Showing posts with label la fenetre. Show all posts
Showing posts with label la fenetre. Show all posts

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Pasadena PinotFest Returns Feb 9

The Pasadena PinotFest Grand Tasting returns on Saturday, February 9 to the Altadena Country Club (preceded  by a kickoff tasting and kickoff dinner at Noir the weeks before). The event runs from 1-4:30PM with over 200 pinot noir wines, food, and live jazz. Tickets are $89 for general admission and $119 for VIP tasting (starts at 11AM), with portions of the proceeds benefiting Hathaway Sycamores Child & Family Services.

Last year's tasting featured a lot of wineries from nearby Santa Barbara County like Hitching Post, Brewer-Clifton, La Fenetre Winery and many more.

The Altadena Country Club is a beautiful space for the wine tasting, with wonderful views, although the tasting room can get pretty crowded as the event goes on.
Joshua Klapper from La Fenetre Winery
I found a couple of new wines (new to me) that I enjoyed, including Sojourn from Sonoma Coast, who provided a great vertical tasting. There will be quite a few vertical tastings at the grand tasting, which is really the best way to taste what a winery has to offer.

Friday, February 3, 2012

STARS of Santa Barbara Wine Tasting

Learn About Wine is the one responsible for many great wine events and tastings in LA throughout the year, including the recent STARS of Santa Barbara held at The Peninsula Hotel. Ian Blackburn of LAW had gathered quite the lineup for the event (from Santa Barbara area and beyond). There was too much to taste without spitting - but I have a hard time spitting good wine...

It was impossible for me to try everything due street parking time limit and my liver, but here are some highlights, from old favorites to new discoveries. Being a new wine making region, you can find diverse varietals and styles from Santa Barbara wines.

Palmina from the Lompoc "Wine Ghetto" produces some white of the Italian varieties, including Arneis, Tocai Friulano, and Malvasia Bianca. For the quality, they are quite inexpensive at $12-18 per bottle.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Graceful Gathering: La Fenetre Wine Tasting with Chef Neal Fraser

La Fenêtre Wines was started by former sommelier Joshua Klapper, who had previously worked as Wine Director at David Myers' Sona and earned it the Wine Spectator Grand Award (we're all very sorry to see Sona shuttered). With Burgundy wines as his inspiration, Klapper strives to make food friendly wines that are affordable.

In celebration of their fifth vintage, La Fenêtre held a tasting of all their 2008 releases (and some more) at LearnAboutWine's Loft218.
We were greeted with a glass of the 2008 Santa Barbara County Rosé (their anniversary Rosé)
... while LearnAboutWine's Ian Blackburn plays DJ for the day.

The wines were accompanied by small bites prepared by Chef Neal Fraser of Grace and BLD Restaurant.

The first couple bites accompanied the rose and the white wines:
Chilean Shellfish Ceviche (left)

Crab Salad, lemon vinaigrette, mint:

We tasted a lot of wine (thank goodness for the spit bucket). Since I'm no wine connoisseur and your taste preferences may differ from mine, I'll direct you instead to their official tasting notes here. We started with four Chardonnays:

  • 2008 À Côté, Santa Barbara County ($25). Crisp and clean, this was a very smooth wine with only a slight acidity at the end. It paired very well with the caviar blini as it brought the flavors together and balanced the caviar.
Salmon Tartare, chive blini, American caviar

  • 2008 La Fenêtre, Los Alamos (Santa Barbara County). More acidic than the previous. I had this with the Bay Scallops, peas, aged goat cheese, risotto - a great dish and its creaminess cuts the acidity of the wine nicely.
  • 2008 La Fenêtre, Sierra Madre (Santa Maria Valley). Sweeter than the Los Alamos.
  • 2008 La Fenêtre, Bien Nacido (Santa Maria Valley)

We also had the chance to taste the 2004 Bien Nacido Chardonnay (his first vintage). This was easily my favorite Chardonnay of the night: smooth but with much more depth. The new releases should be heading this way too in a few years and it will be well worth the wait.

