The Hot Days of Wine and Rosés, Nuclear Wines, and Other Notes on a Wine Card.


This streak of hot days is driving me crazy.  I have trouble sleeping and eating.  However, my wine consumption hasn’t been affected.  One reason for that is I enjoy chilled rosés to beat the heat.  This week I’m pouring four outstanding rosés for all of us to enjoy.  Don’t let this heat drag you down, enjoy a nicely chilled rosé and stay cool.  Check out the lineup at the end of this blog.

PBS had an interesting article on the effect the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster has on California wine. Radiation levels in wine are used to certify a wine’s authenticity.  For wine produced before 1950, there should be no levels of radiation detected in the bottle.  Certain radioactive elements are produced only through atom bomb testing and since most atom bomb testing started in the 1950’s and after, it is easy to determine if a wine made prior to the 1950’s is authentic. California wines were tested to see the levels after the Fukushima incident and the studies showed the amount of radiation present in all the wine tested was too small to harm a person’s health.  It was estimated that you would have to drink more than 40,000 bottles of the most radioactive vintage to get sick. In the name of science, shall we start on bottle number one tonight?  Read the article here California wines and radiation.

Look-a-likes: Billy Joel and LA Times sportswriter Bill Plaschke see above pics to see if you agree.

We’ve all seen the bottles at the grocery stores and wine shops, the wine is from California yet the label states Champagne.  Wazup wid dat? You thought champagne could only come from the Champagne region of France!  Well, there’s a story that goes back to the mid 1800’s and World War I that will explain it all.  Check out the Vinepair article by Joshua Malin here The 100-Year-Old Loophole

You might have seen a few Grocery Outlet stores opening around the area. I’ve shopped at them since they’ve opened one in Duarte and in San Gabriel (at Huntington and Rosemead) and they have some excellent deals.  I would advise you to be careful when selecting wine, as the selection is hit and miss, but the grocery selection is fantastic and the prices are low!

I had dinner at Barbrix in the Atwater Village/Silverlake area of Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago.  Went on a Monday night for their happy hour and it was delicious. Oysters on the half shell from Virginia, Washington, and California were priced at $1 per oyster. The wine was half off select wines by the glass and they had a very interesting and exciting wine list. Mediterranean influenced small plates dining that I highly recommend.  Check them out here Barbrix

Food and Wine had a list of the best BBQ joints in every state.  The top spot according to Food and Wine is Smokin’ Woods BBQ in Oakland. I’ll have to check that out when I’m up in the Bay Area next time.  For Texas – which is the only place that matters for BBQ – the top spot is Louie Mueller in Taylor, Texas.  I’ve never been to Louie Mueller but I have been to la Barbeque in Austin which is owned by LeAnn Mueller, daughter of the late Bobby Mueller, famous pitmaster at Louie Mueller.  If LeAnn’s BBQ is any indication of what she learned from her family, then I guess I’ll have to mosey on up to Taylor soon! Check out the list here Best BBQ in every state.

Here’s the lineup for Thursday and Friday’s Wine Tasting at the Tasting Room:

Nagelsforst Rosé, Baden Germany 2016

Commanderier de la Bargemone Rosé Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence 2017  91 Points Editors’ Choice Wine Enthusiast

Bedrock Ode to Lulu Rosé, Sonoma County 2017  91 Points Vinous

Dragonette Rosé, Happy Canyon 2017 

Last word: Not all girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice.  Some girls are made of sarcasm, wine, and everything fine.




  1. Hi Gus! Are the rose wines you are offering this week “sweet” or “dry”?   I like the fresh, dry ones that I have experienced in Germany and France…..  But I am not as fond of the sweeter California ones. Thank you for letting me know…. Gratefully yours,


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