SANTA BARBARA, CALIF. (PRWEB) – “Gold Medal Wine Club opens up about the Garagiste Wine Club and the ultra-boutique wine-makers they feature each month.”
Gold Medal Wine Club is breaking the mold when it comes to conventional wine selections and is currently the only wine club with a Garagiste-specific niche, featuring two completely unique “Garagiste” wines each month.
Garagiste is a French term used to describe artisan winemakers who handcraft small batches of wine on their own. This is often a passion-filled side project done by some of the top winemakers of critically acclaimed wineries who desire to stray from the ways of big corporations in order to make something completely original and something completely their own.
In a sense, these winemakers are considered the ‘rebels’ of the industry for taking risks, using their own methods and non-standardized techniques to produce their one-of-a-kind wines from a wide array of grape varietals. To strengthen the rarity factor of Garagiste wine, the wine-makers only produce minuscule amounts of each wine making them extremely exclusive.
“Non-traditionalists love the discovery aspect of finding wines made by fellow non-traditionalists! The fact that the original French ‘Garagistes’ used uncommon techniques in addition to terroir to create their wines speaks to that individualism,” remarks Linda Chesterfield, Gold Medal Wine Club co-owner. She adds, “The recipients of these wines get to experience some of the most exciting and under-the-radar wines that are a result of this independent wine-maker movement, and we’re thrilled to be able to provide that for them.”
Gold Medal Wine Club’s Garagiste Wine Club began when the term first started to gain a following in the company’s home state of California. It was created to highlight and celebrate the independent winemaker spirit by embracing the ever-changing landscape of high-quality, small-production wine. The result has been some of the most compelling and authentic wines in the world.
Selecting wines from small-lot winemakers who typically produce less than 1500 cases annually means these wines are virtually impossible to find anywhere in the marketplace. The Garagiste Club features two different bottles of rare and fascinating wine from two different Garagiste wineries every month, most of them from California, but occasionally from Oregon and Washington.
“The majority of these wines are sold to consumers directly from the winery itself and maybe appear on their local restaurants wine lists. It’s very exciting that we get the opportunity to share these small, up-and-coming wineries with our Garagiste Wine Club members” adds Kelsey Chesterfield.
Created in such small quantities, Garagiste wines sell out quickly, so be sure to sign up for the Garagiste Wine Club and start your journey of uncorking some of the most extraordinary and exclusive wines. If you are not interested in signing up for the Garagiste Wine Club, you can still experience these wines by ordering them in the Gold Medal Wine Club online wine store.
Gold Medal Wine Club, located in Santa Barbara, CA is one of the country’s longest running, independent wine clubs, founded in 1992. Gold Medal Wine Club specializes in introducing small, family owned wineries and wines direct-to-consumers all across the United States. Every winery featured is a hands-on, family endeavor producing authentic wines with a true legacy.
THE HEART OF HOLLYWOOD – Overflowing with the very same blend of warmth, sophistication, tradition, variety, and delectable flavour that have made Musso & Frank Grill such an iconic Hollywood destination for the past 100 years, the restaurant’s 2018 signature Peake Ranch Syrah has just been added to the menu to help welcome the new year. The addition of the new wine represents an integral facet of Musso’s ongoing efforts to expand and embellish its “Award of Excellence” – winning wine program.
The announcement was jointly made today by Musso’s COO, Proprietor, and fourth-generation member of the family of owners Mark Echeverria, and the famed restaurant’s General Manager and Wine Director Andrea Scuto, who blended the new vintage of the wine.
Musso’s 2018 vintage, already labelled classic, is similar to the great 2016 – another classic year for a great vintage and strong growing season, resulting in high quality wines. 2018’s cool temperatures in the late summer and early fall provided ideal weather by which to allow the fruit to have great concentration, with healthy acidity and a good depth of flavor.
Says Mr. Scuto, “Musso’s Peake Ranch Syrah is deep red with purple reflections, shiny in the glass, and shows the concentration typical of a long ripening season. The nose is powerful, with a burst of black fruit and purple flowers accented from the cardamom and baking spices generously imparted by the French oak barrels used to elevate the wine.
The attack on the mouth of our new Peake Ranch Syrah is supple, and confirms the deep core of black fruit, releasing on the mid-palate floral notes and the precious spice accents perceived at the nose. Tannins are sweet and smooth, working together with the natural acidity of the Syrah, to give great structure to the wine in order to pair it with our famous steaks. The finish is long and clean, and leaves the mouth ready for another bite of our legendary food options.”
The new 2018 Musso & Frank Syrah “Peake Ranch,” available by the bottle ($70) or by the glass ($15) – as long as limited supplies last – will be available exclusively to Musso diners. The wine has been barrel picked and blended by Mr. Scuto to offer the very same mixture of old-world sophistication and contemporary warmth that has defined Musso & Frank for a full century and counting. The new wine will play a leading role by its addition to a rapidly-growing wine program that earned Musso’s a coveted Restaurant Award of Excellence for 2019 from Wine Spectator Magazine: https://restaurants.winespectator.com/restaurant/4977/the-musso-%26-frank-grill.
The introduction of the new Musso & Frank signature wine kicks off the legendary restaurant’s 101st year in business, following the seminal year of 2019 which included the unveiling of an unprecedented “Award of Excellence for a Hollywood Restaurant” from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce on Musso’s 100th anniversary (9/27) and the publication of a stunning new coffee table book entitled “The Musso & Frank Grill,” chronicling – for the first time ever – the landmark venue’s history. The book is now available to the public at https://mussoandfrank.com/shop/ or on site at Musso & Frank.
