Wine, Cocktails & Friends in Pacific Palisades

Today is Sunday, July 16, 2017 and I’m on my way to the LAX airport to return to reality.

Yes, the Pacific Palisades and the West Coast can be a fun and fanciful place to be any time of year.

I must say the first weekend started with a fresh Pomegranate Martini made with Tito’s and a special juice from Stirrings.

We moved quickly to the wine and started with a very nice Hunnicutt Chardonnay.  It didn’t last long.

When I arrive in California, which is usually on a Friday, we make our way to Cosa Nostra. This Friday was no different and you must have the Branzino special.

The middle of the week was filled with West Institute activities and the new venue for graduation at the The California Yacht Club was fantastic!  For a pictures of that event go HERE.

As tradition has it, we ended the week with our Annual West Institute Wine Reception and Dinner at the Bel Air Bay Club with Mike and Mav as our hosts.

We started with a reception in the Wojo’s Cabana and moved to the formal dining room for an incredible evening of food, fun and fellowship.

We were so glad that our Institute National Board Chair and West Institute Chair could attend with their spouses.

Go HERE if you want to see a review of that event and a listing of the 21 bottles tasted that evening.

My last weekend in Los Angeles started with a Paddle Tennis Tournament that Mav was in and she was a rock star and showed off her athletic ability, and then we went to the beach bar to have Bloody Mary's and oh boy, Tequila Mockingbird's when we returned home.

And one more thing, Mike has a new passion, it's smoking things!  Here he is smoking almonds.  I must admit, they were great!

Ok, I've spent too much time describing what I did in Los Angeles and it’s now time to review the wine we consumed during the week.

Hate the game, not the player (Madison's favorite saying)!


  • 2016 Les Jeunes Rose, Santa Barbara County
  • 2016 Liquid Farm Rose, Santa Barbara


  • 2006 Vincent Dancer Meursault
  • 2010 Falcor Chardonnay, Henry Ranch, Napa Valley
  • 2013 Falcor Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
  • 2014 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay Napa Valley (two bottles)
  • 2015 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County
  • 2015 Carmenet Chardonnay, Napa Valley (four bottles)
  • 2015 Hunnicut Chardonnay, Napa Valley (two bottles)
  • 2015 Hunnicutt Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast
  • 2015 Liquid Farm Bien Bien Chardonnay, Santa Maria
  • 2016 Chateau Montelena Riesling, Napa Valley


  • 1993 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
  • 1993 Dunn Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
  • 1995 Castillo Ygay Rioja, Gran Reserva Especial (Magnum)
  • 1999 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
  • 1999 Dunn Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
  • 2002 Kaesler Stonehorse Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre, Barossa Valley
  • 2004 Chase Zinfandel, Hayne Vineyard
  • 2005 Tenuta Guado Al Tasso Bolgher
  • 2005 Downing Family Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
  • 2006 Falerno del Massico, Italian Blend (Double Magnum)
  • 2008 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
  • 2008 Dunn Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
  • 2013 GeekZ Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
  • 2014 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County
  • 2014 Irony Pinot Noir, Monterey
  • 2015 La Follette Pinot Noir, Russian River, Sonoma County
  • N/A Tandem Red Wine (two bottles)

For pictures of the week go HERE.