Show 480, June 25, 2022: Iris Vineyards, Springfield, OR with Winemaker Aaron Lieberman and Carl Giavanti Part One

Aaron Lieberman of Iris Vineyards

Iris Vineyards perches in the iris-dotted hills at the southern edge of the Willamette Valley, an 870-acre, high-elevation preserve dedicated to the ancient Greek concept of areté – the tireless striving to achieve one’s fullest potential. Areté guides the proprietors Richard Boyles and Pamela Frye, and winemaker Aaron Lieberman to create fresh, fruit-forward wines that truly honor their source.”

“Richard Boyles and Pamela Frye spent several years searching for a site with the potential to create great Pinot Noir. In 1992, they found a property in the foothills of the Oregon Coast Mountain Range at the south end of the Willamette Valley. It had been clear-cut, exposing sloping hillsides, promising soils, and site’s immense potential for the Burgundian and Alsatian varietals Richard and Pamela loved most. Richard and Pamela committed to replanting 500 acres of the estate to Douglas Fir and Ponderosa Pine for timber harvesting, and to restoring a diverse forest habitat with multiple native tree and understory species represented.”

Winemaker Aaron Lieberman joined Iris as the head of winemaking in 2008, and has spearheaded the winery’s significant quality advances over the last decade. Like Richard, Aaron has always approached his life and work with areté in mind – striving each day to improve and achieve the best possible result.”

“Iris Vineyards’ winemaking program empowers Aaron to apply areté in every aspect of the work. He describes himself as a shepherd, guiding rather than forcing nature in the direction he wants it to go. This work begins, of course, with growing the best possible grapes. Aaron collaborates with vineyard manager Nathan Sparrow to optimize the growth, health, and maturity of each block of the Chalice Vineyard estate. He also works closely with other Willamette Valley growers and Rogue Valley growers who produce the warm-climate varieties for some of Iris Vineyards’ wine club selections.”

“Aaron’s goal: bright, fruit-forward wines with crisp acidity and low alcohol that honor their origins and deliver exceptional value.”

“Under the Iris Vineyards name, the winery produces a wide range of red, white, and rosé wines from the Chalice Vineyard, as well as from selected vineyards around the state. The Areté label represents the reserve, or premium level of wines – truly the best of the estate.” The Areté label also represents Iris Vineyards’ premium sparkling wine program all done in-house on the Estate.

Earlier this month Iris Vineyards opened a new Wine Bar in Downtown Springfield, Oregon on historic Main Street. Winemaker Aaron has created a selection of wine-based cocktails for the Wine Bar.

Winemaker Aaron Lieberman joins us to pull the cork on all that is Iris Vineyards joined by Oregon-based wine marketing and public relations authority Carl Giavanti.

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Show 480, June 25, 2022: Iris Vineyards, Springfield, OR with Winemaker Aaron Lieberman and Carl Giavanti Part Two

Aaron Lieberman of Iris Vineyards

“Areté (AIR-it-tay) is a concept with deep roots in ancient Greek mythology, literature and philosophy. In simple terms, it is the moral imperative to achieve your full potential – the obligation to strive every day to do better, and be the best you can be. At Iris Vineyards, areté means constant attention to their vineyard practices, the wine quality, and Iris’ hospitality.”

Winemaker Aaron Lieberman joined Iris as the head of winemaking in 2008, and has spearheaded the winery’s significant quality advances over the last decade. Like Richard, Aaron has always approached his life and work with areté in mind – striving each day to improve and achieve the best possible result.”

“Iris Vineyards’ winemaking program empowers Aaron to apply areté in every aspect of the work. He describes himself as a shepherd, guiding rather than forcing nature in the direction he wants it to go. This work begins, of course, with growing the best possible grapes. Aaron collaborates with vineyard manager Nathan Sparrow to optimize the growth, health, and maturity of each block of the Chalice Vineyard estate. He also works closely with other Willamette Valley growers and Rogue Valley growers who produce the warm-climate varieties for some of Iris Vineyards’ wine club selections.”

“Aaron’s goal: bright, fruit-forward wines with crisp acidity and low alcohol that honor their origins and deliver exceptional value.”

