Spending Time With Friends Old and New

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of once again venturing into one of Walnut Creek’s finest establishments, Prima Ristorante. Only this time I was hanging around in the wine shop attached to the restaurant with the lovely (and aforementioned) bar manager thereof, Gwyneth Hogarth.

Gwyn introduced me to Brandon Mueller-Kim at the Prima Vini wine shop, and much like wine geeks do when they get together, we geeked out about wine. He poured a few tastes and we sniffed and sipped and spit and chatted. I tried a Merlot from Siciliy that didn’t taste anything like Merlot, a too-hot 15% ABV Priorat, a wonderful new Barbera d'Asti the restaurant has by the glass, and a few other odds and ends.

Then Brandon asked if Gwyn had ever shown me the vinoteca. “The what now?” I asked. With arched eyebrows and mischievous grins (the both of them), I was led to the back of a banquet room in the restaurant. Behind glass was a bunch of wine. Lots, and lots, and lots of wine.

Not only did they have bottles of 1975 Petrus and 1979 Lafite, they were Imperials. 6 liters of seeing God. 1985 Petrus, 1986 Mouton-Rothschild and others were there too.

And then there was the $6000 bottle of vinegar.

It’s not often you get to see, let alone hold, a bottle of 126 year old wine, but I did. 1884 Chateau Lafite-Rothschild. It’s got to be vinegar, completely undrinkable by now, but it was still a sight to behold.

It was an experience. The best part, though, was meeting Brandon and the other incredibly friendly, knowledgeable members of the Prima Vini staff. I’ll be back, to geek out and to buy wine. If you’re ever in town, stop by.

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