Frank Cornelissen dinner Sun. Nov. 11

“Mt. Etna speaks through Frank Cornelissen.”
—Alice Feiring, author of Naked Wine and The Battle for Wine and Love: How I Saved the World from Parkerization

“Naturalness is the road, not its end.”
—Frank Cornelissen

Sotto welcomes
with special guest Lou Amdur

Sunday, November 11
7:00 p.m.
$139 per person
(plus tax and gratuity)
featuring a menu of Sicilian dishes
created especially
by chefs Zach Pollack and Steve Samson
for the event


Sicilian stuzzichini
Albacore belly “beccafico” (pine nuts, eggplant, mollica)
Squid ink spaghetti (sea urchin, guanciale)
Smoked squab in agrodolce (autumn caponata) 
Pecorino condito (bitter honey, orange, walnuts) 

Frank Cornelissen’s only dinner event in Los Angeles.

To reserve, please email
or call 310.277.0210.


“Frank Cornelissen came from Belgium to Etna,” wrote Eric Asimov in a recent New York Times piece, “where he makes extreme wines unlike almost any others on earth, which people tend to love or hate.”

Cornelissen’s supremely polarizing wines are a wine director’s worst nightmare. Because they are entirely unsulfured, there is extreme bottle variation in any allocation and secondary fermentation (and the resulting spritz) is more common than not. Because they are unfiltered and unfined, the wines are cloudy and have all kinds of nasty looking bits floating around in them. And the volatile acidity in the wines — there’s no way around this — can make them smell like shit when you first open them.

So why do feature them on our list at Sotto? And why did the general manager, Dina Pepito, agree to us do so, against her better judgment?

We keep them on the list because we want to offer our guests Natural winemaking in its most extreme expression. From the Natural wine police to the consumerist hegemony of wine punditry in the U.S. today, everyone agrees that 1) these are impeccably Natural wines; and 2) they represent, to borrow an expression from Roland Barthes, “wine degree zero.” These are wines to which literally nothing has been added. Nothing, zero, zippo…

The other reason? We love them and love to drink them! They may not be for everyone but on our palates, they’re supremely delicious.


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  5. Q&A: Lou Amdur, Los Angeles Magazine’s New Wine Columnist! | - July 17, 2014

    […] I’ve done a bit of travelling: first, San Fransciso (Mission Chinese—yay!) and the Sierra Foothills (Hank Beckmeyer and Gideon Bienstock, double yay!), and then a long-planned trip to the south of Italy (Campania and Sicily). Back in Los Angeles and with my evenings free, I have been able to dine out a bit, and have enjoyed eating at places like Salt’s Cure, Tsujita, and Night + Market. It has also been great to connect with Rory Harrington, Zach Pollack, and Steve Samson at Sotto. These folks kindly hosted several wine chats this summer at Sotto with myself and Dr. Jeremy Parzen. (We are going to have another chat in November with the most radical winemaker in Italy, Frank Cornel….) […]