Commenting on the new Musso & Frank wine brand, Mr. Echeverria said, “While Musso’s is primarily known for offering the greatest martinis in the world as well as other popular cocktails, we felt now was the perfect time to expand our award-winning wine program. We look forward to introducing both longstanding and new patrons to our wine program, and to enhancing their Musso’s experience by offering our specially blended new vintage as well. Under Andrea’s expert guidance, we are confident Musso’s will soon become as renowned for our wine selections as for our steaks, chops, seafood, salads, and, of course, legendary martinis!”
Added Mr. Scuto, “We’re committed to offering our patrons an expansive wine list as varied and appealing as our classic dishes themselves. Our new signature vintage is a boutique product made from fruit grown in the extraordinary Peake Ranch organic vineyards in the St. Ynez Valley, and vinified by local star winemaker Kevin Law out of Challen Vineyard in Santa Maria. We’re confident it will serve as an ideal complement to many of our most popular signature dishes throughout the year.”
Pouring On Quality
In addition to creating the new signature vintage and expanding the restaurant’s wine list, Mr. Echeverria and Mr. Scuto will further showcase the restaurant’s growing commitment to serving fine wine with the debut of a new, temperature-controlled wine display. The new display will be featured within one of three new private rooms currently under construction adjacent to Musso’s and slated to open to the public April, 2020.
Representing the first addition to the Musso & Frank Grill since 1955, the new private dining rooms will include one room offering an 8-10 person intimate dining experience, along with two others that can be converted for larger receptions accommodating up to 100 people – ideal for entertainment industry wrap parties, corporate gatherings, wedding celebrations, and a variety of other large and small events.
Raising The Bar For 100 Years
Founded in 1919 by Joseph Musso and Frank Toulet, the Musso & Frank Grill was sold in 1927 to a duo of Italian immigrants named Joseph Carissimi and John Mosso (a coincidentally similar name). Today, Musso’s is owned and operated by the families of Mr. Mosso’s three granddaughters: John and Cathy Echeverria, their son Mark Echeverria and his wife Tina, Steve and Anne Jones, and Richard and Kristen Kohlmeyer.
In addition to Musso & Frank’s remarkable cuisine and welcoming atmosphere, the restaurant has been a favorite watering hole for thousands of Hollywood stars, writers, directors, and studio executives, starting with none other than Charlie Chaplin. Business increased after Musso’s owners first opened an intimate and exclusive Back Room with a full-service bar in 1935. Twenty years later, the now-famous bar from the Back Room – including original light fixtures and furniture – was relocated to what is today referred to as Musso’s “New Room.”
Only The Beginning!
While 2019 was certainly a year for reflection by the owners of the Musso & Frank Grill, Mark Echeverria, his family, and their entire team remain laser focused on the present and future – a key reason why this past year was the most successful in the restaurant’s storied history to date. As Mr. Echeverria sums it up, “For all of us fortunate enough to be associated with Musso & Frank, 2019 wasn’t solely the culmination of our first hundred years – it also marked merely the beginning of our second hundred years!”
For more information, please visit www.mussoandfrank.com.
Santa Barbara, California – Acme Hospitality introduces Pearl Social, an intimate cocktail and music bar opened to the public on November 1, 2019. The bar is located at 131 Anacapa Street in Santa Barbara in Suite B, located between The Lark and Helena Avenue Bakery.
Pearl Social is a nod to the celebrated first lady of Santa Barbara, Pearl Chase, a community activist who worked tirelessly on the historic preservation and beautification of the popular coastal city. Pearl Chase was an intelligent and courageous woman who deeply loved her adopted hometown of Santa Barbara and spent her life committed to bettering it. Pearl Social is intended to be a place of connection for the community to come together in a social and convivial atmosphere.
The cocktail program is led by Gavin Koehn, a Santa Barbara local and long-time Acme alumnus. Starting his career in hospitality as a server at The Lark, Gavin quickly established himself as a cocktail prodigy and moved on to lead the beverage program at sister restaurant Loquita. A participating U.S.A. finalist in the Mediterranean Inspirations global cocktail competition held in Ibiza, Spain, Gavin brings his passion for Old World cocktails with modern twists to Pearl Social. The eclectic cocktail menu has five cocktail classics; Not So Classic; Rule Breakers; Are they Martinis; Communal Consumption; and B. Anthony Approved non-alcoholic drinks. Samples include the Dry Appletini with Calvados, Pineau de Charentes, Dry French Vermouth and London Dry Gin; an absinthe-laced twist on the ever-popular espresso martini; The Unheard Melody features Blanche Armagnac, mezcal, blueberry-infused grappa, lemon, pineapple and basil. Communal Consumption selections offer librations served in vintage punchbowls to share, sure to please couples on a night out.
Enter Pearl Social’s intimate space, designed by Doug Washington and Kim Calabrigo of August Studio, located in the heart of Santa Barbara’s popular Funk Zone. Washington is an integral part of the Acme family, responsible for the design of all of its successful concepts. The design of Pearl Social is inspired by the 1930s-1950s transatlantic urban social clubs of the United States and Europe. Influenced by the Mediterranean climate, gorgeous Pacific coastline and lush flora of Santa Barbara, Pearl Social is illuminated by tranquil hues of deep blue, green and soft pink. The custom overhead chandeliers, originally designed by Washington, are reinterpretations of lights that hang in New York City’s Grand Central Station. Deep blue walls encapsulate the space creating a romantic and luxurious vibe. Emerald green tile provides the backdrop for the custom-built back bar built by Alan Lockwood, bordered in front with Calacatta Luccia quartz. Mid-century style leather sofas atop vintage Persian rugs, soft rose-colored velvet chairs and low-slung conversation areas create the perfect opportunity for connection. A nature-inspired mural saturates the space with intense color and energy while the intimate patio provides a cozy place to circle up. Pearl Social is designed for relaxing, settling in and connecting with friends.
