It’s rare that a small wine bar has an onsite sommelier. It’s even rarer that a restaurant has a female sommelier. Vintage Enoteca has both in Danielle Francois who, along with Jennifer Moore, owns the Hollywood wine bar.
Their philosophy is simple: Wines should be accessible, affordable and, most important, people should like what they drink. The two ex-New York City advertising execs gravitate toward boutique productions and family-owned estates, which produce indigenous varietals, in Europe, California and the Pacific Northwest.
“I pick out cool, off the beaten path wines that you don’t find everywhere,” says Francois. One of her specialties is food and wine pairings. Throughout the year, she plans themed pairings, but she’s also available on the spot for customers who are adventurous — or unsure — and looking for suggestions. This weekend, June 14-16, she’s put together an All-American Snack Food Mashup and Wine Tasting with sophisticated twists on classic snack foods like Cracker Jacks, pork rinds and Oreos. Turn the page for five of Francois’ food and wine pairings.
Wine: Kir-Yianni “Petra,” Macedonia, Greece, 2011 (white)
Suggested Foods: light salads, salty cheeses, Mediterranean diet
Says Francois, “I’m a fan of white wines that aren’t that fruity. I find that they’re a little more food versatile when there’re not big, lip-smacky fruit flavors bowling over the rest of the flavors in the wine. This is a Greek wine with indigenous varietals from Macedonia. It’s not too fruity with an undercurrent of citrus and peach and apricot, but it’s got a nice crisp, snappy salinity on the finish. It’s food versatile. In our warm farro salad, it brings out the snappiness of the flavor of the English peas. And feta is indigenous to Greece. I am a fan of what grows together, goes together.”
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