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13 Even Wilton Manors

According to the superstitious (i.e. neurotic), 13 can be an unlucky number. For the owners of 13 Even located in Wilton Manors, it is anything but unlucky.

In fact, most nights if you’re lucky enough to drive down Wilton Drive and pass by 13 Even there’s a good chance you’ll see most, if not every one of its tables and bar, filled with eager patrons enjoying a glass of wine amongst friends; a fine craft beer; one of 13 Even’s signature small plate dishes – or a combination of all the above.

It is not a large establishment. And that’s a good thing. Where many gastro pub/bistro wine and beer bars can be noisy affairs, 13 Even is a little haven away from the hustle and bustle.  Nestled quietly among other small shops, at the far end of Wilton Drive, 13 Even sits waiting to be discovered.  

Having opened less than six months ago, we were both eager to try it out after checking out their fairly extensive wine, beer and food menu on-line.  The first time we went to 13 Even was during a late-afternoon, early evening walk into Wilton Manors.  We were only planning on have a glass of wine but temptation overruled and we decided to share the pork belly and watermelon salad followed by the BBQ chicken, gouda and jalapeno flatbread.  We were hooked at first bite.  The pork belly melted in our mouths and the flatbread, although lacking the expected spice from the jalapeno, was also quite good.

On our next visit, after perusing over the menu we finally decided on the patatas bravas (roasted potatoes in a spicy red sauce topped with a sunny side up quail egg) and the chicken empanadas.  We could have had several of the garlicky, spicy patatas bravas – and for a moment considered licking the bowl clean of the sauce. The empanadas were light and flaky on the outside and savory within.

13 Even is a friendly, charming place with something to satisfy every palate. Whether you’re in the mood for a red or white wine, maybe something a little sparkly, or if you’re looking for a good craft beer, chances are you’ll find just what you’re looking for on the menu. The prices are reasonable; the staff is friendly and will treat you like you’re a regular, even if you are a “newbie.” Oh, and if you’re dropping in to have a drink, chances are you’ll be justifying having a second one.

 

 

Louis Latour Tasting at the Atlantic Hotel June 1, 2012

Louis Latour Portfolio Tasting

Louis Latour Portfolio Tasting

Thanks to the generosity of our good friends, we were recently invited to a Louis Latour Portfolio tasting at the East End Brasserie lounge in the Atlantic hotel on Fort Lauderdale Beach.  Although we do appreciate and buy “fine” wine, we are much more familiar with New World wines and wouldn’t necessarily know a Grand Cru from a Motley Crüe. That being said, we welcomed an opportunity to learn (and sample, of course!) more about the Louis Latour portfolio.

Crowds are always a concern during these get-togethers, but since this was not an ordinary Crown tasting event—and because the lounge isn’t that large to begin with—attendance was limited.  We entered the event a bit timidly but were pleasantly surprised by the exuberance of the wine representatives and the politeness of the crowd as we navigated the tasting.  We spent a good amount of time with several experts that were more than willing to explain the nuances of the region and the wine we were tasting.
Some interesting points about the Burgundy region that were new to us:

  • The grapes from the Burgundy region are primarily the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
  • Burgundy wines are classified mainly on the geographic location within the region, as opposed to being classified by the producer.
  • The quality (Regional Cru, Village Cru, Premier Cru and Grand Cru) classification of wines in this region was begun by monks.

For this tasting there were five stations setup across the bar.  Starting at the beginning of the bar, we were handed a white wine glass and proceeded through the two sections set aside for the white wines.  Our favorites:

  • Simonnet-Febvre Chablis Premier Cru  “Fourchaume” (100% Chardonnay, 40 year old vines – Fruit forward, smooth) $28
  • Louis Latour Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru “Morgeot” (100% Chardonnay, Aged 8-12 months in oak (30% new oak) barrels – Lush, exotic fruit notes) $47
  • Louis Latour Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru (100% Chardonnay, Aged 8-12 months in new oak casks – Minerality yet creamy with nut and succulent fruit notes) $200

Once we had completed the series of whites, we were handing a red wine glass to complete the next grouping of red wines.  Our favorites:

  • Louis Latour Pommard   (100% Pinot Noir, Aged 12 months in oak casks – Dark fruit with slight spice) $44
  • Louis Latour Beaune Premier Cru “Vignes Franches” (100% Pinot Noir, Aged 12 months in oak casks – Cherry, Floral with slight spice) $48
Louis Latour

Louis Latour

After completing the tasting, we both agreed that we much preferred the whites.  However, the reds we tried were young as we unfortunately missed out on the earlier vintages by the time we arrived.  We found none that were a “must have” for us but we did appreciate the complexity of the region in not only what we tasted, but what we learned.  We thoroughly enjoyed the Louis Latour portfolio tasting and our foray into the Burgundy region.

 

Wine Watch Oregon Pinot Noir Tasting Wednesday, April 18th

Wine Watch

Wine Watch

Pinot Noir may be one of the most enjoyed red wines amongst wine aficionados, but it is probably one of the more mysterious varietals in its complexity. This Old World grape has been transformed in the U.S., especially in the Central Coast of California and Oregon. Understanding and appreciating Pinot Noir is an acquired skill, and at times can be downright mystifying…but hugely rewarding.

So when Andrew Lampasone, owner/proprietor and resident wine expert of Wine Watch in Fort Lauderdale, held an Oregon Pinot Noir tasting at his establishment located in the historic Progresso Plaza, naturally we were intrigued.  Wine Watch had three stations set up around the plaza, with 20 Pinots available for sampling. Oregon is well known for producing some of the most sought-after Pinot Noirs worldwide, mostly from the famed Willamette Valley (pronounced Will-am-ette, like “damn it.” ) Yes, we’ve all been mispronouncing the name, so Andrew was quick to point this fact out to us during our sampling. Two members of  the Wine Watch staff prepared appetizers for attendees to nosh on during the event, which included: Wild mushroom & Mascarpone Flat Bread; Asian Pork & Shrimp Sliders; Seared Ahi Tuna Lollipops with Ginger Ponzu; Duck Spring Rolls with  Sesame Plum Glaze. All were delicious and paired well with the wines.

We have somewhat refined our palates and can now begin to navigate our way through the maze of adjectives associated with Wine Speak. In general, we picked up black cherry, spice and toast notes typical of the Pinot Noir profile.  However, with each taste of the selections the nuance of each was apparent as hints of licorice, orange peel, exotic spices and even minerality were apparent. There were several Pinot Noirs that missed the mark (a few tasted younger, needing more time in the bottle), but all were fantastic in their own right. Of the 20 we tried, our three favorites (of which we purchased) are as follows:

2009 Kelley Fox Wines Pinot Noir Momtazi Vineyard McMinneville – $37.50
2009 Klee Pinot Noir Willamette – $24 –
2009 Soter Pinot Noir Mineral Springs Ranch – $52

Andrew was a great host and was eager to impart his wine knowledge to all of the patrons (us included). Pinot Noir is a little less mysterious to us after this tasting, but will still require more research – research that we  are more than happy to conduct. Cheers!

Wanderlushes

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