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Italy on the Mind

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picture I took last year in Guardiagrelle, Abruzzo

Remember that trip I took to Southern Italy? That was quite enjoyable and beautiful. I’m often brought back to Italy in the great tastings I have the privilege to attend on routine basis, like the recent Poderi Aldo Conterno. I am a big advocate of the wines from Italy; I believe Italian wine offers the most diversity and most interesting varietals in the world.

The other night I was talking to Sommelier Rachel Kerswell at Republique in Los Angeles (Hancock Park) about being a floor somm, and what makes our job fun (Rachel being Canadian is an expert user of acronyms like “obvi”). There are very few things that are more enjoyable than sharing great wines without other distractions. 

Rachel Kerswell. Sommelier. from besotv on Vimeo.

Immediately, Rachel asked if I was hungry – to which the answer is always yes and she offered to pair an appetizer. I picked the salt cod ‘bacalao’ with Saffron Aioli which was hot and seriously delicious. She gave me a really nice glass of Doyard Champagne Brut “Cuvée Vendémiaire” which I’m quite fond of. From DomaineLA‘s website Doyard is ‘100% Chardonnay, partially fermented and aged in oak barrel and then left to rest on its lees for five years. It’s also bottled at lower pressure than many other Champagnes, leading to graceful, delicate bubbles.’  Cheers Rachel~!

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forgive the horrible greasy cameraphone picture

As wine geeks often do, we also started talking about how if we were forced to just work with/sell one countries wines we both would choose Italy – and most sommeliers would do the same. Italy just checks so many boxes with so much diversity from rare/obscure, powerful, mineral, balance, and restraint. Rachel mentioned that she would miss Burgundy too much, which I replied that it’s rare a restaurant puts together a menu with the complexity to match those wines, although thankfully that’s changing in LA. IMG_6187