Lou loves 3 Liter Batič.
One of our early supporters, Lou Amdur of LOU on Vine has always been one of my favorite people to work with. His love of wine and food extends far beyond his sensitive nose, palate. Tasting with Lou is more history, science, farming and people than strawberries and tannins. As a space LOU is intimate, slightly psychedelic and smells good, it attracts a whole host of interesting food and wine affiliated individuals oftentimes to dine and sometimes to host events. Coincidentally “A Feast for Ed Behr” editor of “The Art of Eating” was to be held the same day as our follow up tasting of all of the Croatian samples from our trip this summer with our partners Empty Glass. All of us really wanted to go to the Ed Behr dinner; the guy is kind of a legend. Thankfully Lou offered to let us hold the tasting there before hand so that we could.
In 3 hours we tasted 60 wines that ranged from international varietals produced in a global style to obscurities like the white grape Gegic. Lou tasted most everything and at the same time readied the restaurant for the dinner, wrote feverishly on his laptop and make astute observations of the wines. Part of what makes Lou a great taster is his openness. He does not prejudge. After looking very serious and saying little during an expansive line up of concentrated Plavc Mali we asked what he thought of them. He liked the way the slightly off dry quality in some balanced their rustic charms. This was music to my ears. The powerfully flavored Plavac grown on the ocean vineyards of Peljesac have long been tempered by a gentle sweetness. Dry examples can be found and they have their place but with Croatia so eager to reach out to the world if we (importers and buyers) fail to embrace the typical styles, run the risk of homogenizing what is unique and indigenous. Thankfully Lou is a junkie for the indigenous.
Dinner started with a refreshing intermezzo of sparkling unfiltered Cabernet Franc (the aperitif for the rest of the crowd). Some of our favorite people from the trade were also in attendance as enthusiastic guests, Mike Green from Woodland Hills Wine Company, wine PR consultant Dan Fredman, and French wine importer Charles Neal to name a few. It is rare to see such a crowed at a public event. Would be dinners take note – LOU is the choice of some discriminating folks. Before the simple delicious creations of chef DJ and Lou’s subtle pairings started rolling out Ed Behr spoke. A gentle but curious personality with palpable energy, he painted a truncated (his own word), but beautiful world of food and place and how they have shaped his life. What was clear was that he loved food and was in a room full of people who also loved food the mood was electric.
Where else other than LA can one find a place like LOU. None come to mind. Culture is hard to identify, it is a moving target but between the locally sourced food, far reaching selection of wines, thoughtfully informed guests and industry professionals dinning together, sharing food, wine and ideas, culture could be felt. In a dingy strip mall on Vine near Melrose in Hollywood, USA culture flourishes.
Thank you LOU