Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ed & Jinny Fleischman are COMPANY'S COMING - Home Meals Made With Attention & Care & Everybody's Welcome!

     I was just looking at my old pictures I took back a couple of years ago and these few caught my eye, especially the close-up through the glass of the meal and the Bernard Griffin Washington State bottle of wine. I was asked by Ed and Jinny to match some wines of my choice with their marvelous home-style you-prepare-it-there-on-the-spot. I love it! I always go back whenever they ask me to come and speak about the wines and how they either work with the food or against it. So far I have been lucky enough to have many successful food-wine pairings.

     Ed and Jinny conduct these here in Cleveland Park, Washington D.C. for a very small group of people each time in the real comfort of their home. If you are interested in finding out more here is some information for you all. Go to : , , 202-966-3361. Just say I sent you.

     These are not my best pictures but I hope that they hold enough warmth and appeal to hold you till I have a chance to do more and include many better pictures of these incredible evenings at the Fleischman's. They are really wonderful, super people that I think almost anybody would be thrilled to meet and get to know, It simply does not get much better.

     Here are a few pictures to whet your appetite.

      Cheers,   TONY

Brandino Brandolini D'Adda of VISTORTA DI SACILE Here in Store And At Teatro Goldoni MarchFor Lunch Earlier March 13th, 2006

     It was great to finally meet Brandino after having known about and sold his wines for so many years. I got to know them first at Forman Brothers imports when I worked there in the mid 1990's. I really loved this classic/French-Italian style dry Merlot. VISTORTA ( 33077 VISTORTA DI SACILE ( PN ) tel: 0434 71135, - go here for more technical information ) is located in Friuli/Venezia Giulia area of northeastern Italy. Brandino has substantial wine-making investments in Bordeaux as well. He's part Italian, part French if I am not mistaken. We spoke French at our lunch at the Teatro Goldoni. I enjoyed that thoroughly.

     At lunch it was just Brandino, Pascal Salvadori and myself : intimate, relaxed and thoroughly enjoyable. Pascal works for Palm Bay imports and he invited me to lunch to meet Brandino. He had several wines for me to sample at lunch, both whites and reds and it was quite the spectacle to be sitting there in the restaurant off to the right-side corner facing the large window to the street and with a wall of masks just above me on my right. I was enjoying taking everything in ; ambiance, decor, various wines, our animated, relaxed conversation in French. Pascal is also fluent in French so it was really enjoyable. I think Bradino got a call from his wife so he spoke Italian into his cell phone.

     I have the menu of Lunch Specials signed by both Brandino and chef/owner Fabrizio Aielli ( 1990 K Streets, NW, 202-955-9494. ) who joined us at our table at the end of our meal. It was nice to meet him as well and we all talked in a really comfortable, relaxed way almost as if we had known one another for years.
I ordered the pan roasted Mahi Mahi that was served with a hijiki, carrot, sesame salad, ginger dressing. It was so flavorful, so many distinct tastes all at once and one after the other! The rush! It was topped with crispy calamari and a chili lime honey vinaigrette. I loved it! I could not say enough about it and Pascal's wine selections worked beautifully with all these fireworks-style flavors that just kept popping/dazzling/appearing out-of-nowhere and thoroughly charming and pleasing both me and my palate. What more could I have asked for?!? Not much. I loved looking up above me at all the colorful masks and artworks. They charmed/beguiled me with their color and shapes and faces! I recommend it all - a lovely luncheon with Pascal and Brandino. Thank you both after all these years I still remember this experience fondly.

     We have enjoyed selling this 100% Merlot from VISTORTA. We are currently out but I will speak soon to Pascal and order some more for our store. I'd like to taste the current bottling. They have sold really well previously here at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits on Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington D.C. 

     In the pictures are Pascal in the background opening a bottle of the VISTORTA Merlot, me ( Anthony Quinn ) with Brandino, two lovely lady customers with Brandino ( Gaby to his left ). I think they all convey some pretty nice vibes, don't you?