Acme Wine Director Hayden Felice is credited for development of the wine program at Pearl Social. By-the-glass wine selections are small but focused, with an emphasis on sustainable farming practices and natural winemaking processes featuring both Old World and local winemakers that produce the finest wine worldwide. Similar to the by-the-glass list, the bottle list selections have substantial breadth. The numerous fans of Pearl Social’s previous incarnation, Les Marchands, can find selections from the extensive wine list from the beloved wine shop on Pearl Social’s list and at The Lark restaurant. All four of the Les Marchands Wine Clubs continue to be offered online.
The service team is led by Kacey House, also General Manager for The Lark, who is committed to delivering the warm and gracious hospitality that all Acme concepts are known for.
Award-winning Chef Jason Paluska from The Lark designed a complementary menu of snacks for Pearl Social. As the original chef for The Lark, Jason has garnered numerous awards and international recognition for his Central Coast inspired, seasonal, locally sourced, and scratch-made menu. His small bites menu at Pearl Social includes a choice of West Coast Oysters with Foraged Pink Peppercorn and Sea Bean Mignonette as well as Malt Vinegar Potato Chips with Smoked Trout Roe Dip. Some larger format dishes include a Golden Beet Tartine with French Butter Pear, Burrata, and Crispy Sage, as well as a Dry-Aged Beef Burger Paired with Green Peppercorn Aioli, Jasper Hill Aged Cheddar and Pickled Red Onion, served on a Helena Avenue Brioche Bun.
Live and recorded music is planned as a regular feature of Pearl Social featuring jazz, blues, folk, rock, acoustic instrumental and vocal performances as well as DJs spinning favorite tunes.
Pearl Social is open nightly from 5:00 p.m. – 11 p.m. Sunday – Thursday and 5:00 p.m. – midnight on Friday and Saturday.
ABOUT ACME HOSPITALITY:
Acme Hospitality owns and operates an innovative collection of boutique food and beverage concepts in the heart of Santa Barbara, California’s Funk Zone. The group has earned numerous awards and accolades for its many concepts. Recognition includes “America’s Top 100 Wine Restaurants” from Wine Enthusiast for both The Lark and Les Marchands; “36 Hours in Santa Barbara” by the New York Times for Loquita; Travel + Leisure; “Top 100 Hot Spot Restaurants in America” by OpenTable for The Lark; “10 Hottest Restaurants in Santa Barbara” by Zagat for Lucky Penny; and “10 Best New Restaurants by U.S.A.Today for Loquita, and Los Angeles magazine; Food & Wine for The Lark, Loquita, Santa Barbara Wine Collective, Tyger Tyger and Monkeyshine. Acme Hospitality is dedicated to delivering outstanding food, wine, cocktails, service and beautiful interiors to the Santa Barbara community and visitors to the American Riviera from around the globe.
131 Anacapa Street, Ste. B, Santa Barbara, California 93101
(between The Lark and Helena Avenue Bakery)
For more information, the public can visit: www.pearlsocialsb.com
Follow PEARL SOCIAL:
Twitter & Instagram: @pearlsocialsb
For information on the ACME HOSPITALITY visit: www.acmehospitality.com
London – the World’s Best Wine Lists in association with Gaggenau have been announced, with Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient, receiving the honor of Wine List of the Year, Best Hotel Wine List in the World, and Champions’ League World’s Best By-the-Glass Wine List 2019.
The World’s Best Wine Lists celebrated its sixth anniversary with a prestigious judging panel. Chaired by Neil Beckett, World of Fine Wine Editor, and featuring writer and broadcaster, Andrew Jefford; award-winning sommelier, Andreas Larsson; publisher and writer Ch’ng Poh Tiong; wine writers Elin McCoy, Francis Percival and Alder Yarrow; sommelier Luciana Girotto; and wine writer and lecturer Anne Krebiehl MW. They assessed over 1,000 of the world’s best wine lists to determine the shortlist. The nominees and winners are based on a range of criteria including breadth, depth, interest, quality, value, clarity and accuracy.
Hidden in the Crocodile River Valley in the lush Francolin Conservancy, Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient is one of South Africa’s finest luxury hotels – featuring one of the country’s best loved and most respected restaurants, worthy of its supreme praise and three top recognitions at the World’s Best Wine Lists Awards 2019. The creative cookery of Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient is well matched by a superb modern wine list containing over 5,000 selections. Described by our judges as “a phenomenal list that is a joy to explore”.
The awards are renowned as the Michelin Stars of the wine list world and include a number of best-in-class category winners including HIDE for Best Spirits List in the World; The World Residences at Sea for Best Cruise Ship Wine List in the World; Nº5 Wine Bar for Best Wine Bar List in the World; Air France for Best Airline Wine List in the World and for the sixth year in a row, Pix Pâtisserie for Best Champagne & Sparkling Wine List in the World. The night was also a celebration of new restaurants, with Chicago’s The Purple Pig being awarded Best By-the-Glass Wine List Without Coravin® in the World; and Lake Buena Vista, Florida’s Wine Bar George taking Best Micro Wine List in the World.
