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Posted on Mar 29 09 | Filed Under Blog

“Free Movie Flight” Night continues tonight (3/24) with ”The Limey“, starring Terence Stamp, Peter Fonda & Lesley Ann Warren.

As always, NO CHARGE for the movie, “Popcorn” Cauliflower atSpecial $3.50 price, andwine flights are 30% OFF! “The Limey” is .

Next “Free Movie Flight” Night on Tuesday the 31st will be “The Man with the Golden Arm” starring Frank Sinatra (Oscar Nominated performance), Kim Novak and Directed by Otto Preminger.

Posted on Mar 27 09 | Filed Under Blog

Late Friday, we received word that Jimmy Wyble will not be a part of the music lineup on Saturday the 28th. Nevertheless, the show will go on with Jimmy’s scheduled Special Guests, Jazz Guitarist Ron Berman, Pianist Astrid Cowan & Drummer Rex Harte.

Jimmy’s friend and fellow guitarist  relayed that Jimmy regreted not being able to be a part of the Essential Music Lounge this week.  Hopefully, Jimmy is feeling the good vibes being sent his way from Camarillo and will visit with us again in the near future.

Jimmy wanted us all to know that “Ron, Astrid and Rex are wonderful players” and will be enjoyed by the Essential Music Lounge Faithful.   Music sets will be at 8 & 9. There is no cover charge. Reservations still are recommended.  If you already made one for this show, you should’ve received word from us about the lineup change.  We will maintain your reservation, but please contact us if you decide not to attend tonight’s show.

Schedule for Upcoming Essential Music Lounge Shows:

Special Friday Show on April 3:  Jazz with the V-Town Trio (note the special set times of 7:00 & 8:00).

Saturday April 4: Jazz Guitarist & Stand-up bass Player Dave Grover.

Saturday April 11:  Jazz Guitarist returns with the proverbial “Player to be named later”.

Saturday April18: Earth, Wind & Fire Keyboardist, Co-Writer & Producer Returns with Special Guests!

Saturday April 25:  Guitarist Paul Weitz Trio w/ Bassist Dr. Matt Van Benschoten & Drummer Gus Duffy.

Unless otherwise noted, music sets are at 8:00 & 9:00 and there is no cover charge.  Reservations recommended.

Posted on Mar 24 09 | Filed Under Blog

That’s what we hear after describing the lighter than air canisters of Private Preserve offered at EWCo. Unfortunately, these economic times require many to stretch their bottles over a couple of meals instead of just one.

Private Preserve is an inert, harmless and tasteless gas mixture (Argon, Carbon Dioxide & Nitrogen) that lays a blanket over the wine. The gases are heavier than air and displace oxygen from the surface of the wine. Most importantly, it prevents the wine from oxidizing (spoiling).

You may ask, “What about those vacuum pump devices?” Studies show that they do not work (Wall Street Journal 12/12/88). They do not remove enough oxygen to prevent oxidation. Worse yet, vacuum systems also remove the wine‘s bouquetClick here to see Chow.Com’s comparisons.

EWCo. uses Private Preserve in-house (as do many other fine wine establishments). In an effort to stretch both your wine and valuable dollars, we’ll offer it at the special price of$8.99 (reg. $9.99) through April 15. There are 120 full uses in a canister.

Posted on Mar 24 09 | Filed Under Blog

The success of the Essential Music Lounge on Saturdays, has inspired us to offer live music after work on Fridays!  We debut Happy Hours’ Tunes Time on Friday, April 3 with theV-Town Trio. To celebrate, Happy Hour Specials will be offered all night!

We don’t offer any Russian wines, but we will have V-Town’s guitarist, Zhenya Patapenka, straight from Belarus. Friday music sets will be at 7:00 & 8:00. There is no cover charge!

More music: 3/28Jimmy Wyble returns with Special Guests including Ron Berman (guitar) and Astrid Cowan (piano); 4/4: Jazz Guitarist ; 4/11: TBA (w/ Special Guest AWOL); 4/18Earth, Wind & Fire Keyboardist, Co-Writer & Producer Returns!; 4/25: Guitarist Paul Weitz Trio w/  Dr. Matt Van Benschoten (B) & Gus Duffy (D).

Saturday Music sets are at 8 & 9. There is no cover charge. Reservations advised.

Posted on Mar 24 09 | Filed Under Blog

Despite the date, we fool you not.  On April 1, our tasting will feature wines from down the coast in Malibu (the Saddlerock AVA to be precise).  Cielo Wineyards will be pouring tastes of their wines beginning at 6:30.

