Cork? Duck!

Pommery POP Champagne
Pommery POP Champagne

By Jeff Hoyt

POP! POW!!


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!

Johnnie Walker Blue Label

Alain with Gillian Cook, Brand Manager for Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky
Alain with Gillian Cook, Brand Manager for Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky

Engraving For the Holidays

by Alain Gayot


Jeff Hoyt and I headed out to Craft last night to celebrate the launch of Johnnie Walker’s first ever Los Angeles-area bottle engraving studio. Hosted by Edward Adams, Master of Whisky for Johnnie Walker, the evening included a masterful dinner by chef Matthew Accarrino and multiple whisky samplings from the prestigious spirits brand. As we arrived, we were greeted with Ginger Ale, Grand Marnier and vanilla liquor were blended with Johnnie Walker Red Label in three different drinks with the later becoming the evening’s favorite.

Continue reading “Johnnie Walker Blue Label” »

Le Beaujolais Nouveau est Arrivé!

Sophie Gayot with chefs Sylvain Rivet of Amuse Bouche, Sebastien Pfeiffer of Sofitel LA and Akira Hirose of Maison Akira

by Sophie Gayot

The Beaujolais Nouveau has arrived in America, as it does every year in late November. One of the celebrations took place last night at the prestigious Royce Hall on the UCLA campus.

Last night when I got there, a little late I admit, the response  was so great that the young wine had already been poured. But fortunately, I had a tasting the day before.

Read our impressions here.

The food was provided by the chefs from The Club Culinaire of French Cuisine.

Fifteen Wines for Lunch

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” »