Show 296, November 3, 2018: Taylor Pfaff, CEO, Left Coast Cellars, Willamette Valley, Oregon

Taylor PfaffIn 2003 the Pfaff Family arrived in Oregon on the plot that was to become Left Coast Cellars. In those early years there were just 35 acres of vines and a scruffy, prefabricated cottage. Nevertheless, the sweeping vistas, the canopies of 400 year-old oaks, and wild herons on the lake spoke of unimaginable potential. Since then, in fits and starts, The Pfaff Family has worked to bring out the magic inherent in this land.

“In the fifteen years since our beginnings, we have gone from a largely grape growing operation with long term contracts with fellow Oregon producers, a wonderful opportunity to establish the high quality of our fruit, to an all Estate commitment. We farm 142 acres of vines on our nearly 500-acre Estate, largely sedimentary soil laid down by the Missoula floods and some volcanic soil as well. We grow and meticulously tend our vines and grapes, handcraft our wines and bottle them on site, a fusion of art and science, most certainly a labor of love.”

We take a holistic approach to everything at Left Coast, sustainability being at the core of all we do. We received the largest USDA grant in Oregon in 2008 to go solar, and the vast majority of our estate’s electrical needs are supplied by the ground and roof mounted solar arrays. Our winery and vineyards are LIVE certified, Salmon Safe, and we were one of just six producers that went to a third-party verification in the initial Carbon Neutral Challenge, originally under the aegis of the Governor’s Office, now folded into LIVE as a Carbon Reduction program.”

Younger son, Taylor Pfaff, stepped into the CEO position the summer of 2016. He brings the experience of 6 harvests in the cellar under the excellent mentorship of Winemaker Joe Wright, along with a MBA in Wine and Spirits from the Kedge Business School of the University of Bordeaux.

Taylor Pfaff pulls the cork on Left Coast Estate for us.


Show 293, October 6, 2018: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio of Santa Monica’s Valentino, Planeta wines of Sicily

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa MonicaPiero Selvaggio of Valentino, Santa Monica fame is one of the pioneers of Italian fine-dining in Los Angeles. He also has been one of the visionaries introducing the premium wines of Sicily to the United States. Piero joins us to talk about the noble Nero d’Avola grape grown in Sicily and Sicily’s Planeta wines.

“We travelled through Sicily as on a great wine continent, establishing our estates in five different areas from west to east, seeking our interpretation of them through research into indigenous varieties, including those by now forgotten, and into the suitability of the different terroirs to welcome international varieties as well. We planned to eventually build around each territory a comprehensive system of experience composed of hospitality, cooking, nature and culture. On these elements the history of our company has always been based. This instinct for the future, together with our curiosity to see the world and compare ourselves with it, has guided our choices.”

After an incredible run of 46 years Piero will be closing Valentino this year after celebrating New Year’s Eve. In early 2019 he will be launching Louie’s on the waterfront in Newport Beach. It’s an upscale Italian steakhouse in tribute to Olympian Louis Zamperini. We’ll keep you posted…


Show 290, September 15, 2018: Food, Travel, Drink and Lifestyle Journalist Rich Manning Continues…

Rich ManningRich Manning has been writing about food, drink, travel and other lifestyle topics since 2004. As a freelance writer, he’s worked with several different publications and businesses, and has written everything from restaurant reviews and feature articles to ad copy and website content. Current and previous publications include Gayot, Tasting Panel, Somm Journal, Sauté, Clever Root, and Dining Out.

He’s also operated his own website, The Lazy Hunter, since 2017. A Southern California resident and an enthusiastic foodie, he enjoys exploring the diverse nature and multi-cultural influences of his local dining scene and will pretty much try anything at least once. However, he remains a sucker for a really good burger, and thoroughly enjoys eating dinner at home with his wife and two daughters.

Wine country of note in Texas? You bet…For Saute’s blog Rich contributed an in-depth piece on his recent wine wanderings in Texas Hill Country, entitled Texas Hill Country, Texas Hill Country Features Texas-Sized Vintner Delights.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear about the quality of the wines he sampled. Are Texas Roses perhaps better than California’s? Is a full-bodied Rose the perfect BBQ wine? We’ll let Rich explain…

Along the way Rich recounts the fascinating connection between noted California winemaker Dave Phinney (Orin Swift Cellars) and prominent Texas winemaker Kim McPherson of McPherson Cellars.


Show 276, June 2, 2018: Yuta Tsunoda, Chaya Modern Izakaya, Venice

Yudo Tsunoda of Chaya BrasserieAfter four centuries in Japan and almost four decades in the United States, CHAYA continues to transcend convention between Japanese and American dining, inviting guests to discover innovative Japanese-Californian cuisine along with an unprecedented new beverage program as the CHAYA Restaurant Group has now officially transitioned the 28-year-old Chaya Venice into CHAYA Modern Izakaya.

Comparable to the Western gastropub, a Japanese izakaya is traditionally a drinking establishment which serves small tapas-style plates intended to be shared amongst friends. CHAYA Modern Izakaya elevates the izakaya experience by introducing a present-day dining and drinking destination that invites guests to come discover a new Japanese-Californian cuisine with a modern izakaya approach, including handcrafted cocktails, premium spirits, Japanese Whisky selection, eclectic sake and wine collection, Japanese and local craft beers.

With roots deeply planted in over 400 years of Japanese history, CHAYA originally evolved from a beloved teahouse in Japan in the 17th century, then to an imperial summer villa in Japan in the 19th century. In the early 20th century CHAYA Japan became a landmark dining destination known for providing exquisite service and catering to the royal court and Japanese government officials, to then landing in Los Angeles in the 1980s, ultimately becoming a pioneer of fusion cuisine by introducing the revolutionary combination of French and Japanese ingredients and culinary techniques, while catering to many loyal guests for almost 40 years, including artists, actors, titans of industry, and foodists alike.

