedly picked from a supermarket shelf en route to the dining establishment. Offer a taste of the wine to the manager, owner, or sommelier. And remember to include the service being provided in your gratuity; the server should not be punished due to you bringing in your own bottle instead of ordering wine from the restaurant’s list.
Please note that all of the restaurants listed below have very good wine lists. The owners just choose to provide their diners with the choice of bringing their own wine. Quite often, we will order a glass of something from a restaurant’s list before drinking the bottle we brought with us.
Also, should you choose to dine at any of the restaurants suggested below, I recommend that you verify in advance that the corkage policies I’ve listed are still in effect.
On the strip…
Paris Las Vegas
3655 Las Vegas Blvd South
Well priced menu in the style of a classic French Bistro. My favorite menu item is the Hanger Steak for about $23. Great view of the Bellagio fountain.
3355 Las Vegas Blvd South
Another French Bistro, this one with the added bonus of being in the Thomas Keller family of restaurants.
We often prefer to dine off the strip, not being huge fans of the crowded celebrity chef dining experiences. Here are a couple of our favorites…
2620 Regatta Dr Ste 106
Las Vegas, NV 89128
Not your typical BYOB place. Actually a great wine store with a restaurant attached, or a great restaurant with a wine store attached, depending on how you look at it. The idea here is you pick a bottle [or two] from the wine store and bring it to your table for an additional $10. I don’t know if they actually allow outside wine. But with the terrific selection and reasonable pricing, who cares? Menu is French bistro [kind of a recurring theme here, I know] with some pastas to add a touch of Italian. On the shore of a man made lake in Summerlin. Wine tasting on Saturday afternoons.
4350 E Sunset Rd Henderson, NV 89014
No French Bistro here. At this strip mall restaurant in Henderson, Chef Todd Clore creates his menus based on what he feels will taste good that day. Sample dishes:
Chipotle fried Calamari and Rock shrimp, spicy aioli
Goat Cheese Wonton raspberry basil sauce
Boneless Short Rib, jalapeño mashed, caramelized onion sauce
Breast of Duck pomegranate red wine sauce, mashed sweet potatoes
Grilled Skirtsteak “ON FIRE” chili cheese fries and black bean chili sauce
Todd’s also has monthly wine dinners.
Corkage: $20 [$0 on Wednesday]
440 S Rampart Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89145
Our latest “find” in Summerlin, and the reason I wanted to write this article now. In Tivoli Village, a picturesque outdoor shopping mall of high-end stores and delicious restaurants, Echo & Rig is a combination butcher shop and steak house.
From their website:
“Sam Marvin and Frank Fronda have introduced a pioneering new concept which transforms the long-held theories behind the steakhouse formula while simultaneously reintroducing the neighborhood butcher shop. The Echo & Rig Butcher Shop is a stunning homage to meat featuring a large open glass meat locker, vertical displays and an exhibition/demonstration area.”
Excellent personal service. Great selection of small plates and plenty of choices for non-steak eaters as well. I could have made a meal of just the small plates, but I wanted one of those steaks. So we got a salad of Tomato, Cucumber, Watermelon & Red Onion as well as an order of Bone Marrow Carne Asada. Karen got the Bouillabaisse while I ordered the Skirt Steak. The most expensive steaks were $34.80 and the one I got was $25.70. Delicious and reasonable. And, dig this…
Corkage: $0.00. That’s right, zero, nada, the big bagel.
They do have a very nice wine list, so we had a couple of glasses of Lambrusco to start.
Even better, later next year they plan on opening in Calabasas. Closer than Vegas, baby.
Michael Perlis has been pursuing his passion for wine for more than 25 years. He has had the good fortune of having numerous mentors to show him the way, as well as a wonderful wife who encourages him and shares his interest. After a couple of decades of learning about wine, attending events, visiting wineries and vineyards, and tasting as much wine as he possibly could, he had the amazing luck to meet Eve Bushman. Now, as Contributing Editor for Eve’s Wine 101, he does his best to bring as much information as possible about wine to Eve’s Wine 101 faithful readers. Michael is also Vice President of Eve Bushman Consulting (fka Eve’s Wine 101 Consulting) http://evebushmanconsulting.com/ and President of MCP Financial. Michael can be contacted at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
New quarterly magazine debuting fall 2015 features everything good that grows
LOS ANGELES -The publishers of The Tasting Panel magazine and The SOMM Journal have announced the fall 2015 launch of The Clever Root, a new quarterly magazine about everything good that grows. A chef-driven, farm-to-table and ingredient-focused publication, The Clever Root lends an informed and educated voice to the world of growables, including cannabis.
