VINO Closed for Private Parties
Friday, December 11
Tuesday, December 15

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“Kauai Shrimp”

 Thursday, December 3rd

Over in Kekaha, Kauai, they have been trying to raise shrimp for many years, using the fresh, pristine sea water from the ocean there.  Over the years, there have been many challenges and struggles, but the farm has still perservered.  VINO Chef Keith and his team feel this yet another local “farm” worth supporting in an effort towards their sustainability will feature two specials showcasing this Kauai born and raised shellfish.  As VINO regulars well know, they will also be wine friendly too. 

Sauteed Kauai Shrimp
garlic butter, sun-dried tomato, pancetta & mudica bread crumbs
Homemade Cavatelle
pan seared Kauai shrimp, tarragon, fresh
Santa Barbara-n uni and braised fennel

These specials are on a first come serve basis. 
As VINO regulars well know, they sell out quickly, so come early!



“Young vs Older” 

Thursday, December 3  @6pm

I am asked frequently, “how long will this wine age?”  There are many, many factors to consider before even attempting to answer such a complicated question.  One of the most important questions would be for whom?  If it is for you, then it will greatly depend on what you are looking for.  Even though I might like a thirty-day dry aged, medium rare cooked rib eye, you might find that off putting, right?  In an effort to better taste and therefore understand what happens to wines as they age in a bottle, here are two sets of top quality wines for you to see first hand what can happen.  Sounds interesting!  How many times does an opportunity like this come around?

2011 Scherrer Chardonnay “Helfer Vineyard”
2006  Scherrer Chardonnay “Helfer Vineyard”

As VINO regulars well know, we are HUGE fans of Fred Scherrer & his wines.  It really took me a while, however, to understand what his single vineyard wines were truly about.  It was, in fact, tasting a 13 year old 2001 “Fort Ross” Chardonnay that I REALLY did get it.  We have found that his appellation wines are truly superb, elegant, refined, seamless wines which totally depict balance, texture & class, even in their youth.  The single vineyard wines, on the other hand, need considerable bottle age to really start strutting their peacock tail feathers.  That really was the inspiration for this tasting.  Helfer is a Russian River vineyard, less than 1 acre in size, located on Vine Hill road just north of Kistler.  Roughly 75% of the vines are planted to the Kistler “Hyde” Chardonnay selection, planted in 1993, with smatterings of some Dijon clones such as 76 & 96.  The 2006 & 2011 are two of our favorite renditions of this single vineyard bottling & it should be quite insightful into better understanding the wines of a true master. By the way, there were somewhere between only 125 to 150 cases produced of each.

2009 A. & G. Fantino Barolo  “Cascina Dardi”
2001 A. & G. Fantino Barolo  “Cascina Dardi”

Here is a more classic style of Barolo from the Fantino Brothers.  Alessandro was the vineyard-ist and enologist for the truly iconic Bartolo Mascarello estate from 1978 to 1997.  Their own eight hectares vineyards lie in the heart of the legendary Bussia Cru, certainly one of the region’s most revered vineyards and home to the some of the region’s oldest vines.  Yes, the pedigree is there and here is your opportunity to try a young and an older rendition side by side!

There you have it,  4 sensational wines. 
$39 a person (not including tax or gratuity).
By Reservations only…524-8466 or email Ann at


“BIG Red Wine Blends” 
Thursday, December 10  @6pm 

In the 90’s, I became fascinated with a new generation of young winemaking bucks who fashioned red wine blends which showcased what their vineyard had to say AND where the sum of the parts was better than each part individually. This is easier said than done, at least well. Here is an opportunity where participants can taste examples of this concept from three of the top practioners. These wines, if you do some research are not so easy to come by and a tasting you will not want to miss! 

2011 Linne Calodo “Rising Tides”
From westside Paso Robles & superstar winemaker Matt Trevisan 38% Grenache, 32% Mourvedre & 30% Syrah. 

2010 Epoch “Ingenuity”
From the awe inspiring Paderrewski vineyard of westside Paso Robles & New Age superstar winemaker Jordan Fiorentini.   62% Syrah, 14% Mourvedre, 12% Grenache, 12% Petite Sirah, 20 months in barrel, 61% new oak 

2011 Jonata “Todos”
From the same owner as Napa Valley’s Screaming Eagle, their estate breathtaking vineyard in Ballard Canyon & New Age superstar winemaker Matt Dees.. 

75% Syrah, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Grenache, 4% Sangiovese, 2% Viognier, 1% Petite Verdot & 1% Merlot. 18 months in barrel, 50% new 

There you have it, 3 sensational wines. 

