No one person has taught me to appreciate wine, like my good friend David Haskell. Like many of his pals, I call him simply “Haskell” because (for me) it rhymes with RASCAL.
My drink of choice, ever since I was a young gal has always been vodka (don’t hate me!). Diet lemonade & vodka on the rocks was always our “house party drink”, due to it’s low carb (and quick buzz) factor. And to be honest, I can’t think of anything sexier than an old-school, super-chilled vodka martini (straight up with 4 olives) at the Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills.
Gin and I have an (almost) irreparable history. A high-school aftertoon jacuzzi party with straight gin & naughty teens (myself included) made me associate the juniper berries with vomit. Mind you, this was THIRTY years ago! Recently at Fraiche restaurant, I was surprised that I actually liked a gin cocktail called St. Tropez. I liked it so much that I asked our server to double-check that it wasn’t vodka! Gotta give some props to Henricks Gin for sure.
The first time I drank wine with Haskell was when he did a Slaw Dogs (yup, hot dogs!) wine pairing for me. It was a really fun afternoon, and I was blown away at how he even took the time to pair the side of onion rings with Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen Beer.
During our lunches at Jitlada Thai, I started to appreciate how special Haskell’s wine skills really are. It’s not just that he knows so much about wine (he worked at Le Cirque and Aquavit in New York, Guy Savoy in Paris) but it’s the WAY he shares this knowledge. I’m still new to LIKING wine, although there are a few bottles I do keep around, like A Mano’s Primitivo or a crisp Bastianich Tocai. Haskell makes learning about wine fun, he’s never arrogant and ALWAYS surprises me and my palate.
Recently, he and ex-Bastide Chef Joseph Mahon started a dining pop-up called “Magnum”. Of course I had to be there to support the rascal, and since Peter was working, I grabbed my best friend Brent for a trek to Biergarten in Korea Town, the location of the first MAGNUM event. Not only was Chef Mahon’s food phenomenal (I never got to Bastide during his tenure), but Haskell’s pairings were out of this world. For the first course he paired a rosé champagne with a carrot pudding and explained that the combined flavors would result in creamsicle. It did (even turning creamy on my tongue), and that was just the start to a fantastic evening. I cannot wait for the next Magnum event!
Magnum at Biergarten:
NV Jules et Michel Beauchamp: Champagne, France: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier
Wakatake “Onikoroshi”, Junmai Daiginjo: Shizuoka, Japan
2007 G. Moulinier “Les Sigillaires”: St. Chinian, France: Syrah, Grenache, Mouvedre
206 North Western Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Dining Date: 12/14/10