Upcoming Tasting Events: 4/15 – On Tax Day, we visit South America to avoid your paying Sales Tax (i.e., EWCo. will pay it to Uncle Arnie).  Jennifer Mackie of will visit with Malbec & Carmenere from Argentina & Chile.

Posted on Mar 17 09 | Filed Under Blog

Via a shocking late night announcement, effective March 17, 2009Essential Wine Co. will become “The Big Shamrock Pub”. While dashing out the door, EWCo.’s deposed owner gleefully shouted, “Best o’ luck with that weekly 2 a.m. Newsletter!

B.S. Pub’s poetically named opening event on Tuesday the 17th will be, “Drink Some Cheap Beer and oh yeah, there’s a Free Movie Too!” Lowlights of the evening will include:

  • 50% Off Your 2nd Beer
  • BAFTA’s 1992 Best Film “The Commitments” at 6:30
  • Corned Beef & Cabbage & Blackwatch Cream Porter Special
  • 30% Off Wine Flights (Irish Wines Excluded)

In a nod to laziness, B.S. Pub’s owners will keep “Uncle Joe” as the draught beer tap. Tohonor Joe Casey and his Mum, Mary Casey of County Mayo, some of the beer sales will be donated to the Parkinson’s Resource Organization (they both suffered from the disease). Guests making donations will be entered in a prize drawing.

In addition to the Allagash Curieux on tap, B.S. Pub‘s bottled beer offerings include:Alaskan Brewing Co. IPA (Juneau, AK); Unibroue Blanc de Chambly (Quebec); Firehouse Brewing Co. American Pale Ale (San Diego, CA ); Konig Pilsner (Germany); Flying Dog Horn Dog Barleywine Style Ale (Denver, CO); MacTarnahan’s Blackwatch Cream Porter(Portland, OR); and, Unibroue’s Quebec City 400th Anniversary Ale.

Asked if reservations are necessary for the event, incoming management replied, “If they don’t get a good seat at the bar, that’s too d**n bad! Is that too salty? Well then, maybe I should mention that The Commitments is .”

Posted on Mar 17 09 | Filed Under Blog

“I liken it to a linebacker who can dance ballet,” saysWinemaker Peter Scott Fraser of his unique Cuvee Jblend (78% Zin & 22% Syrah). It is among the only 900 cases of wine produced by his Santa Barbara winery,.

On Wednesday March 18, Mr. Fraser will visit EWCo. to discuss, pour and have available for purchase: 2006 Pinot Gris2005 Chardonnay2007 Pinot Noir2006 Syrah and 2006 Cuvee J. Tasting will begin at 6:00 for $12.50. Reservations strongly recommended.

Upcoming Tastings: Wednesday March 25, ; Wednesday April 1Malibu Estate Cielo Wineyards.

Posted on Mar 17 09 | Filed Under Blog

On Saturday the 21st, Vocalist  and 7-StringGuitarist Fabiano Nascimento add some spice to our musical lineup. Rocio performs an eclectic mix of World Music including Bossa Nova, Jazz & Boleros.

Rocio’s influences include Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O’Day, Sarah Vaughn, and Astrud Gilberto. Rocio was a nightly performer at the Cancun Ritz-Carlton’s “Club Grill”.  She later performed with Milanga’s Truth in Cabo San Lucas.

Music sets will be at 8 & 9. There is no cover charge.Reservations recommended.

More music: 3/28Jimmy Wyble returns with Special Guests including Ron Berman (guitar) and Astrid Cowan (piano); 4/4: Jazz Guitarist 

JUST ADDED: 4/11Earth, Wind & Fire Keyboardist, Co-Writer & Producer Returns! ALSO ADDED: Special FRIDAY Music Event on 4/3: V-Town Trio with sets at 7 & 8 P.M.

Posted on Mar 17 09 | Filed Under Blog

In celebration of the First Day of Spring (Friday the 20th) EWCo. has added a French White Blend mistaken at times for a New Zealand Sauv Blanc:

Cuvee Marine, Domaine Haut-Marin (2007) Cotes de Gascogne, France – $10.99

The grapes in this value wine are mainly Columbard and Ugni Blanc (a.k.a Trebbiano). The citrus notes and crisp acidity should make the Cuvee Marine your first Spring Fling!

Posted on Mar 10 09 | Filed Under Blog

Pretend you know something about wine and inevitably you’re asked, “What pairs well with [insert food of your choice]?” Our initial answer is, “DRINK WHAT YOU LIKE!” A big Napa Cab may be the “go to” wine for a Porterhouse, but what good is that if you don’t like big Cabs?

