Hidden Treasures in Hidden Treasure Chests

"Hunting Wines" talent

“Hunting Wines” field team

The Animal Planet show “Finding Bigfoot” is fun to watch except we never get to see the critter. Storage Wars, Antiques Roadshow, Bering Sea Gold would be nothing without the payoff. Show me the buried treasure. The same principle holds when hunting for worthy wines at even more worthy prices. Here is the premiere episode of Hunting Wines.

Dotoré scours the aisles at the most unlikely wine shop Liquid Party Works in Chatsworth. Bottles of 2007 Antica Terra, 2004 Drew Vineyards, along with white wines from Northeastern Italy he cannot pronounce and his pronouncements are pretty good.

IGTY finally visits a liquor store he passes every day. The place used to specialize in the worst plonk imaginable – Tarzana Wine & Spirits. New management has changed everything. Burgundy wines in Bordeaux bottles. Italian wines under $20. Is this a treasure trove?

tBoW has been known to purchase a bottle at local sandwich shop The Blue Table. Cold cuts on fresh baked bread along with about 100 vinous selections each worth a second and third look. Bought it!

Cue Bob Seger theme music. [ed. strongly suggest Katmandu – click to listen]. Welcome to Hunting Wines!! Wine Treasure Chests like the three that follow are replicated everywhere. None of these shops whispers much less scream “treasures found here.” You can find them, too. You just have to know what to look for and you need to be dedicated to the task. Isn’t it that way with every low budget inane reality show?

Liquid Party Works suggests this is where you buy balloons and hats for your Oscar home event, right? No. LPW has a selection of excellent and unusual wines that are priced very favorably. One can find a 15 year old premium Napa Cab priced at its release number. If you come across someplace that seems the most unlikely place to purchase wine, stop in at least once. You might find a winner.

Tarzana Wine and Spirits represents the class of liquor stores that sometimes have incredible wines. IGTY specializes in ferreting out these corner wine gold mines [ed. his old extra special treasure chest/liquor store in Woodland Hills closed two years ago]. tBoW first purchased the 2009 Fonterutoli at this spot which in years past had nothing special to offer. Times change. TWS has an impressive selection of international wines include older vintages especially in one of our preferred regions, Italy! Viva Italia! You just never know.

The Blue Table is a sandwich joint in trendy Calabasas located next door to the former Dash of the boobies-and-butts family. Gina is the proprietess and amazon goddess who personally selects the wines. She has some very special bottles so every time tBoW is in there he must check out Gina’s rack [ed. oh you made a funny]. The sandwiches are wonderful and TBT ranks pretty high up there on the list of approved local dining spots. Having a decent wine selection is a bonus.

Here are wines purchased at one of the above shops and recently tasted together.

puelles_01WEB2001 Jesus y Felix Puelles Fernandez Rioja Reserva $30: Classic Spanish Rioja wine, mature fruit, red brick color. Fruit shows up after 20 minutes in the glass. Dried cherries, chalky at first. Fully integrated tannnins and fruit. This wine is past its peak for New World palates but a bit young for British drinker of Claret! Guessing mostly Tempranillo with Grenache [ed. and a bull ring is a good place to find bulls?]. Much liked in this group of advanced tasters. 13.5%

marchesi_barbera_09WEB2009 Marchesi di Barolo Barbera Monferrato Marraia $10: Vineyard designated Barbera made by one of the leading producers in Piemonte. Fruit is ripe, weight is thin, balance not there. Tannins pronounced. Needs time to open which it does over an hour. You gotta like acidic Italian wines to like this one which tends to divide the men from da goils. Dotore explains to IGTY that Barbera is a varietal that like Dolcetto usually goes into the village blend. At this price we would drink this with a smile. It will keep a few years. Extreme U20 value. 13%

clio08WEB2008 Clio Jumilla $49: tBoW suggested saving this hairy monster [ed. Squatch wine?] for the paella. The ladies got a wine they could chew on. The men looked for the Barbera and Rioja. Dotore called it Parkerized which it is. Big, over the top fruit. IGTY said it was heavy in weight, probably bettter with chili and not for quiche. Monastrel varrietal which is Spanish Mourvedre. Who could tell? Parker loved it so there is quite a fuss online. Over the top and not the kind of wine we like at all. If you like Big Napa Cabs, however, this wine is for you at a bargain price. 15.5%

alari_roseWEB2011 Domaine Du Clos D’Alari $13: Tasted this pankwein before leaving for dinner. Color is rose gold where you cannot see where the gold ends and the pink begins. Showing some tannins, balanced and on the masculine side for a Rosé wine. Sinewy like a tour bicycle rider. Best wine of the evening all things considered. From Garagiste! Another U20 deal. 13%

Watch the Bigfoot Research Team attempt to communicate with the stinky guy by aping his night screams! Bobo makes the best calls. This season Ranae even tried a couple. I’ll bet Gina could make that ape swoon.

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