Category Archives: Art

Holyland Exhibition with Villa Dora Vesuvio Rosso

On a lovely Sunday afternoon June and I decided to have an adventure.  With the guidance of this amazing website described as “the definitive guide to the world’s wondrous and curious places” called Atlas Obscura, we found a place that was right in our neighborhood and a seemingly perfect match with a bottle of Vesuvio Rosso that I picked up from Lou’s Wine & Provisions.

Holyland Exhibition

First, the wine.  Villa Dora makes wine in Campania, a Southern Italian region known for its wines that are grown on the soils of Mount Vesuvius.  Volcanic soils are capable of doing some amazing things for the quality of a wine.  Having a truly unique landscape lends itself to making a truly unique drink.  I was made aware of this fact first in the wines of Sicily though have recently been finding gems in the wines of Campania.  This Vesuvio Rosso is a blend of grapes typical for the region, Piedirosso (80%) and Aglianico (20%).

Second, the place.  The Holyland Exhibition sparked my interest years ago at a music show I went to.  A friend explained how he went to this house which holds the collection of a man who inspired the character of Indiana Jones.  He was going to take me to see it and like most promises made late at night, it did not happen.

Holyland Exhibition Outside

The day came where June and I embarked on a whirlwind of history, artifacts, and a lot of mystique.  We left The Holyland Exhibition enriched and ready for a drink.  It was a perfect LA day.  Description below courtesy of Atlas Obscura.

“To understand what makes this small museum so special, you first must understand the man behind its inception. Antonia F. Futterer is often compared to Indiana Jones (perhaps unfairly, as it’s rumored that the character is actually based on him; not the other way around).

In the early 1900s, Futterer was struck ill with severe appendicitis. His prayers for a recovery were answered soon after, leading to a strong belief in the Bible. In 1926, his new-found relationship with religion led to a number of expeditions to the Holy Land, culminating in a personal quest for the Golden Ark of the Covenant.  Unlike the film hero, Futterer never found the Ark, but he did amass quite a collection of artifacts from Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Cyprus, and Palestine. With a large collection and nowhere to store it, Futterer founded a five-room museum in Los Angeles to house his goods, and they remain there to this day.”

Holyland Light

Considering the rich history this little home holds, a wine with a rich history is the perfect companion. The most famous wine of the region is one that is called Lacryma Christi which made our Vesuvio Rosso seemed even more appropriate. This is a wine said to be most equivalent to the wines that ancient Romans would drink and translates to “the tears of Christ”.  If that doesn’t make you thirsty, I don’t know what will.


*Pictured with the wine is our lovely tour guide.  She taught us the Old Testament in just under an hour and also said that wine is an important part of history which, further instilled in us that we are truly doing God’s work by drinking obscene amounts of wine.


Grapefruit with Matthiasson Chardonnay

matthaisson chardonnay

You initially think you hate it but you don’t really know why.  The truth is, you never really gave it a fair chance. A good lesson to teach yourself always is to question the ideas you clench so tightly to your chest. We adapt and change constantly even though we’d like to think we have ourselves figured out.

I have heard people say many times, “I HATE chardonnay”. It’s almost like saying you hate country music.  There is certainly some really good ones out there and you’re not doing yourself any favors by dismissing a whole genre.

I grew up with the Beatles.  They created a soundtrack that was the background of my childhood. At some point, I heard that Yoko Ono was the reason that the Beatles broke up.  Her voice sounded like a child, she looked like a witch and I always saw pictures of her just hanging around John Lennon. I hated her, but I didn’t really know why.

This was until I read through her book published in 1964, Grapefruit. It reads like a series of poems that are equally uplifting, hopeful, inspiring and innovative. Grapefruit makes me love art. The thing that makes me so sad is how many people dismiss her out of pure ignorance. In order to set the record straight on this and another brilliant misunderstood one I would like to pair my favorite book with California Chardonnay.

matthaisson chardonnay

Winemaker, Steve Matthiasson, makes a Chardonnay that makes me love Chardonnay. It achieves a balance that is so elegant and full of finesse you would be surprised to find it coming from Napa Valley (with prior judgements in mind). You would also be surprised that this wine is a little over $20 a bottle.