We’ve all heard of Fashion Week, Oscars Week, Superbowl Week. But last week, I coined a new one: “Wine Week.” I don’t know if it’s something official, or just coincidental, but I went to four wine events in five days! And I don’t even imbibe!!!

I’m going to tell you about three of them today, but the other one was a whole day trip which I’m saving for it’s own column tomorrow.




All photos by Karen Salkin.

This one was held at Caffe Roma in Beverly Hills, and was so much better than I expected. That’s because not only were the appetizers really delicious, they were also tres generous, which is kind-of rare for an alcohol event.

As many of you know, I don’t drink, but one of my pals said that the Ciani white wine had “a nice floral bouquet on the nose, and a full body, firm tannin medium finish, which went great with the chicken.”

While my cohorts were “reviewing” the wine, I chatted with the amiable manager, Ivan Marchetti. And all of us chowed-down on the wonderful Italian fare!

The tuna tartare tidbits was so much more than one bite that one of my pals who’s not eating wheat right now had enough of just the tuna to leave over the flatbread it was on.

We all loved the pizza, (although there were many varieties, we stuck with the basic margarita, and were wowed by it,) meatballs, and chicken skewers.

I was pleased to realize that Caffe Roma has a new chef and management, so I’m planning on going back to do a full review of the place soon.




The next night, I popped into the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills, for a whole different vibe. The cocktail party was held around the pool, which is beautiful there. (So, I guess I really didn’t “pop into” the hotel because we were “out,” not “in.” I’m sure I’m the only one that sentence bothered, but I had to clarify it, just in case.)

Though the fare was simply cheeses and charcuterie, it was delicious and presented beautifully. And, of course, the wines were the stars.

They were all Domodimonti Natural Wines, out of Italy. Tuscany, to be exact. Again, I don’t drink, but my wine expert that night, Flo, really enjoyed them. She told me that they poured four different wines and recommended tasting from left to right beginning with the white. She assessed the white as “very light and fruity, really lovely,” and the rose as “light, with a very mild taste.”

The highlight for me was meeting all the lovely new hotel personnel, including Mirko, the adorable Italian chef, and Tadji, the stylish special events manager. I’m planning to review the new-ish restaurants in this easy-going hotel, too, especially because there a couple of dishes featuring my favorite cheese, burrata. Yum!




I always love visiting the Italian Cultural Institute in Westwood, and what better venue for an Italian wine and art event?

This one was to introduce us to artist Elisabetta Rogai, who paints with…wine! And it ages right on the canvas! That’s a different use of the beverage! I wonder if grape juice can substitute for the wine in this art, like it does for us tee-totallers on Passover.

This cocktail party was done in sections. First, guests drank Podere Sapaio wines, while browsing the wine paintings and mingling in the courtyard.  Next, we listened to a few Italian speakers, such as Valentino owner Piero Selvaggio and the artist herself, in the cozy adjoining screening room.

Then—my favorite part, of course—back to the courtyard for the scrumptious, colorful fare, courtesy of Il Fornaio in Beverly Hills. Each appetizer was more delicious than the next–potato croquettes, chicken skewers, and toast rounds with four different toppings: bruschetta, olive tapenade, artichoke, and mushrooms. But my favorite was the dessert: strawberries with flavored whipped cream to dip them in. O..M..G!

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about the winery opening that wrapped-up Wine Week for me, so please be sure to check back for it.


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