11 March, 2009

Wine Bar Wednesday - 4.2009 Cin-Cin, Los Gatos, CA

Leave it to Los Gatos. Cin-Cin, named for a convivial Italian toast, not only fits right into the locale, but celebrates it in a way that is effortlessly green. The product of a great partnership between former Birk's exec chef and a former Google-ite turned master sommelier, the interesting, lush location made for a fabulous Wine Bar Wednesday. So technically this was a work thing, but I enjoyed it so much, I just had to tell all. And bonus! Even though this is Los Gatos, Cin-Cin is very recessionista friendly with its super fun Happy Hour where from 3:30 to 6:30 selected wines and tapas are half off. It's a good strategy as given how tasty it all is, you just want to eat/drink twice as much. Since it was a work thing, I didn't pay as much attention to the beverages of my companions, but I did have plenty of focus on my own. As soon as I saw the flights, I was seat back, tray table stowed, all in for a Spanish Flight.

'06 Telmo Rodriguez, Dehesa Gago, Tempranillo
'03 Finca Villacreces, Ribera del Duero
'06 Monastrell, Vinedos De El Seque

All three were inky, restrained fruit, soft round tannin, food friendly delights. I found the wine glass tags super helpful--one of the many well thought out, hospitable touches.

And the food! Chicken liver pate drizzled with sherry! Wild mushroom turnovers infused with Manchego, truffle oil and flaky pastry sin! Tiny croquetas of goat cheese! Dates wrapped in bacon! And all half off! Delectable!

I also tried a 3 oz pour of the the '03 Bordeaux, Chateau Coufran, Haut-Medoc, France which was a barnyardy delight (Xandria--this has you written all over it!)

We concluded the evening with one polenta cake four spoons and one last drag off the Happy Hour wine menu. Mine was '06 Jurancon, Charles Hours, France as close to botrytis as I could get. Silky sweet and a lovely end to the working day.
So if we apply our Wine Bar Wednesday Criteria:

Affordability -Happy Hour makes it very affordable. Also, the ability to try flights, special flights and 3, 4 or 6 oz pours makes it easy to try things.
Wine list - Extremely well thought out and eclectic. Pairing food and snacks was easy and effortless, There was both depth and focus , which made me want to return.
Wait staff- Our waitress was a rock star. She was a wealth of info about the food and knew a lot about the wine as well. When she didn't know, she went back and asked and brought accurate info out to us. She was attentive even though the place was full and also had a great personality. This space is beautiful, the food delicious and the wine, compelling, but I had the sense that even if that wasn't the case, our server would have elevated the experience.
Food: It's been a week and I am still dreaming of the Wild Mushroom turnovers. I want to go back!
All in all, if you are nearby, make sure you visit. And if you live farther afield, Cin-Cin is worth the trip. Los Gatos is classified as a village for a reason- cute, quaint and now a reason to return.
368 Village Ln., Los Gatos, CA, 95030
(408) 354-8006
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