Usually I attend wine events and write about them. Pretty simple. But several weeks ago a friend asked me to volunteer with her, “for fun”, at The Wine Affair: Sip, Stroll & Savor the Sounds. My husband was working that day anyway, so I thought, why not? Last year I attended the event and wrote about it (A reprint of that was up this past month to remind people to buy their tickets – the event was a sell-out.)
When I was assigned to help Cathy Craig serve Silkwood wines inside Ro, Ma Jewelers I thought I scored – Yes! Inside! The heat had been unbearable and this past Sunday was to be the threshold of 100+ degree days with just enough humidity to put me over the edge…
So I show up for duty. I check in with the Soroptimist International of Greater Santa Clarita Valley and get my schedule. Five hours with Cathy pouring wine. I’d never done it before, and right away Cathy told me to scoot out and enjoy the event, but she was all alone with all that wine…so I stayed put.
My friend, the one that signed me up, had one hour of hostessing to do and then she went off and bought tickets to do the event without me!
This said friend shall remain nameless…but we do have the same number of “e”s in our name… And I still dig her!
So, fast forward, I’m trying to learn how to use those pesky do-dads that serve a two ounce pour. I can’t do it. I don’t have the right wrist action or something. I finally learn that I have to invert the bottle completely to get it to work right and concern myself, for the rest of the day, with the idea that I may not be able to pour without one as I will mistakenly invert my bottles at home…
I pour, Cathy opens, she explains her wine, I mark off tickets. We have a system going. She lets me talk to wine 101ers that were seeking Eve/Waldo per my Twitter (Where is Eve/Waldo now?) without complaint. When I try and talk to more than 3 friends at a time and tip over a bottle of opened wine at the table – Cathy resists the urge to put a cork in me.
It was great fun. I would do it again. If Cathy will have me…
Here is the important stuff:
I got to drink endless amounts of Silkwood’s Red Duet (50% Cab & 50% Syrah), Syrah and Petite Syrah. (My favorite: Petite Syrah. ) And since we shared a table with Leona Valley Winery I also got a few pours of their wine. (My favorite: 2004 Fault Line Shiraz.)
I did get to visit a couple of friends before the event started: Victor Herstein from Vic Rocks was setting up his band, Guy Lelarge was preping his classy wine bar for 400 guests, locals Steve Lemley and Nate Hasper where ready to introduce their Pulchella wines and Greg Amsler was prepping Salt Creek Grille’s patio in style. I wish I could have gotten to see more of the workers, as I was one of them this day, but was happy to serve a great organization. One that let me drink while I work!
Since we had such rave reviews about the last Wine Dinner, we are doing another one in October. This time there will be a Halloween twist complete with Vampire Wines and costumes!
Thank you for selecting Vines Restaurant and Bar at the Hyatt Regency Valencia as the “Best Of” in Santa Clarita. Vines Restaurant and Bar was selected for the following categories:
Chef Rolf Rothen voted as Best Chef
You can have Chef Rolf prepare your very own intimate and exclusive Chef’s Table Dinner. To Reserve your own Chef’s Table Dinner, please contact Ms. Peggy Hill at 661.678.4100.
Come join us for Sunday Brunch and let us serve you the “Best Chef” creations in Santa Clarita Valley.
Raymond CanalHyatt Regency Valencia
Hyatt Regency Valencia | 24500 Town Center Dr | Valencia | CA | 91355
Where can you go in this valley for a wine experience unlike no other? One with a handsome Sotheby auction catalog of eclectic original oil paintings, one-of-a-kind bronze sculptures, exclusive event tickets and privately cellared wines? A 5-course meal prepared by a master Chef? A debut of a new wine? Exclusive winery selections? Private grounds that only the birds will share your view of? A classy jazz quartet to serenade you? Ballerinas? Palm trees? Only one venue will be offering an event of this caliber…
Now, I can’t tell you all of the surprises lined up! There shall be many more treats in store for the intimate guests of this year’s 2nd Annual TPC/WEST RANCH art & wine Gala
Join Honorary Chairs Roy P. and Sheri Disney as they come to Santa Clarita one night to support the Arts in the Santa Clarita Valley on Saturday October 3 at 6pm for a Champagne Reception, a gourmet wine paired dinner and culminating in the Art and Wine Auction.
