Susan’s Cheesebox! Featuring Casa Lusa Membrillo Quince Paste

Posted on Posted in Dining, Food & Wares

By Susan Gaulke, Cheese Monger

Membrillo (Marmelada) Quince Paste from Spain & Portugal Quince is a fruit which hails from the same family as the apple and the pear. It is a bumpy, yellow, pear-like fruit with a heady aroma. When ripe, although extremely perfumed and fragrant, it is nonetheless dry, hard, astringent, and acidic. Once cooked, pureed, sweetened, and cooked some more, the quince transforms from a pale butternut squash color into a deep, rich amber color. Quince has been prepared as a jelly and a paste (aka “quince cheese”) on the Iberian Peninsula for well over one-hundred years. In Spain, it is known as “dulce de membrillo;” in Portugal, the name for quince is “marmelo,” and the paste is “marmelada.” Our quince paste is Portuguese and is made by the nuns at Odivelas Monastery near Lisbon with a recipe used since the 1800s. Membrillo is most classically paired with Manchego, which provides a contrasting savory, milky, tangy flavor with the ethereal, fragrant, honey-sweet quince paste. We now offer our membrillo on our choice boards as an accoutrement. Come taste it at the Cheese Box and we will help you pair it with some of your favorite cheeses!

Our Wine Spectator Grand Award Winning List

Posted on Posted in Dining, Wine

By Matthew Turner, Wine Director

It’s been a great few weeks. Winning the Wine Spectator Grand Award was truly humbling, and a professional milestone as a sommelier and wine director. Without past and present mentorship and support, this would not be possible.  Working with the team at Wally’s Beverly Hills has been an incredible journey, and this award is truly a collaborative effort and representation of the love and passion we have for this business. Thank you everyone for the continued support. Like a fine wine, for me, the best is yet to come!

Check out Matt’s featured wines by the glass here!

NV 164th Edition Krug Grande Cuvée Brut, Reims- $39

A very complex nose with ripe, deep lemon and grapefruit aromas on offer, plus some restrained chalky elements, biscuit, roasting herbs, hints of pepper, and a little tobacco. The palate has a wealth of different fruit flavors like lemon, peach, nectarine, and plums. The finesse in terms of structure, detail and precision is staggering; sherbet-like elegance with immense concentration and power.

2014 Jonathan Didier Pabiot Prédilection Pouilly-Fumé- $24

Fresh lemon flavors and flinty, mineral notes on the nose. Piquant in the mouth, this is a powerful yet pure, fine, refreshing, and very elegant wine. It possesses grip, tension, and a dry, tight, and minerally-flavored finish with fresh fruit aromas.

2015 Barda Pinot Noir, Patagonia- $16

An interplay of fresh and dried fruits, gentle florals, citrus peel, and a little milk chocolate. The finish is clean, with just a touch of bacon that adds nuance.

2014 Flor De Pingus, Ribera del Duero- $35

Rich, powerful and seductive. Blossoms in the glass with heady aromas of fresh blackberry, boysenberry and smoky minerals, complicated by pungent hints of vanilla, violet and allspice. Lush, intensely flavored and focused, offering deep dark berry and cherry compote flavors and a suave spice cake nuance.

“The Harlot Saint”

Posted on Posted in Drink

By Carl Roberts, Bar Manager

 

This would pair perfectly with Chef Féau’s Grass Fed Prime Ribeye accompanied by cipollini onions, béarnaise sauce and his signature truffle pomme frites!

 

Recipe:

 

Shaken and served on the rocks with a fresh basil garnish

Christian’s Essentials for the Ultimate Summer Party

Posted on Posted in Dining, Tasting & Events

With summer in full swing, there is nothing better than relaxing in a beautiful outdoor setting with a delicious meal, refreshing wines, and great conversation.  Below are my tips for throwing the ultimate summer party.

 

  1. Food: After heavy winter dishes, my taste buds crave summer’s bounty of fresh produce. For a delicious, seasonal dinner menu, I suggest pairing summer greengrocery such as heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, and King Bolete mushrooms (one of the most desirable mushrooms in the world), with grilled meats, fish, fresh cheeses, and pasta. I invite you to take inspiration from our current seasonal dishes at Wally’s Beverly Hills such as the Heirloom Salad made of local heirloom tomatoes, melon, cherium, thai basil, and balsamella.

 

  1. Wine: A key element to any great party is making sure your guests have delicious wine in their glasses. In the summer, I recommend wines that will refresh your palate and complement light, vibrant dishes. Some of my favorites for the season are the 2016 Domaine de Cala Prestige Rose, the 2015 Fevre Chablis Champs Royaux and the 2014 Jonata “The Paring” Pinot Noir.

