There used to be a mexi-cali bar around the corner from my house called Barrito. I loved to drink mojitos there, sitting on low couches covered in bright colored, mexican print covers. I loved walking my dog by Barrito at midnight to chitchat with the random patrons. I loved the friendly bartenders.

I loved Barrito because it reminded me of my favorite bar in Los Angeles, El Carmen , 3rd Street and La Cienega, low key and devoted to Mexican wrestling gods, complete with black velvet portraits and excellent tequilas. I met my major crush Christian there to celebrate our birthdays over 7 glasses of Cadillac margaritas. And I was too shy to kiss him.

Barrito closed and has re-opened as Vinogarage, a lovely nook for great wines, prosciutto and cheeses. The back room, which I hazily remember as brightly colored, is now a dark-hued, a sit-in wine cooler, with a secret back door (for ventilation? for smokers? for escapes?). The clientele is still the Barrito faithful, including my dog. But instead of drunken mojito evenings, they have sophisticated aperitivi and lovely wine tastings.

Ironically, tomorrow night's tasting happens to be for a wine I know quite well
Corte alla Flora's Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

I have been the guinea pig to many informal tastings of this wine, thanks to A. But tomorrow's tasting will be much better organized than I have experienced-- with a sampling of wines from years 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 (the riserva rocks, if there still is any) and 2002.

For more information on Corte alla Flora, please read Lynda Albertson's article in The American Magazine. Or else just try it tomorrow night.

Thursday, 30 November
9 pm
Via di Monte Giordano 63
Tel. 06/68300858 – 334/3760082