Each issue will feature columns from the editorial team, including Managing Editor Karen Moneymaker and Vice President of Editorial Rachel Burkons, who will produce in-depth articles on subjects from farm to fruit, leaf to herb – and the working tastemakers who buy, forage, prepare and grow these ingredients for the dishes served at the country’s top restaurants.
“The time is now to take a deep dive into the world of growables and provide expert knowledge to a motivated audience of chefs, buyers and restaurant industry trade. We’ll explore the organic lifestyle like never before, and shed light on a thriving cannabis industry,” says Meridith May, Publisher and Editorial Director of The Clever Root.
Subscriptions are $10 per issue or $36 for an annual subscription and will be targeted to chefs, restaurateurs, directors of food and beverage, grocery food buyers, and wine and spirits stores and high-end consumers. The Clever Root can also be found at gourmet shops, dispensaries, newsstands, wine and food events, cannabis conferences, and culinary and wine schools.
“We’re proud to announce that our inaugural issue will feature a cover story on Chef Daniel Patterson, a renowned American chef, restaurateur and food writer. Notable chefs and other industry personalities will grace the cover of each quarterly issue, spotlighting the cultivators of tomorrow, behind-the-scenes look at chefs’ gardens, biodynamic cooking and winemaking, and cannabis education,” adds May.
Recurring columns include:
Napa Valley Vintners: Recurring column on sustainability and other initiatives in grape growing
The Ganjier: The Clever Root’s connection with cannabis science and growing, from clones to terroir to greenhouses
Dig This: Front-of-the-book three-page spotlight; focus on “Asparagus for All Seasons” with columnist Jeff Cox
Says Allison Edrington, Editor-in-chief of TheGanjier.com and Cannabis Editor for The Clever Root: “On behalf of The Ganjier and Emerald Triangle farmers, we’re thrilled to partner with The Clever Root team in providing insights for our colleagues and the public on the evolving cannabis industry. This is an incredible opportunity to serve as a mainstream voice about sustainable cannabis growing and legal, adult recreational enjoyment.”
Special features in the inaugural Fall issue to include:
Pairing Chablis with Oysters: The Clever Root visits chefs across the country to find some winning combinations
The Garden Farmer: An interview with biodynamic guru and horticulturist Jeff Dawson
The Who’s Who of Humboldt County: The growers and the game-changers in the Emerald Triangle, including interviews with the government officials on the side of legalization
On The Cover: California Chef Daniel Patterson of San Francisco’s Coi, Haven, Alta and Aster
Duskie Estes of ZaZu in Sebastopol
Spotlight on NY Chefs
Spotlight on Sacramento Chefs
Unique Trends Report from Washington State Chefs
For subscriptions, email info@TheCleverRoot.com. The digital version of The Clever Root plus original content will be found at TheCleverRoot.com.
For interviews, images or additional information, please contact Sienna Spencer-Markles: email@example.com | 213-985-1011
About The Clever Root:
From the veteran publishers of Tasting Panel Magazine and SOMM Journal comes The Clever Root, a new quarterly magazine serving up cutting-edge culture for the curious mind and palate. Through informative stories, enticing recipes, gorgeous photography and expert perspectives, The Clever Root offers insight and inspiration about everything good that grows, from produce to livestock to wine and beyond—including a smart, educational look at the growing cannabis industry. TheCleverRoot.com | Facebook.com/TheCleverRoot | @TheCleverRoot
Acclaimed chef to lead culinary program at the newly redesigned boutique hotel and signature dining experience, The Front Yard
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – Following a multi-phase, multi-million dollar renovation, The Garland, a boutique hotel property with a longstanding Hollywood history, announces the appointment of Chris Turano to the position of Executive Chef. With more than 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Turano brings an unmatched passion and enthusiasm for food to the kitchen at North Hollywood’s newly revamped property. In his new role, Turano will oversee the launch of The Garland’s new standalone restaurant, The Front Yard, in addition to the hotel’s in-room dining and banquets.
“We’re happy to welcome Chef Turano on board during this exciting phase of The Garland’s transformation, beginning with this summer’s launch of both the hotel and our new neighborhood dining experience – The Front Yard,” said General Manager Scott A. Mills. “His culinary approach embodies the spirit of The Garland, combining thoughtfully crafted food and drink with warm and engaging service in all aspects of the hotel’s food and beverage program.”
