I went to L.A. first and foremost to visit my friend Ursula who is about to graduate from UCLA Law and become a badass lawyer. I also went for the wine. Don’t get me wrong, I did cultural things like go to LACMA and The Broad, but it was the wine scene that I was truly enthralled about. Being from Kansas, I live out most of my wine fantasies vicariously through bloggers on the coasts so I hear a lot about new winemakers and trends, but it usually takes a bit for them to make it to middle America. Thus, I had an extensive list of winemakers, shops and bars I was dying to try. I had a lot of great wine while I was in L.A., but three stuck out.
J. Brix Cobolorum Riesling Pét-Nat
I had only tried Pét-Nat a handful of times before my trip (see living in the middle of the damn country) and I was eager to try more. I had heard about J. Brix’ low-intervention practices + great wines and was intrigued. When I stopped into Domaine L.A. I nearly dropped a few bottles of wine when I saw the J. Brix Cobolorum. It was a little volatile upon opening, but we took it real slow, like 10 minutes. The Cobolorum was such a lovely opaque shade of gold, full of sediment! It was so funky and bright and almost had a cider quality to it. Like good, natural cider. I was super sad I didn’t get a second bottle.
Pheasant’s Tears Rkatsiteli
This was my first experience with orange (and Georgian) wine, which was something I had been wanting to try for a couple of years. I’d had skin-contact whites before and loved them (particularly BK Wines’ Skin ‘n Bones), but had a hard time finding orange wine in town. Luckily for me, it was prevalent in L.A. and my friend picked up the Rkatsiteli from Silverlake Wine. We tried it that night while playing Cranium at a party. While I’m not super into board games, I was super into this wine. It was both lighter and denser than I thought it would be (Idk, it makes sense to me). And so floral. My favorite scent/flavor is anything floral so I could not stop smelling this wine.
Hoxie Spritzer Lemon Ginger Rosé
I heard about Hoxie a few years ago, either from Marissa A. Ross or Whitney Adams, but whoever it was, I had to try it. Being a sparkling water aficionado, I enjoy the occasional wine spritzer. I was lucky enough to try Foxie, the collaboration between Field Recordings (my favorite winemaker) and Hoxie in KC this winter and thought it was the perfect funky rosé spritzer. Hoxie was so good. Like, I crushed a four-pack in 24 hours good. It was crisp and light and with a low ABV, it was easy to toss back. It was the perfect summer drink, which is why I was thrilled to learn that my local wine shop, Underdog would be carrying it soon!
I did eat some food in L.A. REALLY great food-- Korean tacos, matzoh brei, Oaxacan, etc. But friends, wine and art were definitely the highlights. Really, the highlight was chilling in Ursula’s apartment, drinking wine and listening to Wakin On A Pretty Daze on vinyl. Thanks Ursula, Graham and Margot (cat).