 

  1. Florals and Décor: Anyone that knows me well knows I am a flower freak. When selecting florals for your summer bash, consider a variety with vibrant colors. Some of my favorites are dahlias, marigolds, and peonies. For the décor, I suggest keeping things rustic yet chic. Consider accents of wood, lots of candles, and elegant color schemes, composed of neutrals, olive greens, and light corals.

 

Let Wally’s Beverly Hills Cater Your Next Event!

 

Wally’s Beverly Hills Catering & Events is a natural extension of our luxury retail-restaurant operation. Our team curates one-of-a kind dining experiences. We offer complete catering and event services, and can assist you with staging anything from intimate dinner parties to elaborate weddings and corporate events. Chef David will customize and create any type of menu, customized for your home or any location you choose. We invite you to discover how a Wally’s experience will provide you with an unforgettable affair.

 

For more information contact Sami Fromer at sami.fromer@wallywine.com or (310) 475-0606 ext. 127

Wally’s Exclusive Central Coast Cuvées

Posted on Posted in Wine

By Perry Koon, Central Coast Wine Buyer

Wally’s reputation has been built on offering our customers unique and rare wines that are hard to find anywhere else. Thanks to our relationships with wineries all over the world, we are fortunate to get exclusive access to boutique wines and sometimes even entire single vineyard productions. Our most successful and well received endeavor, however, has been our exclusive cuvée program.

Over the past several years, Wally’s has worked in conjunction with a few top-tier wineries, such as Patz & Hall, Ken Wright, and Tayson Pierce, to produce unique, small-production blends exclusively made for Wally’s. We are selective in making these and only work with producers who share our passion for elevating the food and wine experience. We create blends that capitalize on our connections, creativity, and have a consistent quality level, so year in and year out our customers can confidently know they are getting a wine that is delicious, ready to drink, and sure to impress.

Below are our current Wally’s Exclusive Central Coast Cuvées!

  1. 2014 Paul Lato Les Bons Amis Chardonnay: $55.00 (Limited Quantities Available)
  2. 2016 Margerum Libertine Sauvignon Blanc: $24.00 (Limited Quantities Available)
  3. 2015 The Hilt Cuvee Fleur Pinot Noir: $45.00 (Pre-Offer)
  4. 2015 The Hilt Cuvee Fleur Chardonnay: $45.00 (Pre-Offer)
  5. 2015 Paul Lato Les Bons Amis Pinot Noir: $75.00 (Pre-Offer)

2015 Domaine William Fevre Chablis

Posted on Posted in Wine

By JP Blanchard, Wally’s Burgundy Buyer

Our 2015 Domaine William Fevre Chablis have arrived!

Chablis enjoyed an incredibly successful vintage in 2015. The summer was pleasantly mild and the harvest was early, which led to higher ripeness and slightly lower acidity.  I recently had the rare opportunity to have dinner with the famed winemaker of William Fevre, Didier Seguier. I tasted through his amazing 2015 vintage of Premiere Cru and Grand Cru Chablis. One of the wines of the night was the 2015 Fevre Chablis Montmains 1er Cru. It has brilliant purity, mouthwatering minerality, and is by far the best value Chardonnay of the vintage. With warm weather upon us, Chablis is the ideal summer white, and Domaine William Fevre produces the best in the business. The 2015 Domaine William Fevre Chablis are impossible to dislike and will give great pleasure in the short to medium term.

Check out my favorite 2015 Chablis that are available for purchase on wallywine.com

2015 Fevre Chablis Champs Royaux 750mL ($22.00)

2015 Fevre Chablis Montmains 1er Cru ($50.00)

2015 Fevre Chablis Montee Tonnerre 1er Cru ($60.00)

2015 Fevre Chablis Vaulorent 1er Cru ($72.00)

2015 Fevre Chablis Le Clos Grand Cru 750 ML ($100.00)

Bonnie’s Jams

Posted on Posted in Food & Wares

Making jam has always been an important pastime in Bonnie’s life, but it became her artisan commercial business about 16 years ago in Cambridge, MA where she still makes her jams on Sundays at Formaggio Kitchen, a shop which was also her first retailer.

She uses seasonal, and when possible, local fruit to make her jams. To bring the full flavor and integrity of the fruit into the jar, Bonnie chooses to limit her use of sugar and not to add extra pectin, relying solely on the natural pectin present within the fruit. This is a tricky thing to do in making preserves on a commercial level; Bonnie has surely had to learn over the years how to best combine fruits with low and high pectin levels, as well as use the correct minimum sugar and lemon juice quantities in order to get the right set on the finished jam.