Most recently, Turano served as Chef de Cuisine at the renowned Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara, Calif. where he utilized the area’s bounty to create an identity for the resort’s restaurant, The Bistro. Turano began his career studying under Food & Wine’s Best New Chef of 2001, Ted Cizma, at Elaine Restaurant in Chicago. He then went on to hold various leading roles at premier Chicago dining establishments including Executive Chef at The Chicago Firehouse; Executive Chef at ESTATE Ultra Bar; and Executive Chef at Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro Hotel where he led all food service operations, bolstered guest satisfaction and spearheaded special events.
Having opened over 10 restaurants in his career, Turano’s notable successes include re-opening the Quadrangle Club at the University of Chicago and the launch of Glen Prairie, named one of the top 20 restaurants in 2009 by Chicago Magazine. No stranger to the public eye, Turano also competed on and won the Food Network’s show, “Chef Wanted,” in 2013. Turano is a graduate of the College of DuPage and also holds a Court of Master Sommeliers Level 1 Certification.
“The Front Yard is an exciting new destination in the Valley where there’s already a burgeoning culinary scene, and I’m eager to showcase the reimagined space to guests and locals this summer,” said Executive Chef Chris Turano. “I strongly believe in The Garland’s primary focus, taking the best in-season ingredients and creating honest food. The work that a chef does is similar to the work of a craftsman. We take the beautiful bounty that Mother Nature produces and elevate it, which lets the ingredients shine.”
Set to open this June, The Front Yard, The Garland’s highly anticipated dining destination, will lend itself to elevated social dining with a simplified, approachable menu. The Front Yard celebrates the Los Angeles food scene while providing a uniquely alfresco Southern Californian atmosphere where both Angelenos and visitors will have an experience complemented by the familiarity of dining at a close friend’s home. With updated décor, the addition of an expansive outdoor patio and a hip bar serving classic cocktails infused with modern touches, The Front Yard brings a new, unparalleled neighborhood-dining concept true to the hotel’s legacy and the Valley.
Built in 1972 by Fillmore Crank for his wife, well-known Hollywood actress, Beverly Garland, The Garland has a colorful history and strong presence in the North Hollywood community. In the second generation of family management, James Crank took over the helm in 1999. Today, Mr. Crank has brought together top talent in the hospitality industry to continue the success of the revered hotel. Debuting summer 2015, The Garland will boast 243 renovated guest rooms and 14 suites, updated public spaces, the addition of a brand new outdoor garden/wedding venue – Beverly Park, and a completely redesigned signature restaurant, The Front Yard. Located just minutes from many of Hollywood’s most popular destinations, including Universal Studios, Universal CityWalk, Hollywood, The Hollywood Walk of Fame and Warner Bros Studios, the hotel is ideal for families, couples and business travelers alike. For more information, please visit www.thegarland.com.
About The Garland
Marcus Hotels & Resorts, a division of The Marcus Corporation (NYSE: MCS), owns and/or manages 20 hotels, resorts and other properties in 11 states. A force in the hospitality industry, Marcus Hotels & Resorts provides expertise in management, development and historical renovations. The company’s portfolio includes a wide variety of properties including city-center meeting hotels, upscale resorts and branded first-class hotels. For more information, please visit www.marcushotels.com and follow the company on Facebook and Twitter (@MarcusHotels).
Ojai, CA – The twenty-ninth annual Ojai Wine Festival will take place Sunday, June 14, 2015 from 12:00 to 4:00 pm on the scenic shores of Lake Casitas. From its humble beginnings in 1987 the event has grown into a leading regional event attracting nearly 5000 people from throughout the Central Coast and Southern California. The annual event is a major fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Ojai West Foundation; a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that helps fund many humanitarian and community projects, including the environmental science based educational Lake Casitas Boat Tours for public schools.
“You can’t beat the combination of fantastic wine, beer, food, live music, dancing and fun in such a beautiful shady setting on the shores of Lake Casitas.” boasted Wine Festival Executive Director, Angela May. “Our selection of wineries and breweries is looking impressive for this year.Tickets are limited and we advise buying tickets online now. Photos, maps, and event information can be found at the Festival’s website.”
