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.

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

Vinitaly – A Trek to Verona filled with Italy’s Best

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Geoff’s Top Wines from Vinitaly!

2012 Frescobaldi Nipozzano Chianti ($24.00) Buy Now>

2015 Tenuta San Guido Guidalberto ($38.00) Buy Now>

2011 Massolino Barolo Parafada ($80.00) Buy Now>

2014 Antinori Tignanello ($105.00) Buy Now>

2014 Sassicaia- FUTURES ($148.00) Buy Now>

 

Vinitaly is the most important week of the year in the Italian Wine World.  It is a rite of passage for wine professionals to make the trek to Verona where everyone who is anyone descends on the Veneto for a week of tastings, galas, and late-night parties.

The size of the fair is truly awe-inspiring.  As you walk around Veronafiere, where the event is held, it almost looks like a Hollywood studio with a patchwork maze of giant exhibition halls that could double as sound stages. Every region of Italy is represented, including little-known regions such as Lazio and Marche which have their own dedicated airplane-hangar size exhibition halls full of wineries pouring their wares.  It is not an exaggeration to say that every major – and minor – producer in Italy is here.  You could spend months at this event and still not see, taste, and smell everything.  It’s almost insane to try to take it all in during the span of only three days! Nevertheless, that’s precisely what I attempted to do this year.

My first day of Vinitaly was filled with tastings of a number of great producers including Castello dei Rampolla, Pelissero, Masi and Tenuta Sette Ponti.  Lunch was sublime, hosted by Tenuta San Guido where I got to sample their newest releases, Le Difese and Guidalberto from the highly-rated 2015 vintage and the brand new 2014 Sassicaia.  Dinner that night was one of the true highlights of the trip: a gorgeous gala dinner hosted at the Allegrini estate just outside of town.  The central courtyard of the estate was transformed into a magical garden with dozens of food and wine stations pouring incredible wines from Allegrini, Frescobaldi, Feudi di San Gregorio, Fontanafredda, and Planeta, among others.  The evening concluded with a performance of classic Opera favorites and an incredible fireworks display over the vineyards.

Back in town we headed to Antica Bottega del Vino which is almost as famous as Vinitaly itself.  This historic wine bar and taverna is known for its large by-the-glass selection and a truly encyclopedic wine list.  You could hear the din of the crowd outside Bottega from a few blocks away.  Walking up to it, I saw that there must have been a hundred people crammed into the alley outside drinking Champagne, smoking, singing and generally being rowdy – or merry, if you will.  Pushing through this sea of humanity, I found my way to the door, and with the help of some friends inside, made my way into the main room.  Flipping through the phonebook-sized wine list, it’s mind-boggling what they have stashed away in the cellar: verticals from every major Italian producer along with sizeable stocks from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne and many other regions.  We settled on a Champagne from Marie Noelle Ledru, and a few bottles from Clos Rougeard and Felsina.  A few plates of Pata Negra completed our late night hangout which stretched into the wee hours of the morning.

On day two I was up early and back at the fair where I took appointments with Antinori, Duemani, Col d’Orcia, Mazzei, Planeta, Colombini, Terlano and Massolino.  I also had the opportunity to taste at the Consorzio Brunello di Montalcino where I was able to sample over fifty different Brunelli, mostly new releases from the excellent 2012 vintage.  This sort of tasting is invaluable in getting a lay of the land and comparing everything in one setting to select the best of the vintage.

Dinner that night was hosted by Tenuta Sette Ponti at the Michelin-starred Ristorante Perbellini just outside the city.  This extraordinary event by marked by incredible food, a beautiful setting, and great wines including Saia, Crognolo and their flagship, Oreno.  On the way home we stopped at Bottega del Vino again where the crowd looked almost twice the size of the night before.

The third and final day included tastings with Le Pupille, Il Maronetto, Poggio Scalete, Tua Rita, Galardi, and a few new discoveries in Zyme, who are making incredible Valpolicella and Amarone, as well as Santa Maria La Nave, who are one of the most exciting up-and-coming producers in Etna.

Vinitaly is a truly incredible experience and they have several days that are open to consumers, so even if you are not in the trade, I would wholeheartedly recommend making the trip at least once.  It is a week like no other week, when an ancient city comes alive and bristles with energy, all in the pure celebration of the majesty of Italian food and wine.

