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Tony's Wine Corner
Tony's Wine Corner
Daring Pairings Cocktails and Cheese - 2009
Daring Pairings Cocktails and Cheese - 2009
We've got a long standing camaraderie with Nic's Martini Lounge and Restaurant in Beverly Hills. Larry Nicola's our friend in the ongoing pursuit of good food, good wine, good spirits...So you shouldn't be surprised to learn we are in cahoots on four martinis featuring cheese.

DARE TO GO THERE!
1. Wine & Cheese Martini: Idol Vodka (made from Chardonnay and Pinot grapes) with Pinot Noir juice, served up with a slice of Morbier cheese. Idol Vodka is a French vodka made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes from Burgundy, France. Morbier is a creamy cow's milk cheese from Franche-Comte, France, characterized by the flavor of nuts and fruit and an aroma of fresh hay.The yellow-brown or pale gray rind is thick, moist and leathery with a creamy brown crust and the interior is comprised of two layers of glossy, yellowish-ivory paste, separated by a thin flavorless layer of ash, which separates the morning milking from the evening milking.

2. Maytag Repair Man: Skyy 90 Vodka served up with a Maytag Blue Cheese Stuffed Olive.

3. The Popes in Town: Mezzaluna Vodka served up, with blueberries and garnished with Gorgonzola. Mezzaluna is an Italian vodka made from Semolina grain.

4. What a Nice Pear You Have: Grey Goose La Poire Vodka. Add pear juice and top with a shave of Parmesan cheese.
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Tony's Wine Corner
Tony's Wine Corner
Hello Boys and Girls! 2007
Hello Boys and Girls! 2007
Hello boys and girls. I’m am back in my little wine corner.

We have been busy with the re-launching of our website.

We have been busy with the holidays, both over the counter and in basket land.

I have been busy with my own wine- “Little Anthony” Syrah. I am a “Garagist”, and have been making wine since 2003. Every year I get ½ ton, or 2 rows, of Syrah from the Larner vineyard in Santa Ynez. The late Mike Bonaccorsi helped me to get started. He was my teacher. I still miss his friendship and wine knowledge……….

Here are the wines that I’ve chosen to kick 2008 off with:

Stadt Krems- 2006 Gruner Vectliner, $18
A wonderful “Cheese Store House Wine” from Krems, 60 miles outside of Vienna. Light/ Medium bodied. Fruity but dry white wine. Excellent with cheese, and all types of Asian Cuisine

Redwood Red 2005- Mendocino Field Blend, $18
Made by Nick Stietz of Woodhead Cellars. When I visited him last January, this was his “House Wine” It is a field blend: 78% Early Burgundy
12% Zinfandel
8% Carignane
2% Barbera
Smooth, balanced; ready to drink

El Nogal Ribera del Duero 2003, $80
Made by our favorite Spanish producer; Pago De Los Capellanes100% Tempranillo from their El Nogal Vineyard. Aged 22 months in French Oak barrels- lightly toasted flavor. A sensational wine that is ready to drink, or keep up to 5 years. Pago De Los Capellanes is a favorite of all the wine writers; the new hot wine. We have been with them since the beginning, so we get the first crack at of everything they bring in.

It is the power of “Cheese people” that allows us to get some great limited fine wines, that we can in turn share with you.

See you next month,
Tony
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Tony's Wine Corner
Tony's Wine Corner
Summer 2004
Summer 2004
Charbono, an almost unheard of Italian/Franch varietal, is rapidly becoming the hottest artisanal grape variety.  Derived from the Latin "Carbonarius" meaning "maker of wood coal", Charbono probably received it's name from the very dark color of the wine. Usually full bodied and tannic, Charbono is similar to a cross between a Syrah and Sangiovese. Cultivated on only 100 acres in California and made by no more than six producers in the state, the majority of the grapes are grown in the Northern part of Napa Valley and Mendocino, as the hotter drier climate further from the ocean benefits these grapes.

On my visits to Napa in the last three or four years, I've noticed that producers such as Robert Foley, Vince Tofanelli. Fife and Chameleon, have gotten very good at handcrafting this interesting wine. In addition to the old adage "practice makes perfect", new winemaking techniques such as cold maceration and extended fermentation allow for extracting fuller, darker yet softer, rounder flavors. Charbono is a great wine to pair with salty, mountain cheeses from France and Italy. From France, I recommend Abondance, a cows milk cheese from the French Pyrenees. Of the Italian cheeses, be sure to try Piave, a sweeter, nuttier version of Parmesan Reggiano from Trentino; Testun Barricato, a very seasonal, very rare cheese aged in wine must of the Nebbiola grape from Piedmonte; and a Pecorino Staginato from Tuscany.

Tony's Wine Pick: Chameleon (2001) from Napa Valley ($20).
This Charbono has a very intense black purple color with aromas of blackberry and black plum.  A very rich and hearty wine, it is excellent with full flavored cheese, grilled meat, and robust stews.

From Tony's Kitchen: Pork Roast Stuffed with Rosemary, Garlic and Parmesan.
Select the freshest, most nicely colored pork roast from a reputable butcher. Cut slits in the meat and insert sprigs of fresh rosemary, slivers of garlic and chunks of Parmesan cheese. Roast on a spit over your barbecue grill. When the cheese begins to melt, the roast is done. Serve with Rapini seasoned with garlic, white wine and the best olive oil along with a Tomato Salad - the very best tomatoes you can find seasoned with sea salt, fresh crushed pepper, olive oil and sherry or wine vinegar. For dessert, treat your guests to homemade or store bought Lemon Ice.
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