About Me

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TARZANA, CA, United States
Hello food, wine & beer pals! Welcome to my photo-journal of food, wine and beer adventures. I'm pictured on the right and my home brewing pal, Aron is on the left. Years ago I started watching the Food Network, saving recipe's, making recipe's, trying new things, tasting new things, and it's all blossomed from there, including the weekly tastings (beer & wine) at BevMo. I'm hooked on variety and continuing my search for tasty goodness all over the world. Please feel free to email me with comments and ideas at FoodieWinonBrew@yahoo.com Bon Appetito!

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Color: rich amber
Alcohol by volume: 8%
Bottle size: pint
A friend recommended this new Double IPA out of San Jose's Hermitage Brewing Company, however I can't find their website online. I think the brewery is so spanking new they haven’t gotten to that yet, but I could be wrong. Let me know if you find a website for them. I’d love to look at their line of brews and I look forward to acquiring more beers from them over time after trying their HOPTOPIA Double IPA. It brings lovely rich malt sweetness to the mellow balanced hops with a juicy finish. I found it extremely easy to drink for an IPA lover and also a great way to start Happy Hour. I also love the mod "space age" design of the label; reminds me somehow of the entrance to “Tomorrowland” at Disneyland. I recommend you dig this with your favorite drinking buddy! Drink up!

Saturday, July 17, 2010


If you want products from the UK that you can't find in the Valley this is the place to stop by and check out! Located in Tarzana just east of Reseda Boulevard on Ventura Boulevard, at the back of the strip mall there.  I've just bought some English and Irish bangers, baked beans in tomato sauce and a jar of lemon-lime Scottish marmalade for a nice little "English Breakfast" tomorrow morning. I like to stop by every now and then to see what Jean (the owner) has in stock. One time I found this great apron with a Mini Cooper and British flag motif on it. It's my favorite apron to cook in!  It's a friendly little shop and I love it!  If you love things British, stop by; you never know what you'll find.

OH Fancy That British Gifts
18399 Ventura Blvd, Tarzana, CA 91356
(818) 996-4405


Thursday, July 8, 2010


St. Peter’s Brewery again, virtually—I bought a pint from BevMo http://www.bevmo.com/, but I wish I were sitting in an English pub sipping this as opposed to Los Angeles. I’m trying their Cream Stout that brings lovely deep complex character with “shout outs” from English toffee, caramel, licorice, malt, and a smooth smokiness to the finish. You should pay careful attention, this stout can disappear quickly after you swallow, so give your palate a treat by swirling it with your tongue, almost like wine but watch the active carbonation which is a nice flavor facilitator. I dig it; a very drinkable stout indeed. I plan on trying all the brews that BevMo offers from this brewery, so far I’ve enjoyed the Organic English Ale (see “Anglophile Strikes Again” post from June 2010) and this lovely stout. I do also have the Sorgham Beer in my fridge at the moment, awaiting its future post “close-up.” If you go to their webpage, check out their “Recipes etc” tab. It might inspire a “treat yourself right night” at home, complete with beer pairing suggestions.

Bring a little "UK Pub" feel to your home experience, drink out of an inspiring pint glass.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Francis Coppola Sofia Rosé
2009 Monterey County

I always love picking up a bottle of Sofia Rosé when the weather warms up in spring and especially summer. Sofia is a lovely wine for summer.  Part art (I just love the shape of the bottle), part simplicity, part elegance, part soft pink of rose. On the palate comes raspberry, strawberry, apricots with an earthy dry finish.  The alcohol by volume is 12.5% so you may want to pick up more than one bottle.  Especially when it goes on sale at BevMo for $13.99 a bottle.  Perfect with salad niçoise, lemon garlic grilled chicken, French potato salad, dark greens or brunch quiche!
Francis Coppola is another hero of mine. When I first heard of his making wine I was interested to see if the film artistry equaled his talents of the vine. I’ve tried a few bottles of Coppola in past years sporadically, mostly reds, and the Bianco Pinot Grigio. I’m really glad he came out with the table wines, since I love the efforts of his other red endeavors but can’t always afford them, specifically Rubicon. So far I’ve enjoyed the focused efforts of every Coppola wine I’ve tasted. And look forward to enjoying them for years to come.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


“The flavor of hops from England’s finest hop gardens…”

I’m celebrating “Independence Day” by drinking brew from the country we fought to be independent from, Britain. And only through Britain’s colonizing of India (theoretically) have we been blessed with the India Pale Ale, true bitter glory of hopped up brewing. India, another country that was a “British Colony” that won it’s independence the hard way as well.  I’ve selected an India Ale also because of the "independence" common denominator.

