Roberto Rogness of Wine Expo?

If I remember his was the only place I could find (that would ship) Guy Charlemagne Champagne at the time. I remember him being very nice.

I used to stop at the store whenever I was out in LA (my sister lives there). Great selection. In fact, some of the wines/producers I used to buy were only available at that store, so now I can’t find them. He even came once to an offline I organized out there.
I spoke with him once after he had a stroke when he was in the hospital, but lost touch with him in recent years. It would be nice to get an update.
Last time I was at the store Santa Monica), it was completely different and more of a wine bar with some retail. Of course, that was a while ago as well.

I too have fond memories of Roberto, very helpful to me re Italian wines, not just Lambrusco, back in my Parker/Squires Board days…Speaking of which, thisis, I believe, the first post I have seen from Loren Sonkin since I left the Parker/Squires Board…bit ofthread drift…but Hi, Loren

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If I recall, his shop was full of actors, actresses and super models. That was my impression from his posts anyway.

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I stopped in once circa 2007 to meet him when I was in LA for work. He wasn’t there, but I walked away with a bottle of Ciro, which I’d never tried before.

He definitely brought a unique, sometimes zany, spirit and liveliness to the boards!

I am sure he had clients like this. However, it was basically a glorified liquor / discount wine type store and I never once saw anyone glamorous there. He did hook me up with a nice Champagne selection for a major party I had in the main Bungalow at The Chateau Marmont that I was told by friends who worked there was one of the best parties ever held there which says a lot given their history!

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That embodies my memory of Roberto - having a discussion about wines that taste like the smell of manure - and how Robert defended it. Along the lines of “some people like the smell of bat guano.”

HeyHeyHey, Robert… I would frequently go in there. That’s gotta count for sumthin!!


But Tom I never saw you :smile:

You must have come in during the evening with the Porn Stars❤️

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Well, Tom… it’s all a matter of your personal experience. I occasionally find a wine that smells/tastes “like a Kansas outhouse on a hot Summer day”. (Often it’s a Natural wine!!). That stirs up some very pleasant childhood memories for me!!
“Cat pee on a gooseberry bush”?? Another pleasant one.

YES! I remember this, fondly

It was a green Alfa Romeo.

I helped open up Ali’s other shop in Atwater, so I got to see Roberto a lot. Opinionated as hell, don’t even try to persuade him otherwise. I learned a lot about music and retail from him. I hope he’s doing ok.


Greg is correct about it being an Alfa, two of which I had in the late 70s to late 80s. Robert was particularly proud that he had tricked it out with Ferrari style tail lights.

I also told him that if he recommended a red wine I knew that I wouldn’t like it. That seemed to amuse him and he would say something like “but you like my champagne recommendations.”


Well, well, well…a blast from the past!

Wasn’t Roberto the man who sold Champagne back in 2005ish? Santa Monica or Venice area? If so, this was part of the lore of the very early days of Falltacular. Some of you old timers may recall that for the 2nd Falltacular I had charged a small fee, and then had taken that money to buy Champagne, which went to buy gifts for the participating winemakers (at that time, maybe a dozen?). Roberto picked out all the bottles for me (I didn’t know sh#t about Champagne, other than that @Brian_Loring loved the stuff and likely he what spirited me to do Champagne as gifts). I paid Roberto, and subsequently the ABC learned of the event, and being unlicensed (wtf did I know then…I didn’t know it was an illegal event), we had to cancel the whole thing, and I think Roberto was kind enough to refund me all of my purchase.

Subsequently, this was the milestone moment when I learned how to license Falltacular (thanks to John Holdredge for the legal help), and we ended up picking a charity as the beneficiary for the event’s proceeds, which is Laura’s House. Roberto was part of all of this, a really key moment for what has become something remarkable with Falltacular and the good it has done.

Roberto, shout out!


That is him! Wine Expo in Santa Monica. Famous for a large sign that said Friend Don’t Let Friends Drink Veuve.


Great to see this thread. Roberto was definitely one of the more entertaining WBers in the early days and on the Parker board. I hope he’s doing OK.