Friday, June 08, 2007

Wine Tasting @ Red Carpet

Red Carpet Wine (the sign out in front of the store says "Red Carpet Liquor), is a wine store in Glendale where in addition to wine, you can also buy champagne, beer, and cigars (they have a walk-in humidor). The staff are very knowledgeable and helpful. You tell them what you're cooking for dinner and they'll pick out a wine that goes with it, or make a suggestion. They'll also point out some great deals on lesser known new labels with great wine. Although we don't go there as often as we used to, we still go there to buy wine, champagne, and occasionally my favorite Belgian, raspberry Lambic beer (mmmm).

Red Carpet Wine
400 East Glenoaks Boulevard
Glendale, California 91207

Wine Tasting
Tonight Uwe and I decided to go to Red Carpet Wine for their Friday night wine tasting. We love Colorado Wine Company, but Red Carpet showcases higher end wines in their tasting and we wanted to see what they had to offer. (The price is also double what we pay at cowineco - and they have 7 wines in their tasting, vs. 5 at cowineco).

I had been to a Red Carpet for their "Silver Oak" wine tasting. (I organized an after work excursion to go there to check it out.) Sampling $100+ bottles of wine was lovely - and it attracted quite a different crowd.

Uwe described tonight's crowd as "the Whole Foods crowd" as the people looked like they walked into the wine tasting right after a workout and shopping for groceries. Quite different from the crowd at Colorado Wine Company.

I was hesitant to do the full wine tasting because of the 7 glasses of wine, but after seeing the small tasting pours - I was in - and had no problem completing the course.

There was a 2002 Syrah that we very much enjoyed, but they didn't have it for sale. That's one thing that irks me about their wine tasting. Why have it on the tasting menu if you can't buy it afterwards? The bartender said that the owner will have a few bottles in his personal cellar that he will bring in just for the tasting, so there aren't additional bottles for sale. Last time I was there, the same thing happened. I had an exquisite 1999 Silver Oak and wanted to buy a bottle to bring home to Uwe so we could enjoy it together - but again they didn't have that year for sale - so I had to settle for a 2002 (which was good, but not the same).

Overall Review
The wine tasting is pricey for the lack of ambiance (again - think of Whole Foods) and they need to bring in some hors d'oeuvres in addition to the chinsy but pricey cheese plate. However they do feature high end wine tastings, and they have seating around the bar. (Which can fill up if they're featuring a high end label.) For our Friday night - date night - we will stick to Colorado Wine Company which has a nicer crowd and better ambiance. But there's a good chance we will go back if they feature Silver Oak again, or another high end wine that we'd enjoy.

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