Select from ten of Ojai’s best restaurants to buy a delicious meal. Guests may dine and drink wine on tables throughout the site or picnic on a grassy knoll overlooking the stage and Lake Casitas. Not a wine lover? Beer lovers can enjoy tasting a great selection of over 20 domestic and import beers. Purchase a V.I.P. ticket for the exclusive V.I.P. Lounge to enjoy early 11:30 am entry, fine wines by the glass or Stella Artois premium craft beer by the glass with free hors d’oeuvres served by Sakura Ojai, La Piu Bella Tavola Italian Catering & Whole Foods Market in a lovely shaded setting by the lakefront. VIP patrons can sample a glass of wine from Ascension Cellars. Falcone Family Vineyards, Gainey Vineyard or Barefoot Wine & Bubbly or sample award winning 100 percent blue agave Tequila Los Tres Toños and Tequila El TrueQue.
Full ticket price information is available at the festival’s website – http://www.ojaiwinefestival.com.
Visitors can look forward to listening, dancing, and singing along to the music of Beatles tribute band, Sgt. Pepper, plus Captain Cardiac and the Coronaries, a 1950’s – 1960’s rock and roll show band. The festival will also feature an assortment of arts and crafts vendors selling their wares. Small children can play in the park’s play area and free boat rides on Lake Casitas will again be available to all attendees. More than 100 volunteers guarantee a well run and safe festival.
29th Annual Ojai Wine Festival
Wine & beer tasting, food, craft vendors, silent auction and entertainment by the lakeside
June 14, 2015 at Lake Casitas Recreational Area Event Site
12 to 4 PM
Tickets online at www.ojaiwinefestival.com or starting in April at Ojai’s Attitude Adjustment Shoppe or Reid’s Appliances of Ventura and Santa Barbara
Advance tickets receive deep discounts and there is a limited number of VIP and General Admission available.
The International Chardonnay Symposium, Wine Waves & Beyond
and Taste of Pismo Scheduled for April and May
(PISMO BEACH, CA) – This spring, Pismo Beach is welcoming the return of three exceptional food and wine events to California’s famous Central Coast: The International Chardonnay Symposium, Wine Waves & Beyond and Taste of Pismo. Both a coastal and culinary town, Pismo Beach is at the heart of the Central Coast and is close to local California farmlands and orchards but still enjoys easy access to the freshest seafood. Pismo Beach is also only minutes away from the renowned wine regions of Edna Valley, Arroyo Grande Valley and Avila Valley.
Pismo Beach, a classic California beach town and a designated Wine & Waves vacation destination, offers oceanfront resorts, pristine beaches, breathtaking sunsets, adjacent world class wine regions, downtown wine tasting rooms, restaurants, boutiques, and entertainment for all ages and tastes.
With its warm weather, picturesque backdrop and access to local produce, fresh seafood and fine California wines, it’s no wonder that Pismo Beach is home to the following annual culinary events.
11th Annual Taste of Pismo, a premier wine & culinary event
April 25, 2015 – Enjoy a day of unforgettable food, wine and sweeping ocean views. Get a taste of Pismo Beach’s authentic savoir-faire at this outstanding event that brings together delicious samplings of local cuisine and premium Central Coast wineries and microbreweries – all on the seaside cliffs of Dinosaur Caves Park. Visit pismochamber.com for more information.
Wine, Waves & Beyond, Central Coast Longboard Classic
April 29 through May 3, 2015 – Pismo Beach, Avila Beach and San Luis Obispo will come together to host the 6th Annual Wine Waves & Beyond, a classic surf and wine event that combines SLO’s relaxed wine country vibe with the unique local surf culture. Enjoy five days of fun events, embrace California’s traditional surfing culture, experience Central Coast wines, artisan brews and local California farm-fresh and seaport-inspired cuisine, as well as great music and artwork throughout these amiable coastal communities. WW&B activities include: Surf Film Night, Central Coast Veterans Golf Classic, Rabobank’s Barrel to Barrel, Winemakers Dinner, Still Frothy Surf Contest, the annual VW Classic Car Show and the 805 Classic Beach Party.
Proceeds from WW&B will benefit Glean SLO, a program of the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County, connecting farmers and backyard growers with volunteers, who harvest fruits and vegetables that would otherwise go to waste, for local food banks. For more information, please visit WineWavesandBeyond.com.