“Mitch Cosentino, introducing his new partnership with pro golfer Fred Couples, has created a premier wine experience debut just for guests of the gala this year,” began Guy Lelarge, owner of Valencia Wine Company and co-chair of the event. “At press time it looks pretty good that ‘Pure Cos’, a new label for Mitch, will be available at this event.”
“Of course there will still be the Champagne reception,” continued Lelarge. “But Mitch will be this year’s major wine sponsor and has donated an incredible amount for a single supplier. We really appreciate his generosity to the event.”
Besides Lelarge other co-chairs include Don and Cheri Fleming, Ken McMahan, Larry Mazzeo, Greg McWilliams and Dave Bossert.
“Besides myself, other artists that will be attending the event again this year will be George Scribner, Noah, Laura Owens, James Coleman, Timothy J. Clark and Harrison Ellenshaw,” stated Bossert. “George’s debut painting of the TPC clubhouse last year was a big hit so he will repeat it again this year in a new rendition. And, as we did last year, the painting will be in the auction while prints will be given to each table sponsor.”
“And every day something new is added to an already very exciting catalog for our guests. There’s one item, actually 20 of them, that will not only ‘decorate’ the dining room but will also be available at auction.”
“Along with that teaser we have a few exclusive tickets to sporting events and film premieres – many with some exciting vip treatment attached. The private cellar donations, of library and large format bottles, make this a unique event for wine aficionados.”
“The Helen Laprairie Band, as well as the Drew Jorgensen Quartet, will round off the evening nicely,” Michele Reckon-Golden, Event Producer and Director, added.
This year’s beneficiaries include the Santa Clarita Ballet, Canyon Theatre Guild, the Joe Ranft CalArts Alumni Scholarship Fund and the Community Arts Partnership (CAP). For more information or tickets please contact http://www.valenciawine.com/ or 661-254-9300.
Exclusive faire created by Chef Daniel Otto to exhibit
“Part of the Arts is Culinary Arts”
Assorted tray passed canapés, and cornets
Seafood Station with Jumbo Prawns, Oysters, with assorted condiments, mignonettes, citrus, and remoulade with Ice carving
Filo Cups with balsamic, caramelized onions, and feta cheese
Beef Tenderloin mini with mushroom duxelle in puff pastry
Tomato and Basil Bisque with Tomato caviar and Asiago crisp
Carparcio of Roasted Beet with truffled brioche round, poached pee-wee egg, splashed with pomegranate vinaigrette, baby Mache, and Carr valley goat cheese
Housemade Champagne sorbet with floral ice bowls and orange simple syrup glace
Porcini crusted Diver Scallop atop Lobster and Fine Herb Risotto
Prime Filet medallion drizzled with a cabernet reduction
Portobello and vegetable en croute atop sweet corn chutney
Moray cheese goat and sheep milk cheese with vegetable ash
Spanish Marcia drunken goat soaked in cabernet wine
Cahill Porter Irish cheddar soaked and laced with Guinness
Served with apple gelee, candied nuts, and berries
Chicken breast (one per member+)
Mushrooms (8 oz)
Butter (1 cube)
Garlic (4 toes crushed)
Parmesan Cheese (10 cup)
Red Wine (1/2 to most of the bottle)
Corn starch (2 tablespoons)
Melt butter with garlic, de-bone chicken and hammer (tenderize), slice, and coat with cheese. Cook chicken breasts until brown. Remove from heat, add mushrooms, sauté three minutes, adding corn starch, water (as needed) and red wine. Serve with rice or fettuccini.
All recipes serve small to large fire stations/households. Countless calories, fat and carbohydrates. Good for energy needed to fight fires and/or reclining in front of the TV after playing cards for who does the dishes.
Ed’s Wines: “The theory is to cook with the same wine that you’re drinking but I never do. Don’t spend more than $15 on a wine you plan on just cooking with.” I don’t usually argue with the cook but my husband is known from time to time to toss his own coveted wine, from his glass, into a dish just to keep the guests entertained. Red Wine – use White Zinfandel as Marsala Wine can be too sweet for Chicken. White Wine – Fume Blanc which is a little lighter than a chardonnay for Clam and Shrimp meals.
I wanted to let your readers know about an exciting new series of Food & Wine Pairing classes starting at Vino 100. Our very own local celebrity chef, Tamra Levine, will host a 4-part series of wine pairing classes beginning October 1 entitled “Demystifying Food and Wine Pairing”. