Los Angeles is home to a lot of beautiful museums.  The city is bulging at the seams with priceless works of art.  In fact, I will never forget working with one of my first mentors in the wine business, Giampaolo Gravina, who had come from Italy to work with me a few years ago.  After a long day of calling on clients and a particularly exhausting lunch he said, “Joanie, we have fed our stomachs, and now we must feed our minds.”

We ended up at LACMA that day to see a visiting Warhlol exhibit.  How can you not love working with Italians?

I was reminded of Giampaolo the other day when I stopped at the LACMA restaurant, Ray’s, for a bite to eat.  The wine list is funky and interesting, but the bar program stopped me in my tracks.  Check out this Miracle 8 Mile cocktail- and try not to drool.

Soft, delicate Meletti Amaro is braced by a spicy American bourbon.  It’s all aromatically wrapped up in the bright scent of citrus.  Even the ice is at once artistic and also perfectly functional- one large cube is smashed just around the edges- buffeting the cocktail with just the right amount of cold and dilution.  Giampaolo would have been so proud of me that day.  And I think he would have enjoyed the cocktail as well!

About The Author

I love all things Italian: the beautiful country of Italia, the Italians themselves, the language, the food… and above all, I love Italian wine. The people I meet in my charmed life are fascinating, the wines are extraordinary. I needed a special place like this to write about them, and to remember them.

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