Best Long Wine List in the World 2019 – Geranium, Copenhagen
Best Medium-Size Wine List in the World 2019 – Sager + Wilde Hackney Road, London
Best Short Wine List in the World 2019 – Blue Hill, New York
Best Micro Wine List in the World 2019 – Wine Bar George, Lake Buena Vista
Best Regional Wine List in the World 2019 – The Yeatman, Vila Nova de Gaia
Best Champagne & Sparkling Wine List in the World 2019 – Pix Pâtisserie, Portland
Best Dessert & Fortified Wine List in the World 2019 – Antica Bottega del Vino, Verona
Best Spirits List in the World 2019 – Hide, London
Best By-the-Glass Wine List Without Coravin® in the World 2019 – The Purple Pig, Chicago
Best By-the-Glass Wine List With Coravin® in the World 2019 – Nº5 Wine Bar, Toulouse
Best Wine Bar List in the World 2019 – Nº5 Wine Bar, Toulouse
Best Hotel Wine List in the World 2019 – Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient, Pretoria
Most Original Wine List in the World 2019 – Terroir, New York
Best Designed Wine List in the World 2019 – The Restaurant at Meadowood, Napa
Best Airline Wine List in the World 2019 – Air France
Best Cruise Ship Wine List in the World 2019 – The World Residences at Sea
Wine List of the Year 2019 – Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient, Pretoria
Best Sake List in the World 2019 – Saké, The Rocks, Sydney
Champions’ League World’s Best Wine List 2019 – Eleven Madison Park, New York
Champions’ League Best Champagne & Sparkling Wine List 2019 – Eleven Madison Park, New York
Champions’ League Best By-the-Glass Wine List 2019 – Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient, Pretoria
Champions’ League Best Dessert & Fortified Wine List 2019 – Robuchon au Dôme at Grand Hotel Lisboa, Macau
Champions’ League Best Spirits List 2019 – The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Tennessee
The full list of winners will be announced soon.
Brian Cousins, General Manager of Napa Valley Grille in Westwood, recently treated my #LAWineWriters group to a wine pairing luncheon with a selection of French and German Wines represented by Clink Different. Of the featured wines we were to have Sparkling, Rosé, Riesling, Semillon, Pinot Noir and Bordeaux. Of the meal, we were to also have no less than five courses prepared by Executive Chef Kenny Spost. (Napa Valley Grille does a monthly promotion, so head there before the end of October to try these wines!)
Cousins has been our host for numerous luncheons, where our organizer Cori Solomon usually brings in a winemaker. I was happy to support his own wine program, and taste through wines he wanted our opinions on. Later that evening he would repeat the tasting for clients of the restaurant.
In the course of our discussion Cousins shared that the wines were not ones we would find in stores and were an “expression of what (he) tasted and liked” providing the restaurant with a “world’s list” of imports. Of our menu he said that there were many new items we were trying that were being offered for both lunch and dinner, including more selections for vegetarian and vegan diners – at least six new dishes. Cousins said that between the new imported wines on their list, and the new menu items, Napa Valley Grille seeks to be “in the conversation” with other innovative restaurants – I believe they already are. (Photos of the food and wine can be seen on my public Facebook post here.)
The menu (below) and tasting notes were provided, so I limited my commentary on how I liked the wine and how well I felt it paired with the menu, noted with an EB at the end of each course/wine descriptions:
Oyster with Chipotle Herb Butter.
2016 Scharzhofberger Riesling sparkling wine brut, Saar
Fine citrus and grapefruit aromas, concise animating mineral, racy acidity, fine yeasty notes and elegant perlage.
EB: Chef Spost had made his own chipotle sauce with shallots, parsley, butter = I loved the savory qualities of this dish. The wine was so different for me, I noted a fresh apple cider and yeast that was a nice complement to the oyster.
mixed greens, frisée, toasted turmeric pepitas, pears, raspberries,
bubu arare, vanilla bean vinaigrette.
2018 Villa Wolf Pinot Noir Rosé, Pfalz
a true rosé, made with a brief maceration before pressing to extract color. It is light and refreshing, with deliciously bright berry and fruit flavors and a clean, zippy finish.
2017 Franz Keller Vom Löss Pinot Gris, Baden
concentrated grapefruit and lemon flavors that leave a pleasant murmur of citrus zest on midpalate. It finishes on lingering notes of crushed mineral and volcanic ash.
EB: Many of the LA Wine Writers commented that this was the best “fruit salad” they ever had. I loved the vanilla bean in the dressing and the toasted pepitas – crunchy, nutty, sweet and vinegar all working together well. I enjoyed both of the German wines; the Pinot Noir (bright raspberry with a very balanced acidity) and Pinot Gris (apple, perfumy, crisp).
orange-ginger-soy reduction, shaved fennel, black sesame seeds, taro root chips.
2017 Clos des Lunes Lune d’Argent. Sauternes, Bordeaux
70% Sémillon and 30% Sauvignon Blanc. Featuring a mix of pear, tangerine, yellow and green apple flavors, lined with light honeysuckle and fennel hints. Creamy along the edges, and pure and vibrant through the middle.
2017 Scheferkorf Sylvaner, Franken, Germany
Brisk aromas of tangerine and quince gain ripeness and concentration on the palate of this dry but honeyed Silvaner. It’s an easy-drinking, juicy wine with ample yellow-peach flavor and just a hint of mineral complexity.
EB: I was in love with this flavorful tuna, especially with the soy reduction. The Sauterne was drier and less sweet than the usual dessert wine, with creamy apple notes. The Sylvaner, from Germany, had a light but round mouthfeel and lovely peach notes.
