We're headed to Southern California next week and on our quest down South, we've come across many Napa Valley wine lovers. Neale Aslett, Director of Wine at Nick and Stef's restaurant in Los Angeles, definitely fits the bill. The wine list at Nick and Stef's features some amazing Napa wines, from a 1998 Heitz Cellars "Martha's Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon to a 2006 Araujo "Eisele Vineyard" Sauvignon Blanc. Read on to learn more about Nick's passion for vino - and visit Nick & Stef's for a glass of your favorite Napa Valley wine!
1. How did you first get interested in wine?
I Lived in Australia in '86 & was amazed at the quality of their Chard and Shiraz.
2. What do you love most about your job?
Walking the vineyard with winemakers and experiencing their passion.
3. What is your favorite food and Napa Valley wine combination?
It is usually something quite mundane-sitting on the patio of a winery, and eating a salad or sandwich with a selection of wines. One of my best experiences was a visit with Florencia Palmaz, her mother Amalia made empanadas and we sat for hours watching the sun set.
4. You just won an overnight trip to Napa Valley - all expenses paid. What does your itinerary look like?
My trips are always "all expenses paid!" Ha. Seriously though, it would involve watching the sun rise in Peju's Persephone Vineyard, lunch with Sterling's Alison Crary looking south into the Valley and a Fellini-like afternoon picnic with my Napa friends on the front lawn of St. Supery.
5. What do you think is the most under-rated or under-appreciated wine in Napa Valley?
That is a tricky one, maybe Juslyn Winery's "Perry's Blend" or Kapscandy 2004 Cab-Merlot blend.