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As good as the food is at a restaurant, what can make a meal even better is the wine selections to pair with the food. It is not about the size of the list or having the correct list of wines. It is about understanding the cuisine of the restaurant and the customer and then creating a list to appeal to both. My recent story in California Winery Advisor listed 15 of the best restaurant wine lists in Los Angeles and you can read it here. ************************************************************** Wondering who has the best restaurant wine lists in Los Angeles and why? It is not the size of the wine list. It is not because it has a list of every aspirational, expensive, highly scored wine. And it is definitely not a good list when the list consists of generic mass-produced brands that can be found on the shelves of the local grocery store. A good wine list is one that is curated by the wine director of the restaurant to pair with the food on the menu. It is a list that offers a range of price points and combines familiarity as well as uniqueness. With so many exceptional restaurants in Los Angeles, a good wine list is what can set one apart from another. Here are 15 restaurants offering some of the most interesting, exciting and appropriate wine selections for the customer.
My friend and I were on 3rd Street in West Hollywood the other night where we enjoyed dinner. As we were standing outside and talking, I realized that we were within walking distance of AOC Wine Bar and Restaurant. I suggested that we stop in and see if co-owner Caroline Styne was there as I wanted to personally congratulate her on her recent nomination for Outstanding Restaurateur by the James Beard Foundation. I first met Caroline when I got into the wine business over 15 years ago. This was the same time that she and Suzanne Goin opened AOC in 2002 in its original location. Named in honor of the French wine indication system, appellation origine controlee, AOC was ahead of its time, serving tapas and a great selection of wines. Of course, I did not know as much about wine then as I do now. We walked into AOC and waited at the bar for Caroline to come down from her office to say hi. As we sat there, we started to peruse the by-the-glass wine list. As I was with a friend who also works with wine, we were both oohing and ahhing over the selections. And this is why I have selected the Wine-By-The-Glass list at AOC as the Please The Palate "pick of the week".
This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.
They say that “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” That is exactly what Alex’s Lemonade Stand does, both literally and figuratively, raising money with the goal of ending childhood cancer. la-loves-alexs-lemonade-stand-1
Alex’s Lemonade Stand was created in 2000 by then-4-year-old Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004).
Alex was a neuroblastoma patient who decided to help raise money to help other children with cancer and held a charity lemonade stand in front of her home. In just one day, she raised $2,000, which she gave to her doctors. By the time she passed away in 2004, at the age of 8, she had raised, with the help of others, more than $1 million.
More than 10 years later, Alex’s Lemonade Stand has raised more than $127 million with the money going to funding more than 650 cutting-edge research projects, creating a travel program to help support families of children receiving treatment and developing resources to help people everywhere affected by childhood cancer.
One of the events created to raise money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation is L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade. Inspired by The Great Chefs Event in Philadelphia that has been benefiting Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for more than a decade, James Beard winner Suzanne Goin, Caroline Styne (Lucques, AOC, Tavern) and David Lentz (The Hungry Cat) brought the event to their home city of Los Angeles in 2009.
To date, the Los Angeles event has raised more than $3.2 million to fund childhood cancer research. And, on Saturday, Sept. 10, the seventh annual L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade took place at UCLA’s Royce Quad