All Points Bulletin

One good year deserves another

To soothe any frayed edges as we inch ever closer to the precipice of a brand-new year, Joseph Guida of Parc Ave Distributors offers up this salve: a silky, sumptuous Colheita port from a marquee vintage … and for just $22 per glass.

Served downtown at the Vanguard Lounge (516 E. Fremont St.)—as well as at Rosemary’s Restaurant ($25 per glass), the Eiffel Tower Restaurant at Paris ($280 per bottle) and Aquaknox at the Venetian ($170 per bottle)—the Poças 1970 Colheita from Portugal’s Douro Valley is a rare port, one that sends cigar connoisseurs running for their humidors and which collectors lust over.

Colheita port (tawny or barrel-aged port from a single vintage) is aged in fine oak casks for seven years, followed by a minimum of seven additional years of aging in the bottle prior to release. “1970 is the greatest vintage in port production history,” Guida firmly asserts. Along with 1963, 1985 and 1994, it is certainly up there with the best of them. Famed wine critic Robert Parker’s own assessment isn’t too far off; the Wine Advocate author gives the 1970 port vintage an “outstanding” 92 rating, making it a steal at $88 for the entire bottle at Vanguard.

Expect “layers of complexity and a super-smooth, long, long finish,” says Guida of this dessert in a glass. “Think caramel-toffee with a walnut-almond-honey flavor on top.” Perhaps, therefore, the perfect glass to raise to a sweet New Year!

Poças 1970 Colheita Porto. Poç

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Giovanni Mauro

Giovanni Mauro

By Max Jacobson

For those of us who maintain a connection between fine dining and music, I offer, as an example, Giovanni Mauro. He’s the son of Italian parents who run the locals’ favorite Nora’s Cuisine, 6020 W. Flamingo Road, and he’s one of the most passionate Italian chefs in the city. Gio, as everyone calls him, studied opera at Long Beach State University and later in Milan with famed tenor Carlo Bergonzi. He’s fluent in both Italian and Italian cooking. Today, he expends most of his energy at Nora’s Wine Bar & Osteria in Boca Park.