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December 18th, 2014

Learn About Wine Blog

July 24th SummerTASTE as featured in “On the Radar” on YELP!

SummerTASTE: Hollywood




Wednesday July 24th from 6:30-9:00pm

To see pictures from past SummerTASTE events: Click Here

(Photo Credit: Andrew Hong / FRAMESNATCHER website)

File Under:  This is event 3 of 8 SummerTASTES in the series.  A set of social tastings with a topic and a goal to raise money for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles through TJ Martell Foundation. Many producers and Educators will pour the large number of wines donated from the LearnAboutWine library.  Space 15-Twenty is home of Umami Burger and Urban Outfitters (and other great stores as well).  A gourmet cheese selection is provided as well as a generous selection of Chocolates by “Marsatta Hand Crafted Chocolate!”   Note:  No food is provided by Umami Burger but you are able to purchase at the event and you can enjoy a burger with your wine tasting. DJ music is provided by our resident wine educator and DJ Ian Blackburn.



Old World Vs New World Wine List
Rioja Wines
La Fenetre – Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
Burgundy – Collection of wines from Burgundy (Pernot, Giroud, Jadot and others)
Bordeaux vs California – Cabs and Merlots (nothing shabby here!)
Rieslings, Alsacian, and things in tall bottles that rule!
Bubbles from another mother – Italy, Spain, France, Other
Italians like Chianti, Barbera vs Local Version – including a few killers from Temecula (wow!)
Rhones – France vs California
Taste 30 plus wines – Cheese and Chocolate! 


DJ music fills the air, wine fills the glass, and for one small price… Cheese, Chocolate, Wine, Music, Charity and a great audience.

Join us…as we raise money for Children’s Cancer and Aids Research Charity, The T.J. MARTELL FOUNDATION


click here to visit site

Our 2013 SummerTASTE Schedule:

• Aug 7 BIG RED DARK AND INKY at Fig@7th, Downtown


• Sept 4 CALIFORNIA CLASSICS at FIG@7th, Downtown

• Sept 18 Anything PINOT at Space 15 TWENTY, Hollywood

• Oct 2  BRANDS TO WATCH at Fig@7th, Downtown

click here for all SummerTASTE dates

Korean BBQ Wine Dinner at STAR KING


Red wine and beef, cliche isn’t it… but how about Korean BBQ’ed Piedmontese Beef?  Your invited to an extraordinary “insider’s” culinary adventure at the new Star King Korean BBQ, already acclaimed by cutting edge national food writers, celebrities and now has the attention of LA’s Wine Guru Ian Blackburn at LearnAboutWine.  Star King BBQ is the only restaurant grilling the extraordinary Piedmontese beef over live coals right at your table (smokeless, on the finest Korean oak bricks called soot).  Three tantalizing Korean dipping sauces, plus a variety of delicate, little side dishes called banchan enhance the beef.

On Ian’s recent visit, he was so impressed, he wants to start a Crusade!  Ian will not only share his passion but his fantastic wines and a spirited conversation on Red Wine with Korean BBQ!  Ian said “Korean restaurants are some of Los Angeles’ best kept secrets, and you don’t have to be Korean to love them.”  Ian also noted that “The Korean Market is very interested in wine and reaches all-time highs”  promising for all wine producers as Korean’s love to indulge and spend good money on great wine.  Proprietor Jackie Yoo, second generation meat business expert (and recent LearnAboutWine student), will fill you in on the centuries-old banchan and Korean BBQ tradition – beef is especially dear to Koreans because most of it is imported to their rugged little country, and fermentation is key – and also the next trend in the food movement here.

The huge, light colored Piedmontese cattle are so special because they are endowed with a genetic trait that produces muscle and very little fat, resulting in a more textured and richer taste than the esteemed Kobe, also lower in fat and calories, higher in protein and more tender than prime.  Originating as beloved working farm animals in northern Italy, only a few have been caringly bred in the Midwest since the late 70’s—still representing only 1% of all cattle today.  Kept free of antibiotics, steroids and growth hormones, these animals are vegetarian, grass fed and finished with grains for a fuller, more lush taste.

