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Interview with Jose Martinez from ladineandclub.com


ladineandclub.com founded by Jose Martinez

Host:  Paul Kalemkiarian – President, Wine of the Month Club

Guest:  Jose Martinez – Blogger from ladineandclub.com

Paul:  Hey, welcome to the continuing Blogger Series here on the Wine of the month club.  We've started talking to some of the prominent bloggers in Los Angeles and around the country and we're excited today to have Jose Martinez in, and he is from ladineandclub.com

Jose: ...that's correct...

Paul:  ...dotcom...

Jose:  ...thanks for having me Paul...

Paul:   ...pretty...I looked at your site, you know, a lot of activity going on there...

Jose:  ...a lot going on, it keeps you busy.

Paul:  ...I get to taste wines on Tuesday, but you get to go out...

Jose:  ...four or five times a week...

Paul:   ...yeah...

Jose:   ...I try to do one night a week and it's doesn't end up being that way...

Paul:  ...no, why, you got to work, right, work is work, but, you know, but, you know, then you told me that one of the things you went down to do a half marathon somewhere...

Jose:  ...every...well, yeah, I do quite a few year, but every May I go Salt Lake so, the rest of the day we go wine tasting.

Paul:  ...yeah, so you run a half a marathon and go wine tasting.  I wonder what the personal trainers would say about that kind of activity...

Jose:  (laughing)...you add even more calories than you burn...by the end of the day...

Paul:  ... (laughing)...exactly... Tell me about ladineandclub.com, site has been around how long...

Jose:  ...we're just approaching three years...

Paul:  ...that's pretty good...

Jose:  ...we cover everything LA based, LA centric, we do a lot of previews of things that people go to, lots of restaurants, bar reviews...points of interest, you know, things that are opening that might be fun for people to check out...

Paul:  ...we're talking about pairing wines and foods.  Maybe we'll talk about that when we taste these four wines, as well, but we're also talking about, and I think this is really interesting, pairing cocktails with foods.  I...you don't hear much about that, but you were talking about...

Jose:  ...that's one of my favorite things...

Paul:  ...yeah...

Jose:  ...I'm a big spirits fan, and...sometimes they go even better than wines.  I went to...I was telling you about the 1886 Bar in Pasadena...

Paul:  ...the Raymond Restaurant...

Jose:  ...a great...wines at the restaurants, great cocktails at the bar, and they had a cocktail that paired with pork belly, better than I thought wine could.

Paul:  ...that's amazing, pork belly and cocktails, but wait a minute, but the ingredient in that cocktail...was interesting, it was gin...

Jose:  ...it was Apple Jack Gin...simple carrot syrup and the pork belly had peaches with it and they just meshed...

Paul:  ...aah, carrot syrup...I mean...everybody ask me what's your favorite wine, and I tell them gin, or rye, I love rye too...but, you just don't hear about pairing cocktail and food much, but I see that as a really functional thing to do.  I mean, you can really have a nice appetizer with a really nice cocktail.

Jose:  Yeah, I had a…was at French restaurant, so, you know, great wines, but we got the duck, duck a la range, and I paired it with a cocktail, vodka and it went better than the wine did...

Paul:  ...wow...however, I'm also...that classic cocktail, I mean, I want two to one Manhattan, I want five to one gin martini, you know, I want some of the classics and there's a lot of books on vintage cocktails in some of the classic places...

Jose:  ...oh, they're the rage, you know, you get Sazeracs, you know the old fashioned, everywhere...

Paul:  ...you're right...yes, that's crazy...  Well, let's start with some...this is one of my favorites from the French side of things, and we're going to taste four wines today, this a Fruvia, which

of course is a Chenin Blanc, so it's going to be a little bit on the brighter side, a little sweet side, not too sweet, but off dry.  But, this is Fruvia, which of course, the classic district of Chenin Blanc, in France, and that's why I chose it, because the Club we try to keep people interested in different things...you get a wonderful hint of...the nose is kind of tight, but...a little lime...

