The SOMM Journal

February / March 2017

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 40 of 116

40 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } FEBRUARY/MARCH 2017 { wine lists } Classic Still Prevails IN LOS ANGELES, RISTORANTE PEPPONE PROVIDES FANTASTIC WINES AND IMPRESSIVE HOSPITALITY by Allyson Gorsuch / photos by Cal Bingham EPIC BOTTLES ENJOYED AT RISTORANTE PEPPONE Château Prieuré-Lichine 1989, Margaux, Bordeaux, France Margaux's approachable nature: tea leaves, espresso, tobacco—with a lifted, glorious acidity and delicate woodsy freshness; a je ne sais quoi sensuality. —Meridith May Michele Chiarlo 1990 Cerequio, Barolo DOCG, Piedmont, Italy Menthol, dates, figs, chestnuts, chocolate- covered cherries; tannins still poignant but acidity to bal- ance—beautifully integrated. —Allyson Gorsuch Château d'Yquem 1985, Sauternes, Bordeaux, France Does this need a tasting note? Baked stone fruit, caramel; astoundingly balanced fruit, sugar and acidity—what a plea- sure! —A. G. I AM STILL NEW TO LOS ANGELES, AND I have never felt more at home than at Ristorante Peppone. Tucked away in a quaint corner of Brentwood, Ristorante Peppone has been delighting diners since 1974. The cuisine is clas - sic Italian, customized, happily, to your personal preference. And the wine list is amazing. Proprietor Chef Gianni Paoletti grew up in the midst of Venice, Italy, in its vibrant restaurant and hospitality community. In his twenties, he found his home in Los Angeles and now, years later, owns a gem of an enterprise. The décor is old-school Italian—picture red tablecloths, ornate lamps, tableside preparations and personalized service. With the constant move toward "finer" dining, I found the warmth of Peppone to be just what I had been missing in my recent dining experiences. Paoletti has been collecting wine, with a mind - set that can only be admirably European, since the beginning. "The more that I pay for the wine, the less I mark it up," shares Paoletti. Remarkably, though, he has been buying wine and storing it for decades and still prices it according to when he bought it—translated to amazing wines for amazing prices. The list is composed of outstanding Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino and Amarone della Valpolicella with age but also showcases 14 Bordeaux offerings from the 1989 vintage, just to give you a glimpse of the treasure. Admittedly, I geek out when looking at any wine list in order to find the best "deal" on the list, but I may have teetered upon being unsocial while delv - ing through this one, lost in my own merriment while discovering the multitude of "great buys." The most impressive part of my evening, though, was witnessing Paoletti visiting multiple tables even while we were enjoying our meal and making demands on his time. Paoletti genuinely cares about his guests and simply wants to make their experience the best that it can be—hospi - tality as it should be. Gianni Paoletti owns Ristorante Peppone in Los Angeles as well as Paoletti Estates Winery in the Calistoga area of Napa Valley.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The SOMM Journal - February / March 2017