By Geoff Pattison, Bordeaux Buyer at the top of the blog

 

The Must-Have Cheese for your Summer Picnic

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Mahon, a port city on the island of Menorca, is the namesake for our cheese this week, Mahon Riserva. Menorca, the most remote of the three main Balearic Islands (Ibiza and Mallorca are the other two), has been a cattle farming island for centuries, which includes its long cheese-making history. There are over 600 dairy farms on the island, making it one of the largest Spanish milk producing regions. The island is home to one of the most respected dairy plants in all of Europe. Mahon has had a P.D.O. (protected designation of origin) since 1985, but has been made in the same traditional manner for much longer. The distribution of Mahon to the world began with local island inhabitants who became, starting over a century ago, the “traders” and affineurs of Mahon. They would barter agricultural equipment, seed, utensils and food for the young cheeses, then age them in local underground caves until ready for distribution to Mallorca and mainland Spain. Mahon Riserva is a raw milk cheese from the Friesian breed and the indigenous Menorquina breed, endangered, yet particularly suited for cheese production. The dairies are small and contribute to artisanal productions of hand-molded square cheeses wrapped in a cotton cloth, pressed, and hung by the four corners to begin curing. The Riserva is typically aged for 10-12 months, but can age longer. Finished cheeses are rubbed with paprika and olive oil, which softens the paste and mellows the sharpness. This cheese has buttery, nutty richness within a structure of salty, crystalline sharpness. It has a waxy, semi-granular chewy paste that carries the fruity, savory piquant bite nicely. The local method of eating Mahon is sliced and sprinkled with EVOO, black pepper and fresh tarragon….mmm…

 

By Susan Gaulke, Wally’s Cheesemonger

Taste the Wine World at Wally’s Beverly Hills

Posted on Posted in Dining, Drink

At our wine-by-the-glass program at Wally’s Beverly Hills we offer over 120 sensational selections. It offers our guests a fantastic opportunity to taste wines of the world and unfamiliar varietals without having to order an entire bottle. It is also a great way to try a few different glasses and combinations to pair with each course or dish from our marvelous menu – enjoy sampling a large variety without the commitment. We change four to seven wines out every Thursday, so there is always a thrilling new glass to try. Should you want a little guidance or a tip on the new gems, there is always a sommelier on-hand to assist in finding the perfect wine.

Krug Grande Cuvée Brut, Reims 164th Edition
$39
Notes of toasted bread, hazelnut, nougat, barley sugar and jellied fruits may take you by surprise. You may even taste hints of apples still on the tree, flowers in bloom, ripe and dried fruit, almonds, marzipan, gingerbread, sweet spices and even brioche and honey.

2016 Domaine Cala Coteaux Varois Prestige, Provence
$19
Initial aromas of grapefruit and citrus give way to those of cherry and strawberryBalanced mouth feel bolstered by aromatic red fruits and a silky texture, finishing with a palpable yet light draw.

2015 Barda Pinot Noir, Patagonia
$16
Smooth with dusty berry, plum, caramel and spice aromas and flavors, this Pinot Noir culminates in a composed and satisfying finish.

2011 Terra Gratia Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
$19
Notes of fresh, ripe black fruit, subtle black licorice, and vanilla oak. On the palate, the wine opens up with a soft attack, layered with vibrant, fruit driven acidity and red plum. The soft mid-palate gives way to a finessed, lengthy finish sustained by youthful tannins that ensure ageability.

The Purple & Blue Salad

Posted on Posted in Dining

I have concocted this colorful salad because I believe every chef should have a signature salad.
However, calling it the Chef’s Salad seemed too simple, too generic, so the Purple and Blue Salad was born. I worked closely with our expert cheesemonger team to source the perfect blue cheese to complement this special salad of purples, blues, and pinks.

This recipe is composed of three different bowls: the leaves, the vegetables, and the toppings.