Jose:  ...that it is nice, because I like, I mean, I'm a fan of sweet, white, I don't care for too dry...

Paul:  ...oh, really, so you don't have those chewy Chardonnay things...

Jose:  ...I had a, of all things, an incredible plate of garlic shrimp and I had it paired with a Riesling… (laughing)...and you would think it's kind of odd, but it paired so perfectly, the spiciness with the sweetness and...

Paul:  ...well, that's...interesting, right...you know, we try to pair foods, and...you can't always get it the first time, because sometimes you have such contrasting characters, like sweet and spice, which people accept that now, but sometimes to have to match that weight, sometimes

you have to match the viscosity of the wines.  In this case you got a demi-sec, which means slight dry...off dry, you know, I'm looking on it like, maybe, I don't know, maybe a Chinese Chicken Salad with this, you know, with mandarin, or something, or...now it's is starting to opening up now the nose is changing...

Jose: ...I mean, that would go well with, I mean, I think even like...you know, I could start off with a Caesar...

Paul:  ...yeah, a Caesar, that would be good, yeah...I like it...I forgot how good this wine is... (laughing)...that sounds ironic...

Jose:  ...nice...

Paul: ...Vuvia is a really fun district from France, doesn't get a lot of attention here in America...

Jose:  ...what does that go for...?

Paul: ...twelve ninety-nine...

Jose:  ...deal... (laughing)...

Paul:  ...I know…you know, the thing about...the thing about Chenin Blanc, you know, it's  one of those noble grapes of France in the sense that it makes great wines and people respect it,  we don't...pay attention to it here.  You...will get them in...get a red glass there, you will get a lot of them out of South Africa, but they tend to have...South African wines tend to have a creosote character about it, and it smells like tar...which I'm not sure is a good thing  for a white wine... (laughing)...  

Jose:  ...no, no... (laughing)

Paul:  ...So, the...

Jose:  ...I think that it's a bold experiment if you're drinking, but not the white...

Paul:  ...So, this is...this Columbia Valley, which is on the same latitude as Bordeaux, France, so they try to say that Caernets, Merlots, Chenin Blancs do well here...I don't know, right, come on, there's so many other things that so many other things that go on when it comes to the wine making things.  This one does have Bordeaux like flavors to it...

Jose:  ...okay...

Paul:  ...cause you notice the nose the...there's a little bit a licorice, there's a little bit earth tones...

Jose:  ...yes...

Paul:  ...I don't know what I'm thinking with this...

Jose:  ...that first reaction, is like...not quite, it's a little, for me, a little...dry...

Paul:  ...yes, it's going to be dry...

Jose:  ...bitter, but then again...

Paul:  ...it doesn't jump out of the glass for you...

Jose:  ...no, but you pair it with something...

Paul:  ...well, yes, right...

Jose:  ...and then everything changes...

Paul:  ...changes...

Jose:  ...changes everything completely.  Do I want to sit here and...have a glass of this?  Maybe not...

Paul:  ...this is the kind of wine that will change, but now even the second time through...

Jose: ...yeah...

Paul:  ...you're getting some more earthy characters, so you're not going to get as much berry flavors, you're going to get more earthy, soil tones...

Jose:  ...yeah, I mean, maybe wait another twenty, thirty minutes and see what happens, even more so...

Paul:  ...that's a 08, and it's in a screw cap...

Jose:  ...yeah...

Paul:  ...what you guys think of screw caps over there at ladineandclub.com

Jose:  ...no...I'm fine with that...you know, I'd probably finish the bottle before you want to screw it back...

Paul:  ...yeah, right...

Jose:  ...and come to it another day...

Paul:  ...you know, they do have, well for me, they have a tremendous value, because I have to uncork so many wines when I tasting, but as longevity is concerned no one has been able to disprove their...function...

Jose:  ...but you know like, and people will tell you, depending who they are, their different opinions, but I found box wine...

Paul:  ...oh, yeah, there are great box wines here...

Jose:  ...yeah, you know...

Paul:  ...Black Box...

