Wine Buzz: Hiring of Anani Lawson a big score for Enotria

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3D
Last Modified: Friday, Jan. 25, 2013 - 3:28 pm

The wine pairings couldn't have been more perfect, each with an underlying floral character that reflected a spring-flavored French Laundry menu in May 2010. A rosé from Domaines Ott Chateau de Selle, Do Ferreiro albarino, Williams Selyem pinot noir – these were among the wines assembled by Anani Lawson on a night that happened to be his final dinner service as sommelier at the French Laundry.

The big news coming out of Sacramento's restaurant scene last Thursday was the announcement that Lawson will serve as the general manager for Enotria Restaurant and Wine Bar. Following his French Laundry stint, Lawson served as sommelier at Per Se, the French Laundry's sister restaurant in New York City. For local lovers of fine wines and cuisine, Lawson's latest job is a big score for Sacramento.

Along with this key staff change, Enotria is expanding the scope of its monthly wine tastings. We're talking a sit-down experience with PowerPoint presentations and lots of interactivity.

" 'Class' isn't the right word," said Matthew Lewis, Enotria's wine director. "That sounds boring. We want to make each event educational and delicious."

The wine seminar scheduled for February brings in a rock star of the wine world. Randall Grahm, the much-heralded vintner of Bonny Doon Vineyard and a proponent of Rhone-style wines, will lead a tasting about the art of blending red wines. Attendees will taste 10 different wines and then create their own blends with guidance from Grahm. Rare bottles will also be offered for sale.

This class with Grahm costs $35 and includes housemade breads and a cheese plate.

"The cheese board alone would cost $17," said Lewis. "This is an insane deal."

Only 24 spots will be available, so make a reservation soon: (916) 922-6792.

El Dorado barrel tasting

Head to the wine trail on Carson Road in El Dorado County for its "Bring Out the Barrel" weekend Saturday and Sunday. The event offers barrel samples from eight wineries, including Crystal Basin Cellars, Bumgarner and Chateau Davell. Tasting barrel samples is a good way to preview a wine in its infancy, and get a sense of how it might develop once bottled.

A weekend pass costs $25. Information: (530) 647-1767,

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