Moving on to the reds and the red meat dishes, we began with a tasting of the Pinot Noirs:

  • 2008 À Côté, Central Coast ($25). Smooth and subtle, light fruit flavors.
  • 2008 La Fenêtre, Los Alamos ($36)
  • 2008 La Fenêtre, Sierra Madre ($49). This had more body than the previous two.
  • 2008 La Fenêtre, Le Bon Climat ($54). My favorite of the pinot noirs. Smoother, less acidic than the others. The body is still pretty light, naturally, as it's a pinot.

Squab Crostini, liver mousse, rare breast, confit leg, crostini

Grilled NY Steak, farro, red wine gelee
The red wine gelee was a great complement.
  • 2007 La Fenêtre, Alisos ($35). Heavier-bodied than the pinot noir, naturally. A bit tannic.
  • 2008 La Fenêtre, Sierra Madre ($35). Lighter bodied and more tannic than the 2007 Alisos.
  • 2006 Tête Brûlée, Mt Veeder ($60). This is the only wine he makes with a partner (and his only Napa wine).

We also got to taste the Timeless Palate Wines 2004 Syrah, another of Josh's first releases.
The syrah was smooth and surprisingly fruity when compared to the newer releases. It was the fruitiest of his wines yet.

You can now order La Fenêtre wines online and if you order by September 30, get 15% off with code: FALL2010LF.

Full Disclosure: I attended this event as a guest of Joshua Klapper of La Fenêtre Wines. FYI though I did end up buying two bottles of wine for myself so you can see that I liked it!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

This Weekend and Beyond: Cook-Off, Chef's Night Out, Wine Fest and more

Saturday, July 31st

Celebrity Chef Cook-off at The Grove
Top Chef contestants Betty Fraser and Alex Reznik (Ivan Kane's Cafe Was) will battle it out this weekend at The Park at The Grove from 6-8pm. The event is free and open to the public and there will be tastings from various restaurants. Read: Free cooking demo and free food!

Sunday, August 1st

Wally's Central Coast Wine + Food Celebration
About 50 Central Coast wineries and top LA restaurants are confirmed for this extravaganza. Indulge in food from Comme Ca, Lucques, Spago, Jar, Osteria Mozza and The Hungry Cat paired with excellent wines to benefit The Michael Bonaccorsi Scholarship Fund at the UC Davis Department of Enology.
Tickets are $95 and can be purchased here.
Wally's Wine. 2107 Westwood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025. 12-4 pm

Angeleno Magazine's Chef's Night Out
This event celebrates Angeleno Magazine's Annual Restaurant Issue, where James Beard Award-winning food critic Brad Johnson will present awards to what he deems LA's best chefs and restaurants in 2010 while guests wine and dine. Expect to see Chef of the Year Michael Cimarusti of Providence and runner-up Ludo Lefebvre from Ludobites, the Hatfields from their namesake Restaurant of the Year, and Best New Chef Michael Voltaggio.
VIP reception starts at 4:30 and the main event starts at 5:30 pm.
Tickets are $95 for general admission, $150 VIP and can be purchased here (use code ANG10 to get $20 off GA tickets).
Proceeds go to the LA's Best after-school enrichment program.
Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows. 101 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica


Looking Ahead:
On Saturday, August 14, sommelier-turned-wine-maker Joshua Klapper will showcase his 2008 releases of La Fenêtre wines, paired with small dishes by Chef Neal Fraser of Grace/BLD. The $29 ticket (use code 'JOSH' to get $10 off of $39) will allow you to taste 8 wines paired with 8 dishes. While the website says the menu may change based on market availability, it teases with Crab Salad, Bay Scallops, and Squab crostini. Sounds like a great deal to me!
Seatings are available at 5, 6:30, and 8 pm. Tickets can be purchased here.
LearnAboutWine Loft/Loft 218. 530 Molino St, Los Angeles, California 90013

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