I love routine.
Love love routine.
I’ve been eating the same bowl of peanut butter oatmeal for breakfast on week day mornings for the past four years. I always brew a big pot of tea to go with it, and always spend a good twenty minutes enjoying my breakfast while I read the Los Angeles Times and half-listen to Tony Harris on CNN. Some might find this sort of repetitive morning ritual tiresome, but I crave it like I do a really good cookie, and find comfort in the familiarity of the motions.
While I do love mixing things up by trying a new restaurant and will happily trek some place I’ve never been before (most of the time), I love the structure that a set schedule brings to a day. Recently, I’ve become particularly attached to my new Sunday routine that involves three of my favorite things – God, food and wine. I wake up, eat breakfast (while reading the paper, of course), go to church to pray for my sanity (and a husband), pick up produce and Rockenwagner pretzel rolls at the Brentwood Farmer’s Market, go home, make myself an egg sandwich for lunch, and then proceed directly to a wine tasting at local Hollywood wine shop, DomaineLA.
DomaineLA owner Jill Bernheimer started the tastings on Sunday, September 19th with no real sense of how they would be received by the community. The first tasting that featured three sparkling wines with optional pairings from the Ludo Truck parked outside far exceeded her humble expectations – the small neighborhood shop was brimming with both local customers and foodies in search of good company, food and wine. By the time Esi from Dishing Up Delights and I arrived at 4 pm, approximately an hour before the end of the tasting, nearly all the wine glasses were occupied. Like us, everyone seemed to be looking for a way to put a little sparkle into their Sunday.
Since that first widely popular event, Jill has hosted three more Sunday afternoon tastings – two of which I’ve also been able to attend with Esi. There was a $10 tasting on 10/10/10 featuring wines from Producer Amy Atwood, including a unique 2009 Petras Pinot Noir from Rheingau, Germany that almost reminded me of a rosé. The Ludo Truck was on hand once again to provide sustenance for all the happy sippers.
Then, this past Sunday, Importer Luis Moya of Vinos Unico came in with five selections from his portfolio of affordable Spanish and Portuguese wines. We all loved the dry NV Cava Barcino Brut ($15) and the lusty 2008 Granadeiro Tapada do Barao Tinto from Antejo ($12). The tasting was my favorite to date – I spent two hours savoring the accessible wines, asking the gregarious importer questions, and chatting with friends. Hungrier attendees gratefully gobbled up tofu balls and pork belly banh mi sandwiches from Starry Kitchen, who had taken over the Mandoline Grill Truck for the event.
The Sunday afternoon DomaineLA tastings are the perfect way to bring closure to a weekend. It’s relaxing and low-key, but still social. It’s intimate, but also a way to meet new people and friends with similar interests. And it’s the type of thing that one can (for the most part) spontaneously show up to if they aren’t anal enough to pre-purchase their tickets on-line like the freaks who enjoy living their lives according to a schedule of planned events.
I know I’m going to be scheduling some of DomaineLA’s upcoming tastings into my calendar this fall and winter. Even if it means breaking with my new Sunday routine to go to one on a… (gasp)… Friday night.
Upcoming Wine Events at DomaineLA
Sunday, November 7th – “Brunch with the Lardon Truck” featuring a special bacon Bento Box and a pairing flight of sparkling wines, mimosas, etc. Details to be announced soon.
Friday, November 11th – DomaineLA’s new “Off the Clock” series kicks off with a special intimate round-table tasting with Jeff Porter, the wine director at Osteria Mozza.
Future participants in the “Off the Clock” series will include Matthew Kaner from Bar Covell, Lou Amdur from Lou on Vine, Marisa Geirlich from Street, Helen Joahannasen from Animal, Amy Christine and Peter Hunken from Black Sheep Finds, and Paul Wasserman of the Wine Hotel.
6801 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038