jill bernheimer

LudoBites The Dust

by whitney on February 25, 2012

On the final night of LudoBites 8.0, I got to take off my apron and experience things from the other side of the table when Jill let me crash her reservation.

Since Jill wrote the wine list and I was working as sommelier for the previous 6 weeks, we were more than familiar with the wines on hand.  Therefore, we wanted to bring some new and interesting bottles to dive into from our cellars.

Jill brought this 100% Petit Meunier Champagne back from her recent trip to France. Delicious! Second favorite wine of the night.

Favorite wine of the night? The Adega Regional de Colares 2005 “Arenae” Malvasia that I contributed. Reminded me of a great dry sherry or a little like a Lopez de Heredia white with more acidity and minerality. It was fantastic with the majority of the food. Spanish importer José Pastor is now working with some exciting Portuguese producers, this small cooperative being one of them. José says:

“Arenae translates to sand – hence all the vines are planted direct, without American rootstock. Very rare in Portugal. The vineyards are located next to the ocean and production is very small. Every year- they make around 300 cases or so of that wine.”

Let us not forget the Lapierre 2010 Morgon Jill shared. It surely ain’t shabby! A red with any more body or muscle than this doesn’t really work with Ludo’s food and I now know that firsthand.

I’m not focusing on the Ludo food from the evening since there are plenty of other blog posts out there that have got you covered, but I just HAVE to show you this little plate of heaven- aka Brown Butter Almond Cake.

This was divine. With salted caramel and orange creamsicle ice cream? I mean, come on. Pretty hard to share with 6 other people but luckily for us/me, we had two of each dessert.

For more photos of the food, head on over to Kevin Eats to see his experience of the final night. Speaking of Kevin, here’s a photo of him…

taking a picture of this….

Cheers! It was a pleasure to work with all you crazy cats.

**Wanna win a trip to LudoBites Nine-O in HAWAII?? Sure you do. Go here for more info!

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Lipstick & A Super Bowl Situation

by whitney on February 4, 2012

The Super bowl is tomorrow and I personally don’t give a hoot. I mean, I had to Google who was playing…

But, the other day NBC cameras were all up in Domaine LA filming a little segment about what to eat and drink on Super Bowl Sunday (it’s become the Thanksgiving of February). Jill and I came up with some fun wine options for your hot wings, Doritos and chips & guac. Because, you know what? Why the hell not. Check it out! I come in right around the 1 minute mark.


Wines featured: NV German Gilabert Cava (buttered popcorn) // 2010 Etz Gruner Veltliner (chips and gaucamole) // 2007 Pecina Blanco (cool ranch Doritos) // 2010 Punta Crena “Pettirosso” (buffalo wings)  2010 Field Recordings “Fiction” Red (Chex Mix)

I was thinking of doing the 2001 Lopez de Heredia Vina Gravonia Blanco with the Cool Ranch Doritos because of its oxidative, viscous, herbacious vibe. Trying to keep the cost of the bottle down, Jill suggested the incredibly affordable Pecina. Pretty dope with the Doritos. Just sayin’.

Mega-girly side note: I’ve found my one true lipstick love (for now). It’s the NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in “Mexican Rose.” I was wearing it in the video above. It’s the perfect balance of opaque/sheer and matte/gloss and it stays on FOREVER. After the initial application, it settles in and becomes more of a stain. I’ve been rocking the Mexican Rose while working at the restaurant and it lasts for most of the shift. Good for ladies that are always putting their lips to a wine glass. Recommended!

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Un Petit Porc

by whitney on December 20, 2011

Staff holiday party!!!

Jill, my boss, happens to be totally hip and with it. So, naturally, she reserved us a table at the one night only porc extravaganza with Chef Ludo at Gram and Papa’s. It was a veritable porchetta FEAST complete with Southern style fixins.

There was a massive wait and many eager bellies, as to be expected with Ludo. Downtown LA is as interesting a place as any to have to wait on the sidewalk. Side note: a homeless man approached our group as we were leaving the restaurant and before he uttered any words I turned him away. Like an asshole. Then he said, “Man! I was just gonna ask what time it was!” #downtownLA

Hello Kathy Bates!

Hello kitty!

Hello Chef Ludo!

BTW- can you tell I got a new lens for my camera…that I am OBSESSED with?? I couldn’t put the camera down. It was probably annoying to my dinner companions.

All right. What wine did we drink? Awesome wine is what we drank. We started off with a duo of two bubblies. First, Olivier Lemasson‘s playfully named Pow Blop Wizz- a grolleau and pineau d’aunis fun fest. I really enjoyed this wine. A LOT. All of us did.

If you’d like to be further entertained, please watch this rather funny video of Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot. It helps to explain the name of the wine.

Our other sparkler? None other than the pure, spectacular beauty of Cedric Bouchard. This grower Champagne is the gateway drug to Champagne of a higher level of bubbly consciousness.

This current vintage is more toasty than last year’s. It has a little more depth and richness to offset that always present razor focus and bright acidity.

Oh, hello there Lopez de Heredia! You were delicious with the the herbed porchetta and ALL of the side dishes (grits, charred greens, crispy potatoes and baked beans). This wine, which I like, became much more enjoyable with the food before us.

And the food before us was….THIS!

And definitely this.  A bowl of grits! An empty bowl. That I housed. Courtney, a Tennessee gal, and myself proclaimed this to be maybe the best grits we’ve ever had. Sacre bleu! Grits made by a Frenchman. I know, I’m as shocked as you.