I’m also very much aware that without the great tradition of brewing that came from England along with the first Colonists, we’d be without beer. A sad commentary indeed!  The one swell thing about America I want to celebrate this year on "the Fourth" is that we've never been without beer, thanks to where this country got some of its brewing roots.

When I was in the UK years ago, I stopped into a London pub not far from Parliament to have a pint and wait out the uncomfortable Tube rush hour traffic. I rationalized I’d been on my feet all day working as a tourist and needed a little tonic for my joint aches and pains. The pub I found had Samuel Smith’s Pure Brewed Lager on tap, and the fantastic hour-glass shaped pint glass with pictures of growing barley and hops was my “selling point.” I wanted what everyone else was having out of that magnificent glass. Two pints later I was in love with everything English, including waiting on the Tube platform amongst the remnants of rush hour. The only buzz kill was the detours on the Tube due to lines “out of service.” Nonetheless, the magnificent buzz off of that lager created a glorious memory of my experience, and when I was back in California, I found out that Samuel Smith was available in retail liquor stores—specifically BevMo which has most of their bottled imports.  http://www.bevmo.com/

Because of colonization by the British, there was a considerable trade in beer to India in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The only way ale could be preserved for the three or four month trip around the Cape of Good Hope and through the Indian Ocean to Bombay was to add quantities of hops while brewing, distinguishing the IPA (India Pale Ale) style.

A pure filtered amber color draws you to the tasting experience of Samuel Smith’s IPA: a balanced restraint of malted hops with a lingering mid-palate rich honey malt finish. This is one of my favorite kinds of “sipping ales”—a kind of luxury where all you need is the brew in front of you and a few good mates to drink with. The rest is pure enjoyment of what pub brewing is all about.

Give Samuel Smith brews a try and get to know great British brewing tradition.

Also, for your viewing pleasure I found a cool virtual vacation website featuring the Great British Beer Festival 2009, and some of the local notable pubs: http://www.classiccitybrew.com/gbbf09.html

Here’s the link for the Great British Beer Festival, Earls Court, London, 2010:

Put a little bit of "British pub" in your glass collection for the luxury of enjoying imported brews...

Saturday, July 3, 2010


When I was a kid in the 70’s my grandma taught me how to eat a grapefruit—the yellow kind. It wasn’t so much that I had a choice; it was because that was breakfast, plus toast and butter, milk or juice. Back then the Ruby Red Grapefruit didn’t exist; only the pure tart “Greyhound” type grapefruit was available. The way she made the “sour” fruit palatable for us was sugar. After slicing the fruit in half, in bowl, she would be in charge of the “sugar sprinkling”—for some reason we weren’t allowed to sprinkle the sugar, maybe because we were “reckless kids.” In my mind, the correct amount of sugar, a.k.a. my “palatable criteria” was the appearance fresh fallen snow on top, obscuring the yellow sour bomb underneath. Then she brought out the most glorious of utensils: the serrated spoon! For some reason I thought it was an amazing tool—jagged edges on a miniature spade. I perceived it as the most wonderfully teasing of childhood play-toys; forbidden to play with because it was a functional household item used only for cutting into grapefruit. I wanted to dig for sure with this wonderful tool, providing another attraction to devouring grapefruit. Her method was sawing each pulpy triangle section free inside the rind to make “dishing out” easy. For some reason the taste grew on me, and perhaps that’s the reason I still have a taste for grapefruit. Especially nowadays, since we have the genetic masterpiece known as “Ruby Red,” something I wish grandma had been around to taste. Now they even make things like Ruby Red Grapefruit pies! Maybe I’ll try making that at some point, but for now I’m just paying tribute to the grapefruit—especially since my fondness for IPA’s has to do with what I refer to as “the ruby red grapefruit factor”—something I love tasting in a hop-pronounced ale.

Earlier this year I discovered that New Belgium Brewery started “getting hoppy” with their brewing production, specifically their seasonal ale “Mighty Arrow” and also, their masterpiece of an IPA, RANGER.
Driven towards “sustainability” and “community” New Belgium Brewery located in Fort Collins, Colorado is a humanitarian effort. Check out their awesome website and fall in love!

Color: Liquid-gold-amber
6.5% alcohol by volume (ABV)
Awesome burp factor (ABF): the burning eruption of returning flavor, highly appreciated
Tasting notes: Lingering slightly-juicy ruby red grapefruit, with a mid-palate dry-hop-pepper
Pub notes: I wish this was served on draft at every pub and bar in the world—world peace through the IPA!!!