Kings analyst Jim Fox has a passion for his wine as big as his passion for hockey. On Sunday, January 29th the day of the NHL all-star game; Fox will bring his two passions together for a great cause. He will be hosting the “Red and White All-Star Wine Tasting” event at the J.W. Marriot, which is located right across the street from Staples Center. Bob Miller, Daryl Evans, Pete Demers, Ian Turnbull, LA Kings insider Rich Hammond, Wandamae Lombardi (Kings general manger’s wife), the Kings ice crew, and other prominent Kings figures will be in attendance. The event’s tickets cost $100 and all proceed’s go to the “Kings Care” Foundation.
Location: 900 W. Olympic Blvd.
Date and Time: Sunday January 29th, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Tickets Available At: lakings.com/wine
Jim Fox Wine Q & A:
Q: Any particular region where Wine is produced that you find most enjoyable, or a distinct quality separating it from all other wines?
A: I have been fortunate enough to travel to Burgundy to taste the Pinot Noirs and the Chardonnays…of course these grapes are popular around the world, but they seem to possess an extra special quality in Burgundy…with most quality wine it is about the balance and I have found that many of the Pinot Noirs have a great balance between the fruit, the acidity and the earthiness…this balance goes along way in making a elegant, silky yet powerful wine…with the Chardonnays, I appreciate the acidity that balances out the fruit as well as how oak is used so effectively…I am a big believer that oak is essential to any Pinot Noir or Chardonnay, as long as it is used properly and Burgundy does it as well as anyone!
Q: Do you own a vineyard, or have a way about making your own wine?
A: I am presently putting together a wine project that will involve the production of a single-vineyard designate, small production, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Since I am a big believer in “terroir” and as I mentioned above, a big lover of Burgundies, I feel my wine project will produce a wine that has many of the positive attributes of Burundian Pinot Noir and Chardonnay combined with the powerful fruit characteristics of California’s Sonoma Coast AVA. It is important not to try and copy Burgundy, but to maximize everything that Sonoma Coast “terrior” gives us! I hope to have more information to officially announce this summer!
Q: Out of everyone who will be on hand at the event (Bob Miller, Daryl Evans, Pete Demers, Ian Turnbull and Wandamae Lombardi) who do you think has the best taste in their wine selections?
A: That is an easy question to answer. Wandamae holds the following designations:
1. Court of the Masters Introductory Sommelier Certification. (There isn’t a program in LA yet so waiting to finish the Advanced Certification).
2. UCLA Vintage Program Certification
3. Wine and Spirit Education Trust - Advanced Certification with Merit in Wine and Spirits
4. International Sommelier Guild -Advanced Certification
5. Society of Wine Educators – Currently preparing for Certified Wine Educator Exam
…so, when it come to wine, that makes Wandamae the Queen of the Kings!
Q: Would you ever consider making a wine that’s LA Kings themed?
A: If the wine venture I am currently involved in goes well, many options may come up, but my focus and priority at this time is on my current project!
Q: What is the biggest way (literally or metaphorically) you can relate wine to hockey?
A: A great wine would be like a Hall-of-Fame player…a player that would be a star in any generation or era…a wine that could stand the test of time…that would include great skill to produce and that would offer a live-changing experience…
…if I had to select a player that would embody and have all of the necessary attributes you need for a 100 point wine, that would have to be my hero growing up, Bobby Orr.
…Actually, the thing a like most about wine is that is very different from hockey and/or professional sports…although many wines are given a score, I believe wine making is about the artistic factors and keeping score is not the highest priority…In professional hockey (or any professional sport for that matter), there is always a final score at the end of the game…with wine making it seems like there is so much more subjective nuance and artistic creativity needed, as well as sound technical aspects…Although I consider wine and professional hockey to both have huge positives factors, I consider each to be completely different from each other…not sure if I answered the question, but…
Q: If you had to taste three different brands of wines, and guess as accurately as possible, how do you think you would do?
A: I usually go through a tasting system that is more general in nature:
Try to figure out whether it is
- “New World” (North America/Australia etc.):
- Bold nose, fruit forward, oaky
- “Old World” (Europe):
- Muted nose, earth before fruit, subtle oak
- Try to indentify the grape by the fruit characteristics I pick up
- Red wines
- White wines
- Does it have any characteristics that would tell me if it has any age on it?
…I hope to indentify whether it is “old world or new world”…then grape varietal…then region it possible…as far as specific brands, that is out of my class!
Q: Do you have an all time favorite wine, or a wine you are currently really into?
A: Too difficult to name only one…just off the “tip of my tongue”:
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1989 (power and elegance together, surprisingly bright fruit)
Chateau d’Yquem 1995 (decadent)
Shafer Hillside Select 2002 (power and intriguing mineral characteristics)
Currently I am trying to taste as many Pinot Noirs as possible, prioritizing Sonoma Coast!