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We have a little cult here at K&L of steak and claret on Friday nights. If you drop by the store near closing, you will no doubt over hear many of us discussing cuts of beef, potato preperations and the Bordeaux to pair with the beef. One of our favorites for current drinking is the 1999 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc ($49.99) which is drinking perfectly at 16 years old. The composition is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 8% Petite Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. This is a plummy wine from the high percentage of Merlot and I loved the minty focus on the back end. This is long finishing stuff, and has the good acid on the back cut the richness of a big steak. What a treat! 

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For the complete calendar, including lineups and additional details related to our events, visit our K&L Local Events on or follow us on Facebook.  


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Cheese & Wine Pairing with Paige the Cheese Handler

If you've ever gotten into a conversation with someone on K&L's staff about cheese, you'd know we're more than a little nuts about it. Its complexity and diversity parallels wine, and its ability to showcase the place where its from makes it a natural interest for those of us passionate about terroir. That's why we decided to invite Paige Handler, the Cheese Handler, over to K&L Hollywood one afternoon to explore cheese and wine's natural affinity for one another, and to try our hand at coming up with some of our own pairings.

There are a couple of ways to attack pairing cheese and wine, according to Paige. The simplest way is to try and find wines that come from the same region as the cheese. A simple example would be serving Idiazabal, a lightly smoked sheep's milk cheese from the Basque region of Spain, with a Txakolina, also from the Basque region of Spain. You can also try matching characteristics - an herbaceous goat cheese would match an herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc nicely - or go for contrasting notes, such as a fatty, rich, tangy blue cheese with something sweet and high in acidity like Sauternes. We tried a total of four cheeses the day we filmed this, all sourced from Joan's on Third in Los Angeles, and paired them with wines off the shelf at K&L Hollywood, with the help of Steve Greer. Here's a sampling...

The wine Steve and Paige chose for the Monte Enebro, a soft, surface-ripened cheese from Avila, Spain was the 2009 Pascal Janvier "Cuvee Silex" ($21.99), a Chenin Blanc from Jasnieres, located on the Loir tributary of the Loire River. The melon and floral aromas, high acidity and clean finish of the wine were a great counterpoint the the Monte Enebro's spicy, lemon cream richness. A stellar paring. 

Still not sure about setting up your own pairings or just want to leave it in the hands of a pro? Paige curates educational cheese parties and private events and can hand-select wines from K&L to go with the cheeses she chooses just for you. Perfect for holiday parties, bridal showers or just because you like cheese. Visit the Cheese Handler website to learn  more. 

Leah Greenstein


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