Caption contest! This was our dessert….

It was a baked apple. I’m also referring to it as a decaying tennis ball and a twice baked apple potato. Regardless of its appearance, it was highly edible.

Thank you Ludo for the eats. Thank you Jill for the wine (and the eats)! What a great year. I’m almost scared of how good 2012 will be.

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UbriacaLA

by whitney on August 8, 2011

There’s this thing called UbriacaLA. It’s a wandering wine bar. It was thunk up by yours truly and Domaine LA owner Jill Bernheimer. If you don’t know, now you know. We “pop up” in various kick ass restaurants/licensed locations (gotta stay legal ya’ll!) with a boatload of wine. Then we pour all that unique and special deliciousness for whomever wants to enjoy it. As Jesse says, we “bring the juice to the people.”

Last night, we showed up at Night + Market. In a BLAZE of glory!

Not really. That stuff is meat. Not us. But, we brought stuff like this!

and this!

We challenged ourselves to create a list that didn’t include a single off-dry riesling- the typical played out/boring spicy Thai food pairing. Wanting to show everyone that there are a lot more exciting, interesting, exotic wines that can be successfully paired to this food, we rolled with some pink pet nat from the Loire, slightly oxidative Jura chardonnay, carbonic carignan from Alexander Valley and listan negro from the Canary Islands. Among others. The full list…

All of the wines were chosen specifically for the night’s Northern Thai street food menu. The star of the show- sausages! It was a sausage fest. For real. Literal.

Remember Kris? He brought back 3 grills from Thailand and wanted to use them! He decided to fire them up and do a special bbq on the back patio behind the restaurant. A perfect UbriacaLA situation. Done.

Coconut shells as fuel! Legit.

A good time was had by all on a patio in West Hollywood! But if you closed your eyes and took a bite, you woulda thought you were in Chieng Rai; take a drink and you’re in the Loire Valley! If only that were physically possible. If only.

If you missed it, here was the first time we ever touched down with all Italian wines at Salt’s Cure. If you are in LA and want to keep tabs on us and where we’ll be next, like us on Facebook.

Until then!

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What’s for Sipper, Jill Bernheimer?

by whitney on April 27, 2011

Dear Everyone,

Meet Jill. She’s great! And I’m not just saying that because she gave me a job. Jill is the owner of Domaine LA, which you see mentioned quite a lot here on the blog. It’s a pretty freaking fantastic wine shop and if you live in LA and haven’t been yet you are sadly deprived of some delicious, unique, affordable selections. Seriously, if I didn’t work at Domaine, I would still probably buy all my wine there. PS- If you’re on Twitter like the rest of us losers, you should be following her. Because she is hilarious.

Name: Jill Bernheimer. Hometown: Waban, MA. Current location: Los Angeles

Favorite springtime beverage: Lemonade all the way. Non-alcoholic. And tart.

Favorite cocktail or spirit: There are entire categories of booze that have been off limits to me since the late 1980s (i.e., rum and tequila). Overall, I’m really not a cocktail or spirit gal, but if I must indulge, it’ll be a gin-based drink. I like a basic gin and tonic. Vodka is also fair game, but requires something a little more baroque, like a Moscow Mule.

Favorite place to grab a drink: There is no other place I’d rather go than the bar at LOU. But most of you probably already knew that.

Favorite toast: A simple “l’chaim” will do.

Favorite post-dinner quaff: I have some residual Puritanical habits from having grown up in a largely alcohol-free Jew-y New England household; meaning for me, once the eating is over, so is the drinking. On the infrequent occasion where the drinking continues, it’s always going to be wine.

Favorite food & beverage pairing: At the moment, Beaujolais with barbecue — pulled pork or such. But next week ask me and it will be something different.

If you could travel to one region of the world right now for its food and/or drink where would you go? First on my list is a return to Paris, where I haven’t been since 2003, before I really knew much of anything about wine. On that trip I purchased my first bottle of Foillard Morgon Cote du Py (2002) which I would have designated the ‘wine that changed my life’, if you’d asked that question.

What’s for sipper? A friend gave me a bottle of 2003 Puffeney Vieilles Vignes Poulsard, and I can’t wait to open it up.

This is where you will find Jill most of the time. Go say hi and buy some bottles!

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Will Work For Wine

by whitney on May 5, 2010

I work in a wine shop. Well, two wine shops actually. I’m kind of like the LA wine shop slut. Yes, I said it. Anywho- I was thinking. Thinking you might like to know what happens day to day at a wine shop. So, I’m gonna tell ya! Play by play. The day was Wednesday May 4, 2010. All people and events are real. Names have not been changed.

the shop

Arrive- drop off my belongings, immediately grab a wine glass and my notebook and proceed to tasting “lounge” as Tom, who reps Evening Land Vineyards, has already begun pouring for Jill (El Jefe.)

notes and empties

We taste 4 of Evening Land’s wines from California and Oregon. Just as my lunch arrives, so does Peter Hunken of Black Sheep Finds with a delivery of his wines (Genuine Risk Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon) and… a few to taste, of course.

Peter joins us and Tom in the “lounge” for some restaurant chat, talk of Twitter “following” and… wine. He pours us the 2008 Hocus Pocus Syrah, 2006 Genuine Risk Cabernet and the 2005 Piedrassasi Syrah. Verdict- delicious.

[click to continue…]

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