December 2019 - Please The Palate
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When you look at a soft shoulder bottle of wine, you can identify it as a Burgundy bottle and find Pinot Noir or Chardonnay inside. If you see a tall shoulder bottle, it is recognized as a Bordeaux bottle and we find Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon in those. Then there is the Albeisa bottle that has its own unique shape, between the Burgundy and Bordeaux bottle. And, it has the name "Albeisa" embossed around it. This name is a symbol, it is more than the bottle but what is in the bottle. It is about a place and people. I wrote about the story of the Albeisa bottle in the Napa Valley Register and share it here. To speak of the wines of Piemonte, Italy, little more needs to be said than Barolo and Barbaresco. The prestige of those two areas, as well as the entire region of the Langhe, is known by wine lovers around the world. But have you ever looked closely at a bottle of Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, or Arneis and seen the embossed words “Albeisa” printed around the shoulder of the bottle? Have you wondered why it is written on the bottle? Do you know the meaning of that word? The Albeisa bottle is a distinct element that symbolizes a region, a people, a tradition, and more.
Hands down, one of the best restaurant patios in all of Southern California was Wilshire Restaurant in Santa Monica. When it first opened in doors 14 years ago, I lived around the corner and would frequently dine there. When I moved a little further east, I stopped going to Wilshire as it had become a bit more of a club scene. Wilshire finally closed and now the space is back with Fia and it is fantastic. I had found a parking spot on Wilshire Blvd in front of the restaurant. Instead of walking in the door near the valet, I followed signs down a long walk way. The walkway led me to the very large and gorgeous outdoor patio. Trees and fresh greenery fill the space and tree lights wind up the trees and hang across the open air giving the space a warm and intimate feeling.