Local and loving it; I had the chance to taste a really nice wine to kick off my count—a bottle of 2010 Rosenthal Viognier (#1) from Malibu Newton Canyon. I had championed local wines at my shop all last year, skirting Santa Barbara in favor of Malibu wines—my backyard—to bring awareness to some of the better producers in my immediate area. It was a tough sell but in time it should get easier… and thus it is an apt place to start my new count.

In the mood for some somber sounds, I scoured my CD’s until my fingers and eyes came upon my Dirty Three discography. Violin and percussion filled the ambient space in my apartment as I uncorked the bottle of Viognier.

With “She Has No Strings Apollo” playing in the background I was in the perfect space to enjoy a single glass of Malibu wine. The fresh white wine was terrifically fragrant; a bouquet of flowers and peach skins leaped at me. I barely put my nose to the glass and was in awe of the sweet perfume. The soft golden hued wine was medium bodied with a fair amount of oak (moderate), which rounded out the essence of stone fruits on the palate with some vanilla accents. The acidity wasn’t as prominent either but still there. The white wine was richer than I had expected, coming across fuller because of the 14.1% alcohol (which was balanced). It was pleasant and a perfect sipper as I enjoyed the warmth of a Los Angeles winter.

I feel ambitious as I get started, beginning with a fantastic local white wine. No clunker, something easy and enjoyable while satisfying my nerd quotient for the evening. Dirty Three and Viognier were an unlikely pairing, on paper or acoustically—but that night, the two were in stride and combined gracefully.