Monday, July 20, 2009

Love, Respect and Wine

This quote by Dario Zucconi resonates with why wine is loved. This bold wall is perfect to set the mood at California Wine and Cheese in Monrovia, California.

Last Saturday, Trisha Bowler, Edda Gahm and I were drawn there by the temptation of a Wine, Wit & Wisdom class taught by Master Sommelier Elizabeth Schweitzer. The topic of the day- the wines of Napa and Paso Robles.
This is what I have learned previously in Elizabeth's classes-

Forget your prejudices and your snobbery. Good wine is good wine.

Given respect- wine is one of the great pleasures of life. It is evocative and inspirational.

Whenever you taste a wine- think of what food would show off its personality.

Wines I already know, I associate with people, with events. As a writer, I taste scenes. My ethnic mamma matchmaker gene is satisfied by now by creating menus- for pairings of specific wines to specific foods- which the writer in me sometimes borrows.

Please enjoy my notes of what were the most memorable wines of the afternoon- with my abbreviated notes-

Maddalena Sauvignon Blanc- (Paso Robles) Very fresh, almost innocent. Tastes like grapefruit flavored kisses, with notes of lime zest and deep spring meadow grass. It will be perfect with a Caesar salad and veal piccata. Or with egg rolls.

Honing Sauvignon Blanc
is a throatier Napa Valley golden blonde. Lay the glass on its back and you can see the color open to a clear edge. Stand her up and you can see her long legs wrap around the back of the glass. The aftertaste lingers a bit longer. Perfect companion for grilled chicken with pineapple on a bed of Basmati rice.

Niner's Cabernet (Paso Robles) tastes very French. Smooth, slow. The first sip and my taste buds sent an image to my brain of sitting in front of the lit fireplace in the living room. We have large red and white checked napkins on our laps. The green salad is heaped on wooden plates and we are dipping garlic bread into Beef Bourguinon which braised all day- served in my red Emile Henry bowls.
The Wine Wit and Wisdom homepage is //

or Contact Elizabeth directly at
All wines listed in my notes are available at California Wine and Cheese, 115 W. Foothill Blvd, Monrovia, CA 626-358-6500.
More information on events can be found on their website at
Images of wine and labels are representative, but may not be exact to wine in this posting.


Anonymous said...

Good job Lydia of recreating what we heard about those wines. Silly me, I just couldn't taste those fruits and flavors that Elizabeth talked about. You know me, I enjoy the wines I enjoy but am willing to try new ones. I just don't like to "think" about what goes with what.:)
I did thoroughly enjoy the exprience tho. I have been to wine tastings and this one was by far the most informative and fun.

Thanks for suggesting such a fun afternoon! Dinner was fun too! :):)
Hugs, Trisha

OldLady Of The Hills said...

I know the tasting of wine is a great deal of fun..I have known a number of people who nelonged to Wine....well, Not Clubs, but Wine Tasting Society's, I guess.....I myself would be tipsy on just a sip or two and in truth, I don't like the way it makes me feel....I wish I did, because I can truly see the joy for your taste buds of a new discovery...It sure sounds like you had a wonderful time, Lydia.