Colorado Lamb Rack
corn polenta, mint-pomegranate reduction.
2016 August Kesseler, The Daily August, Pinot Noir, Rheingau
Hints of beetroot, black cherry and earth extend from nose to palate in this lusciously ripened Pinot Noir. Full bodied and supple in mouthfeel, it’s fringed by fine, smooth tannins and just a hint of astringency on the finish.
2017 Chateau St Sulpice, Bordeaux Superiore
70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc
In the nose plum, red cherry, menthol, dried herbs, baking spice and oak. On the palate plum, red cherry and baking spice followed by dried herbs and a cedar finish.
2016 Franz Keller Pinot Noir, Baden
The nose suggests whiffs of cherry blossom, graphite, plum and smoke. Black cherry and berry flavors seem delicate initially, but amass concentration and complexity with aeration, building layers of savory earth and tannin.
EB: A lot going on here but let me just start with the Colorado lamb – yes it’s gamier than what you might be used to, but with that it’s also earthier, so having a flavorful meat was perfect for me. Of the three wines I appreciated the Bordeaux but my palate, for a change, leaned toward the two German Pinots, “The Daily August” especially as it had nice dark cherry and what Cousins referred to as a “herbaceous” quality.
Australian Wagyu NY Strip Steak
10 oz, green peppercorn-cognac jus.
2010 Goulée by Cos d’Estournel, Medoc
On the nose aromatic ripe cherries, tobacco, coffee and minerals. On the palate rich and full bodied with velvety tannins and a long finish.
EB: Thank you for this course. The meat was cooked perfectly – pan seared with brown butter – and I thoroughly enjoyed it with the Bordeaux, that was all barnyard aromas at first but blew off to reveal nice dark fruit and a slightly sweet finish.
Chateau Grand Jauga Sauternes, 2015
A lovely mix of aromas and flavors including apricot, honeysuckle, and juicy citrus, plus a streak of minerality. Gracefully balances honeyed sweetness against acidity, and finishes with appealing intensity and length.
EB: This is my idea of dessert after such a filling meal, just bring on one small taste of a luscious dessert wine. This one provided a sweet pineapple, Meyer lemon and a lingering fresh fruit cocktail finish.
Napa Valley Grille
1100 Glendon Avenue, #100
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.
OAKVILLE, Calif. – Oakville Grocery, the general store that has been a gathering place for locals and tourists for nearly 140 years, has been enhanced since joining the Boisset Collection in January. Visitors to both Oakville and Healdsburg will now find an emphasis on local sustainable, organic and Biodynamic food offerings as well as an expanded wine selection that includes exclusive, highly allocated wines by the taste, glass or bottle. These new items, as well as the grocery’s signature favorites, can now be enjoyed on renovated patios during extended summer hours.
“We are so excited to bring new life into community landmarks in Napa Valley and Sonoma County,” said Jean-Charles Boisset, proprietor of Boisset Collection. “Oakville Grocery is a phenomenal destination where guests can spend a relaxing afternoon trying a selection of amazing wines; fresh, healthy and local cuisine; and fabulous craft beers!”
The historical legacy of the Oakville destination has been made more prominent through extensive signage throughout the property that tell the story of its founding role in Napa Valley. In addition, the property next door — 1881 Napa Wine History Museum & Tasting Salon — features tastings of wines from 13 sub-appellations of Napa Valley as well as an archive of wine relics open for complimentary visitation and has published its own history of the region.
A unique feature of both Oakville Grocery locations is that guests can taste some of the most sought-after wines from rotating producers that have included Opus One, Screaming Eagle and Kosta Browne by purchasing cards and using them in Napa Technology dispensers.
“Normally wine lovers have to wait on allocation lists for years to purchase these bottles,” said Ed Maass, Oakville Grocery Wine Program Manager. “We are thrilled that we can make these beautiful wines more accessible and offer them by the taste and glass at Oakville Grocery, and through our Oakville Wine Society.”
Throughout each store, the wine selections have been significantly expanded and diversified as well as organized by appellation. In the Oakville location guests can discover wines from nearly 300 Napa Valley vintners and in Healdsburg they can browse through an equally large selection of Sonoma County producers. The flagship location in Napa Valley also has two new spaces dedicated to wine: a “cave” where guests can sample the highest-end wines from the Napa Tech machines as well as a wine vault that guests can enter and make selections from, as if they’re perusing their own wine cellar at home. A wine vault is also planned for the Healdsburg location, which has a revamped and upgraded main floor wine section.
The robust and diverse wine offerings are now available through a unique wine club. The Oakville Grocery Wine Society offers wine enthusiasts the opportunity to continue their journey through the wine country of Napa Valley through quarterly shipments of wines, many of which are small lot and hard to find. Society members receive access to private tasting experiences as well as a 10% discount on reorders and store purchases. The society has four different levels: Embarcadero, with a three-bottle allocation averaging $225; Expedition, with a three-bottle allocation averaging $450; Quicksilver, with a 3- or 6-bottle allocation averaging $1,050 or $2,100; and Savant, which offers the selections of the most exclusive and hard-to-procure wines, and is available exclusively by invitation for the most discerning collectors.