“Under the Iris Vineyards name, the winery produces a wide range of red, white, and rosé wines from the Chalice Vineyard, as well as from selected vineyards around the state. The Areté label represents the reserve, or premium level of wines – truly the best of the estate.” The Areté label also represents Iris Vineyards’ premium sparkling wine program all unusually done in-house on the Estate.

Earlier this month Iris Vineyards opened a new Wine Bar in Downtown Springfield, Oregon on historic Main Street. Winemaker Aaron has created a selection of wine-based cocktails for the Wine Bar.

Winemaker Aaron Lieberman continues with us to further pull the cork on all that is Iris Vineyards and also joined by Oregon-based wine marketing and public relations authority, Carl Giavanti.

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Show 437, August 7, 2021: Yvon Goetz, Executive Chef & Partner, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar

Yvon Goetz of the Winery Restaurant and Bar

“As a celebration of Hatch Chile season, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar is hosting an afternoon of ‘Roasting & Toasting’ on Saturday, August 14 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at its original Tustin location. Executive Chef Yvon Goetz and Chef de Cuisine James Chavez will be live roasting Melissa’s Hatch Chile Peppers and serving them up in a variety of unique dishes. Event attendees will be able to enjoy the hatch chile-focused dishes, along with beer, tequila and live music on The Winery’s recently expanded patio, situated in the heart of The District in Tustin.”

“I always look forward to hatch peppers being in season – they deliver a great balance of flavor and heat, and get my creative juices flowing,” commented Goetz, who revealed that each event guest will go home with fresh Hatch Peppers from Melissa’s, as well as their all-new Hatch Pepper Cookbook to help guide them in creating dishes at home. “One of the highlights of this event is live roasting the hatch peppers – this method adds a smoky flavor to the chile as the sugars in the pepper caramelize. Delicious.”

“Space for this event is limited and tickets are $55+ per guest. Ticket price includes Hatch Chile featured dishes, select beer and tequila, a copy of Melissa’s Hatch Pepper Cookbook, and a Melissa’s tote filled with fresh hatch peppers. All tickets must be purchased in advance by calling The Winery Restaurant in Tustin at 714-258-7600.”

“The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar pairs contemporary California regional cuisine, with a hip, vibrant, sophisticated setting, to create an elevated dining experience. Located at The District in Tustin, overlooking the Marina in Newport Beach, and at Westfield UTC in La Jolla, The Winery culinary team is led by Executive Chef & Partner Yvon Goetz.”

Chef Yvon is our guest with Hatch Peppers in hand.

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Show 432, July 3, 2021: Caroline Styne, The Lucques Group, A.O.C. Brentwood

Caroline Styne of Lucques Restaurant Group

Chef Suzanne Goin and business partner Caroline Styne, owners and operators of The Lucques Group, debuted the long-in-the-works A.O.C. Brentwood early last month. Located at 11648 San Vicente Boulevard in Brentwood, the restaurant features the small plates format that A.O.C. originated with Suzanne’s regularly changing menu inspired by California’s seasons and regional farmers’ markets which helped her win the coveted Outstanding Chef Award from the James Beard Foundation in 2016.”

“Caroline, who similarly won Outstanding Restaurateur in 2018, curates the wine program for which A.O.C. is known. Designed for discovery and exploration, the A.O.C. wine list highlights small-production wines from grapes that are either sustainably, organically or biodynamically grown and features a large selection available by the glass and carafe. The beverage program features local beer producers and a seasonal selection of market-driven cocktails.

“The decor encompasses three interior dining spaces: the main bar room with cozy velvet booths and banquettes, a long rough-hewn communal table and a spectacular charcoal wood back bar with mirror detail. A second dining room in gorgeous hues of green runs along the Darlington Avenue side of the building. And with an eye to the post-Covid future, there is an intimate private dining room perfect for gatherings of up to 40 guests. The rooms are vibrant and cozy with beautifully textured fabrics, lively yet sophisticated wallpapers and charming Nickey-Kehoe-designed lighting throughout.”

“We are incredibly excited about this as we have seen such positive response to A.O.C. at our Third Street location and feel that there is definitely a need for our small plates dining format on the Westside,” states Caroline Styne. “After the devastation and tragedy of the past year, we are beyond thrilled to reopen this restaurant with a new concept and lively, forward-looking energy. We feel so fortunate to have this moment to build on the positivity of the city and country as it comes back to life. And, more than anything, we can’t wait to get our staff back to work!”