Serves: 4-6 guests

Bowl #1: The Leaves
1 Chopped escarole heart
1 Chopped trevisio
1 Shaved red cabbage with 1/4 of a head
Dress with balsamic vinegar, sea salt, and olive oil

Bowl #2: The Vegetables
2 Cups of roasted red beets
1 Cup of diced cucumbers
1 Cup of seedless grapes cut in half
1 Cup of blueberries
Dress with balsamic vinegar and Olive oil

Bowl #3: The Toppings
¼ Cup of toasted pistachios
2 Springs of tarragon (small leaves)
1 Piece of thinly-shaved candied beets
Black mission figs (upon season availability)

Additional toppings:
1 Cup of crumbled blue di bufala
Edible flowers: daikon radish flower pink or violet

Instructions:
Mix all three bowls. Transfer contents of bowl #1 to a medium-sized serving bowl (12” diameter will do). Add bowl #2, evenly layering it on top. Then, add bowl #3, and top with the cheese and flowers so all the wonderful colors are well defined. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil (we use Massiglia at Wally’s) and fleur del sel. Serve and enjoy!

This salad pairs very nicely with a bottle of Domaine De Cala Prestige Rosé.

By Chef David Féau

National Grilled Cheese Month Continues!

Posted on Posted in Dining, Food & Wares

National Grilled Cheese Month Continues! We’re halfway through National Grilled Cheese Month and things are really heating up at Wally’s Cheese Box! For week 3 we are offering a sandwich designed by cheesemonger Simone titled, “Alpine Heat”. This grilled cheese features Kohlschlag (a Swiss high alpine cheese), Harold’s Savory Unyins (Onions), Dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar on sliced Brioche.

4 14 Simone SandwichSimone’s April Grilled Cheese Sandwich “Alpine Heat” – $8.99 – Order Here

If you’re craving a creamy grilled cheese with a kick, Alpine Heat is sure to deliver! Here is what Simone has to say about her creation: “Spicy onions complement this bolder Swiss cheese… c’mon y’all, you have to try this. BOOM!”

 

 

4 14 Harold'sHarold’s Savory Texicun Gormay Unyins – Sale Price $6.79 – Buy Here

Great on top of hot dogs, hamburgers and sandwiches, these onions have a nice vinegar flavor and a not-so-subtle habanero heat. Use as a spicy kick in home-made relish, put them in deviled eggs, omelets or just eat them all alone!

4 14 winegut2012 Weingut Niklas Kerner Alto Adige – $21.99 – Buy Here

This wine comes from the Alto Adige, in the far north of Italy. The grapes are grown at high elevation on the granite hillsides of the Dolomite Mountains. Importer’s Notes: “Dieter Sölva is a young winemaker from the tiny village of St. Nikolaus, high up on the west side of a majestic valley that leads north through the Dolomites. The altitude of these vineyards gives the wines an excellent backbone of acidity. His Kerner is vinified in stainless-steel with no malolactic fermentation and no oak, allowing the wine to show the true flavors of the earth.

 

Grilled Cheese Month Continues With Bradley’s “The Jam”

Posted on Posted in Dining, Food & Wares

The grilled cheese mania continues! For the second week of National Grilled Cheese Month we will be making a Fiore Sardo Pecorino, Pastures Cheddar and guava jam grilled cheese on Brioche. If you love grilled cheese, come on in and just ask for the ‘The Jam’!

4 07 sandwich the jamBradley’s April Grilled Cheese Sandwich “The Jam” $8.99 – Order Here

We asked Bradley to describe his sandwich: “Often when I pair cheese with accoutrements; I hunt down a combination of salty and sweet. The contrast allows for me to find unique and interesting flavors that would be lost otherwise. I fell in love with the Guayeco Guava Jam the first time I tasted it, so I knew I had to use it on my grilled cheese. Fiore Sardo is a cheese that has a permanent place in my refrigerator at home, and Pastures is a cheese that I have been excited about since we received our first wheels in the shop. I am pleased to combine these flavors together to create a slightly sheepy, salty and sweet gourmet grilled cheese for you all to enjoy.”

