DRINKS/ Local Joints

Ah Luis, Luis…You gotta GO!!!

I know, we’ve blogged about Luis before, but get used to hearing about it because we are LOVING this place! Vanessa is terrific and really knows her stuff, not to mention I have been craving Maegan Loring’s chicken and duck fat pate since I wrote about it in my Going down in Gluttonous Glory blog. Today we went to Luis and decided to try the flights, I got the red GSM (Grenache/Syrah (Shiraz)/Mourvedre) blend and Doug got the white Vermentino flight, which I’ll let him tell you about.

The April GSM flight consists of a 2009 Chateauneuf-du-pape from French winery Clos de l’Oratoire des Papes, which received 91 points from Wine Spectator. Chateauneuf-du-pape is an appellation d’origine contrôlée and roughly translates into “the Pope’s new castle”. While the wine is richly entwined with papal history starting about 1308, the devil is in the details with this little fella. I found it to be rather tannic with an acid that plays in the mid palate. On first taste I got a cassis candy flavor that backs out into a black licorice and spicy pepper. It’s got an earthiness that ends with a slight metallic finish, that when paired with the pate softens and mellows out . It’s made of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre, and 5% Cinsault. This wine went really well with the Pecorino toscana cheese which drags the cheese (rather then the wine) out into a long milky finish which was not only very interesting but quite tasty and; it went really nicely with the almonds that were served on the meat and cheese plate we also ordered.

Next came an 07 Graves rock candy from Paso Robles. This guy was juicy, and jammy with berry, and red plum notes to spare, and you can really taste the Syrah in this one. Mostly because it’s 60% Syrah, 20% Grenache and 20% Mourvedre. This was my favorite of all 3 of the wines and in fact we bought a bottle to bring home. It really accentuated the pate and didn’t shy away from the cornichons which is unusual for a wine.

The last of the 3 wines was the 2010 Langmeil three gardens out of Australia. Instead of what we in the Northern hemisphere know as Syrah, they use Shiraz as it is known down under. It is a blend of Shiraz (43%), Grenache (37%) and Mourvèdre (20%), that I found it to be really smoky on the nose, and Doug thought it was skunky.  Initially this was my least favorite, it was light and almost flabby on the palate and had very light fruits of cherry and blackberry. But when it paired with the pate it was rounded out by the duck fat which completely changed the entire dynamics of the wine, it made it bigger and bolder. To say it completely transformed this wine is putting it lightly, it created complexities in the wine that were simply not there on it’s own. Which is a great lesson showing that not all wine stands on its own. Sometimes the right food pairing can really make a dull wine, shine!

That was the end of the flight but not the end of our tasting. Vanessa pulled out a couple other bottles of vino she thought I might like. Starting with a 2008 Hearst Ranch Cab Franc that totally curled my toes! It was full bodied and jammy, bursting with bing cherries, strawberries and a host of other red and black fruits. I bought a glass loving it on it’s own but it simply didn’t pair well with the pate. and that was unfortunate because I still had half a jar left, which just goes to show you can’t have it all, but it went wonderfully with the locally made Allesina tortufo salami!

The last wine we tasted was the 2008 Oso Libre Primoroso made of Zinfandel 34% , Cabernet Sauvignon 30%, Syrah 28%,  Grenache 4%,  Mourvédre 3%, and Petite Sirah 1%. This wine was really fruit forward and had touches of black pepper and black fruits.

Vanessa had one more treat to share with us and this one I’d been dying to try! I heard through the grapevine that she had a dessert that was called the Bacon S’more. Now, I looked at the ingredients of this decadence on a plate and thought…

Let me see here, there is almost everything in the world that I love in the ingredient list: bacon, chocolate, toasted marshmallows and a graham cracker…who can argue with that? Well, ALL put together in one dessert?

Uhhhh YEAH!!!! And hot Damn if it’s not delicious!!! First of all it’s toasted table side so the marshmallow and melting chocolate smelled heavenly. It was unusual all around. The texture between the softness of the marshmallow, richness of the chocolate, chewy bacon and crumbly graham cracker was complex and unique. After some discussion Doug and I came to the unanimous conclusion that this dessert would go wonderfully with the Yalumba Clocktower tawny port a great little tawny port for the price…we’ve gotten it as low as $9.99 at Cost Plus.

Doug and I had a great time hanging and chatting at Luis. It’s a hip, relaxing spot that’s perfect to just chill with a glass and a appetizer snack.

Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day more civilized.

~ Andre Simon, “Commonsense of Wine”


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  • Reply
    April 15, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    I second that Vanessa at Luis just has an incredible intuition for this business, where so many don’t. Keep up the great work over there at Luis, Vanessa. We’re very loyal to the places we love, so don’t get tired of us too soon. 🙂

  • Reply
    April 15, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Yay! Thank you so much for your wonderful write-ups and positive feedback. I feel like I learn so much when you two are in and begin discussing the flavors and aromas of the wines and food pairings. And you know I listen…pate now comes with fresh bread AND crostini!

    See you again soon!

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