As a community fixture in the hearts of Napa Valley and Healdsburg, Boisset welcomes chefs, friends, neighbors and visitors to come in to shop. Oakville Grocery is also committed to its community and invites artisans and purveyors to bring in their products for consideration for sale. A steadfast practitioner of Biodynamic and organic farming, through the new food selection at the groceries, Boisset is spreading its mission for people to “take a stand for the future of food” and carefully consider what they are putting in their bodies. As part of this ideal Boisset has improved and expanded the line of Oakville Grocery-branded proprietary offerings — such as vinegar, olive oil, preserves, tapenade, mustards, charcuterie and beer — while at the same time ensuring they derived from more local sources.
“Our motto is ‘Eat Local, Drink Local, Picnic Local.’ We want to sell products that are made as close to Oakville Grocery as possible,” said Oakville Grocery General Manager Barry Dinsmore, referencing both the Oakville and Healdsburg locations of the store. He estimated that 70% of products in the stores hail from California, with another 20% from the U.S. and the remaining 10% international.
One of the new food providers Oakville Grocery has partnered with is Ohm Coffee Roasters. The Napa Valley-based company led by former sommelier and wine marketing professional Derek Bromley is the exclusive coffee provider for both the Oakville and Healdsburg locations. The Oakville location now has a coffee machine from La Marzocco, the benchmark Italian brand, as a central feature of the upgraded coffee program.
In addition to new foods and wines, the Oakville location has a renovated patio with new furniture and umbrellas to better enable guests to take in views of some of Napa Valley’s most notable landmarks—the Mayacamas Mountains and the landmark To Kalon vineyard to the west and the valley’s highest point, Mt. St. Helena, to the north. Guests can soak up the atmosphere while enjoying sandwiches and salads from the deli cases inside; delicious pizza, burgers and sandwiches made in the wood-fired outdoor oven; or locally raised roasted chickens from the rotisserie, along with wine selected from the grocery or the new, adjacent 1881 Napa tasting room. The Healdsburg patio, which has 40 seats and is one of the only outdoor eating spaces near the Healdsburg Plaza, will also soon have an updated look.
1881 Napa derives its name from the history of Oakville Grocery, which was founded in 1874 as a general store by P.B. O’Neil and then transitioned into a community hub in 1881 under the auspices of Jim and Jennie McQuaid.
“None of us own 1881 Napa or Oakville Grocery. We are just guests in their history. These places will outlive us,” said Boisset.
In Oakville, Oakville Grocery is located at 7856 St. Helena Highway. Oakville Grocery is open from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday through September. The phone number is 707.944.8802, and the catering team can be contacted by emailing email@example.com.
In Healdsburg, Oakville Grocery is located at 124 Matheson Street and is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday through September. The phone number is 707.433.3200, and the catering team can be contacted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
About Boisset Collection
Boisset is a family-owned collection of historic and unique wineries and lifestyle destinations led by Jean-Charles Boisset and bound together by a common vision: authentic, terroir-driven wines in harmony with their history, their future and the land and people essential to their existence. With more than 25 historical and prestigious still and sparkling wineries in the world’s preeminent terroirs, including Burgundy, Beaujolais, Jura, the Rhône Valley, the south of France, and California’s Russian River Valley and the Napa Valley. Its California wineries include DeLoach Vineyards, Raymond Vineyards, Buena Vista Winery and JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset; its French properties feature Domaine de la Vougeraie, Jean-Claude Boisset, Bouchard Aîné et Fils, J. Moreau et Fils, Louis Bouillot, Henrie Maire, Fortant and Bonpas. Each house retains its unique history, identity and style, and all are united in the pursuit of fine wines expressive of their terroir. Wine is at the center of Boisset’s mission, and is complemented by spirits, beer, cider, gourmet foods and luxury goods, both of its own design and from partnerships with historic companies such as Baccarat, Lalique, St. Louis, Riedel, Christofle, and Bernardaud. To learn more about the Boisset Collection, please visit www.boissetcollection.com.
SANTA MONICA – Santa Monica’s most iconic restaurant, Chez Jay, officially celebrated their 60th Anniversary by kicking off the festivities with the Grand Opening of The Backyard at Chez Jay, ‘where all good peep meet to eat and drink’ this past August.
Chez Jay, located in the heart of Santa Monica on Ocean Avenue, is Owned by Michael Anderson and now operated by his son General Manager Chris Anderson. Shortly after Chez Jay was named a Historical Landmark in 2012, The Backyard began as a vision that Michael Anderson had where he wanted to create a special experience for his longtime following of extremely loyal clientele so they could enjoy outdoor dining right by the Santa Monica ocean under the stars. M. Anderson set out to start this project, which he thought would be a great addition to Chez Jay and the City of Santa Monica, but the process turned out to take much longer than expected. “Everyone fought me at every turn, but I was not going down,” states M. Anderson. “I just kept thinking of Robert De Niro’s line as LaMotta in Raging Bull during one of his fights with Robinson when he says, ‘Hey, Ray, I never went down, man! You never got me down, Ray! You hear me, you never got me down,’ and he kept going.” Michael’s son Chris Anderson joined his father at Chez Jay approximately 2 years ago as the General Manager where he quickly decided he wanted to help his father finish what he had started.
“This was not my first priority when I came on board at Chez Jay, but after seeing how much this meant to my Dad and realizing that getting this done was taking such a toll his health, I jumped in and did everything I could to help him finish this project and make his vision a reality,” says C. Anderson.
The Backyard was designed by Chris Anderson and Nataly Lopez with the thoughtful mission to create a comfortable and welcoming gathering space for family, friends and longtime guests of Chez Jay. The space features picnic tables, couches, Adirondack chairs, fire pit, wine barrels, hanging vintage lanterns and string lights, large off-white canopy, and bright blue fence that backs up to Santa Monica’s Tongva Park.
