7.12.2005

Heritage Wine Company & Lucky Baldwins

luckybaldwins

For the Fourth of July Sunday, me and few other troublemakers thought an afternoon wine tasting at Colorado Wine Company would be an awesome idea. So off we headed to Eagle Rock away from the city. We get there and the place is closed!! Durr.. yes we should have double checked before because it is a holiday weekend.

Devastated but not hopeless we brainstormed for excellent substitutions. How about Heritage Wine Company? Lucky Baldwins? Even better, how about both? Both spots are located in Pasadena only a block or so away from each other. Convenience - always an important factor for an outing, especially when boozin.

At Heritage, we tried the Champagne/Sparkling Wine Flight for $18:
Schramsberg '00 Blanc de Blancs Brut, Calistoga
Laurent-Perrier NV Brut L-P, Champagne
Roederer Estate NV Brut Rose, Anderson Valley.

I really like Laurent-Perrier so it was a treat to be able to have a glass without buying a whole bottle. A bottle of non-vintage Brut can be about $25 to $40. Not too expensive for a great tasting champagne.

Here is Wine Spectator's review for the Laurent-Perrier NV Brut:
WS 90 Pts. - Intense, even veering toward earthiness, yet there's also concentrated notes of vanilla pastry and berries. It's complex and appeals more to the intellect, with a sense of power and a lingering aftertaste. Try with food. Drink now.

My edit to that review would be: "Drink NOW!" More enthusiasm, you know?

After all the sparkling shenanighan, we walked down the block to Lucky Baldwin's, a British Pub and Cafe specialzing in Belgian brews. I had one thing on my mind. Well, a few beers of course, but one special thing: Pig in a Blanket. Their piggie is sooo delicious. The outer pastry is flaky and light and the cumberland sausage is moist and full of flavor. But at last, they were out. What was up with our luck that day?

We resorted to our backup dish: the also delicious Curry Chicken Pastie. Usually the pastry is flaky and fluffy but that day it was kind of disappointing. It seemed a bit flat and undercooked or something. The filling was still good though.

But the beers were excellent. I started with Craftsman's Poppyfields Pale Ale which was delicious. Craftsman Brewing Company is a micro-brewery located in Pasadena. It's the smallest brewery in Southern California. It won six medals in the 2002 Los Angeles County Fair Commercial Beer Competition. Pretty impressive.

We had the fortune of sitting at the table adjacent to where the owner of Lucky Baldwin's was enjoying an afternoon beer. We determined whatever he's drinking must be the best in the lot. I asked him and he answered: Avec Les Bon Voeux. It's brewed by Dupont Brasserie in Wallonia, the French part of Belgium. Oh man, this was definitely the highlight of the day. Roughly translated (by me - very bad at French), it means "with good wishes" or "with lovely desires" [Voeux (v.) : "souhaits (wishes), d├ęsirs amoureux (lovely desires)]. Anyone, please feel free to correct me. Dupont's Saison Dupont and Biere de Miel are also very tasty beers.

David, the owner of Lucky Baldwins, was called over to Belgium a few years ago and knighted for his efforts in supporting the art of Belgian brewing. And after that, the Prime Minister of Belgium flew over here to attend one of its widely known and very popular festivals. Lucky Baldwins is definitely one of my favorite bars. It always takes me back the summer I went to school in England. Their annual Belgian Beer Festival is not to be missed.

Heritage Wine Company
155 N. Raymond Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91103
626.844.9333
www.heritagewinecompany.com

Lucky Baldwins
17 South Raymond Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105
626.795.0652
www.luckybaldwins.com

Craftsman Brewing Company
www.craftsmanbrewing.com

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Avec les Bons Voeux de la Brasserie Dupont" is their Holiday beer, and it means "With the best wishes of the Dupont Brewery".