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Lioco Wine Meets Ammo

on 07/05/14 at 1:00 pm

Booze News, BoozeBlog

indexOnce you’ve been in Los Angeles, you are bound to acquire a certain insider knowledge. You know that the stars mostly do NOT shop on Rodeo, but on Robertson or Montana. You know that they don’t really eat every night at Spago or even some new awesome place like Faith & Flower downtown. They have what I call a “table wine” place, in the tradition of the French table wine. A solid go-to that can deliver endlessly. A place that you can count on, that is going to provide a high-quality meal that you can take clients to, family to, and not have to stress about. I’ve been going to Ammo for years, and they are the rock solid foundation of many an industry meal. I remember the night I saw Justin Timberlake and Jessica Beil there, still courting. If you are a world champion eavesdropper like I am, you can hear world champion name-droppers at the tables near you. Benny Bohm and crew always come up the goods.


Last night was no exception, as they did one of their specialty nights. They brought Windrose Farms down a few years ago for a farm-to-table tasting, and last night they hosted Kevin O’Connor of Lioco Wines. O’Connor poured a flight that went from a sublime Chard (“we used mostly steel barrels and if they were oak — they were neutral oak!  No cloying Vanilla!”) to a rounded Pinot.

Food served as the flavor boost to the wine, with their tomato soup being perfectly spiced, texture and the mint sprig was a surprisingly different add. The Nieman Ranch hanger steak was perfect big boy food, by the time the Lioco pinot hit my table. Lioco is comprised of former North Berkeley Imports wine importer Matt Licklider and O’Connor, who was the som at this restaurant called Spago. They sources grapes from different farms/regions and the production facility is located in Santa Rosa.

I capped off the night with a dessert cocktail. The Maple Leaf Rag (hear it below). Picked solely because my mom used to play that Scott Joplin song on our family piano we bought second-hand from a farmer.

Piano Stewart family with Joplin book

The cocktail was pure bliss, not too sweet, not to bitter (the Angostura were nice and subtle, but did cut the maple syrup), solidified by one large block of hand-cut ice. Try it yourself at home — Ammo’s Maple Leaf Rag consists of Buffalo Trace Bourbon, lemon, maple syrup, Angostura bitters, and burnt rosemary.

Ammo is located on 1155 Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038.  (323) 871-2666 for rezzies.