Chef Guillermo De Arcos G, known as “Chef Memo,” is the special secret ingredient at The Backyard at Chez Jay. Having been in the kitchen at Chez Jay for over 27 years, he now has his son Guillermo De Arcos Jr. cooking by his side, making this a true family affair as he introduces the new Good Eats menu at The Backyard at Chez Jay. The Starters kick off the party with the Peppercorn Maple Bacon, Grilled Street Corn, Southwest Steak Nachos, Truffle Fries, Kimchi Guacamole, Rhode Island Calamari, Shrimp Ceviche Bites, and Baked Clams. There are three delicious Salads that can be shared or enjoyed on their own including the Crispy Calamari Salad, prepared with fried calamari, frisée, romaine radicchio, tomatoes, pickled red onion, and French Dijon vinaigrette; The Cobb served with grilled chicken, romaine, bacon, egg, blue cheese, tomato, avocado and lemon honey vinaigrette, or the NY Steak Salad prepared with Angus New York Strip, arugula, mixed greens, blue cheese, cranberries, walnuts, pickled onions and balsamic. The Mains start off with seafood selections such as the Mahi Mahi Sandwich served with a grilled filet of Mahi Mahi, lettuce, tomato, onion and tartar sauce on a toasted bun, or the Fish & Chips with Allagash beer battered cod and French fries. Next, step-up the savory by enjoying the Chez Burger comprised of a 1⁄2 pound Angus beef, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion, served on a toasted bun; the Crispy Chicken Sandwich made of fried chicken, house coleslaw, apple, frisée, chipotle aioli, and pickles on a toasted bun, or the Steak Au Poivre Sandwich with a Peppered Angus NY Steak, cream of horseradish, picked cabbage, arugula on sourdough. Lastly, there is the Jay Dog prepared with a grilled 10 inch Wagyu hot dog, tomato, pickles, onions, relish, peppers and mustard on split-top brioche, or the appropriately named Mike’s Melt, in honor of Michael Anderson, prepared with a pressed 1⁄2 pound Angus beef patty, melted cheddar, and caramelized onions on rye.
For the final finish on the menu, the Sweet offering inspired by Chez Jay Chef Juan De Arcos known as “Chef Tony,” are Chef Memo’s Fried Oreos – the ultimate comfort food fried to perfection.
Of course, The Backyard at Chez Jay is all about Good Drinks and the cocktails the Chez Jay team has created are no exception. The menu offers signature drinks such as the Hotel California made of Bombay Sapphire, grapefruit, lemon and rosemary; the Chevy To The Levy comprised of mezcal, pineapple, Ramazzoti Rosato, lemon and sage, The Juan Margarita prepared with Casamigos Tequila, jalapeño, cucumber, cilantro and lime, and the Ketel Spritz made of Ketel One, St Germain, Prosecco, lemon, and thyme. For classics with a twist, guests can enjoy the Pimm’s Cup made of Pimm’s, cucumber, mint, ginger, and lemon, the Dark & Stormy prepared with Gosling’s Rum, ginger beer, and lime, the Never Old Fashioned with Slow & Low Rock and Rye Whiskey, orange peel, Luxardo Marashino Cherry and bitters, or the Tecate Michelada made with veteran Chez Jay Bartender Petter Whichman’s Wickie’s Bloody Good Mix, and lime with a Tajin rim.
For guests that prefer a glass of vino, The Backyard at Chez Jay will offer Wines by the glass including options such as the Cupcake Prosecco, Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, Ferrari Chardonnay, Bev Rose, Meiomi Pinot Noir, or the Josh Cabernet.
Beer lovers can enjoy an ice-cold Draft, Can or Bottle in The Backyard at Chez Jay. Drafts feature the Allagash White, Heineken, Santa Monica 310, or Angel City IPA. The Can selections include Palmia Light, Tecate, Angel City Pilsner, or Golden Road Wolf Pup, along with Bottle offerings Corona, Bud Light and Angry Orchard.
The Backyard at Chez Jay is open every Wednesday and Thursday from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm; every Friday from 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm; every Saturday from 12:00 noon to 11:00 pm, and every Sunday from 12:00 noon to 8:00 pm. For more information, please visit www.ChezJays.com or call Chez Jay directly at 310.395.1741.
Social Media: Please follow Chez Jay on Facebook @ChezJays and Instagram @chezjay_sm
1657 Ocean Avenue Santa Monica, CA 90401 T: 310.395.1741 www.ChezJays.com
Newhall Press Room Receives The Wine Spectator Award Of Excellence – The Only Santa Clarita Valley Restaurant Awarded With This Distinction
SANTA CLARITA VALLEY – Downtown Newhall’s brightest new star, the Newhall Press Room wine bar and restaurant, was recently presented with a very enviable honor: Wine Spectator magazine’s Award of Excellence. The Press Room is the only restaurant in the entire Santa Clarita Valley that has been given this award for 2019.
According to the Wine Spectator magazine, “The Award of Excellence recognizes restaurants whose wine lists feature a well-chosen assortment of quality producers along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style. Ranging in size from 90 selections to several hundred, these lists are well-focused and tend to emphasize discovery.”
The latest wine bar to open in downtown Newhall, The Press Room is known for its wine list – with over 100 wines on the menu and an inventory that currently has over 1,100 bottles. Wine lovers and aficionados alike appreciate the selection, a living and breathing entity as wine itself is often described, and current California wines on the list include varietals from Nickel & Nickel, Caymus, Leonetti, Oberon, Switchback Ridge, Sojourn, Opolo, Sextant and many more wines from around the globe including the new 2016 Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia, a Tuscan wine recently awarded 100 points.
