End of Summer Smoke and Wine 2013

buenavistacigarclubWEBWhoa! Discovered a super cigar bar in Beverly Hills – the Buena Vista Cigar Club. Reminded our old friend Ricolini and me of the incredible cigar bar he and I have frequented in San Francisco behind the Bank of America building on California Street. Both are tiny holes in the wall with high comfort quotients operating on a low key axis.

The usual situation is while waiting for Mrs. tBoW Senor Rico and tBoW slip into the comfy local stogie shop ‘n lounge for a premium fatty and a sip of port. How can there be such a place in a city where smoking has been banned, you ask? So did we. Apparently if the joint is staffed by the private owners then this is permissible. In Baghdad by the Bay [ed. you stole that San Fran name from Herb Caen!] and in Beverly Hills.

The Buena Vista Cigar Club is on Little Santa Monica just in the triangle. Sit at the bar and watch some sporting event. We enjoyed our stogies with a pour of ruby port. AudoinBourgogne2011WEB90 minutes later we joined Mrs. tBoW for dinner in Westwood at a restaurant – Fundamental – recommended by Goldun.

Enough small talk.

2011 Domain Charles Audoin Pinot Noir Bourgogne Rouge $32 (wine list): Entry level wine from a producer with whom we were unfamiliar. Nice selection with Asian-Ital fusion dishes. Clean flavors. Light weight. Soft clear color. Characteristic Burg nose. Slightly acidic but not without sufficient balancing fruit. 13%

drouhin-NSGProces07WEB2007 Joseph Drouhin Premier Cru Nuits-St-George Procès $37: What a superb wine! Goldun offer. From the Drouhin website “Maison Joseph Drouhin owns nearly half of the Premier Cru Les Procès, next to Pruliers, another famous vineyard.” Average age of the vines is 59 years. I am not sure I can taste old Pinot Noir vines in Burgundy. However, I believe you can taste the pedigree in this bottle. Everything is striking a chord: light tannins, masculine fruit, feminine roundness, firm structure. Harmonious. This is what we want to drink every week. You should too! 13%

AyresPiper-07WEB2007 Ayres Piper Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir $30 (Mad Wine in Seattle and online): This could be the last of the 2007s from this out of the way winery in our favorite region – Ribbon Ridge – of the Willamette Valley. Cannot help but compare this to the 2007 Seven of Hearts covered recently. This vintage may have peaked in 2012. This Ayres bottling was lovely BUT it is getting thin, showing some fragmentation around the rim. More of a sashay than the full bore wine. Still quite enjoyable. We like this house. 13.5%



Restaurant review: Fundamental in Westwood is a good place to know when in Westwood and looking for something other than the ubiquitous “Mediterranean grill” fare. Prices were fair for Westwood Boulevard south of Wilshire. Food well prepared and tasty. Prefer the smaller portions. fundamental-interWEBVery good wine list with plenty of international wines to choose from. Prelim tastes were accommodated. Parking always a search. Mrs. tBoW thought the bench seating side could have benefited from a cushion. We would return.

Next week look for a midweek tasting event featuring the culinary talents of Goldun and more Burgundy wine selections from Eno Fine Wine. Burgs and Bird. Nummy num nums.


  1. Wavatar
    Betsy says:

    why all high-price wines? is the end near? is the debt ceiling going to raised?

    • Wavatar
      Bacchus says:

      world of costly wines has jumped the shark; discriminating taste and quest for excellence trumps all; they may cost 50% more but are 200% better; preparing for return of high falutin’ niece?

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