Unlike some sports, such as baseball, somewhat inclement weather does not keep football players off the field. This is as true at the Pasadena Rose Bowl as it is anywhere else.
And like football players, attendees of the 2nd annual Masters of Taste did not let a little rain keep them off the Rose Bowl field.
With once again all proceeds [expected to be over half a million dollars] raised by the event going to benefit Union Station Homeless Services, a wide variety of Food, Beverage and Sweets Masters were on hand to satisfy the intrepid attendees who braved the overcast skies for a great cause.
Eve has already shared her reporting of the event here so I won’t fill up this article with a list of participants.
While I wandered the event, my wonderful wife Karen kept showing up with some great food to keep me going. Here are her comments about the food…
Beef Tataki from Alexander’s Steakhouse of Pasadena: One of Michael’s favorites
Pork Belly Ramen by Ramen Tatsunoya: Extremely satisfying.
Handmade Mushroom Stuffed Pasta in Red Pepper Sauce by Celestino’s of Pasadena: I enjoyed this immensely. A great combination of flavors
Oxtail Dumplings from Bone Kettle: They melted in your mouth, absolutely delicious.
Hache LA: Angus burger sliders gave Michael and me the energy to make it around the Rose Bowl.
Spire Works of Eagle Rock and Westwood: Beef rice bowls were scrumptious.
Mama Lion: Uni appetizers were amazing.
Momed: Lamb shwarama sandwiches were extremely flavorful.
And here are a few standouts for me in the wine and beer category…
Ascension Cellars – this Paso Robles based winery continues to shine. I focused on the new releases at their table – the 2016 Siren Rose was very tasty; the 2015 Silver Blanc blend of Marsanne, Roussanne, Chardonnay and Viognier was unusual and delicious. The 2014 Mayhem Syrah [with a little Petit Verdot and also a small amount of Roussanne – instead of the traditional Viognier] was outstanding.
tercero wines – okay, I did not actually taste Larry Schaffer’s wines this time. He was pouring in the section for sponsors only. I did reach over and shake his hand and he was going to sneak me some wine over the fence when he was finished pouring for the sponsor who had come over to his table – you know, for reporting purposes. But, someone [and you know who you are] told me that there was also a tercero booth in the main area. So, I left in search of that booth, but I had been given misinformation. I do taste Larry’s wine often [actually very recently] and I can tell you they are worth seeking out.
Iron Triangle Brewing Co. – located in the growing and trendy Los Angeles arts district. The Dark Ale is well worth a trip to their taproom.
San Fernando Brewing Co. – loved the red ale. For our Santa Clarita Valley readers, this is an especially short trip to the taproom. You should definitely check them out.
As I had mentioned, now that we are actually experiencing some weather in Southern California, there was a threat of rain that afternoon. The cloud cover kept things cool and when there was one cloudburst while we were in attendance, it actually served to make things more fun, seeming to bring people closer together.
If you were there, what did you do when the rain started?
For us, we just happened to be visiting our friends at Golden Star Vineyards, Lee, Helen and Heather Williams. And when the sky opened up briefly, we just joined them under their tent and took advantage of the opportunity to taste more of their wines. Really loved their Chardonnay, the Viognier [in a blue bottle, no less] and the rose of Tempranillo. A real treat was a barrel sample of 2015 Syrah – aged in 100% new American oak, I was concerned that the oak might overpower the wine, but the fruit shone through. And their signature Purple Haze zinfandel-based red blend is always a favorite and was a great way to wrap up our day as well.
See you next year, rain or shine!
Michael Perlis has been pursuing his passion for wine for more than 25 years. He has had the good fortune of having numerous mentors to show him the way, as well as a wonderful wife who encourages him and shares his interest. After a couple of decades of learning about wine, attending events, visiting wineries and vineyards, and tasting as much wine as he possibly could, he had the amazing luck to meet Eve Bushman. Now, as Contributing Editor for Eve’s Wine 101, he does his best to bring as much information as possible about wine to Eve’s Wine 101 faithful readers. Michael is also Vice President of Eve Bushman Consulting (fka Eve’s Wine 101 Consulting) http://evebushmanconsulting.com/ and President of MCP Financial. Michael can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.