One cannot live on wine alone and the Press Room rounds out their menu with popular small and large plates including building your own cheese and charcuterie boards, steaks and house-made pasta. Wine education, live music, special events, weekend brunch, Happy Hour and $7 wines by the glass every Sunday keep guests coming back.
Read more about the award and Newhall Press Room online or in the current issue of Wine Spectator. The Press Room is located in Downtown Newhall at 24257 Main Street and can be reached at 661-753-3454.
All I knew in advance about the sold out “Taste of Summer” wine dinner before I attended was the wine list from Byron Blatty Wines. Vintner Mark Blatty was going to be in attendance, as well as winemakers Steve Lemley and Nate Hasper. (You know these names as the winemakers for our very own local Pulchella Winery.)
The Old Town Junction (OTJ) was filled to capacity, taking advantage of both the large front and back rooms. The usual friendly OTJ wait staff were smiling during their efficient work; as the diners were appreciative, interested and happy. Mark, Steve and Nate worked the room, talking to guests and helping to clear glasses to make way to serve new wines. During each course Chef Daniel Otto came out of the kitchen to discuss the food pairing, and he was joined by either Mark or Steve to talk about the wine.
Before I share the pairings first a little bit about the story behind Byron Blatty Wines…as they stand out for several reasons: they are on the forefront of making a true LA County wine movement by primarily using grapes from LA County in their wines. In a previous article I did the Blattys shared their reasons for wanting to focus on LA County grapes, this is an excerpt:
BIO: “There is a common thread,” Mark began, “and it’s that all of us here love to drink wine.” He and Jenny have a background in television production and now they are also “Executive Producers” of their wine. He’s learned that you don’t have to own it all (a winery and the vineyards) to make wine.
CHALLENGES: Consumers have zero experience or a “bad experience” with LA County wines. But when people discover the wines, and enjoy them, he feels a certain sense of pride as an Angeleno. Another challenge: those writing about wine aren’t writing about LA County Wines, so there is no book educating them.
BIO: For Jenny it was a “daydream” and she was “obsessed with wine.” That obsession drove her to take classes and start making wines in 2013. Putting out their first vintage in 2014 – most of the grapes they picked themselves and continue to do so. That first vintage produced less than two barrels.
2018 Rosé, 100% Grenache. Neenach Ranch Vineyard, Antelope Valley
Course #1: American and European cheese and fruit.
EB: This plate was devoured by guests. Chef Otto felt that the nuts complemented the Grenache Rose, I felt that it all did. Nothing better than a starter of interesting cheeses and a cool and crisp pink wine before dinner.
2016 Agenda, 85% Syrah, 15% Tannat. Alonso Family Vineyards, Sierra Pelona Valley (the Tannat came from Bella Collina, Adelaida District, Paso Robles.)
91 points, Editor’s Choice, Wine Enthusiast
Course #2: Seared Day Boat Scallops, pea puree, corn relish, Yuzo gel.
EB: This was my favorite pairing. I told Chef Otto that the grilled sear on the scallops and the roast on the corn complemented the Syrah-Tannat blend nicely, bringing out a sweet char. Where most chefs go for a white wine with fish, for me it’s more about how the fish is prepared. Glad Chef Otto thinks this way too.
2017 Undertake 60% Zinfandel, 25% Petite Sirah, 10% Merlot, 5% Syrah. All from the Northeast LA County, except for the Petite Sirah which came from Paso.
Course #3: Braised Short Rib, heirloom carrots, creamed spinach, crispy fingerling potatoes, asparagus, red wine demi.
EB: For me, the short rib had a drying quality on the palate, having it with this huge red blend was the perfect accompaniment.
2016 Evenfall 65% Tempranillo, 25% Petite Sirah, 10% Merlot. Neenach Ranch Vineyard, Antelope Valley (Grenache), Manini Vineyard, Paso Robles (Petite Sirah), Smith Family Vineyards, Los Angeles County (Merlot).
Course #4: Pork Tenderloin, rubbed with toasted spices, house made BBQ sauce, apple gel, onion strings, roasted sweet potatoes.
EB: Evenfall was my favorite wine in the lineup. In the pairing, the aroma of the pork reached me before I took my first bite, making it very tempting. With all of the rich pork and sweet potato the wine – dry with gripping tannins – worked really well.
2017 Tremor, 65% Grenache, 30% Merlot, 5% Syrah. From Neenach Ranch Vineyard (Grenache), Smith Family Vineyards (Merlot), Alonso Family Vineyards (Syrah). All vineyards run parallel to the San Andreas Fault.
Dessert Course: Warm Chocolate Cake with Berry Compote.
EB: Honestly, at this point, I was full and sated…then this dessert just put me over the edge. I packed it up (in a box that joined my other box with some short rib and pork tenderloin) as it was all simply too good to leave behind.
Note on the wines
Not having the opportunity to do tasting notes just on the wines, I rectified this by organizing a small tasting with the Winey Women Unwind group in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned for our collective tasting notes on this website soon.
About Byron Blatty Wines
With a focus on red Bordeaux and Rhone varietals, each one of our handcrafted wines is meticulously guided from flower to fruit, harvest to crush, and barrel to bottle. Along the way we make each careful decision with the fruit’s identity and individual character in mind.
If terroir is an expression of place, Los Angeles has never been expressed this way before.
To inquire about Membership options please email: email@example.com, or see their website: https://byronblatty.com/membership
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits