And now for something completely different!

Fabulous New Foodie Discovery

Normally, my emails tend to focus on the wines; the history, the people, the winemaking, the stuffing that goes into the making and bottling of all these great wines we carry. But today I want to talk to you about a fantastic, yet very casual take-out meal my wife and I recently enjoyed. The food and wine combination was so perfect that I decided you simply must hear about it – and hopefully try it for yourself. I was encouraged to try this Alameda restaurant by one of my best clients – a true foodie – and all I can say is I now have a new favorite place to add to our permanent rotation. 

The restaurant is East End, a casual take out place (take out or delivery only due to COVID restrictions) that started out as a pizza joint, owned by a guy who once worked as a wine shop clerk – the guy has a ton of wine knowledge, I’d love to chat him up sometime. As mentioned, I learned all about the place from one of my best clients, who is a huge fan of the place, so I decided to give it a try last Friday. We downloaded the menu and with one perusal I knew not only what we were going to eat, but the perfect wine to pair with both dishes. 

We decided this time to pass on the pizzas (we will be going back for those, they’re “world famous”), and opt for a salad and sandwich. Pairing the perfect wine was easy, as the entrees were simple yet extremely delicious – the simpler the dish, the more complex the wine can be – so I immediately headed to our new Italian selections. My chicken sandwich with cabbage-apple slaw and aioli on house-made challah roll, and my wife’s incredible meal-sized salad of butter lettuce, radicchio, summer squash, cherry tomatoes, roasted corn, frizzled onions, and hard-boiled egg with balsamic vinaigrette paired like magic with our 2016 Piazzo Barbera D’Alba ‘Mugiot’.  

You simply MUST have this wine in your arsenal! It’s so rich, smokey, jammy, with dark plum, smokey new oak (they use both French and American oak for aging this wine), vanillin, sweet, jammy, with soft tannins, full bodied, powerful, rich, long on the palate, and just flat out delicious! The fruit in the wine continued to open as we ate our dinners to move from plums to decadent black cherries. All the while the vanillin from the American oak made for a killer addition to the meal. 

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: The 2016 Barbera d’Alba Mugiot is inky black in appearance, almost impenetrable, and has much to reveal once you give it a few moments to open in the glass. This expression has depth and tightness at the core. You do notice the 14.5% alcohol, which adds to the overall power. It is aged in oak for 12 months and both French and American wood is used. The Piazzo Comm. Armando Barbera d’Alba Mugiot is a terrific option if you are looking for a sultry and fruit-forward wine from Piedmont to pair with a classic wild boar tagliatelle.

2016 Piazzo Comm. Armando Barbera d’Alba Mugiot