Skylight Gardens Wine Blog

Welcome everyone! My name is Rodney Williamson and I am the sommelier at Skylight Gardens.

What is a sommelier? According to The Free Dictionary,

A sommelier is a restaurant employee who orders and maintains the wines sold in the restaurant and usually has extensive knowledge about wine and food pairings.

No big deal, right?  This is my inaugural post about what is happening with wine here at Skylight Gardens and what you can look forward to experience on your next visit.

I have a strong interest in the wines of South America. Now how does that work? Isn’t Skylight Gardens an Italian restaurant? Well, it is. But this is a California/Italian restaurant. Los Angeles is one of the most cosmopolitan cities on earth, so we don’t limit ourselves here to a narrow conception of what food and wine should be. Wines from one place will pair well with food from another place. Did you know that the Chilean grape Carmenère pairs well with spicy Indian food? So we are in L.A. and we are not going to limit ourselves to preconceived boundaries. Also, my wife is Ecuadorian and we have a house and four Golden Retrievers in Montañita, Ecuador. I have traveled all over the southern continent and have found it to be fascinating.

So let’s talk about the country of Chile. 

The Spanish Conquistadors came to Chile and planted vineyards with Spanish grapes. The Mapuche Indians did not like that and took the vineyards and made and indigenous drink called Chicha (when you stop by the restaurant ask me about it, one of my dogs is named Chicha and my wife and I make it at home). In the 1820’s the vineyards were replanted with French varietals and the star of the show became Carmenère, the lost sixth grape of Bordeaux.

The varietal character of Carmenère is dark fruit, bitter dark chocolate and a deep color. Chile produces the best Carmenère in the world! Don’t you want to try the best Carmenère in the world? Well, you came to the right place. We now offer Santa Carolina Reserva Carmenère. Santa Carolina is one of the founding fathers of Chilean wine. This wine is from the Cachapoal Valley and is big and dark with violets and delicious spicy notes. If you like Cabernet Sauvignon you need to try this.

We also just received the Santa Carolina 'Herencia.’  This is Carmenère from the finest site in Chile, Peumo in Cachapoal. Would you enjoy a deep wine layered with notes of blackberry and mocha with well integrated oak? Then we have one of the world’s finest Carmenerès for you.

Please come in and talk to me about wine. I want to show you what the world has to offer. I want to understand your palate and choose wine that you enjoy. I want to pair wines with food that bring both up to another level.

See you soon,

Rodney