Star King offers Piedmontese in their bold steak tartare, dramatic tomahawk cut, and also the more traditional Korean BBQ fare of brisket, boneless short ribs, rib eye steak, and offals.  If you have tasted bulgogi and galbi BBQ, you are in for a memorable experience; most connoisseurs even prefer it over Wagyu and Kobe because Piedmontese is so buttery, without being the film.
Ian Blackburn’s industry leading, tend setting tastings continue to go where no cork has gone before… and this time its into KOREA TOWN!  While the events are not built to be “cheap” – Ian’s 67 Yelp Reviews with a 4.5+ average hone in on quality opportunities and he gets the “BEST OF BREED” involved.  STAR KING is the BEST OF BREED and very english friendly… and with the unique features and benefits of the world class beef, the beautiful facility, the clean and fresh nature of the food and setting – Ian is sending out an invitation to his 50,000 consumer list the first week of July.

There will be 5-7 different variety served including “kimchi” and Salad


Do Tori Muk Muchim

Acorn jelly made in house tossed in a light sesame dressing with cucumbers, jalopenos, chives and toasted seaweed


An all time Korean traditional favorite (glass noodles sautéed with vegetables in a light sweet soy based sauce)

 Bosot bokum

 Sliced King oyster mushrooms sautéed together with vegetables


See Details about the Beef Above

 Piedmontese Steak tartare

 Julienned rare beef blended with our special sauce.  Mixed at the table with sliced asian pears.  Egg yolk (optional)

 Piedmontese Brisket Point

Thinly sliced brisket point grilled at the table with bean sprouts.

Piedmontese Tomahawk Ribeye

 36 ounces of wow!! brushed lightly with olive oil to bring out the perfect caramelization on the grill.

Star King’s signature marinated short rib

 Out signature short rib marinated in our special soy based marinade for 48 hours.


Soy bean paste stew

 A staple in Korean food.  A more rustic taste than a miso soup. Served with plain white rice or scorched rice soup.


Assorted fruit platter with rice punch

click here for tickets

SummerTASTE’s First Downtown Tasting @ FIGAT7TH

Wednesday July 10th

SummerTASTE: Downtown LA
BLENDED – Multi Varietal Wines
(EVENT 2 of 8)

Great Location
Music by DJ Dan Wilcox of KCRW
Casual – 150 guests max.
Multiple Wine Tables
Gourmet Cheese and Chocolate

Advanced Purchase: $50 per person
$20 OFF with discount code JULY10

PRICE INCLUDES: Unlimited but responsible tasting, Gourmet Cheese Table, Marsatta hand crafted chocolates table, KCRW music by Dan Wilcox of KCRW, Charity benefit to TJ MARTELL FOUNDATION and CHILDREN’S Hospital Los Angeles, Social, Fun, and at a great price…you can’t have two glasses of wine and appetizers for this price…let alone 20 wines!

Current Wine List

Gentleman Farmer, Merlot, Napa Valley 2011 Gentleman Farmer, Red Blend, Napa Valley 2010 – Bordeaux Blend
Gentleman Farmer, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2011 – Multi Vineyard Blend
Riverbench, Chardonnay, Santa Maria 2011 – Multi Vineyard blend
Riverbench, Pinot Noir, Santa Maria 2011 – Multi Vineyard blend
Riverbench, Rose, Santa Maria 2011 – Multi Varietal rose
Donnafugata Tancredi Contessa Entellina, Sicily, Italy 2011 – Nero d’Avola and Cabernet
Allegrini, Palazzo Della Torre, Veronese 2008 – Corvina and Rondinella
Bodega Colome Amalaya (Malbec Blend), Salta, Argentina 2011
Bodega Colome Amalaya White (Torrontes), Salta, Argentina 2011
Glen Carlou Grand Classique, Paarl, South Africa 2099 – Bordeaux Blend
Gundlach Bundschu Mountain Cuvee, Sonoma 2010 – Bordeaux Blend
Ken Forrester “Petite” South Africa, 2011 – Cabernet/Merlot
Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc “Old Vine Reserve” 2012 – Chenin Blanc
Robert Sinskey, Scintilla Sonoma Vineyard, “Abraxas” Los Carneros, 2011 – Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Gewurztraminer & Pinot Blanc
Stacked Wine, Pinot Grigio, California
Stacked Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, California
Stacked Wine, Charisma Blend, California
Chateau Pipeau, St. Emilion Grand Cru, 2005 Chateau Haut-Carles, Fronsac, Bordeaux 2010 – Merlot, Cab Franc, Cabernet Gigual “Cote du Rhone” Blanc 2011 – Viognier, Roussane, Marsanne
Eden Canyon “Jolie” Paso Robles 2008 – Cab, Cab Franc, Merlot
Eden Canyon “Presente” Paso Robles 2008 (sweet) Cabernet & Cab Franc
Kiamie “Kiamie Kuvee” Paso Robles 2007 – Cab, Syrah, Petie Verdot, Zin
Kiamie “R’Own” Style Blend 2007 – Syrah, Grenache, Zin, Viognier
Shai Cellars, Adome, Santa Ynez – Syrah and Cabernet
L’Aventure, Estate Cuvee, Paso Robles 2010 -Syrah, Cabernet Sauv & Petite Verdot
Blind Wine Table

