From current releases to decades-old original bottlings, the expansive wine selection at Malibu Beach Inn abounds with fascinating choices from Pinot Auxerrois to Pelaverga. And during summer in coastal Southern California, there may be no better place to enjoy the perfect food and wine pairing than oceanside at Carbon Beach Club.
Featuring more than 40 wines by the glass (and often a flight of Rosé or a flight of Old World versus New), the seasonal wine list is curated by Wine Director and Sommelier Daniel Veit.
“We’re always going to have our house favorites like the En Route Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley of Sonoma and the Far Niente Chardonnay from Napa Valley by the glass,” he says of choosing the bottles. “We have depths of vintages for California and references that date back to 1969 and for Bordeaux that go all the way back to ’66. But I adjust according to the season, and I think about wines in terms of weight and texture. In other words, I don’t necessarily want a full-bodied, heavily oaked wine during the summer, but I need to have one for those who enjoy that style!”
At the beginning of the season, Veit started the list with blue chip producers like Cakebread, Opus One, William Selyem, Veuve Clicquot, and Perrier-Jouët – in addition to En Route and Far Niente – saying, “Having producers like those on the list creates a level of trust that allows me to bring in avant-garde producers like Ganevat or interesting varieties like a Jacquère from Apremont in Savioe.”
It’s the combination of acclaimed and off-the-beaten-path that makes the wine list at Malibu Beach Inn so captivating for regulars and visitors.
This summer’s selection features a variety of new producers and grapes, including unique choices like Kiralyudvar from Tokaji, Hungary. Best known for sweet dessert wines in the American market, this dry Furmint grown on limestone is memorable for its great acidity and aromatics that a Sauvignon Blanc enthusiast would appreciate.
There’s a great selection of Rosé, which Veit cautions against categorizing as a summer trend – he recommends the Château Pibarnon Mourvèdre Blend year-round – as well as underrated wines like the Château Musar Cabernet Sauvignon Blend. (“It’s interesting because the winery is just outside of Beirut, which has basically been in a constant state of conflict, and the winery has surprisingly only lost two vintages: 1976 and 1984. So you’ve got compelling story. It’s organic, and the vineyard sits 3,000 feet above sea level on limestone with gravelly topsoil.”)
Veit’s own favorite at the moment is Pelaverga. Last summer, he traveled to the village of Verduno in Italy’s Piedmont region and tasted wines from the seven producers harvesting the grape. He fell in love with Castello di Verduno for its Basadone with notes of cherry and plum, light-to-medium body, and great acidity, and today recommends enjoying it slightly chilled with a platter of cheese and charcuterie.
As for your main course (and dessert) pairings at Carbon Beach Club, Veit says, “For me, they’re classic. I’m a classics kind of guy.”
Here are his top three choices for summer:
Oysters and Domaine de la Quilla Muscadet Sèvre et Maine
“I love eating seafood by the ocean. Our rotating selection of oysters goes so incredibly well with our Muscadet pouring by the glass, Domaine de la Quilla. The salty and briny and smoky and citrus is just the perfect pairing for that seafood.”
Seafood Bowl and Château Léoube Grenache Blend Le Secret
“Our Seafood Bowl has got this delicious umami tomato broth, and it’s got this soft white mixed seafood – there’s mussels, there’s whitefish, there’s shrimp. For me, that brings me to Southern France and a fantastic producer called Château Léoube. Medium body, great acidity, aromatic – everything you want to squeeze onto that seafood bowl but in the glass.”
Tuscan Torte and Valdespino Pedro Ximénez El Candado
“Dessert wine pairings can be a little tricky, but the secret is to ensure that the wine you’re drinking is sweeter than the dish. In this case, I’d like to turn people onto sherry. Many people would think of sherry as something that is dry or something they’re not familiar with, but Valdespino makes Pedro Ximénez. The cake has got macerated cherries, and against the concentrated fig and vanilla notes of the sherry, it’s quite amazing.”