Wine & Cheese with Le Creuset (Giveaway!)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 54 No tags 1


Le Creuset recently launched their Wine & Cheese Collection! They certainly know a thing or two about beautiful kitchenware and some of the pieces in this new collection are exactly what you would expect – classic, durable and beautiful. I had a few girlfriends over for some, you guessed it, wine and cheese so we could take them out for a spin!


I love their round platter (with removable cutting board)! There are so many different ways you can use this thing.



The large carafe is also so versatile. Throw some table wine in there or some sangria, water, whatever! All of the serving pieces have such clean, simple lines with a touch of throwback comfort. That’s what I love about Le Creuset. The wine & cheese product line also includes some more utilitarian accessories, which brings me to…the giveaway!


The giveaway!

- Round Platter with Cutting Board (in your color of choice)

- Wine Compact Lever and Foil Cutter 

How to win: Have a look around the Le Creuset Wine & Cheese collection and leave a comment below telling me your favorite piece from the collection or your favorite wine and cheese pairing. One winner will be chosen on Friday, November 21 at 11 am PST. The retail value of the prize is $255. Open to domestic readers only.

Goats, Dogs & Petit Manseng at La Clarine Farm, El Dorado

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 2 No tags 0

I traveled up to El Dorado wine country last week (more on that later) and got to visit one of my favorite California winemakers – Hank Beckmeyer of La Clarine Farm. If you’re wondering where the El Dorado region is, it sits about halfway between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe and it’s freaking beautiful. I don’t know why in the hell it took me so long to get up there. Anyway, I dropped by Hank’s house, met his animals, tasted some wine and chatted. A quick stop, but a lovely morning nonetheless.


The cool thing about El Dorado is it’s still finding its identity. While Rhone grape varieties grow really well there, so do some Italian grapes and even oddball things like Petit Manseng. Hank just released a 100% Petit Manseng, from a handful of rows in the Fenaughty vineyard, and it was fantastic. It was the first taste of wine I had that day and it surely woke me up. It was straight up zinging with acidity.  So clean, bright and refreshing. There are only like 12 cases for southern California and Domaine LA got one of them. There are probably only a few bottles left, so jump on it.


This is Aioli. Aioli likes to jump on people and get really excited, but that’s OK. Because cuteness. Not pictured – Tapenade. Also cute and a jumper. Winery dogs are just the best.


You know what else is the best? Winery goats.


La Clarine used to also be a working goat farm. Hank and his wife gave up the milk and cheese side of the business, but still keep several goats on the property. And who doesn’t love goats? Weirdos.


Please seek out Hank’s wines. They are special and affordable, drinkable and ageable.

Cocktail Hour: The Revolver

Sunday, November 2, 2014 1 No tags 2


I first read about this drink, originally created by Jon Santer for SF’s Bourbon & Branch, in Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s book. I felt like it was exactly the type of thing I would want to get down with on a chilly November night. So I made my dreams come true! In regards to cocktails. I took a trip to my favorite bar and spirits shop Bar Keeper for the needed ingredients. I don’t usually keep coffee liqueur hangin’ around.

St George_Coffee_Liqueur

They had St. George’s amazing Nola Coffee Liqueur (with chicory root) and the seasonal/limited Seville Orange bitters from Scrappy’s, which is a bit more complex, rounded and sweeter than their standard orange bitters. I also decided to throw in some Aztec chocolate bitters I had. ‘Cause, coffee and chocolate. This is the perfect after-dinner cocktail, and the orange oil and bitters really lift the whole thing up. And if that doesn’t lift you up, the caffeine (and booze) will!

The Revolver, slightly adapted from Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s The Bar Book

2.5 oz bourbon

3/4 oz coffee liqueur

3 dashes orange bitters

3 dashes Aztec chocolate bitters

Stir all ingredients over ice until chilled and strain into coupe. Garnish with an expressed orange peel. Twist that shit, let the mist fly.

The Coconut Club: A Tiki Dining Experience

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 0 No tags 0

I had the very good fortune of drinking and dining with The Coconut Club a few nights ago at Sonny’s Hideaway in Highland Park. The whimsical and kitschy tiki-inspired experience created by chef Andy Windak and cocktailian Nathan Hazard is QUITE a production. They, with help from Elena Lepkowski, pop up from time to time and offer a multi-course meal with cocktails, and the whole thing is emceed by the fabulous Darren Herczeg (and his brass gong.)


There are personal pu pu platters with mini tiki torches, jello shots in an oyster shell, a smoke-emitting prop volcano, a literal shrimp cocktail and obscure films from the 60′s and 80′s (even a island-themed Golden Girls episode) projected onto a screen in the dining lanai. Everything is so well done, creative and thoughtful. And fun! For more information about how this whole thing came to be and a fun Q & A with Nathan and Andy, check out this article I wrote for Liquid LA.






Sign up for their mailing list to find out when they are hosting the next tiki extravaganza! Oh, and Happy Halloween you crazy kids.