THE WINE FIND: Tasting Events All Around Los Angeles

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Shai Cellars 2009 Adome

Local Wine News to Note:   The San Fernando Valley’s  own Shawn Halahmy and his Shai Cellars 2009 Adome just scored 92 points in Wine Spectator—an amazing wine at a stellar price. ($30).  65% Syrah  and 35% Cab. Released June 2012. Buy it here before it’s sold out.

Just when the holidays wrap and the calorie rehab begins, LA ignites in wine tastings galore.  The following are big tastings where you can try many different wines and  and learn about regions or varietals in a condensed, concentrated way that is impossible in a two day trip to a wine country region (although those are awfully fun!)  

Presenting vintage and non-vintage champagnes at the L’Ermitage  on Friday.

This Friday, January 25, enjoy tasting some of the world’s finest champagne at one of the most luxurious hotels in all of Southern California, L’Ermitage in Beverly Hills.  Vitalie Taittinger, of the renowned champagne house bearing her family’s name, will be presenting an incredible selection of both vintage and non-vintage champagnes.   These will be accompanied by appropriate hors d’ouevres. It promises to be  a spectacular evening brought to you by Hollywood and Vinethey keep the creative tastings coming!  6:30 – 8:30 p.m. L’Ermitage Beverly Hills 9291 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, $40 per person all inclusive,wine & hors d’oeuvres, tax & gratuity. Click here for information.

Speaking of champagne, my tasting group tasted a selection of champagnes (not sparkling wine – the real stuff) right after the New Year and I am happy to say that the $19.99 Charles de Marques Brut Champagne from Trader Joe’s did very well against the competition, almost all almost double the price.

Have you seen the billboards plugging champagne around town?  I saw a huge, well-placed one on La Cienega heading north by Santa Monica Blvd.  The Champagne region is dumping a ton of money making sure we know the bubbles known as champagne are ONLY from that region in France called Champagne!  Like Maine lobster is from guess where?


A new wine festival debuts this weekend in Aqua Dulce.

UPDATE 1/25 POSTPONED UNTIL 4/30/13 DUE TO WEATHER! A new wine festival makes its debut on Saturday, January 26 in the recently created Sierra Pelona Valley appellation in the high desert.  A benefit for Newhall Hospital, this creative and earnest event includes a hike and breakfast as part of its offering which include wines from boutique vintners, food and much more!  Click here for discount tickets at 35% off! 


Ian Blackburn, Learn About Wine

Ian Blackburn and his Learn About Wine group bring many vintners to town throughout the year,  and as well, hold small educational tastings and fabulous wine experiences.  Ian is the bomb!  And we benefit from his years of education and his true dedication.   Check out Ian’s classes at

The Wine House on Cotner in West Los Angeles creates an amazing array of wine tastings and events and they can be found at this link.  The Brunello tasting on February 2 is my pick but they are all fantastic. 

One of the most exciting educational and wine geek-worthy tasting events is brought to us by a group of wineries led by sommelier Rajat Parr of Michael Mina and RN74 and vintner Jasmine Hirsch of Hirsch Vineyards. On February 6 at the London Hotel in West Hollywood.   In Pursuit of Balance celebrates wineries striving to produce balanced pinot noir and chardonnay in California.  The upcoming event in LA mirrors one in San Francisco that includes seminars on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and a curated tasting of those wineries that uphold the standards of “balance” in their winemaking.  The seminars are in the morning with the consumer tasting from 6-9 p.m.. 

More tasting events coming up in next week’s column where we will concentrate on those wines of Burgundy, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and how we make them so well here!

Barbara Barrielle is a wine, food and travel lover since she was a small child trying to break out of the meat and potatoes cycle that was small town Ohio.  Now, in the land of plenty she owns a home and vineyard in the wine country and works in LA doing PR for luxury brands and travel while acting and producing when she can (get hired!).  Her daughter, Charlotte, 15, also an actor and frequent dining and travel companion, is in tenth grade at Campbell Hall where she also loves to write.

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

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