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Monday, November 29, 2010
Corkbar:A California Wine Getaway in the Heart of Downtown LA
If you've ever spent day in California wine country, Corkbar will revive those unforgettable weekend treks through breathtaking scenery, fantastic wines, romantic dinners,winderful people, and that California sunshine. Whether it was happily stumbling about Grand Ave in Los Olivos, cruising down the Silverado Trail,watching the fog burn off in Monterey County's River Road Trail, or the unexpected taste of a nice wine from Lodi in the Central Valley,a day tasting wines in California is an escapist's paradise.
Corkbar, located in downtown Los Angeles set out with a simple mission, to recreate the California wine tasting experience. Certainly, this journey down sensory memory lane is no easy undertaking, and many of LA's wine bars seem to have no connection between their own food and wine, let alone the charm and allure of our state's wine tasting rooms.
One look through Corkbar's wine list, and this proposition should begin to gain your approval. The wine list features wines that you'd recognize from your days tasting away in Santa Ynez, or Napa,but the choices are smart and feel they've been plucked from the journeys of a California wine junkie.
Great values and stand out wines from little known producers outside the respective wine regions are featured. They offer around 80 selections by the glass, and a variety of bottle price options in the $30 to $60 price range, like Babcock's expressive '06 Syrah for $34.Or, have at some of Palmina's rare Italian varietals like tocai friulano,also known as sauvignon vert($57), or that "little rascal" from Piedmont,arneis($49).Palmina is located in Lompoc's wine ghetto where you can further indulge these Italian varietals.
Thanks to Wagstaff for the invite and opportunity to sample some of the Fall Menu items and have at that exciting wine list. Corkbar's seasonal California wine country menu was developed by Executive Chef Albert Aviles.
Billy Joel wrote,"a bottle of white, a bottle of red.....we'll get a table near the street,in our old familiar place...." To this I say YES, yes to it all.Let's start with a white,shall we?
I've been to Zaca Mesa and thought it a beautiful property, but the wine tasting was forgettable except that delicious Roussanne.This is a wine list you'd put together if you'd been to every one of these wineries and seriously tasted everything.The 2006 Zaca Mesa Roussanne($15/glass and $57/bottle) from the Santa Ynez Valley has a sexy nose of Mediterranean fruit, and an earthy finish.
The wine list has something for everyone, and presents an impressive list of varietals, all from the Golden State.
For that bottle of red, I chose Morgan's 2008 "12 Clones" pinot noir, from the Santa Lucia highlands in Monterey County.Twelve different clonal sections of pinot noir go into this wine with the characteristic bold fruit and elegance associated with wines from the Santa Lucia highlands. This pinot noir lets its presence known, unabashed flavors on the front, and pleasing complexities on the back. I parked here for the rest of the dinner.
The menu is solid, and the cheese and charcuterie are the perfect casual selections to pair with your wine, the kind that you would carefully pick yourself with the help of an educated cheese monger.
The cheddar cheese gougeres($7)is a fine savory snack, and you can select one of the suggested wine pairings or explore the wine wine list.
The root vegetable salad($14) has arugula, dandelions,and upland cress with roasted root vegetables.This is a great salad, surprisingly good.
You can have a sandwich with a nice zinfandel like Corkbar's burger($12). Here we sampled a small scaled version of their burger. All of their sandwiches include house made condiments and ingredients.
Coconut curried mussels($17) like all the menu items have California wines in mind.
The seared sea scallops($24) on a bed of parsnip puree were lovely with my roussanne.
The root beer braised short ribs($16) over a cheesy polenta are a great deal, a meaty dish that calls for a robust wine like a cabernet sauvignon, or a syrah.
The Bacon Chocolate Cake was described by chef Albert as a sweet accident of a dessert. This new item on the Fall Menu is a rich indulgence to enjoy one of Corkbar's dessert wine selections.
The flavors, the wines, the friendly, casual service all tucked into contempo Downtown Los Angeles design and lifestyle. From the cheese boards to the main courses, the menu is full of satisfying options, and the wine list is a California dream.
Come explore the spirit of California's wine regions located at the core of LA's top restaurants and watering holes. A top notch wine bar that delivers a focused food and wine experience has arrived.
403 W. 12th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Open Daily 11:30am-2am