The International Chardonnay Symposium
May 27 to May 30, 2015 – Pismo Beach and Avila Beach will host the 7th Annual International Chardonnay Symposium 2015, bringing together top Chardonnay producers from around the world. Gain a deeper appreciation for one of the world’s most noble grapes during an in-depth, three-day immersion in the Chardonnay Symposium’s vineyard-to-glass series of seminars including: grand tastings, educational panels, winemaker luncheons & dinners, winery & vineyard tours, and winery tastings. The 7th Annual International Chardonnay Symposium 2015 is proud to call Pismo Beach and Avila Beach home, partnering with several hotels in these two charming, seaside towns to provide luxury accommodations located on destination beaches, only minutes from the top-shelf wineries of SLO Wine Country. For more information, please visit TheChardonnaySymposium.com.
About Pismo Beach CA
The Classic California beach town of Pismo Beach is located on California’s famous Central Coast, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles along Pacific Coast Highway and CA-Highway 101. Overlooking more than 26 miles of pristine Pacific coastline, enjoy Pismo Beach’s great weather, plethora of outdoor activities, rich wild life and nature preserves, seaport inspired cuisine and fresh farmland produce, downtown wine tasting rooms, and neighboring world class wine producing regions of the Edna Valley, Arroyo Grande Valley, Avila Valley, Paso Robles, Santa Maria Valleyand Santa Rita Hills. Pismo Beach offers the perfect pairing of Wine & Waves with a truly “Classic California” experience. Pismo Beach is also noted for being one of the most dog-friendly towns in America. See our wide variety of lodging choices accommodating every budget and lifestyle, by visiting Classiccalifornia.com. Also, join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest.
The winding line of expectant foodies serpentined outside and into the lobby of Cal Mart, more than ready to attack the food at L.A. Weekly’s The Essentials 2015 event. Just when I was considering giving up, the line moved, and moved, and moved again. Soon we were to be rewarded with a giant open space dedicated to some of the best dining experiences L.A. has to offer, and I found a few good drinking experiences too, of course.
The list of vendors below provided by L.A. Weekly seemed short compared to what I discovered at the event and I did my best to photograph most (See Facebook photo album HERE) and sample until I could sample no longer.
Here are a few of my highlights:
Non alcoholic non dairy coffee drinks made by Califia Farms – loved this creamy alternative.
Everything that Crawford Family Wines poured from their new releases: Rose, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and a red blend. Definitely the best wine of the day for me.
Dressing up our oysters from L & E Oyster Bar.
The little croquet from Melisse was filled with Béarnaise sauce and topped with beef, meant to pop it in your mouth all at once = heaven! And getting a selfie with Chef Josiah Citrin didn’t hurt either!
Chef Ludo Lefebvre of Petit Trois served up steak tartar with onion straw and toast – remarkable.
Getting my flavorful Kogi BBQ taco – yes my first! And another selfie, with Chef Roy Choi this time!
At one point my husband Eddie and I had to divide and conquer, he was so thrilled to find Philippe The Original – a staple for anyone that loves French dipped sandwiches! Eddie also loved the ice creams offered up by McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams.
Loved the iced green tea and green tea shortbread made by Sugarbird Sweets and Teas.
The Spago Sandwich (40 second YouTube) was very popular!
Corbin Sweet Potato Vodka, served straight up, was delish!
Middlebar Bloody Mary Mix was pretty cool. Hope to run into them again!
Alimento, Sotto, Animal, Bestia, Beverly Soon Tofu, Buna Ethiopian Market, Cacao Mexicatessen, Chengdu Taste, Chichen Itza, Coni’ Seafood, Connie and Ted’s, Providence, Father’s Office, Lukshon, Guelaguetza, Guerrilla Tacos, Guisados, Hinoki & The Bird, Hungry Cat, Jitlada Southern Thai, Kogi BBQ, L&E Oyster Bar, Little Sister, Lum-Ka-Naad, Mélisse, Mozza, Picca, Plan Check, Pollo ALa Brasa, POT, Rocio’s Mole De Los Dioses, Saint Martha, Spago, Sqirl, Szechuan Impression, Tar & Roses, Petit Trois, ink., La Casita Mexicana, Eggslut, Crossroads, Horse Thief BBQ, Mariscos Jalisco, McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams, Valerie Confections, Belcampo Meat Co., DTLA Cheese, El Huarache Azteca, Kiriko Sushi, Philippe the Original, Sarita’s Pupuseria, Sticky Rice, Summer Rolls, Maude, Park’s BBQ, Superba Food + Bread. Wine: Dark Horse, Napa Cellars, Menage a Trois, Joel Gott Wines and Santa Barbara Vintners members Core, Melville, Martellotto, Lucas & Lewellen, Hitching Post, Palmina, Crawford Family Wines, Consilience and Turiya.