The looser texture and pure fruit flavors of her jams make them great candidates for use in many food preparations (glazes, dressings, pastry fillings) as well as ingredients for bar mixologists’ creations.

 

Bonnie makes 10 different jam varieties, and we consistently carry two of those:

Black & Blue – Made from 1/2 pound blackberries and blueberries per jar, this deep, dark loveliness craves to be near the snow white Leonora, a favorite rich, tangy Spanish goat cheese providing a beautiful milky contrast.

Peach Ginger – It’s no wonder this has been a fave of Oprah…Sweet ripe peaches are a natural match with the flavor and light spiciness of ginger. Bonnie combines this with olive oil, balsamic and port to make a glaze for duck. I am inclined to pair this with a firm sheep’s milk cheese like Ossau Iraty from the Basque…just makes sense.

 

By Susan Gaulke, Wally’s Cheesemonger

The Architectural Magnificence of Tannins

Posted on Posted in Wine

Tannins are one of the most intellectually engaging facets of wine, and also one of the most misunderstood. So what exactly is tannin? Tannin is a naturally occurring polyphenol that can be found in walnuts, almonds, dark chocolate, espresso, tea leaves, clove, quince, pomegranate, and of course, grapes. When considering the structural components of a wine, tannin—like acidity— is one of the most important. Tannins strongly influence the pairing ability, aging potential, and mouthfeel of a wine. But, tannins are often confused with the dryness level of a wine, because tannins dry out your mouth. When attempting to communicate what they like, many guests will tell you some variation of, “I like a wine that’s not too dry.” Generally when you hear this, you can assume they are not referring to a wine with some residual sugar—instead, they mean a wine with more restrained tannins. Some grape varieties that are naturally low in tannin include Pinot Noir, Gamay, Barbera, and Grenache. Varietals with naturally high amounts of tannin include Nebbiolo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Syrah, and Mourvedre. To make things even more obfuscated, the perception of tannin on the palate can vary quite a bit depending on the other structural elements of the wine, and what you or may not be eating at the time. Grape tannins are present in the skins, the seeds, and the stems of the vitis vinfera plant, and oak barrels also contribute tannin to a finished wine. Since white wines often have very little contact with their skins during the winemaking process, tannins are really only relevant when discussing red wines, orange wines, and longer skin-contact roses.

 

The Architecture of Happiness: Tannins and Structural Integrity

Structure can be a difficult thing to describe; the French will sometimes refer to a wine’s ‘skeleton,’ or ‘backbone,’ and when I think of structure, I think of the texture and architecture of a wine. The amount (and quality) of tannins are the most critical determining factor of this architecture, and from a sensory standpoint, they contribute a taste and a feeling that is distinct. Tannins dry out the tissues of your mouth and taste astringent, or bitter. When the tannins in the grapes have reached physiological maturity, the finished wine’s tannins may not jump out at you right away, but the wine will possess a commanding structure. Likewise, if the tannins did not reach physiological maturity before the time of harvest, the wine will ultimately taste unpleasantly astringent and harsh. In an ideal world, all wine grapes would receive enough sun and a long enough hang-time for the acidity to drop, the sugar levels to rise, and the tannins to reach full ripeness. However, this doesn’t always happen, as we all know from tasting wines that are thin, herbaceous and astringent (think cool-vintage Bordeaux when there was too much rain) or overly-ripe, fruity wines that feel cloying on the palate (mass-produced blends from Paso Robles get the point across). To be a more discerning taster, think not just about the level of tannin in the next wine that you taste, but also the ripeness and quality of the tannin. With a clearly delineated architecture, a wine seems more impressive on the palate and also possesses a formidable beauty. Need tangible proof? Try a bottle of Corison—it’s the Angelina Jolie of Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Built to Last: the Relationship Between Tannins and Aging Potential

It’s no coincidence that most collectors gravitate towards Bordeaux, Super Tuscans, Barolos, and Napa Cabernets. These are all wines that have higher tannins, and thus a better chance at aging more gracefully. Tannin, like acidity and sugar, is a natural preservative. As wine ages, the tannins become mellower and precipitate out in the form of sediment. This is one of the reasons why you’re likely to get more cellaring time out of a Barbaresco than you are a Burgundy. A shack with a thatched roof may provide shelter in the short term, but it’s solid stone castles that stand the test of time—the same is true with wine.