Jose:  ...they're pretty good, it keeps...

Paul:  ...it's not bad...

Jose:  ...doesn't go bad on you...?

Paul:  ...in fact…this has probably been here like three or four months and I'm wondering...but it works like a baby's bottle...

Jose:  ...and yeah, and...a couple...there is a restaurant, Truxton, and they do...wines on tap...

Paul:  ...yeah, okay, so that's back-filled with nitrogen or (oregon), or something...

Jose:  ...yeah, one of my favorite little wine bars is 320 Lounge on La Brea of Los Angeles, and they just have vats and you can go and take little samples and try...

Paul:  ...really...

Jose:  ...then you know, they...stay good, they don't go bad, and...

Paul:  ...three twenty...?

Jose:  ...320 Wine Lounge...

Paul:  ...and it's on...?

Jose:  ...La Brea...

Paul:  ...La Brea...

Jose:  ...La Brea and third...

Paul:  ...La Brea and third, okay.  So, if you've been to...I just went to Seven Grand, Grand Seven...

Jose:  ...Oh, yeah, Seven Grand...

Paul:  ...isn't that great...?

Jose:  ...it's cool...

Paul:  ...it was...but no food, right?

Jose:  ...no...good for whiskeys...

Paul:  ...it's kind of hard, right...

Jose:  ...yeah...I...you know, I'm going to have...

Paul:  ...so, what's happening downtown, there's a ton of changes going on down there...?

Jose:  ...you know, it got really big, vineyards association, lots of...great cocktail bars out there...

Paul:   ...Edison...

Jose:  ...Edison...

Paul:  ...there's a couple of others...but classic cocktail bars...

Jose:  ...but the other day I went to Drago Centro, which is a great restaurant, great wines, they have a great bar and great cocktails...

Paul:  ...what is this, this one is great, you brought this...

Jose:  ...this one just got introduced to me, I was at...Rascal the other night for dinner, on La Brea, and the owner Sandy Clarke came in and brought it.  I never heard of it...

Paul:  ...I don't know it either, but it's got Syrah and Zinfandel which you clearly get, and then it's got...the least would be Barbera as far as it's volume is concerned, and you get that Barbera cherriness at the end, it's really kind of cool...

Jose:  ...yeah, it could be that I'm a big Barbera Barolo fan, and ...

Paul:  ...oh, yeah, and it's in the nose too for sure...

Jose:   ...yeah, and he brought it to me and I was just like, oh my God, I think I got a new favorite wine right now...(laughing)...it did the trick for me, and I think what we were having, we had pork belly, we had a…quite a few selections...

Paul:  ...I can see that, you know, I can see this with cranberry sauce on turkey, even, with...sometimes people don't want to put red wines with white meats, but, you know, good Pinot Noir has a lot of fruit base, goes with that cranberry sauce, this I think would go very good with that.

Jose:  Yeah, yeah, I don't want to spit this one out... (laughing)...

Paul:  ...No, I'm sorry, you know, but I have to, that's my job, you know...we'll leave that up there, but we're going to go into a real...a real dratradic direction here.  Now, this is a Moraca, it's a 2005 Malbec, you mentioned you're just coming off the Malbec thing...     

Jose:  ...I was a...I'm a huge Malbec fan.  I have been obsessed with Malbec now for months.  I started off with the Australian Malbec, that's what got me into it...

Paul:  ...wow! Okay, that's pretty serious... (laughing)...

Jose:  ...(laughing)...I love Australian Malbecs, and then, of course, you get into...Argentinean Malbecs, and every night when I would go out I'd get Malbecs, and half the time I wouldn't like them, and I was like, no thanks...(laughing)...and then half the time I'd find them...

Paul:  ...they're a strange animal, they shouldn't be, they're one of the noble grapes of Bordeaux, France, somehow Argentina has grabbed on to it and made it sort of the darling of its red wines group, and they can be full bodied and smokey like this one, and they can be light and acidic and hardly drinkable, as other ones are, this one changes though, this one, because it's 05, and it's blended with Merlot.  So, this is full Malbec, so this is full Malbec on the nose, a little Merlot to soften the finish.