“A.O.C. in Brentwood is now serving dinner Tuesday through Sunday from 5:00 p.m., expanding to lunch, weekend brunch and breakfast in the coming weeks with takeout and delivery options as well.”

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Show 422, April 24, 2021: Yvon Goetz, Executive Chef & Partner, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar

Yvon Goetz of the Winery Restaurant and Bar

“For the first time since opening nearly 14 years ago, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar has introduced a new Weekend Brunch at its original Tustin location. Created by Executive Chef & Partner Yvon Goetz, the Brunch menu features both breakfast and lunch offerings that are available Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Guests now enjoy Weekend Brunch on The Winery’s recently expanded patio, situated in the heart of The District in Tustin.”

“Chef Goetz’s Weekend Brunch menu puts a Wine Country twist on brunch favorites with dishes like Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes, Crab & Egg White Frittata, and Steak & Eggs. More significant brunch options include a classic French Benedict and Chef Goetz’s signature short ribs in a Zinfandel Braised Beef Short Rib Omelet. Those looking for lighter options may opt for one of four fresh salads with choice of protein, or lifestyle-focused options like Vegan Mushroom & Lentil Ragout. The menu also highlights Chef Goetz’s love for Pacific Rim flavorings and fresh line-caught fish in dishes such as Icelandic Salmon “a la Plancha” and Jumbo Maine Scallops & White Shrimp.”

The Newport Beach location of The Winery is also participating in Newport Beach Restaurant Week (ending May 2nd) with Chef Yvon’s 3-course, prix fixe Dinner menu available at $65 per guest. Main Course options include Grilled Brandt Flatiron Steak, Jumbo Maine Scallops & Wild White Shrimp and Zinfandel Braised Angus Beef Shortrib.

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Show 414, February 27, 2021: Jordan Ogron, Principal, Tesse, West Hollywood Part One

Jordan Ogron of Tesse

Tesse in West Hollywood is a French restaurant featuring the dynamic, continental-inspired cuisine of Chef Raphael Francois and Pastry Chef Sally Camacho Mueller (currently on maternity leave,) served in a chic dining room on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of West Hollywood. An extensive wine program from Jordan Ogron (Principal) is supplemented by Boutellier, an exclusive wine store adjacent to the restaurant. A French-leaning craft cocktail program designed by Nick Meyer and Julian Cox is offered at the bar.”

“The restaurant’s name is a contraction of the French delicatesse, meaning ‘delicacy’ or ‘thoughtfulness’ — it’s also used across France as a colloquial term for charcuterie. And while the iconic pâtés, terrines, rillettes and saucisses of his homeland are central to the menu, Chef Raphael also features a broad and finessed take on French classics, with meats and fish prepared on the wood-fired hearth that anchors the kitchen and lighter fare inspired by near-daily trips to LA’s outstanding Farmers Markets.” 

“Tesse’s menu is designed with wine in mind. The food pairs beautifully with a vast, interactive wine program designed by Jordan Ogron, which features nearly thirty wines by the glass and a list of more than three thousand selections. For those who prefer something a bit stronger, the craft cocktail program was designed by Nick Meyer and Julian Cox, the duo behind many of the most notable bar programs in Los Angeles.”

Tesse is open nightly for dinner with brunch on the weekends. Currently there are patio dining options available fronting Sunset Blvd. or on the south side of the building with the magnificent panoramic view of Los Angeles. Jordan’s popular, creative wine dinners will be resuming shortly.

Tesse’s Jordan Ogron provides us the overview.

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Show 414, February 27, 2021: Jordan Ogron, Principal, Tesse, West Hollywood Part Two

Jordan Ogron of Tesse

Tesse in West Hollywood is a French restaurant featuring the dynamic, continental-inspired cuisine of Chef Raphael Francois and Pastry Chef Sally Camacho Mueller (currently on maternity leave,) served in a chic dining room on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of West Hollywood. An extensive wine program from Jordan Ogron (Principal) is supplemented by Boutellier, an exclusive wine store adjacent to the restaurant. A French-leaning craft cocktail program designed by Nick Meyer and Julian Cox is offered at the bar.”

