Monday, May 07, 2007

Monday Wine Shopping

Today I took friends back to the airport to catch a morning flight and decided on the way home to try a new wine store and see if they had any Languedoc- Roussillon wines for next week's Wine Blogging Wednesday hosted by Marcus, aka Dr. Weingolb.

I stopped off at Red Carpet Wine in Glendale, just around the intersection of the 2, 5, and 134 freeways. In LA terms this means that at some point in your life you will surely find yourself passing by the area, and it is worth stopping in to see their wide selection of wine, beer, and spirits.

The store is well laid out, roomy, and the staff is friendly and knowledgeable without hovering. I asked straight away for Languedoc wines, and Ray helped me to find their good range of Domaine Olivier Pithon bottlings to choose from. I left with a red and a white--but more on those next week. I asked Mike for some help with chardonnays, and he recommended some very appealing 2005 white burgundy that I'm looking forward to trying, too. What struck me about all their European wines--and they have Greek, Spanish, French, and Italian to choose from as well as Southern Hemisphere bottlings from places like Chile, Australia, and New Zealand--was that they offered wines at every price point from under $10 to well over $100.

For domestic wines, they are particularly strong in chardonnays, pinot noirs, and cabernets, with lots of boutique and unusual bottlings that you don't see in big chain stores. The prices are very good, too. I picked up a 2005 Adelsheim Pinot Noir for under $25, which is a very competitive price for an Adelsheim wine. I saw some favorites in the shop, too, like the Hocus Pocus Syrah and a new vintage of the Curran Grenache Blanc.

Red Carpet wine has an email list that you can sign up for, and an inviting wine bar with tastings on Friday afternoons from 4:30-8:30 and Saturdays from 3:00-8:00. Each week these tastings range from the expensive (this weekend they are pouring 2001 cabs by Opus One, Rudd, Viader, and Silver Oak, for example), to the mid-range (May 11 and May 12 offers a first look at the 2005 Rhones), to tastings of inexpensive staff favorites. They also host special events at nearby restaurants. If you're free on May 10, you may want to reserve a place at the Thursday Sip at Sabor Restaurant just down the road from Red Carpet. At 6 pm Herbert Monterrosa, a Spanish wine specialist, will be leading a tasting of a dozen wines imported by Jorge Ordonez for $25. Call the store at 1-800-339-0609 for more information.


Anonymous said...

I've been shopping at Red Carpet Wines for a few years now and I've always been impressed with their selection, but most importantly by the knowledgeable staff. Their monthly best-sellers list is very informative and I found that I don't have to spend a lot of money to enjoy fantastic selections of wines that are good to drink now or those to keep for years to come. Glad you stumbled upon this wine shop - it's by far the best in the Valley area and close to Pasadena.

Dr. Debs said...

Thanks for stopping by, and I couldn't agree more on the best-sellers list. I enjoyed tracking those throughout the store. I will definitely be making return trips for their unique selection that's combined with such good pricing.

Marcus said...

Dr Debs,

I'm thankful you found your WBW wine and jealous that you some Pithon product. I can't get Dom Pithon where I am and it comes as one of the most recommended Roussillon producers. Can't wait to read up on your findings.

Dr Weingolb

Dr. Debs said...

Marcus--I love doing the right thing accidentally! Glad to know that I've got something to look forward to, and the Pithon Cuvee Lais will be had tomorrow night for dinner with friends.