Are you an Oenophile? Or are you like me and you enjoy tasting really good wine, but don't know all the high falutin' terminology? Though you do know what you like. Or, maybe, you don't know Pinot Noir from Chardonnay - and don't care - but need to find a nice gift for your wine-loving friend. Stop by Duke of Bourbon in Canoga Park. These guys know a lot! Doug, John and Steve took time and listened to exactly what I was looking for.
At first I arrived with this request: "A Syrah. I hear it's manly and savage."
The straight-faced men bent over laughing.
Laughing myself, I had a hard time explaining that I read that description in my Bon Appetit magazine, and became intrigued enough to learn more.
Anyway, after describing what I usually prefer, "Something smooth, spicy, a little earthy," I walked out with a Pinot Noir; wine that, once I tasted it later that evening, brought a slow-glowy smile to my face.
Now I can't wait to return to Duke Of Bourbon to thank them. And to find another wine to enjoy...maybe a manly and savage Syrah.
And speaking of wine... just last night my husband and I joined friends at Bellavino in Westlake Village to hear a friend play jazz. Bellavino is a winebar (they, like Duke of Bourbon, carry a wide range of wines) and restaurant.
Seated an arm's length away from the band, we hardly spoke all night (except when the band took a break.) all of us were too into the music. The passion and art with which they played was moving.
I enjoyed every piece they did, but Daniela sang an Italian song about a summer romance that had me in a complete trance; I didn't understand one word, and, still, it broke my heart.
John Chiodini came over to thank us for listening. In unison, the four of us said, "No. Thank you."
Ahh...extremely good music, enjoyed with plates of eclectic cheeses - including a lavender flavored chevre called Purple Haze - and sliced baguette, which we drenched with sips of wine: for me, a glass of Pinot Noir. And for my husband I selected a Syrah blend... because it's very manly and savage.
*John Chiodini told us he plays Wednesday nights at Henri's Backroom in Canoga Park, 7-10pm. Henri's, 21601 Sherman Way, 818-348-5582.
*I would have a link to Daniela, but I don't think she has a website.