The 13th annual LAWineFest kicked off the first weekend in June with an eclectic collection of wines, brews and more.
Life is full of surprises. Sometimes you go to a wine festival and discover that your favorite thing about it isn’t the wine. Sometimes you date a guy for two months only to be ghosted. (I didn’t say all life’s surprises are pleasant.) I have words for this cruel, cowardly man who didn’t have the decency to actually break up with me. But they’re unfit for print. Instead, in the spirit of finding positivity in the unexpected, let’s talk about the best surprises at LAWineFest.
Surprise #1: A change will do you good.
LAWineFest recently moved from a film studio lot to ROW DTLA, a vibrant and very Instagramable collective of industrial architecture, art murals, gardens, retailers, restaurants, and creative office spaces between the Arts and Industrial Districts. This thoughtfully reimagined and revitalized historic district breathed new life into LAWineFest, giving it an entirely different vibe from years past. Fresh perspective? I’ll drink to that.
Surprise #2: The secret to hoppiness
Maybe it was simply a well-timed respite from an afternoon of wine tasting, but Iron Triangle’s herbal and hoppy India Pale Ale was quite refreshing. Surprising, given that I shy away from IPA. Maybe the experience was heightened by the combination of hot, blazing sun paired with beer as cold as my ex’s heart. Regardless, this particular IPA and I had a moment.
Full disclosure: I had a hunch I was going to like Iron Triangle Brewing Company because I was drawn to the package design of the beer cans—which is the equivalent of rooting for NFL teams based on the color of their uniforms—but in this case, I was right. And I’m going to do a little end zone dance for the Cascade, Centennial and Columbus hops inside the nice-looking can.
Surprise #3: Where there’s smoke, there’s sea salt.
It was the best barbeque I’ve ever smelled. Except there was no barbeque. One whiff of Summer Smoke Sea Salt from Laguna Salt Company had me rethinking my summer menus. Steak, vegetables, even grilled fruits and ice cream could be elevated with a few sprinkles. This handcrafted sea salt is made by smoking a savory, robust mix of woods: pecan, red oak, alder, cherry, hickory, maple and mesquite. Are you kidding me? The aroma alone is incredible. Wait until you taste it. Talk about unexpected pleasures.
Laguna Salt Company offers a mouthwatering variety of smoked, infused and raw sea salts, like Lavender Flower, Hawaiian Black, and Ghosted Garlic. Potential boyfriends, take note: It’s the only kind of ghosting that’s acceptable.
Copyright © Michelle Gigon/2018 Singular Communications, LLC.
Michelle Gigon is the Food, Wine & Spirits Editor for Singular magazine. On her list of favorite things are (A) discovering memorable epicurean experiences and (B) telling people about them. A former brand agent at CAA, Michelle is also a freelance creative director on lifestyle marketing initiatives for luxury automotive, hotel and fashion brands.