 

Marrying Well: How to Pair Tannic Wines with Food

Some wines are the libation equivalent of Clint Eastwood, and some are more akin to Don Draper. The chemical reason behind why some wines possess so much grip is because tannin molecules bind to the proteins in your saliva. So it’s not technically the tannins that dry your mouth, it’s the fact that your saliva can no longer adequately lubricate your palate, causing the tissues in your mouth to rub together and feel dry. Tannins are easily influenced by food, which is why eating a steak with a glass of Cabernet can help to ‘resolve’ the tannins. Tannins help to ‘cleanse’ the palate of fattiness, and also provide a ‘tenderizing’ effect for foods with lots of muscle fiber. Just be careful pairing tannic wines with salty or spicy foods—salt and heat are a magnifier that make wines taste even more tannic.

 

 

By Amanda Woodward, Wally’s Sommelier

Vert & Blanc Salad

Vert & Blanc Salad

Posted on Posted in Uncategorized

The Vert & Blanc is one of our most famous appetizers at Wally’s Beverly Hills. This beautiful salad is composed of burrata cheese, smashed avocado, pencil asparagus, green chili, parsley, and served with wood oven toasted country bread. It has the perfect combination of refreshing flavors and textures that are ideal for Summer. The Vert & Blanc is a huge crowd pleaser and is the ultimate way to start a delicious dining experience at Wally’s.

This salad pairs very nicely with a bottle of 2014 The Hilt Chardonnay.

Serves 2-3 Guests

 

Best of the Best Robb Report Feature: Christian’s Top Wines of the Year

Posted on Posted in Uncategorized

I had the great honor of selecting the top international wines of the year for Robb Report’s annual “Best of the Best” issue. I have tasted many terrific wines this year making it hard to select only ten. However, as soon as I tasted each one of the wines listed below, they instantly caught my attention and I knew they were very special.

 

2000 Dom Perignon P2($400.00) Buy Now>

Dom Perignon’s 2000 P2 Brut is an incredible Champagne and represents the best of the craft. This is a true “Special Reserve” and a reflection of the great terroir of Champagne. Drink now or enjoy for the next twenty years. This is no doubt my top pick for wine of the year.

 

2013 Château Haut-Brion Blanc, Bordeaux 750ml ($1,300.00) Buy Now>

This wine is a harmonious blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc that lends its way to mouth-watering acidity and vivacious flavors of apricots, white peach, and roasted almonds. It is so layered and complex that if you close your eyes it almost seems like a red wine. Love it.

 

2014 Château d’ Esclans, Rosé Les Clans, Provence 750ml ($80.00) Buy Now>

If you are looking for something to sip on during the warm summer months, this wine should be at the top of your shopping list. It is purely blissful and keeps you coming back for more. Enjoy now or stash away for the next decade.

 

2015 Dönnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Spätlese, Nahe 750ml ($45.00) Buy Now>

2015 has proven to be a legendary German vintage, and this wine is one of Dönnhoff’s finest to date. Round and luscious on the palate, and balanced by sharp acidity, this is a powerhouse Riesling that will please anyone’s taste.

 

2014 Fourrier Griotte-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes, Burgundy 750ml ($1,000.00) Buy Now>

This beauty takes the prize as my favorite red wine of the year. I had a special moment with it as soon as it touched my lips. There is a sophistication on the palate that radiates flavors of violets and blackberries. This wine is hard to come by – the vineyard is a mere 0.6 of an acre – but luckily your difficult search has ended.

 

2012 Château La Fleur-Petrus, Bordeaux 750ml ($180.00) Buy Now>

Edouard Moueix’s 2012 La Fleur-Petrus is pure pleasure in a bottle. It is very approachable, yet super age-worthy for young Bordeaux. Although I am a big fan of all of Moueix’s family’s work, Château La Fleur Petrus holds a special place in my heart.

 

2013 Vietti Barolo Ravera, Piedmont 750ml ($180.00)Buy Now>

The 2013 Ravera is hands-down the Barolo of the vintage and continues to represent the depth and artfulness of this historic winery. Mid-bodied, firm, and balanced, its focused precision and striking aromatics represent the true expression of Novello. It is built for aging and is a necessary addition to all wine cellars. This is truly an epiphany in a bottle.

 

2013 Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia, Tuscany 750ml ($185.00) Buy Now>

I have had the pleasure of enjoying almost fifty vintages of this legendary wine and have never tasted a better young bottling than the 2013.  When this wine hits maturity, it will easily rival the 1985 and 1988 – it may even surpass these vintages.

 

2013 Dominio de Pingus, Ribiera Del Duero 750ml ($1,050.00) Buy Now>

 The 2013 is a true victory over Mother Nature as it excelled in a bizarre, albeit fascinating, vintage. Delicious, fresh, and elegant, the 2013 has a charm to it that is irresistible. Pingus continues to be the benchmark for Spanish greatness and this wine is a must-have for your wine cellar.

 

By Christian Navarro, Wally’s President & Principal