…and have a few morsels of the day to share. Our plan, food first, wine after, was difficult to stick to but we did it. We figured the crowd, upon meeting the wine representatives when they first entered, would be caught up for awhile so we headed to the other side of the event to see what we could get our hands on.
So, just this time dear reader, we start with:
The Wally’s event that benefited the Michael Bonaccorsi Foundation, started at noon so it was a perfect idea to eat lunch before drinking. And, as I knew we were going to have some of the same restaurants from last year, Eddie was prepped for who to look for and ready to go along with me in my calculated plans.
The restaurants we got to choose from inlcuded The Hitching Post, Osteria, Pizzeria Mozza, LaBrea Bakery, Spago, Jar, Gelato Bar, CUT, Lucques/A.O.C./Tavern, Comme Ça, Hungry Cat, Bouchon/Seagrass, Artisan, Pasolivo, Olio e Limone,Ballard Inn Restaurant, Brothers’ Restaurant, Full of Life Flatbread and Caché.
As I’ve highlighted Artisan and Cache on this blog I was on a special hunt for them. From Artisan, we devoured their complete lineup that included a fresh ceviche, perfectly seasoned hamburger sliders and, get this, a strawberry and chamomile “Push Pop”. The latter being the most appealing for guests after wine tasting, as they found the mini pop container fun enough – and the wine substantial enough – not to care about the sticky drippings down their arms.
From Cache I enjoyed seared Albacore tuna. We also were equally thrilled with the offerings of fig, blue cheese and Prosciutto from Bouchon, Santa Barbara rock crab from Sea Grass (both the fig and crab dishes were served last year – I noticed – and loved just as much), melon soup with poached prawns and pickled mustard sauce from Comme Ça, Kobe beef from Spagos, Lamb Rangoon from Olio e Limone and an awesome tuna tartar taco from Brothers’s Restaurant.
But now we were thirsty. In reverse order, we went back to the wine tables, following a shift in the crowd, as they were following their noses for lunch.
The full lineup of wineries, well over 40 with each serving 2 or more varietals, was more than anyone could take in. We split tastes at tables and poured out quite a bit. There was so much we liked, but we were going to have to drive, so after 90 minutes of tasting, and an hour for resting/sobering we counted up these wineries we visited: (Wines in parenthesis warranted our honorable mention.)
Au Bon Climat, Bodegas M, Brander (Both 09 Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc Au Naturel), Costa de Oro (Both 08 Pinot Noir Gold Coast and Dijon Selection GCV), Estrella Creek (06 Stargazer), Falcone Family (08 Syrah Paso Robles), Fiddlehead (the 06 Lollapalosa and Pinot Noir Seven Twenty Eight), Field Recordings (08 Chorus Effect Red Paso Robles), Gainey, Herman Story (Both 08 Syrah Nuts and Bolts, Grenache on the Road), Hitching Post, Jonata, Justin, Ken Brown (08 Pinot Noir Santa Barbara), McPrice Myers (08 Beautiful Earth Red), Qupe (Syrah Sonnie’s Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard), Rusack Vineyards (07 Pinot Noir Reserve) and Stolpman (07 Syrah Hilltops).
The Art, Auction and Music
Wishing we had the bucks to bid on so many magnums, trips and even surfboards. But what caught, and kept, my eye besides the magnum pictured was a photographic display from Mark Robert Halper Photography. In his Sunlight and Water exhibit on 8/14 in Los Olivos you too can check out his work.
Finally, when we had our “sobering up” time, we enjoyed reflecting on everything our senses were treated to that day. Tastes of outstanding wine, the smell of gourmet food cooking, seeing beautiful photographs, touching etched wine bottles and hearing the Gary Burk Blues Band. And thinking about next year’s 8th event…