“CHAYA has existed in some incarnation or another for the last four-hundred plus years, as long as the earliest izakaya. Part of the essential CHAYA DNA is adaptability and fusion, and CHAYA Modern Izakaya bridges the past with the present, while allowing CHAYA to move forward into the future pioneering a marriage between Japanese and Western traditions, fresh ingredients, and contemporary culinary techniques,” says Owner and President Yuta Tsunoda.

Owner & President Yuta Tsunoda has all the intriguing details.


Show 269, April 14, 2018: Professor Richard Carrico, Of Wine On The Lees Well Refined – A History Of Wines & Wineries In San Diego County

Richard CarricoThe long and rich history of winemaking in California began in San Diego County more than two hundred years ago. Professor Richard Carrico is a Lecturer at San Diego State University and the author of Of Wine on The Lees Well Refined – A History of Wines & Wineries in San Diego County. Professor Carrico will be presenting a talk, “The Surprising History of Wine in San Diego County” for the Culinary Historians of San Diego on Saturday, April 21st @ 10:30 a.m. at the Neil Morgan Auditorium at San Diego Central Library.

Carrico will guide the audience on a visual trip through wine’s long San Diego County history as he weaves an enlightening tale of vineyards, grape stomping, murders, Prohibition, and the near death and recovery of the County’s wine industry.

Professor Carrico earned Bachelor degrees in History and Anthropology from San Diego State, and has a Master’s degree in History from the University of San Diego. Carrico has studied wine-making at UC Davis.

The event is free and open to the public. A tasting and book-signing will follow the presentation.

Professor Carrico departs the lush San Diego County vineyards to join us.


Show 269, April 14, 2018: Kyle Meyer, Co-Founder, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeWhen it comes to wine jargon you sometimes hear the term “field blend.” What is it exactly? Our resident, and always intelligible, wine authority, Kyle Meyer of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange, explains all.

Also Alsace’s Marcel Deiss winery (Father & Son duo) is an example of a star producer exemplifying the spirit of a field blend. It’s about the terroir.


Show 264, March 10, 2018: Evan Goldstein, MS, The Wines of Alentejo, Portugal

Evan GoldsteinFor North Europeans in search of a summer trifecta of sun, sea and sand, Portugal’s southern coastline exerts an irresistible allure. Savvy International wine lovers are now following suit, on a separate voyage of discovery into the country’s hot, dry interior and the vineyards of southern Portugal’s Alentejo (ah-len-TAY-zhoo) region.

As with many areas of Southern Europe, wine has been made in the Alentejo for time immemorial, most of it spent in quiet obscurity. But with a winemaking revival well underway, supported by the investment of EU funds, that is fast starting to change.

Alentejo is blessed with an astonishing array of native grapes. With over 250 indigenous grape varieties, Portugal, has the highest density of native grapes per square mile of any country in the world, including Italy. Proud local producers concentrate on those native grapes, which are often blended.

Evan Goldstein, MS, an authority on the wines of Portugal, is our guide to one of the most promising wine regions in southern Europe today.


Show 263, March 3, 2018: Kyle Meyer, Managing Partner, Wine Exchange, The Wines of Santorini, Greece

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeBy all accounts Greek wines, in general, are improving but are still a bit of a mystery to the casual wine connoisseur. Our resident wine authority Kyle Meyer of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange to the rescue.

He’ll provide us with an understandable overview of the wines of the Greek island of Santorini. The famous, high quality white wine grape there is Assyrtiko. One of the keys is the volcanic soil. We’ll also hear the success story of Santorini’s Domaine Sigalas S.A., a personal favorite of Kyle’s.



Show 258, January 27, 2018: Kyle Meyer, Managing Partner, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeThe current thinking is that a lot of fine wines are perhaps released for sale way too early. It’s a numbers game. What wines have aging potential and for how long? How do you really know? What are the suggested storing conditions?

A good tip is that some German Rieslings have excellent aging potential.

Our resident wine authority, Kyle Meyer of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange, provides the need insight.


Show 257, January 20, 2018: Master Sommelier Cameron J. Douglas, NZ Wine Navigator Part Two

Cameron DouglasCameron Douglas enjoys the distinction of being New Zealand’s first certified Master Sommelier. Cameron also serves as the curator for NZ Wine Navigator. He continues…

“At NZ Wine Navigator, you’ll find the largest selection of artisanal New Zealand wines available in the US. Selected by Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas, these wines demonstrate the finest our little country has to offer. We work directly with family-estates and small producers to hand pick each wine you see, so you can explore new wines with confidence.”

“New Zealand is blessed with an outstanding array of independent winemakers, all heroically forging their own path, rather than towing the corporate line. Made up of old heads, young guns, and mavericks, not one of them fits the old school model.”

“At NZ Wine Navigator, we believe that attention to detail, knowledge, intuition, and experience show through to the glass. Because of the way we work—a changing selection from small producers with a limited capacity—our list is limited to extraordinary wines. These are the wines we drink. We hope you love them as much as we do.”

Special offer for a limited-time (until January 31st.) a 15 per cent discount on the NZ Wine Navigator Website for listeners. When you checkout use Coupon Code “wineangels” for the 15 per cent discount. Both of the New Zealand wines Cameron profiled on the show (No. 1 Family Estate Rose Methode Traditionelle & Clearview Estate Winery Hawke’s Bay Syrah) are available there.