HollyTales was a huge success!

The moment we finished our first event with Mikey Consbruck and his team at V Wine Room in August, I knew I had to come back for more... and more was had! What an amazing night we had last night!

The bar could not have looked more beautiful in all its sparkle, and the atmosphere was cozy and perfect for our first Holiday event of 2016! We had a lively crowd who filled the bar with laughter and appreciation, and we couldn't be more grateful for the warm reception and words of thanks we received for our music tasting.

Mikey Consbruck, Owner of V Wine Room, Adam Monte of V Cheese Shoppe, and Catherine von Ruden of EOS Chocolates arethe most amazing partners, and we feel so grateful every time we get to work with them. Their creativity in pairing and dedication to perfection in taste pairing andelegance of presentation is unmatched. Here you see Mikey preparing some of the cheese and chocolate plates... and the final result below. Doesn't it look so delicious?

As usual the wines Mikey chose for us were above and beyond delicious, interesting, and rare and it was up to us then to rise to the challenge with the musical choices as well. Luckily with Jacquelyn, Trevor, and Andrés on stage, it was pretty easy to make anything sound amazing!

Of course we presented some holiday standards (Sleigh Ride, O Holy Night, and my new favorite, Christmas in LA by Lawrence Well and his Orchestra) but I also made sure to throw in some pieces that I know would be unfamiliar to our guests. Probably the most daring piece we played was the cello movement from Olivier Messiaen's Quartet for the end of time.

This piece is not "easy" to digest, but it was precisely this dis-ease that I wanted to highlight. I have always found one of the most rewarding things is when a guest approaches me at the end of a night and repeats back to me exactly what I had hoped to achieve with a particular pairing. Often I find that s/he even further enlightens me on the pairing, and it was no exception in this case as a gentleman told me that he would never have listened to this piece voluntarily but that the way it was presented together with the wine, cheese, and chocolate made it not only palatable but extraordinarily rewarding and meaningful to him. Couldn't really hope for anything more, could you?

As always, I can't thank the artists enough for their time and dedication to this difficult program. They are all a delight to work with (Jacquelyn and Andrés have now played with us several times), and I can't wait to welcome them to another music tasting soon!

Is La vie always en rose?

We recently had the great privilege of offering a music tasting to celebrate the impending nuptials of beautiful bride, Victoria, and handsome groom, Phi. The couple had known each other a long time before they became involved romantically, and it was such a treat to hear them gush about each other as we learned more about their love story and began working on the pairings. Here is one of the tastings we offered on the bridal shower program:

Music selection: “La vie en rose” by Edith Piaf
Wine selection: Tintoretto
Cheese: Delice de Bourgogne

Vicky and Phi met way back in middle school, and both shared such touching details of how their love has evolved over the past seven years. With this music, wine, and cheese pairing, we wanted to pay tribute to the early years of their love story. “La vie en rose” touches us with its beautiful lyrics and enticing melody. “And when you speak, angels sing from above. Everyday words seem to turn into love songs. Give your heart and soul to me, and life will always be la vie en rose” the singer sings. The tintoretto (pomegranate juice mixed with champagne resulting in a rose colored drink) represents the sparkle of their early romance: Phi told us that after a party junior year in college, he said to Vicky: “I don’t know if you noticed but I’m crazy about you. Will you be my girlfriend?” The Delice de Bourgogne is a perfect cheese pairing here, offsetting the bubbles with a creaminess symbolizing the rich and steadfast love they share now.