I was raised here… vinified in La Jolla and bottle-aged at UCLA. But as my high school chum Gary Jules likes to point out, I spent my whole adolescence trying to escape.
Today, I’m a Texan, husband to a Texan and father of two little Texans. But these are my roots, for better or for worse.
I really loved chatting with John Tierney at Pizzeria Il Fico (above) and shouldn’t have been surprised to learn that he speaks excellent Italian. He studied Italian at Stanford, I learned. Super cool guy who shares my passion for Italian wine and food in a historical and cultural context and a top-notch restaurant pro.
Some of the porcini were lightly sautéed with garlic and others were sliced raw. It was one of the best things I’ve eaten this year. Really fantastic…
The place was slammin’ packed and I was geeked to catch up with my friend and colleague Taylor Parsons, who runs a superb and mostly French wine list there. He changes the list nearly every day, he told me, reacting to specials and changes in the menu with new and different by-the-glass selections.
Taylor is so sharp and focused and his wine list was orthographically impeccable — not to mention delicious. He tasted us on two ten-year-old expressions of Muscadet, approachable but classic Chablis, and Anjou blanc that blew my nugget.
We were seated without delay and our server was also spot-on. I was really impressed by this restaurant on every level.
The folks from Farm Wine tasted me on the Radoar Müller-Thurgau from German-speaking Italy.
What a beautiful, focused expression of this grape, electric in the glass! Not much of this wine is brought in by Louis/Dressner, they told me. And I was very geeked to get my first taste.
People still get thrown out of Louis/Dressner tastings, they also told me. I was glad to learn that the tradition continues.
And the dudes from Chambers & Chambers, with whom I did a “ride with” yesterday, tasted me on this awesome Pinot Noir from Sonoma coast, Failla. This elegant wine had brilliant acidity, gorgeous fruit, and lovely balance. They told me it should retail for around $35. We don’t drink a lot of Californian at our house but I would happily see this on our dinner table on a Saturday night. Really loved this wine from my home state.
All in all it was a good visit to sunny LA, where the tits are fake and the homeless are real.
Our Festa del Rosato tasting at Sotto was a mad house and it was fun talking to guests about the virtues of rosé and why we drink so much of it.
Was it just a dream? I don’t think I’ll ever know… I’ll just keep on keeping on, trying to understand where I came from and how I got here (some weird family shit has been hard on me lately)…
Now it’s time to hop back on a plane and get my ass back to the armadillo, where I belong. Thanks for reading this oneiric post of mine.