DJ Dan Wilcox from KCRW

Gourmet Chocolate from MARSATTA

July 20th’s “The Big Bu” Listed on

July 20

Join Learn About Wine for The Big Bu – Malibu’s Premier Tasting on July 20 at Saddle Peak Lodge in Calabasas. The event runs from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and features live music, wines from up to 20 different local wineries, tray passed appetizers, a silent auction benefiting Meals on Wheels West, a beautiful audience and winery owners and winemakers on hand to discuss their wines. Confirmed participants include Colcanyon Estate, Hoyt Family, Dolin Estate, Sage Hill, Rosenthal Estate, Malibu Solstice and Bodegas Gomez. Advance tickets cost $60 each or 2 for $100. To purchase, visit

click here to see listing

Learn About Wine Class at Eat Drink Americano, Downtown, LA

By Amy Shuster

I am often perplexed when it comes to the subject of wine. In restaurants, it’s usually an “eeny meeny miney mo” type of situation and I end up blindly guessing, hoping that I’ll like what I order.

What if there was a class that aided in taking all the guess work out of drinking wine? What if there was a way to learn more and get drunk have fun at the same time?? I think you know where I’m going with this… cue, Learn About Wine.

Lucky for me, stop #2 on my Eventbrite tour of LA was an Intro to Wine class through Learn About Wine downtown at Eat Drink Americano, in the old Cafe Metropol location.

I had so many questions. What is the proper way to taste wine? Do I smell then swirl? Or swirl then smell? Why must I aerate and for how long? How does one go about picking out a nice bottle for oneself or for a birthday gift perhaps? How important does region or origin play in the taste? Does a newer year = cheap wine? Do my purple lips = cheap wine??

Our Instructor, Ian Blackburn was chock full of information about wine and was equally quite entertaining, providing interesting facts and even a few bits of light comedy.

Every bottle we sampled truly had a story of its own, and the two hour long seminar flew by like a good movie.

I was really into it… as you can tell from all notes I took!

Although I wrote a lot down, I never once felt like I was overwhelmed with information. Ian does a good job of getting into the specifics about each of the wines’ origin, grape size and taste difference. He gives you a detailed history about the grower and how long they’ve been around.

We sampled a nice variety of six California wines and one crisp and delicate French Burgundy. We discussed everything from the color (hold a white napkin behind it to see more clearly!) to the aroma, to the mouthfeel, and we compared a few side by side.

Did you ever notice how you can tell a wine’s alcoholic content just by smelling it? Basically the stronger the wine, the bolder the aroma will be. If you can get your whole nose in there and the smell is still very light, (like the Chardonnay Bourgogne Blanc Burgundy we sampled – below left), you can almost bet there is less alcohol content in it. (Ah, so THAT’s how the French are able to drink every day and not be wasted all the time…).

You now know le’ secret!

Then we observed the Duckhorn, Merlot from Napa Valley. It’s very dark in color, it’s made from grapes with thicker skins and has a HEAVY tannin. In other words, make sure you get a lyft after drinking this one cause it is quite strong. Bold, good, and STRONG. It’s also a $45 dollar bottle so you’re probably not drinking this one every day. (below – right)

Of our 15 or so person class, there was a good mix to the group; some teachers, filmmakers, wine novices and repeat students. There were couples on dates and one young lady came with her mom. It was a casual and fun afternoon and as we listened, we leisurely snacked on dried cherries, apricots, chocolate and gourmet cheeses which paired nicely with the wines.

I completely recommend this course for anyone wine-curious. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon and is a most definately a great date idea!

Although this was an “Intro to Wine” class I felt I got a lot more from it than just the basics of wine. Plus, by the end of the class, I was happily sauced, a bunch more wine savvy, and I left eager to return again and learn more.

Lucky for me I have the LA Wine Festival this weekend as the next stop on my Eventbrite blogger tour!

Thanks for a great afternoon Ian!


click here to see article


LAW Facts

Terroir is the French language term for the expression of the place.  A sum of a given vineyard or appellations uniqueness captured in its wines. Its components include the specific geographic, geological, and climatic traits.
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