As our friends at the Cheese Shop say about pairing cheese with red or white, “Each will bring a different taste experience to the cheese.” So don’t be afraid to drink what you like with what you like to eat.

That said, experimenting with wine/food pairings can lead to new taste experiences. Somegeneral considerations:

Match weight/richness of food to body of the wine

Match flavor intensity of food to that of the wine

Pair high-acid foods with high-acid wines

Pair sweet foods with sweet wines

Avoid oily or salty foods with high-tannin reds (try salted peanuts with that big Cab)

hot and spicy dish may be overly amplified by a highly alcoholic wine (that 16.9% Zin with a spicy Thai dish is a 4 alarm fire in the mouth)

Try matching or contrasting flavor characteristics of food and wine (a spicy malbec with a peppercorn crusted steak; an off-dry Riesling with a hot sausage and pepper sandwich)

The keys are to have fun (and don’t we all need that nowadays), experiment with good company and compare experiences, and remember what was successful and what was not (i.e., anchovy pizza with a big Syrah).

Want to learn more? We recommend “What to Drink with What you Eat” by Dornenburg & PageCheck out our copy on your next visit.

That Elusive Sushi and Wine Pairing

Too dry of a white and the fish can taste sour on the tongue. Too sweet and the sashimi’s subtlety is lost.

We’ve found a White Blend that strikes a nice balance by being just short of sweet:

Thousand Flowers A Proprietary California White WineHop Kiln Winery (NV) Russian River Valley, Sonoma, CA - $15.99 (limit 2)

EWCo. just obtained the last cases locally for the current release (the next isn’t available until later this year). Beyond the sushi pairing, its a great value for the longer and warmer days ahead.

Now for the Paring

We’re concerned our emails try to convey too many details (what can we say; we love to share our goings on). That the important stuff may be hidden among too many syllables.

So, we will transition to a short item or two and quick hits on events. Hopefully our soon to be functional website can be linked in for those desiring more detail. Nuf sed.

TONIGHT:  See Movie, Seafood

“Free Movie Flight” Night continues tonight (3/10) with 2005 Sundance Winner, “The Squid and the Whale“, starring Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney.  We’re pairing it with a Seafood Special of Scallops & Whitefish Terrine for $5.75 (reg. $7.75).  Add the Chariot Pinto Grigio for only $6!

As always, NO CHARGE for the movie and wine flights are 30% OFF! ”The Squid and the Whale” is  (profanity throughout).

Next “Free Movie Flight” Night on Tuesday the 17th for St. Patrick’s Day: “The Commitments“. It will be a Beer Special Night with part of the beer proceeds donated to the Parkinson’s Resource Organization in honor of “Uncle Joe”.

Just Being Able to Taste these Wines is an Event

On Wednesday March 18 we welcome winemaker Peter Scott Fraser of Santa Barbara County’s .  Its entire production is only 900 cases.  The chains need that much of one wine for their shelves!

He will discuss, pour and have available for purchase: 2006 Pinot Gris, 2005 Chard, 2007 Pinot, 2006 Syrah and 2006 Cuvee J.  The tasting will begin after 6:00 for $12.50. Reservations strongly recommended.

Upcoming Tasting Events:  Wednesday March 25, ; Wednesday April 1Malibu Estate Cielo Wineyards.

This week? Since the next 3 events were our choice, Wednesday March 11 its thePeoples Choice!  EWCo. guests can make 5 tasting selections of their choice. It will be offered from 6:00 at ONLY $10.99 (reg. $18.75). The first participant may choose a special bottle from the “Stash Under the Glass” just for this event.

The Essential Music Lounge in a Word, “Ashun”!

Ashun is a guitar virtuoso covering from Classical to Flamenco to Straight Ahead Jazz.  He won the National Guitar Competition in 1988 and has performed with an original Gipsy King.  His influences include Andres Segovia, Paco De Lucia and John Mclaughlin. Click here for early Ashun in the hairband heyday of 1992 performing a rocked out arrangement of Mozart’s “Fantasy in C minor K475“.

Ashun will play solo guitar sets at 8 & 9 this Saturday the 14th.  There is no cover charge. Reservations recommended. More music: Saturday the 21st: Latin Jazz Vocalist.  Saturday the 28thJimmy Wyble returns with Special Guests including Ron Berman (guitar) and Astrid Cowan (piano).

Essential Wine Co.

Carpe Vinum!..