Walking into a great wine shop for the first time is like being invited over to a new friend’s house to check out her/his record collection. It’s an honor and a privilege and it’s bound to lead to discovery.
For years, I’ve followed one of the top wine buyers in the U.S., Samantha Dugan who covers France, sparkling wine, and cheese for the Wine Country in Long Beach, California.
She’s the author of one of the all-time greatest (but currently hibernating) wine blogs, Samantha Sans Dosage. And her hopelessly devoted social media followers literally drool over her food and wine recommendations, travel notes (mostly France), and cultural observations.
Can you tell I’m one of her biggest fans?
Over the years, she, her husband, and son have become our good friends. We try to catch a meal or a drink together whenever we can, although sadly not often enough.
And I had never been to her shop until this summertime in the LBC.
Parzen family stopped by for a way-too brief visit on our way to Santa Barbara County wine country last week.
She hooked us up with a glorious bottle of Xavier Reverchon 2016 Côtes du Jura Trousseau Les Boutasses, which I smuggled into Arizona a few nights later.
There it was consumed giddily by our friends and us, paired with pizzas from New Jersey Pizza Company in Flagstaff. (Why, btw, are the so many great pizzerias in Arizona? New Jersey Pizza Company was awesome and a visit to their website gives you a sense about how damn much these folks care — rightly — about their pizza and the way they treat their customers. Right on!)
This light-bodied but richly flavored wine had that “unbearable lightness” that makes the great reds stand apart from the rest. Super fresh on the nose and the palate, zinging but well-balanced acidity, measured wild berry fruit and a hint of freshly torn herb with just enough tannin to give the wine backbone. We all remarked how much we loved it as we slurped it down.
On a technical note, the Wine Country is located just off the 405, not far from the Long Beach Airport and a half-hour drive from LAX. It’s a great place to get hooked up.
Thanks again, Samantha, for the fantastic bottle, thoroughly enjoyed by me and my crew. We love you! And we love summertime in the LBC!