Alcohol Hit-Or-Miss

3 Thrifty White BBQ Wines To Chill Your Meat Sweats

If you live in all-season weather you might wonder why I’m writing a list about white wine in fall. Although it’s a rather gloomy 82 and sunny this week in the California, we’re still placing bets in the office that the weather will be triple digits in October for our cheese event, Oozefest. This is why we’re still talking about BBQ wine. 

Searching for white BBQ wine pairings online finds a plethora of articles talking about supposed pairings. Grilled chicken, grilled fish, all types that are not actually barbecue — and quite frankly, I find it offensive and sad.

Having consumed more than my fair share of fatty meats and wine, here are three pretty damn affordable white wines that you can guzzle down at your next thigh-sweat-inducing meat gathering.

Yalumba “Y” Viognier – $9.99 Total Wine

I had a bottle of this with some brisket my friend and co-worker Chris made. He’s no meat slouch and neither is this Australian Viognier. It stands right up against my favorite fatty meat while not outshining the glistening beef. Sometimes refreshing wines like to hide, but this one pops right out to say, “Hello, I’m here to ease that brisket down!”

Pine Ridge White Blend – $10.97 Total Wine

Although we drank the 2015, I’m sure the 2014 linked above is fine. This white blend was perfect to gulp down with some delicious smoked pork shoulder. We ate it alone, we ate it with rolls, we ate it with sauce. In every situation, this fruity, tart blend washed it all down perfectly.


Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc – $11.97 Total Wine

One of my favorite BBQ meats is sausage and I like it hot and spicy, sweet and herby. Doesn’t matter, I love them all and when you bust into a saucy, juicy meat tube some alcoholic relief is crucial. Pop this wild New Zealand Sauv Blanc open and bask in a sweet, tropical oasis that’ll keep your meat sweats at bay.

So the next time you’re eating out or barbecuing at home, I hope you’ll consider trying out some white wines. There really are some pretty amazing combinations that work even with the heaviest of meats. It also helps to have a great friend willing to BBQ for wine, seen below.


Watch Mario Batali Hypnotize Aziz Ansari With Italian Lunch

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If you’re looking to be both hungry AND mesmerized, you’re gonna want to watch this video of Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang have lunch with Mario Batali. Actually, it might be brunch — considering it’s only 9am before the trio’s first glass of wine.

Regardless of the meal’s time-slot nomenclature, our buds at Munchies have brought us what we hope will be a series, Master of Lunch with Mario Batali:

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As the show starts Aziz appears a little awkward, but time and wine increase his comfort and personality. I can only surmise he was as enthralled with Batali’s cooking and knack for killer storytelling. Surely sitting front row for the epicurean performance, at 9am no less, is nothing short of transcendent and in his position I would abso-fucking-lutely be taking in every detail the entire meal.

You can watch the video below and grab the recipes over at Munchies. I’m off to go make some meatballs for dinner. ✌


Watch Andy Milonakis Desecrate $900 Worth Of Wagyu Steaks

What can I say about this, other than I wish it was my idea? Andy Milonakis teams up with Sunny Anderson in this ridiculous ceremony of mixing awesome ingredients with cheap and/or shitty ones.

In this episode they take roughly $900 of Wagyu steaks and coat them in Shake N Bake as well as create a gourmet Kraft macaroni and cheese. The part of me that gives no fucks loves this, and the other part, well, he’s still crying the bathroom.


This Man Will Tattoo You Riding a Unicorn on His Arm to Save His Restaurant

restaurant owner unicorn tattoo

image via backyard bite

I’m not going to lie and tell you that I or anyone on our staff has ever eaten at Starry Kitchen, but after witnessing their passion and drive, I feel like an idiot. Not to mention that eating at an illegal apartment restaurant sounds extremely cool.

Starry Kitchen was born in 2009 as a chef-wife, manager-husband operation nestled in Thi and Nguyen Tran’s apartment in North Hollywood. The outfit was a success from the start, with patrons including mostly the Trans’ friends before her creations quickly drew a cult following in the area. LA Weekly offered an account of the precarious adventure in its infant stages.

Fast-forward a few months and Starry Kitchen had been reported to the health department. After health department fines they were still running things black-ops style, but with 130 patrons at their last seating, the couple needed more space. Ultimately the downtown location crashed in mid-2012 due to a few costly mistakes. “We were flying by the seat of our fucking pants,” Tran said. “The people before us didn’t know how to run a restaurant either. We learned from them.”

After closing the DTLA spot, while trying to keep all of their employees employed, they opened up at Tiara Cafe, Far East Plaza, and finally the Grand Star Jazz Club. By now the Trans were somewhat stable and doing well, but after this many years of compromising and sacrificing, they were ready to lay it all on the table. “Is ‘just enough’ really worth it?! Mediocrity does not sit well with us,” Tran tells me.

This brings us here: Starry Kitchen needs a place to call home—some place their loyal patrons can emotionally attach to and where they can count on some stability. But running a food establishment, let alone one that moves so damn much, can be murder on the pockets. As Tran told the LA Times, “We’re in the hole, not for a lot of money, but we need to get out of it. And for us to move forward, we need to do it right.” Tran meddled with a few investors, but that’s a tough route, particularly for restaurants.

Kickstarter is Tran’s current plan for funding. Over the course of our communication, Nguyen has shown himself to be ambitious, off the wall and frankly, fucking nuts. So nuts, in fact, that one of his prized Kickstarter rewards is a tattoo of the supporter riding a unicorn on his forearm. “I’m willing to get five limited-edition permanent Unicorn (aka the national animal of Scotland) TATTOOS on my left inner forearm that will include a caricature of YOUR FACE on a body riding that very same UNICORN,” Tran says. The reward kicks in at a hefty $10,000, but I have to admit if I had the spare cash I’d be down.

The crazy campaign has other rewards including your name inscribed on the bathroom walls, “for a good time” of course, cooking classes, curse-word barrages and a night of “debaucherous” drinking in LA’s culinary underbelly.

The campaign just launched and at the time of this posting has 136 backers for a total of $21,737. Kickstarter showed some concern for the goal as it’s the largest they have seen for a restaurant at $500,000. Despite that worry, Tran is level-headed about his ideas saying, “If we somehow, some way, complete this incredibly ludicrous [but appropriate by our estimates] amount to open a full-fledged restaurant: I’M GOING TO GO MOTHERFUCKING CRAZY ON THIS CITY!” In a tasty way, he was assures us.

You can’t help but admire the Trans for their conviction to make their dream come true, and dammit I want to ride that unicorn! You can check out their campaign #SaveOurBalls here.





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