Okay, I've been pissy enough on the general board about restaurants that don't offer a good selection of wines by the glass.
For over a year, I have been meaning to attend one of the weekly Bristol Farms wine tastings. Earlier this month, I finally got around to it and I am now kicking myself for wasting a year of great fun...
That evening, I and two friends attended the Manhattan Beach wine tasting which is held on Thursdays from 5:30 to 7:30. Based on their website, all the Bristol Farms hold their wine tastings either on Tuesdays or Thursdays.
The tasting was from the wines of Francis Ford Coppola. There are two choices: $10.00 for just six tastes of wine (about 4 ounces of each) or, better yet, for $19.95, you get a dinner served along with it.
This evening's wine offerings were:
2000 Bianco, California White
1998 Niebaum/Coppola Cabernet Franc
The one-plate dinner had veal scaloppini with marinara sauce, swordfish in garlic sauce with currants and scallions, mushroom parmesan risotto, fontina cheese with two water crackers, a bunch of grapes, and a lemon square.
Now don't get me wrong... the dinner was nothing to write home about, but it was hearty and it did show how the different wines complimented the different flavors. Or, better yet, since the food was hardly exceptional, it showed the POTENTIAL of how the wine COULD be paired with great food.
As far as I was concerned, the CabFranc was the only outstanding wine enticing me towards a purchase, but for the inexpensive cost, the quantities of both food and wine (there were occasional re-fills from the bottles), and comraderie of other tasters, it was a goldmine opportunity I shall avail myself of on a weekly basis.
For me, living in the South Bay, the really great part is that I can persue the Bristol Farms website to see what wine is being served at each location and easily choose the most desirable one of that week. This Thursday's offering in Manhattan Beach is blends!