Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mellow Mondays with Wine and Sweets in Silver Lake

I've never been one to complain about Mondays; sure the weekend can always be just a little bit longer, but there's a time and place for everything, even starting the workweek (and indeed, I am thankful that I have work, which I hear is the new raise nowadays.)

Still, I'll contend that Mondays can be tough -- particularly if I am catching up loose ends that I've tuned out over the past week to new projects popping up that I have to squeeze in and complete in five days or less. Eek! I could use a mental break already!

Monday Wine Tasting at Silverlake Wine
Thankfully, that rolled right along yesterday when I headed to Silverlake Wine -- one of my favorite local wine spots -- for their Monday tasting, seduced by the allure of three sexy, mysterious wines (including one termed "Liquid Crack") as well as the sweet offer of sugary CakeMonkey delights.
J&H Chardonnay at Silverlake Wine Tasting
I swung by around 6:15 p.m. and got my tasting on, starting with a 2006 J & H Chardonnay that was crispy, flinty with nice citrus and apple nuances, moving on to soft, ripe and juicy Rhone-style 2007 Picnique red from Ledgewood Creek winery, finishing off with their "Liquid Crack" Black Chook sparkling Shiraz from Australia. I've always had fun drinking sparkling reds, but this is particularly good -- like a dry mixed berry soda with a slight tannic zing, and easily quaffable despite it being a red and a slight zip from the effervescence. I think I found my next celebration bubbly!

In addition to the tasty and generously-poured trio of wines, they also put out a fantastic array of cheeses, olives, cured meats and breads from the Cheese Store of Silverlake. It was fun mixing and matching to see what worked and what didn't, not to mention a great conversation starter with fellow drinkers. I saw the store's manager Matthew Kaner, who files wine reports regularly for FoodGPS, and wanted to ask about the wine he's working on but he seemed a bit busy with the other customers so I didn't have the chance. Next time, perhaps.
CakeMonkey Sweets
Moving from liquid to solid crack: Cake Monkey sweet treats. Samples of their scrumptious Li'l Merri's and new 'Nuff Said cookies were offered, and I bought their Black & White cakewich to bring home. Not too shabby for $15.50 ($12 for tasting, $3.50 for cake)
Coffee and More
Since I'm already in Silverlake, my sweet jaws and caffeine addict led me to LA Mill Coffee that was less than five minutes away. Craving something sugary but not too heavy, I opted for their creme fraiche-cherry scone, which was wonderfully crumbly and comparatively light. To match, I ordered a Clover-brewed cup of their Ethopia Koratie coffee which also had berry aromas, noticeable sweetness and a pretty clean finish. Rounding off, a dark chocolate liquid-center lollipop -- a treat I still have fond memories of from my otherwise lackluster dessert tasting at Providence. It was as luscious as I remembered, with that first bite flooding my mouth a chilled berry-and-spices consomme. 'Twas a small $12.50 luxury (including tax and tip) but combined with the wine tasting, I think I found the perfect way to finish off the start of a work week. Bring on the next four days!

Silverlake Wine
2395 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles, CA‎
(323) 662-9024

LA Mill Coffee Boutique
1636 Silver Lake Blvd
Los Angeles, CA‎
(323) 663-4441
La Mill on Urbanspoon

A few more photos from this food- and drinkventure on my Flickr


Liz Rietz said...

Love that Black Chook sparkling Shiraz!! It is liquid crack, indeed, and fabulous for the holidays. You'll get oooohs and ahhhs if you pour a glass of this to guests at a holiday dinner party. Hope you enjoyed the Black and White cakewich like I did, but it was the peppermint one they did for the holidays that really blew me away. Cake Monkey is my new local dessert obsession.

mattatouille said...

sorry we missed you at SLW, we got there around 8:15 or so. Anyways, nice write up.

Anonymous said...

looks like we just missed u last night :( but glad u were there in time for cake monkey. those cake monkey cookies were laced with crrrrrrrrrrrack, no doubt! the dark chocolate ones were sinful but it was the oatmeal, cinnamony ones with the crack filling that I wanted to keep inhaling (I must have eaten atleast 10 pieces of the samples...shhh...secret) while injecting the black chook shiraz directly into my arm. hi, my name is christine and Im a cake monkey and slw addict :( is there hope for me? prob not...more cake monkey, it is! :)

H. C. said...

@Liz, Ooo will have to give the peppermint one a try if I see them available.

@Matt, thanks ~ sounds like you had fun at 55 Degree too!

@Choisauce, I'm getting to becoming a CakeMonkey addict too -- so kinda thankful they don't have a retail storefront yet.


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