     I'm writing this from my desk at the store on Thursday, July 31st, 2008. It's the dead of summer now, hot and humid and hazy. Come see us here at the store and ask about the VISTORTA and other great Palm Bay selections. We have several to offer you. Cheers,  TONY

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Olivia of VOILA Collection Showing Her French Selections Wednesday July 23rd, 2008

     I told Olivia to come by our store at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits and introduce herself. I love seeing/ knowing what's " out there " and available to us here at Cleveland Park in Washington D.C. I learned over the phone when she called that her portfolio is French and that it is available at her company OSLO Enterprise LLC in Tokoma Park, Maryland ( ). I asked Olivia to come see me on Wednesday's when we sell salespeople here. She showed up around noon and had to wait for some of the others to have their appointments first. She was patient as first Mary Leigh from Kysela Pere et Fils ( )saw me as well as Jeff Palmer - white hair, ponytail and thick white mustache of Vintage Wines ( specializing in traditional Spanish wines, ). I think that Mamuka Tsereteli ( president of Georgian House, specializing in European-Gerogian - TELIANI VALLEY wines ) came just afterwards. Here are some pictures of Olivia as well as pictures of Mary, Jeff and Mamuka.

     Olivia brought me three that I will definitely buy for the store soon : a M de MONLUC 2006 white Cotes de Gascogne Gros Manseng ( that's the indigenous grape variety ),$14.99 ; a SALITIS Cuvee Prestige 2004 Cabardes red dry blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon , Syrah and Grenache , $ $16.49 ; and a Cuvee Aurore 2007 GINESTE at $18.99. I also really liked Olivia's JOULIN 2006 Saumur Champigny, $16.49 pictured here with her holding it in her hands. These are all really fun wines that you don't always see here in the States. Mary Leigh is seen in profile tasting the M de MONTUC Gros Manseng white. 

     Also pictured is Antonio Cabibi of International Cellars who will be back here again this Friday, August 1st, 2008 from 5-8 PM tasting a selection of his excellent " value " French dry roses like this one in his glass from Les Jamelles made from the Cinsault grape. We have a selections of all these suppliers wines here in the store and are ready to order more if we are out. Just call us at 202 363 4265 and let us know what you are interested in. 

     It's Wednesday evening here in the store on July 29th, 2008 at 8:20 PM as I type and send this blog out to you all.

     Cheers,  TONY

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

P.I.N.K. Vodka Tasting In Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits Friday, July 25th, 2008 With Antonio Cabibi( International Cellars Tasting Italian Wines, Too

     As usual we had two tastings here in our store this past Friday evening from 5-8 PM. Christina Mohr was pouring the P.I.N.K. 80% vodka from Holland with caffeine and guarana infused into it. She used cranberry juice lemonade to blend with this vodka and the taste was quite rich and smooth with just a bit of the vodka taste coming through at the end, but never bothersome at all. Here are some pictures of  Christina tasting this past Friday. Go to : for more technical info. We've had it now for almost a year and at first it was slow to start selling. It sells for $39.99 and now it has definitely picked up as it is now being used by a number of local bartenders in this D.C. metropolitan area.

     Also Antonio Cabibi was here to taste our customers on a number of new Italian wines. I already wrote about them in our store email I just sent out a few minutes earlier. It's now 5:15 PM here at the store. Go to our web page later today for that email: Two wines I did not mention that he tasted besides the dry white Trebbiano and the dry white Pinot Grigio are the COSSENTINO " Zatir " Sicilian white Catarratto 70%/Chardonnay 30% , $12.99 blend that reminds me more with it's weight of a slightly-oaked white burgundy. It is however not oaked at all. It must spend extra time on it's lees to get this added richness of flavors. Go to : for more technical  information. We also tried the more elegant, charming and very drinkable bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 " Crearo " from FRADIO, made in Friuli's " Grave " region. It sells for $17.99 and is a delight , medium-bodied and very versatile in all it's food applications/settings. Try some for a nice outdoors meal soon. 