$39 a person (not including tax or gratuity). By Reservations only….524-8466 or email Ann at


“Southern Rhone Valley ”
Thursday, December 17  @6pm

When one looks at a wine map of France, the region of Burgundy comes to an end right after its southern most appellation of Beaujolais  Geologically, however, the limestone vein really starts to peter out starting in Macon.  While there still are some pockets to be found here & there in Beaujolais, the dominate soil is granite.  Yes, rolling hills of all kinds of interesting granitic soils.  The vein of granite also meanders in the more dramatic hillsides of the northern Rhone further south.  Once, however, you past the town of Valence, the topography & climate seems to greatly change.  This is the beginning of the southern Rhone Valley, which seems to also feature more gently rolling hills & a myriad of different soil types.  Furthermore where the Syrah grape variety dominates in the north, Grenache is the centerpiece in the south. On this night, we will be tasting Grenache based red wines from 4 of the villages……side by side  Here is your chance to taste first hand & explore a part of the wine world, many wine lovers have not yet really discovered or explored   

2012 Domaine Durban Gigondas

Typically 70% Grenache, 30% Syrah from a higher elevation parcel.  Yes, it has the sinister, brooding character we seek, but done with deliciousness, intrigue & Un-heaviness.  Bravo!

2012 Domaine Gallety “Cote de Vivarais”
The Cote de Vivarais is relatively unknown to most, which is why the price is unexpectedly one half to a third of those garnered by its most famous neighbor, Chateauneuf-du-Pape.  This particular property is on the western flank with all kinds of soils—gravel, sandstone, limestone & galets in a semi-arid countryside.  The 2012 is 50% old vine Grenache & 50% older vine Syrah.  A wonderful discovery, well worth searching out for.

2012 Sang des Cailloux Vacqueyras
Year in & year out, this bottling is one of absolute favorite out of France.  Deep, brooding, masculine, savory & most importantly soulful...for me, one of kind!

2010 Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape
The vineyards are full of round, river stones, known as galets, which were pushed into place by the glaciers long ago.  Chateauneuf-du-Pape was remarkably the very appellation granted AOC by the government in 1936.  (even before Champagne, Burgundy or Bordeaux).
There you have it,  4 sensational wines. 
$34 a person (not including tax or gratuity).
By Reservations only….524-8466 or email Ann at

We will be open on Christmas Eve and Day offering a special menu in addition to our regular menu.

Amuse bouche
First course

Wagyu Beef Carpaccio
chili pepper water, fried capers and balsamic reduction
Second course

Butter Poached Lobster
lemon and ricotta cheese ravioli, fennel
and scallion pesto

Garlic And Herb Crusted Prime Rib Of Beef -$48
porcini mushroom fettuccine,  pohole  fern,
charred Roma
tomatoes and natural jus
Prosciutto Wrapped Hawaiian Snapper - $46
Manila clams, Hau’ula tomato tortellini,
basil and hijiki clam jus

Chocolate And Lemon Olive Oil Cake
Lappert’s strawberry sorbet and raspberry coulis


“Champagne Tasting” on New Year's Eve

Thursday, December 31 @8:30pm

We end the old year and look to kick start the New Year with a special tasting of Champagne.   On one level, we will be tasting one Champagne, dominated by Pinot Meunier, one Champagne, dominated by Pinot Noir & two Champagnes produced exclusively from Chardonnay.  Furthermore, each of these wines are grown in a different village, which will provide yet another interesting comparison.  Finally, we will feature 4 “grower” Champagnes, which means they own & farm their vineyards, make & bottle their own wine.  While this does not necessarily translate into higher quality, in these cases, it does.& also says something about artisan & handcrafted.   Chin chin.

J. Lasalle “Brut Preference”
From the village of Chigny-les- Roses in the Montagne de Reims—60% Pinot Meunier & 20% each of Pinot Noir
& Chardonnay.
Pierre Paillard Brut  “Grand Cru”
From the village of Bouzy—60% Pinot Noir & 40% Chardonnay, all Grand Cru
Veuve Fourny Blanc de Blancs “Premier Cru”
From the Premier Cru  village of Vertus,
100% Chardonnay
A Margaine Blanc de Blancs “Special Club” 2008
From the Premier Cru village of Villers-Marmery, here
is their flagship 100% Chardonnay bottling
Opportunities like this don’t happen too often!
There you have it,  4 sensational bubblies. 
$39 a person (not including tax or gratuity).
By Reservations only….524-8466 or email Ann at