4 07 sardoFiore Sardo – With a paste more golden than is usually found in sheep milk cheeses, Fiore Sardo has a hard natural rind that is banded by black wax. This semi-hard cheese is sharp and savory and the slightest shaving of it brings simple, olive oil-dressed pasta alive. This is one of those cheeses that is just as good to slice and eat as it is to use in your favorite dishes.  Also, this cheese is very versatile for pairing and will match well with many white and red wine varietals.
Sale Price: $15.20 / lb – Buy Here 

 

4 07 pasturesPastures by Saxon Homestead Creamery – Pastures is a 4 month aged cow’s milk cheddar made in Wisconsin by Saxon Homestead Creamery. Pastures has a creamy, semi-firm texture with mellow crisp flavors of grass and hints of sweetness on the finish.
Sale Price: $20.00 / lb – Buy Here 

 

 

 

4 07 guavaGuayeco Guava Jam – Guayeco 100% Natural Guava Jam is made in small batches with fresh guava fruit and no fillers, corn syrup, or preservatives. This deliciously thick and sweet jam is the most flavorful guava spread you’ll ever try. Guayeco is a family-owned company with over 50 years of experience. Cheesemonger tip: Try this jam with Koko’s Coconut Gouda for the ultimate island taste.
Sale Price: $6.49 each – Buy Here

 

National Grilled Cheese Month is here! Another Amazing New Sandwich at Wally’s!

Posted on Posted in Dining, Food & Wares

National Grilled Cheese Month is here! After the success of last year’s grilled cheese creations, we are extremely excited to bring you a fresh batch of gourmet grilled cheeses designed by our very own cheesemongers every week of the month.

3 31 lorenzo'sWe are going to kick April off with a grilled cheese, El Salsero, by Lorenzo Broadnax, one of our cheesemongers in Wally’s Cheese Box. After a salsa tasting with Heidi’s Salsa, he had the inspiration to include salsa into our classic grilled cheese, which includes aged Gruyere and Emmental on brioche. The rest is history!

Here is what Lorenzo himself has to say about it: “When I add Heidi’s Happy Medium salsa to a grilled cheese, I am comforted with the memories of growing up in NYC eating pizza. The salsa adds a pleasant spice and twist to a classic grilled cheese. If you like grilled cheese with a mild spice and tomato soup then this is the perfect sandwich for you.”

Lorenzo’s April Grilled Cheese Sandwich, El Salsero – Order Here

3 31 caveCave Aged Emmental

Famous cooked cheese from Switzerland, fruity tasting and distinguished by the large holes in the paste. Cave aged for 14 months, it is sweeter and stronger than ordinary Emmental and this one won a coveted gold award in the 2003 World Cheese Awards.

Cave Aged Emmental – Sale Price $16/lb. Buy Here

 

3 31 kaltbachKaltbach Gruyere Cave Aged

This Swiss Alps classic using raw cow’s milk and traditional rennet. Each wheel weighs ninety pounds and has a pebbled brown rind. This Gruyere is aged in natural caves whose bacteria and air add complexity to the full flavored, smooth, rich, nutty, and slightly sweet flavor.

Kaltbach Gruyere Cave Aged – Sale Price $20.96/lb. Buy Here

 

After growing up in a Mexican family surrounded by food, Heidi of Heidi’s Salsas began re-creating some of the salsa recipes that she grew up enjoying. Soon her friends and coworkers were demanding more and more. In 2009 Heidi entered her salsa and won first place in the 30th Anniversary of Los Angeles Farmers Markets salsa contest. We are excited to be carrying her salsas here at the Cheese Box. Made without any corn based preservatives or vinegars, these salsas are the real deal. If you are a fan of authentic salsa, you have to try these salsas!

3 31 heidis mediumFor the Happy Medium Salsa, Heidi uses her original recipe of finely chopped tomatoes, cilantro and lime juice as the foundation. She then adds in more spice to give it a stronger heat. Great for those that want to flirt with heat but don’t necessarily want to be in pain.

Heidi’s Happy Medium Salsa – Sale Price $6.49 – Buy Here

 

 

3 31 heidis hotCan you say ouch? If you are the kind of heat lover that likes to forget what it’s like to taste, then this is your salsa. For Chupacabra’s Revenge, Heidi uses the same fresh ingredients chopped and prepared that you find in the Original, but then takes the heat to extreme heights.

Heidi’s Happy   Chupacabra’s Revenge Hot – Sale Price $6.49 – Buy Here

 

 

3 31 heidis mildThis Mild Salsa is for those that want to get that fresh taste of tomato and cilantro without the hot burning a spicier salsa will carry. The use of lime juice adds an extra element of freshness that will bring you back chip by chip.

Heidi’s Happy  Original Mild – Sale Price $6.49 – Buy Here