Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.




Rock and Roll Wine

on March 12th, 2009
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Record Wine Label from Rock and Roll CellarsBy Jeff Hoyt

What is the official beverage of rock and roll? Some might answer beer in general (and Rolling Rock in particular), or Jack Daniel’s, but wine seems to be making inroads. I just enjoyed a Vintage Rock Wine Dinner, the first wine dinner presented at the new Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, part of the bustling L.A. Live project across from the Staples Center. I started with a not-overly sweet Mick Fleetwood Private Cellar Riesling Central Coast 2005, which paired well with shrimp in blue cheese sauce. The wine is actually one of seventeen so far made by the Fleetwood Mac  drummer. The 2005 Doobie Red, a Bordeaux blend which accompanied my filet mignon, isn’t made by one of the Doobie Brothers, but by the band’s longtime manager Bruce Cohn. 

And that’s not all. I’m looking forward to trying new offerings from Rock And Roll Cellars, including puns on album names like “Meet the Pinots” and “Exile on Vine Street.” To find out more about which rockers make wine and which just license their names, read Wine-ing Celebrities.

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

Cork? Duck!

on December 17th, 2008
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Pommery POP Champagne

Pommery POP Champagne

By Jeff Hoyt


My wife tried to open a sparkling wine last night, and was lucky to escape injury when the cork vigorously flew from the bottle and hit the ceiling. When I recounted that cautionary tale, a co-worker piped in with a cork-cum-surface-to-air missile story that also occurred Tuesday night. So, enjoy our selections of sparkling wine for the holidays, but drink safely: make sure you aim the cork away from your face and hold on tight. Perhaps tonight I’ll indulge in a Duckhorn Merlot for my health, as red wine appears to fight Alzheimer’s and heart disease, and there’s no need to duck a flying Duckhorn cork. Cheers!

Fifteen Wines for Lunch

on November 13th, 2008
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Palate Food + Wine

Palate Food + Wine

By Jeff Hoyt

It’s hard for me to visit Glendale without an old song popping in my head, “Somebody robbed the Glendale train, this morning at half past nine…” I wish I could have taken mass transit, as I washed down a fine lunch at Palate Food + Wine with 15 wines from France.  As more and more people want value wines, you’ll be happy to hear that 13 of them retail for $20 or less, with the most expensive topping the scale at $27. I raised a glass to Jay Fiondella, the owner of Chez Jay, who recently passed on. I used to hang at his bar often when I lived a block away from the classic dive restaurant, and after I moved, was pleasantly surprised to find Jay living in my building. (As did actor Evan Handler from Sex and the City, but that’s another story.) Jay’s presence and his greeting, “Hi, neighbor!” will be missed. Continue reading “Fifteen Wines for Lunch” »

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