Archive for October, 2009

A Wine and Sushi Experience

October 22nd, 2009 No comments

As you know, Vintage Cellars is located in sunny Southern California.  Sushi and Asian fusion has spread across the country, but it’s been a staple here as long as I can remember.    To bring my sushi experience to another level, I was longing to find a great red wine.  Wine and sushi? That should be interesting… Batman would say “to the Bat Cave”, but here at Vintage we say, “to the wine cellar.”  Our wine cellar here is a collection of wines Gene (the boss) has been collecting for about 30 years and me for only 3.  The challenge again: I needed a red wine to complement the complexity of tuna, salmon, mackerel or eel.  Okay, I’ll admit it: to impress a girl.  California Cab, Pinot, Bordeaux from 83, 89, 2000 & 2005 were all willing participants.  With sushi, we figured light supple tannins would not over power the fish.  And the selection was made.

I brought along 2 bottles of 1983 Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou to enjoy with friends.  After a lengthy discussion with the owner (who couldn’t understand why I would bring a bottle of wine and not order off a tiny wine list) we agreed on a corkage fee and it was time to enjoy.

Before I released the cork, I ordered some fatty tuna sashimi, spicy tuna hand rolls and fresh water eel.  Upon pouring the wine, I noticed the lighter color; however, the dark ripe fruit on the nose was a real treat.  A soft velvet mouthfeel with hints of licorice & mushroom to go with fully resolved tannins.  We were all impressed with the wine and it really started to shine after about 30 minutes.

When the sushi came, it did not disappoint.   The tartness and acidity balanced well with the fatty tuna and cut right though the spice on the tuna hand roll.  The spice from the roll added extra fruit flavors of cherry and blueberry.  Next time I’ll skip the eel as the sweetness from the eel sauce downgraded the fruitiness of the wine.

My advice: don’t be afraid to experiment when it comes to pairing wine and sushi.  As the Asian fusion continues to sweep the country, you could get a leg up on pairing wine and Asian cuisine.

A Vintage Cellars Custom Wine Cellar in the Wine Spectator

October 20th, 2009 No comments

Vintage Cellars just had a unique custom wine cellar featured in the Wine Spectator. Actually, Jeff Strauss of the Pamplemousse in Solana Beach, Ca was the true feature of the article, but it was a Vintage Cellars design and build.

This was a totally unique custom wine cellar project. There are curved display features, 3 rows of high reveal display, coved shelves, pull out storage, wine glass display and even a mirrored solid archway. The custom handmade wine cabinetry in this cellar really highlights the display of wine.

Check out page 30 in the October 31st issue of the Wine Spectator (“A Chef’s Education) to see the feature on Jeff Strauss’ custom wine cellar and the Vintage Cellars photographs.