Interior designer Kristan Cunningham shares her favorite places to shop and eat in L.A.'s Arts District.
From a purveyor of luscious jams in Los Angeles to an artisanal NYC boutique with in-house classes, here are the best gourmet and specialty shops to open in 2013.
Photo © Richard Owyoung
Biondivino, San Francisco
The Russian Hill shop hosts frequent winemaker tastings and sells hard-to-find varietals and bottlings. biondivino.com.
Italian Wine Merchants, NYC
Specializes in rare, high-end wines and cellar management for collectors. italianwinemerchants.com.
This shop has an impressive selection of half-bottles. delaurenti.com.
Wine Expo, Santa Monica, CA
This store and wine bar focuses on Italian and sparkling wines, especially inexpensive bottles. wineexpo.com.
You know the rest of that line, right? Well, it's with some small amount of sadness that I am saying that about this blog: It must come to an end. I've had a terrific time writing it, but we've decided that in the end it's a bit strange, for a magazine that's all about bringing together food and wine, to have separate blogs on those topics.
So, from here on out, any wine blogging that I (and Megan Krigbaum, Kristin Donnelly, and various other stalwart folks) do will instead appear in F&W's primary blog, Mouthing Off. No less wine coverage, just a different venue. See you there.
© Courtesy Dom Pérignon
© Courtesy Dom Pérignon
Now, in a tribute to the pop-art legend, Dom Pérignon has teamed up with Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design in London for a limited-edition collection of three Andy Warhol–inspired bottles, vintage 2002. The labels, in red, yellow or blue, recall Warhol’s bold use of color and graphics.
© Lou Manna
NV Domaine Mosse Moussamoussettes Pétillant ($23) An unfiltered sparkler with no yeast or sugar added.
2008 Red Hook Winery The Electric ($45) The soul of a late-harvest Riesling in the body of a Chardonnay.
2002 Gravner Ribolla Gialla Anfora ($90) An “orange” wine fermented in underground clay amphorae.
2008 Domaine le Briseau Patapon ($28) Made from the rare Pineau d’Aunis grape, put through even rarer semi-carbonic maceration.
NV Pechigo Rouge ($22) An uncommon red blend from biodynamic winemaker Sylvain Saux.
2000 Domaine de Montbourgeau L’Etoile Vin Jaune ($71) An oxidized wine from the Jura, with fino sherry–like flavors.
The tasting booklet’s overall rating for each wine involved choosing its WTF?! Factor— illustrated with one to five unicorns—and came with photos depicting each wine’s wacky aspect (like a centaur for the unlikely blend in The Electric). You might love them or hate them, but you’ll never say they’re ordinary. One sip and you might blurt out…WTF?!
Earlier this week, I popped into my old stomping grounds, Crush Wine & Spirits (I worked there on the sales floor a few years ago). Summer is typically the slow season for New York City wine shops so I expected everyone to have some down time to chat, but instead I was pulled into a very serious blind tasting—of sorts. Rather than going through a batch of under $20 Pinot Noirs or some such, we tasted six coconut waters. Tom Stephenson, Crush's GM, told me, “I was sick of the huge price discrepancy between all the brands and not knowing which was best.”
My two favorites: O.N.E. was the lightest and most refreshing, while actual fresh water drained from a young coconut tasted the most like the fruit (appropriately enough). The rest, including fresh water from an older coconut, tasted either oddly tangy, sweet or just off. Considering that opening a fresh coconut requires a machete whereas O.N.E. comes in an easy-to-open TetraPak, I think I’ll stick with O.N.E. The results were not unanimous, however, so look for more details, including the full lineup of what was tasted, over at the Crush Blog.
It takes talent to match just the right wine with a dish. Some would also argue that it takes talent to match the perfect handbag or heels with a dress. That makes Elisabeth English, the owner of Nantucket's Current Vintage, super-talented. After selling her interest in Provisions (the island’s beloved sandwich shop) to Amanda Lydon and Gabriel Frasca, English opened this wine-and-fashion boutique. The year-old shop has a tightly edited selection of more than 150 wines with an emphasis on boutique labels and a particularly exciting selection of American Pinot Noirs and Burgundy. English also stocks vintage and designer clothing, jewelry and shoes. Here, she shares her picks for what to wear and drink at quintessential Nantucket summer outings:
Clothes: Vintage 1950s sundress and ankle-wrap espadrille
Wine: Domaine Bart Rosé, Marsannay, France
Madequesham Clam Bake
Clothes: Vintage 1960s Lilly Pulitzer floral maxi and a pedicure
Wine: ’07 Curran Grenache Blanc, Santa Ynez, California
Hulbert Avenue BBQ
Clothes: Vintage 1970s Jordache jeans, embroidered Mexican top and gladiator sandals
Wine: ’05 Kangarilla Road Shiraz-Viognier, McLaren Vale, Australia