Jessup Cellars Tasting/Dinner Part Deux
Our second hosted Jessup Cellars wine tasting and dinner was just last weekend. The venue was Prizzi’s Restaurant, newly relocated from Franklin Village in Hollywood, CA. Prizzi’s is now over the hill to Burbank, located in the Disney Building; a much larger location.
Droves of Franklin Village-ites from Hollywood are digging an underground tunnel to Burbank because their prized Prizziʼs has moved. Not really, but Burbank has earned a major coup with this premier Italian eatery. From 1989 when Prizziʼs was a hole-in-the-wall deli to its present incarnation as a full restaurant and bar, the distinctive, delicious taste of Prizziʼs has been the guiding constant through four decades of Italian cuisine.
The Willner family has been behind the scenes since the beginning. Brothers Larry and Barry run the day-to-day with an eye for superb service and flavor. As kids, they, along with their two siblings, grew up cooking as a hobby. Barry speaks fondly of their mother in the kitchen: “Mom was an incredible cook; she took family recipes and truly made them her own – with all different types of food.” As a tribute to their late mother, they named their private dining room in her honor, Sarah’s Room. When it came time to expand recently in Franklin Village, they found that they were going to need a bigger location, and the Valley came a’ callin’.
“We wanted more of a neighborhood feel, a place where more people could experience our food,” Barry says.
Warning: Highly Addictive! Everything is made fresh on premise daily; that includes all desserts, pastries, scones, muffins and pizza dough. What’s kept Prizzi’s in business so long is their goal to constantly exceed expectations, a full and varied menu, a killer wine list – all reasonably priced — this seems to be the makings of a beautiful relationship.
The group invited/assembled for this tasting had never heard of Jessup Cellars before and most were very well versed in the world of wine. I knew this was going to be interesting!
The team at Jessup Cellars provided an excellent wine tasting menu to begin the evening, and went on to pair their wines with the incredible pre-selected menu items from Prizzi’s…..
2010 Sauvignon Blanc – As the first act to our tasting, this gem did not disappoint. A few guests stated that while they are not traditionally fans of this type of wine, they were clearly surprised with its flavor profile and perfect balance. Converts for sure!
2009 Pinot Noir, Napa Valley – Notes of a Coffee aroma in the glass were present right away. This wine offered a smokiness that pared perfectly with the Bruschetta. Many were “wow’ed” by this…(Ah! But we knew what was to come!)
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon – Lovely, inky, ruby color…this juicy Cabernet was long on aroma wafting from the glass. One sip and it’s got you!
2008 Juel – A Merlot based “Right Bank” blend; 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Savignon and 10% Cab Franc. This is a well rounded impressively crafted elixir guaranteed to please and certainly did not disappoint.
2008 Table for Four – A huge crowd pleaser with a make-up of 65% Cabernet Savignon, 15% Merlot, 15% Cab Franc and 5% Petit Sirah which adds a jammy component to an already very rich, complex blend. Might have been considered the “Belle of the Ball” however the table was evenly split with the 08 Juel in that department.
2007 Zinfandel Port – There was a raspberry, strawberry fruit component right up front. This wine is not overtly sweet and syrupy but rather a lighter mouth feel, offering a more flavor filled complex taste on the palette. It paired lusciously with the Panne Cotta served at the end of the meal.
Dinner menu and parings:
Kale Salad – Kale, Crushed Pistachios, Pecorino Romano tossed in a Spicy Lemon Vinaigrette (2010 Sauvignon Blanc, Jessup Cellars)
Invotini di Salmone – Fresh Atlantic Salmon stuffed with Goat Cheese, Grilled Vegetables, Basil, Parmesan, Pecorino Romano, Onions & Garlic poached in a reduction of Seafood Stock and White Wine, served with Sautéed Baby Spinach (2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Jessup Cellars)
Released late in 2010, this special one-off bottling is from a distillery that rarely does this bottling. Special one-off bottling has garnered a lot of buzz with its compelling back story. In January 2010, thanks to an especially snow-filled winter, some of Glenfiddich’s warehouse roofs reached their snow load-bearing limits and decided to collapse without considering the feelings of those sensitive spirit-filled casks within. These casks, some ex-bourbon, some ex-Oloroso, sat shivering in the snow, exposed to sub-zero temps while crews worked furiously to get all involved into a warmer setting. Malt Master Brian Kinsman decided to create a special edition commemorating the event, vatting a selection of whiskies ranging from 12 to 30 years old, bottling it non-chill filtered at a slightly higher proof, and giving it its myth-inspired name.
Big shout out to Prizzi’s Ristorante for allowing us to co-host this event at their establishment. The food was perfectly paired with the Jessup selections.