Friday, September 11, 2009

Silver Lake Wine Tasting: Pressing the pause button on life

I’ve never been very good at hiding my emotions. When I’m in a bad mood, my face immediately contorts into some sort of vicious Rottweiler-type expression that could even intimidate Mel Gibson in Braveheart. Diana the Grouch could take your freedom, Mel, she really could.

Similarly, I’m not very good at hiding the truth either. Not because my acting skills are poor (I’ve got plenty of baby mama drama flowing in these veins), but because my conscience never seems to let me. Every time I start to feel a fib tickling the corners of my lips, a little voice starts whining in my ear – “Don’t do it. Don’t do it!”

It’s the same voice that tells me I shouldn’t order a second scoop at Pazzo Gelato, and that I should drink only one glass of wine instead of two. Or three. Unfortunately, I’m not quite as skilled at listening to that voice when it comes to items I bite or imbibe. It only seems to penetrate my consciousness when I want to lie my way out of coffee with a Debbie Downer who wants to whine about her ex-boyfriend for an hour.

As such, I’m going to be brutally honest in this review of the wine tasting Matt of Mattatouille hosted at Silver Lake Wine last Wednesday night.

I don’t really remember anything about what I tasted.

When I drink wine, I live in the moment. I become a brighter, less neurotic version of myself, and I focus my attention on that feeling rather than the flavors swirling around in my mouth. It’s not that I don’t appreciate good wine – I do, and when pressed, can even make a few intelligible comments about detecting a “note of such and such.” For me, however, the experience of drinking the wine is the most pleasurable part about it, and deconstructing that experience kind of takes the fun out it.

That said, even with the brief tutorials on each of the French summer whites that we tasted (a list can be found below), I still had a great time at the event. I learned that I don’t hate all Rose (it tastes nothing like the horrific pink wine my grandmother used to drink at her bridge parties), and I also learned that Chateau de Pinet Picpoul de Pinet 2008 tastes much better after a bite of one of Porto’s Bakery’s cheese rolls. (I didn’t care for the first few sips I sampled sans food.)

What is most memorable to me about the evening – aside from the scrumptious bites of cheese roll, guava & cheese pastry, meat-stuffed potato ball, and two pieces of media noche sandwich that I snacked on – was the time spent with friends in the warm atmosphere of the wine shop. It was a nice break in the middle of the work week and a pleasant escape from the world that exists for me from 9 to 5, Monday – Friday.

This is why I love wine. Yes, it tastes good, and yes, it enhances the flavors in a dish, but more importantly, it’s the perfect excuse to hit the pause button on life. With a glass in my hand, I’m livin’ in the moment of each sip.

Wines Tasted :

Domaine J Laurens Cremant de Limoux NV France

Chateau de Pinet Picpoul de Pinet 2008 France

Le Saint Andrew Rose Vin de Pays du Var

Maison Angelot Bugey Gamay 2008

And a special Rose, Brady 2008, that Matt brought with him from Saarloos & Sons

Silver Lake Wine
2395 Glendale Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Phone: 323-662-9024
Fax: 323-662-9025

Porto’s Bakery

Glendale Location
315 North Brand Blvd.
Glendale, CA 91203
(818) 956-5996

Burbank Location
3614 W Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91505
(818) 846-9100


Evelina said...

Thanks for being honest! I also honestly didn't like a lot of the wines either. None of it totally stood out.

At least now we definitely know what does and doesn't bring the "wine experience" to us.

Hope to see you at the next tasting.

Esi said...

I used to go to SLW every single Thursday...ahhh..the good old days.

Sounds like a great little tasting. I love Portos too!

The Duo Dishes said...

Mmmm, guava and cheese. That's a good reason to go.

Diana said...

Evelina - I'm definitely more of a Sauvignon Blanc girl. These were all nice, but just not quite my taste.

Esi - It was my first time having Porto's -- I think my favorite thing was the cheese roll. YUM!

Chrystal & Amir - Amen. :)

Jenn said...

Mmm...Porto's I love the place. Wine tastings are awesome, too. I was just telling a friend of mine that we should invest in a vineyard and create our own wines. Hehe...

I'll have to give the place a try. See the offering they have.

NoYutsNoButs said...

hear hear. i had some of the pic whatever the hell wine yesterday and i really liked it! and i love porktos too. the best guava pastries ever.

Cinnamon Girl aka Reeni♥ said...

How sweet! At least you enjoyed it and had some yummy eats.

Diana said...

Jenn - It's a great place to meet friends for a wine tasting. The staff is very friendly! And you can get cake monkey there! :)

Sook - Mmm pastry... the best conduit for eating cubes of butter ever

Reeni - I did have a nice time! Wine with friends is the best! :)

Gastronomer said...

Honestly, it's your honesty that keeps readers coming back!

Am sorry to have missed 99.6% of this wine tasting event. I'm positive there will be others as soon as Matt returns from abroad. Until then, uneducated bottoms up.