Monday, February 13, 2012

California, No Doubt About It

Ohh Sunday glorious Sunday.  After hanging in bed and doing our weekly shop, Paul and I mosed our way down to Central to hit up 'Sunday At the Bar' at California Vintage.  I'd been wanting to check this place out for quite some time, and their special Valentine's Day tasting seemed just the time.  CV serves Cali wines from 22 producers, gets their cheese from Cowgirl Creamery which is based in Cali, and has a resident Cali wine expert who leads the Sunday tastings.  We didn't really know what to expect except that we got a few tastes of wine and some light apps.  Man turns out this is the best wine/bar in HK!  Loved it.

Very small and intimate on the inside, and the walls are all covered in wine fridges and each wine has it's own little spout.  We begin and the host Susan comes over and introduces herself, and then explains how it works.  We go down a list of 6 wines, all with Valentine-ish names, and they serve little apps to accompany each wine.  We began with 2 Sauvignon Blancs.  These weren't mind blowing, but reasonably prices and fine enough.  The first was paired with a fried lemon and green bean over their homemade green sauce.  Fried lemon, yes please!  Paul thought it was a bit too sour, but I dug it with the sauce.  And the bean! Then they brought a fried fish nugget that was also tasty.  Then onto the reds.  We had a 'Nymph,' 'Ms Behavin,' 'Trouble Maker,' and S3x.   They were all quite good but Paul and I definitely loved the Ms Behavin.  It had 20% or so Petite Syrah and it just gave it a yummy punch.  It was so refreshing to tastes these wines that don't come from super vineyards.  A few of them had grapes I had never heard of and it brought me back to sipping wine in the sun with Maria, Chetta, Liz and Sherine on some random small vineyard in middle of no where VA.  Paul said he tasted tastes he had never tasted before!  Big success on the wines.  Ohh and the food, I can't forget.  One course was a BLAT which has inspired me to eat avocado sandwiches every day for lunch for here on out, and probably my favorite was duck with plum sauce over toast.  Basically Paul and I loved everything about it and have decided to come back every Sunday.  Or hell, every night for dinner.  As we were sipping our wines, Susan came over with an iPad.  They have all of their wines and food in a database where you can look up the technical details, food pairings, price, tasting notes, etc.  Pretty impressive I must say.  And after we finish our tasting flight Susan told us we could buy a card and go around the restaurant sampling all their other wines.  A taste for wines ranged from $12-$40, 1/2 glasses a bit more, and full glasses obviously more than that.  We loaded up $200 and got to taste another 9 or so wines I think.  I'm learning that I love Barberas, Petite Syrah, and they had a really nice Cabernet Sauv that was my favorite.

Being in situations like this where both Paul and I were excited, we had someone knowledgeable to help up through the tastings, and their were delicious food pairings, just fueled my want of more.  I want to be a wine expert.  It makes people happy.  It makes ME happy.  WSET summer course here I come!

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