“LA Weekly’s signature food and wine extravaganza…The Essential’s at the California Market Center” in DTLA was presented on March 8th. Curated by their award-winning food writers, the event showcased signature bites from restaurants featured in their 99 Essentials restaurant issue that hit stands the same week. “Along with the great food, guests will enjoy wine from top shelf wineries and cocktail samples from our liquor partners.”
Last year’s event was truly amazing but this year guests could “expect more of LA’s hottest chefs, more wineries and more homegrown Los Angeles vendors” all in the “expanded California Market Center Penthouse” with “360 views of stunning DTLA” as guests enjoyed “samples of the best food and drink” the city has to offer.
LA Weekly is proud to present Food on Foot as the charity benefiting from this year’s Essentials event. A portion of ticket sales will be donated to Food on Foot and collections will be taken on site as well.
Since 1996, Food on Foot is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing the poor and homeless of Los Angeles with nutritious meals, clothing, job opportunities, and assistance in the transition to employment and life off the streets.
Food on Foot operates a weekly meal program every Sunday in Hollywood. Food on Foot began in March 1996 as one man’s response to the hunger he witnessed among the poor and homeless of Hollywood. What initially began as the distribution of meals from the trunk of a car has grown through the dedication of its volunteers and now serves more than 200 meals each week to homeless, disabled, elderly and low-income adults and children.
For more information and to make donations, please visit: www.foodonfoot.org
Eve Bushman has been reading, writing, taking coursework and tasting wine for over 20 years. She has obtained a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, has been the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and recently served as a guest judge for the L.A. International Wine Competition. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits that may be answered in a future column. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com
Tim Skogstrom runs Cornell Winery and Tasting Room, along with The Old Place restaurant up on Mulholland Highway. While Cornell Winery doesn’t make wine any more, the tasting room serves to showcase many of the wineries that are producing wines in the surrounding area. I highly recommend you pay it a visit.
Recently, I received the following email from Tim, bearing the sad news of the passing of William Hirsh. He and Tim were “comrades at arms and fellow wine lovers”. I asked and received permission from Tim to share it with you, so here it is….
From Tim Skogstrom:
Often times people enter our lives, make little to no impact and then simply disappear never to be thought of again. Recently a man has passed away whom never left this lack of impression on anybody. One of the reasons I am writing this is to honor him and his family but it also serves as therapy for my broken heart. The reason you are receiving this is because you have shown interest in Cornell Winery and the wines of the Santa Monica Mountains and the loss of this person is definitely relevant as some of you would never have found Cornell if it hadn’t been for this man.
I am speaking about William “Wild Bill” Hirsh. Bill was the Director of Operations for Cielo Vineyards at the corner of Kanan and Mulholland Hwy. which his brother Richard and his wife Diane own. Bill was one of the first characters I met when I was in the process of opening my business over 8 years ago and he has left such an indelible mark on me and my family of friends that I find myself moved to, at least, make you aware of his passing.
Bill is recognized by many as being one of the hardest working people in the plight to forward the movement of local wine into your glass. There are few if any who went out into the public domain by attending just about every wine tasting known to man and helping tell the story of the Santa Monica Mountains and what we are capable of. I have long said that the Cielo Cabernet is the best wine made in the area and Bill shared many bottles with me and my crew.
Bill has left a legacy behind him as he supplied many of our local restaurants and retailers with his wine. For many years he was able to increase the exposure of our wines from the Santa Monica Mountains in all the right spots helping pave the road for others to follow. He always had a very fresh and youthful expression in whatever he did. He is the guy responsible for creating wines the likes of his Woodstock labeled, “Honeypie” , “Deep Purple”, “Eight Ball”, “The Witch” and many more, all while sporting his Hendrix headband and his signature laugh and smile.
Bill was way too young to be taken from us like this and should serve a wakeup call for many, he has for me, as I share his propensity for gluttony and ignorance of our health, it’s easy to do in this business as you can imagine. I promise to honor you by making a change myself so that our reunion happens the right way! My heart goes out to all his family and hopes of reaching a spot where it all makes sense is in my prayers.
I will miss you dearly my friend, appreciate all you did for me and thanks for the memories!
William “Wild Bill” Hirsh