I don't know anything about the Fat Monk depicted on a bottom corner of the label hoisting a wine glass, halo hovering over his head. But I would like to second that halo for making a terrific everyday Pinot at an everyday price.
I first tasted this wine when an astute friend brought it to dinner months ago. She'd scooped up the last few bottles at Surfas but kept an eye out and when they restocked and picked up half a dozen bottles for me. Now it seems to be around at a few more places.
The California appellation means the grapes could come from anywhere in the state, bringing the art of the blend into play. The result is a smooth Pinot tasting of cherries, plums and just enough earth to keep it interesting. Rustic but gentle, it goes down very easy, the perfect wine for a burger, a roast chicken or a plate of roasted vegetables drizzled with olive oil. "Vinted and bottled" at Villa San-Juliette Winery just north of Paso Robles.
Price: About $17
Style: Smooth and round
What it goes with: Burgers, roast chicken, roasted vegetables
Where to find it: Greenblatt's Deli & Fine Wines in West Hollywood, (310) 656-0606, http://www.greenblattsdeli.com; Lincoln Fine Wines in Venice, (310) 392-7816, http://www.lincolnfinewines.com; Silverlake Wine in Los Angeles, (323) 662-9024, http://www.silverlakewine.com; and Surfas in Culver City, (310) 559-4770, http://www.surfaslosangeles.com. And from the winery Villa San Juliette, (805) 550 0522, http://www.villasanjuliette.com.