It’s Preseason at K&L Hollywood!

If you’re a regular shopper at K&L, or receive our weekly Events email, you know about our in-store wine tastings held every Thursday and Saturday. These informal, educational (and social!) meetings provide the opportunity to explore a region and expand your palate. But did you know we have an exciting new way to learn about wine? This summer, we rebooted our offsite wine dinner series as a way to elevate the food-and-wine pairing experience and to connect our customers to the people behind the wine.

Once autumn arrives, however, our focus switches to the approaching holiday season: eight action-packed weeks of stocking, hauling cases to cars and nonstop running. Eight weeks of providing gift ideas, recommendations for parties, and wine pairings for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner or New Year’s Eve celebrations. I love the high energy at this time of year, but it also means our events calendar will start to wind down.

We are gearing down and capping off the dinner series for the year with three weeks of offsite events to showcase a roster of wine pairing ideas that can seamlessly make the final cut for your own holiday entertaining: I call this “K&L Preseason.” Here’s a recap of our Billecart-Salmon event last week that will hopefully whet your appetite for the last two dinners of 2018.

Week 1: Champagne Billecart-Salmon at Otium Restaurant

Champagne is not just for celebrating, it is also quite a versatile wine that adapts well to many different foods. Last week we kicked off week one with a fabulous dinner at Otium restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles to celebrate 200 years of Billecart-Salmon. Sixth-generation family member Antoine Roland-Billecart was in attendance to commemorate the event, which was also designed to showcase how well Champagne complements different foods and is worthy of being served during the meal - not just at the reception or after party.

The acidity in Champagne cuts through rich dishes, clearing slickness from the palate and leaving your mouth ready for the next bite. Also, the mineral qualities found in either the wine’s texture or flavors (salinity, for example) adds an extra dimension to food. And because Champagne can be made of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, either as a blend or single varietal, the taste profile has considerable range. Looking for a few pairing ideas? Take a look at our menu for the evening, courtesy of the team of chefs at Otium.

2006 Billecart-Salmon “Cuvée Louis” Brut Blanc de Blancs with Sweet Butter Poached Maine Lobster

 Butter poached Maine lobster with Hobbs bacon, beets, tarragon crème fraîche

Butter poached Maine lobster with Hobbs bacon, beets, tarragon crème fraîche

Why it works: The salinity in this wine really shines, especially alongside the richness of the butter poached lobster and the subtle tarragon crème fraîche and bacon. The acidity cut through and cleansed my mouth after each bite. 100% Chardonnay from the best plots in the Côtes des Blancs.

2007 Billecart-Salmon Extra Brut with Curry Scented Trecce (braided) Pasta, Bottarga, Truffle, Cauliflower, Cured Egg Yolk

Why it works: The body of this wine was in harmony with the light, creamy sauce and truffles. The texture of the bubbles melded well with the crunchiness of the crumb topping. 75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay.

2006 Billecart-Salmon “Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart” NFB Brut with Wood Roasted Marcho Farms Veal Tenderloin

 Wood roasted Marcho veal tenderloin, grilled sweetbreads, sweet carrots, celery root, sauce Noilly Prat

Wood roasted Marcho veal tenderloin, grilled sweetbreads, sweet carrots, celery root, sauce Noilly Prat

Why it works: I could not get enough of this! The smokiness on the meat from the wood fired oven and the richness of the sweetbreads was counterbalanced by the toasty qualities and acidity in the wine. I wanted a second serving of this combination. 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, 5% is fermented in old oak barrels then spends 11 years on the lees.

Billecart-Salmon NV Brut Rosé with Dark Chocolate Namelaka, Raspberries, Fig and Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Why it works: Namelaka, a Japanese term for creamy texture, is a ganache that is slightly firm but ultimately sensuously creamy. The fine mousse and red fruit notes of this rosé was decadent with the ganache. Plus, Champagne + salty food = best friends. A blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Noir.

Still think Champagne is just for celebrating? Up your wine pairing game and make bubbles part of the main event. Admittedly I don’t often drink Champagne as part of a meal, but thanks to this eye-opening experience, that is about to change.

Our Next Wine Dinner is This Friday at Barbrix with Talley Vineyards!

This Friday, October 5th, we will explore some of California’s most sophisticated Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays with Brian Talley of Talley Vineyards in attendance. This dinner will feature a four-course menu, prepared with produce from the Talley family farm, and created with inspiration from recipes in Brian’s new cookbook, “Celebrating the Seasons.”

Interested in attending? Join us this Friday, October 5th 7pm at Barbrix in Silver Lake for this $85 all-inclusive dinner with four courses and six wines. Take a look at the menu! Some tickets are still available. Click here to buy. We hope to see you there!

Sharon Kelly