Sunday was the first time I was able to make a wine tasting group that my friends from the UCLA Extension Vintage program have been organizing for the past five or six months. The turnout was incredible. There were about 10 people that each showed up with a couple of nice bottles of wine. The women were supposed to bring Barbaresco, and the men were supposed to bring Barolo. There was a little confusion because we ended up with around 12 Barolos and only 6 Barbarescos. At the end of the night, we voted for the best Barolo and the best Barbaresco. The people that brought those wines were considered the king and queen of the evening. One of the highlights of the night was a 1978 Barolo. Even after all this time, you could still taste fruit in the wine, but the dominant flavor was very earthy. Another one of my favorites of the evening was the 1997 Conterno Barolo.
In addition to the wine, people made incredible food such as bagna cauda, Barolo-braised ribs, and white pizza. I brought a lemon tart, but someone also brought an almond-flavored ricotta cheesecake. Someone also brought this peanut-butter confection made with marshmallows and Cap’n Crunch. It was really good and addictive. Dessert was washed down with a 2001 Sauternes. It was a great dessert wine—sweet but not cloying. I had a wonderful time! I’m just sad that I wasn’t able to make the group for the past few months.