     Here are some pictures of Friday evening's tasting here in the store for you all to enjoy. Call : 202-363-4265 to get more info or to place any orders. Cheers,   TONY

Monday, July 28, 2008

Beach Fun Outer Banks, North Carolina & Wine August 2005

It's Monday my day off and I'm trying to stay focused and get lots of things done off my " to do " list now as in a week's time my family and I head down to the beach again for our annual pilgrimage to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. So I'm going to do this " fluff " piece around the beach, vacation, fun and wine. I took lots of artsy-fartsy pictures while at the beach in 2005 and here are some of them that I would like to share with you all in case you are still heading down to the beach this August.

My family and I love the beach. We do lots of chilling, lots of relaxing and reading books, play games, build puzzles, take long walks along the beach, stare out at it from our deck and I paint a lot. I'm inspired by almost everything at the beach : everything that is natural and not man-made, that is. We see the fireworks sometimes and it rains some and is bloody hot other times. I've taken some fun pictures of us down at the beach watching the sand pipers and looking for dolphins and pelicans and seagulls, too.

I love to take pictures of the wine glasses, at reflections in glass and many shadow pictures. I'm inspired by just about everything. Pictured are the PRA DI PRIDIS white wines of Alessandro Furlan, son of Franco Furlan. We love Alessandro and his PRA DI PRADIS Friuli wines are pretty amazing. I don't think they are being imported into this part of the country now. Anyway, I think we were drinking his excellent Tocai if I am not mistaken.

I am writing this Monday around 1:47 PM on July 28th, 2008. Come to the store at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 202-363-4265 / ) and buy some of the excellent DiLinardo Tocai called TOH that we currently have to experience how wonderful Tocai can truly be! Owner Max often comes to taste and visit with Mike and me when he's in town. We saw him just a couple of months ago when he came for the annual Michael Downey wine-maker/owner portfolio tasting.

I can't wait to get back to the Outer Banks! Here's to vacation and relaxing and enjoying lots of good wine and food and company.

This is all I could get now, there are many more that represent the many more moments of outstanding fun and relaxation that only getting really away from things can afford one. Cheers, TONY

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Achille Boroli of Fattoria BOROLI, Piemonte Italy Here Tasting His New Releases of Barolo/Other Piemonte Wines With Customers March 10th, 2006

     It was great to have Achille ( Fattoria BOROLI, ) here tasting his new releases with our customers at Cleveland ParkWines & Spirits (, ). I remember being really wowed by his 2001 Barolo. Achille makes a selection of upper-end/high quality/limited production Piemonte wines. They are made in the great classic tradition and are really best when served with meals. I would really welcome something off the grill now, meat or vegetable or some of both. Game is especially nice with Achille's wines. I'll be seeing my rep next Wednesday and will ask him what I am missing from Achille's portfolio of wines and write more about them in the store email when I get them in August. It's Saturday morning, July 26th at 10:40 A.M. as I type away. Enjoy these pictures with Achille and one of our favorite customers photographer extraordinaire Ralph Alswang ( 202-487-5025,,, local to D.C. ). You should check Ralph's work out. I blogged about him already on my other site : He does events/weddings/news / parties. Both are smiling and happy. That's a great sign. 

     I just downloaded the pictures and see besides Ralph many other customers including babies that might become customers, too! Achille signed many bottles this tasting and I think from his expression that he enjoyed himself greatly!

     Achille wrote a beautiful few words about us here in Italian but I will have to get someone to write it out for me so that I do not butcher it here in print. He  begins and ends with " Fantastico ... con affecto ". Love that. Here's to you Achille and your excellent wines and the few hours we spent together in each other's company with a store full of people that came to see you and taste your wines back in March, the 10th, 2006 ! Cheers,  TONY