“The restaurant’s name is a contraction of the French delicatesse, meaning ‘delicacy’ or ‘thoughtfulness’ — it’s also used across France as a colloquial term for charcuterie. And while the iconic pâtés, terrines, rillettes and saucisses of his homeland are central to the menu, Chef Raphael also features a broad and finessed take on French classics, with meats and fish prepared on the wood-fired hearth that anchors the kitchen and lighter fare inspired by near-daily trips to LA’s outstanding Farmers Markets.” 

“Tesse’s menu is designed with wine in mind. The food pairs beautifully with a vast, interactive wine program designed by Jordan Ogron, which features nearly thirty wines by the glass and a list of more than three thousand selections. For those who prefer something a bit stronger, the craft cocktail program was designed by Nick Meyer and Julian Cox, the duo behind many of the most notable bar programs in Los Angeles.”

Tesse is open nightly for dinner with brunch on the weekends. Currently there are patio dining options available fronting Sunset Blvd. or on the south side of the building with the magnificent panoramic view of Los Angeles. Jordan’s popular, creative wine dinners will be resuming shortly.

Tesse’s Jordan Ogron continues with us.

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Show 365, March 21, 2020: Chef / Partner Yvon Goetz, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar

Yvon Goetz of the Winery Restaurant and Bar“At the original location The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar in Tustin Executive Chef / Partner Yvon Goetz is offering a menu of his California contemporary regional cuisine for curbside pick-up (priced 15% off regular pricing) at his Tustin and La Jolla locations. Chef Yvon Goetz is also offering guests select cuts of meats to grill at home, based on availability.”

“Allow The Winery family to cook for yours — orders can be placed by calling Tustin at (714) 258-7600. Menus for each location are online. Delivery is available in the coming days on Postmates and Grubhub.” The Winery’s Newport Beach location is temporarily closed.

There is a Gift Card promotion in the mix, too. Purchase $300 in Gift Cards and receive a complimentary $50 Gift Card; Purchase $500 in Gift Cards and receive a complimentary $100 Gift Card. The Gift Card bonus offer is available through April 30, 2020.

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Show 300, December 1, 2018: Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, 20th Anniversary, Stephen Blevins, Director of Wines

Steven BlevinsTwenty years ago Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar launched at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. It’s been a huge success. As they have branched over the years to include 70 domestic restaurants a signature for them has become their carefully curated wine program. Each Fleming’s has a part of their wine list with the hand-picked selections of that location’s Operating Partner.

Two highly experienced restaurateurs had a vision of designing a steakhouse that would deliver a stylish and contemporary dining experience. Fleming’s was created from this vision by Paul Fleming, founder of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, and Bill Allen III, a leading restaurant and hospitality executive.

Our guest with the well-traveled corkscrew is Stephen Blevins, Fleming’s Director of Wines who was previously the Operating Partner at the Flagship Newport Beach Fleming’s.

Stephen’s passion project has been securing for Fleming’s celebrated winemaker Dave Phinney’s new release, 8 Years in the Desert by Orin Swift. It’s a California Red Bland of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah and small percentages of other red varietals. Of course there is a story.

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Show 107, January 24, 2015: Chef Gary Arabia of the GC Marketplace

Gary ArabiaChef Gary Arabia, the long-established caterer to the stars, has operated the food and beverage operation on The Lot (previously known as Warner Brothers Hollywood) in Hollywood for 15 years. It’s also the base for his busy catering and event production firm, Global Cuisine by Gary Arabia.

Late last year Arabia launched a new venture, GC Marketplace by Gary Arabia, on Cahuenga Blvd. W. near Universal Studios. It’s a dazzling culinary destination for eating-in or grab-and-go. There are artisan food stations where the customers can interact with knowledgeable pros.

There is an impressive domestic and imported cheese case, a charcuterie counter with premium Jamon Iberico from Spain, smoked meats display, a pizza oven, rotisserie meats, prepared salad station, an ample dessert counter, an upscale coffee bar, a wine bar (with an in-house sommelier and 12 wines on “tap” dispensed from a Cruvinet) and a visually striking retail wine wall.

Virtually everything is made right there from scratch. That includes the buttery croissants, breakfast pastries, breads, and all the decadent desserts.

Gary Arabia joins us with an appetizing overview of GC Marketplace.

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