Jose:  My first reaction was...not quite...like, I believe drinking should be work...

Paul:  ...yeah, right...well, you're right, it needs...it need, well, it does need food though, I think...

Jose:  ...yeah, I think, you know, I think I'd give it chance with something to eat...

Paul:  ...have you been to Malbec the Steak House...?

Jose:  ...no, I have not...

Paul:  ...this one on...I think they just opened another one, there's one on Green Street, Pasadena, cause you're in LA...mostly in LA, but I think he just opened another one, and it's...they all has Malbecs on the list, and then he's got Argentinean cherries and those kinds of things...

Jose:  ...yeah, 302 Wine Lounge had a great Malbec, and it was Australian... (laughing)...go figure, that was...I was telling someone, I was like, the Australians are doing pretty well...

Paul:  ...I can see that like in the Barossa Valley, you know, certain parts of Australia where it's hotter...

Jose:  ...yeah...

Paul:  ...but...I mean, all the wines we taste here, which is around three hundred a month, I don't think I've had two Australian Malbecs...

Jose:  ...really...

Paul:  ...so that's pretty rare...

Jose:  ...alright.

Paul:   So, what's the next big venture for...ladineandclub.com

Jose:...club...

Paul:  ...club, what you going to be doing...?      

Jose:  ...well, we just posted a Sonoma Wine Country travel story...

Paul:  ...oh, yeah!  You're first trip to Sonoma...!

Jose:  ...yeah, that's my first trip to Sonoma...

Paul:  ...you got the bug, folks... (laughing)...

Jose:  ...oh, yeah, Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Rushmore Valley, amazing three days of tasting and...we're going to be posting a...Carmel travel story and Catalina travel story...

Paul:  ...wow, how about wine on Catalina...

Jose:  ...they've got room for it, and if the buffalo don't mind...

Paul:  ...yeah, the buffalo, right...I wonder if the buffalo eat grapes... (laughing)...

Jose:  ...yeah, they're all, like, start stomping over the grapes...it would probably be an interesting terrain...

Paul:  ...it would be...Sicily, you know, Sicily...I love Sicilian wines and particularly a lot of indigenous grapes, but there's an offshore wind, and like, for some reason they're white do really well with shell fish...not for some reason, there's an obvious reason, it's so indigenous...

Jose:  ...I mean, there's plenty of fish out there, they local...actually the indigenous ones you can't eat, they will find you and...you if you catch it...

Paul:  ... (laughing)...yeah, you're right, that's true...

Jose:  ...but...there's plenty of fish...fresh fish out there to have, so...you know I had a...they have a nice little dining bar where I got incredible drinks, but they have really nice restaurant where I had some good wines...

Paul:  ...when was that...?

Jose:  ...that was...about a month ago...

Paul:  ...recently, because I haven't been...I only have been to (Catalina) since 1979...it must have changed...

Jose:  ...oh, wow, you know, probably it hasn't...(laughing)...new restaurants, but...otherwise it's the same landscape.  I found a bar that had plantation rum, which is my favorite rum right now...

Paul:   ...that's great...

Jose:  ...so I just sat there with that, and then I went back to the other side of the island, did some hiking, and had, you know, some good food, you know, it's great.

Paul:  Well, it sounds like, you know...it sounds like a) you had a good time, b) you try to keep yourself in shape by hiking and running and try to work through all the food.  It's hard to keep up...?

Jose:  ...it's like a losing battle...

Paul:  ...we're not getting any younger as it is...right...?

Jose:  ...no, but imagine if I didn't do it...

Paul:  ...yeah right, exactly...that's…exactly, you're right, that's a great attitude...

Jose:  ...yeah...

Paul:  It was a pleasure having you here, Jose...

Jose:  ...thank you so much...

Paul:  ...looking forward to seeing more things from ladineandclub and LA Art online, cheers...

Jose:  ...cheers.





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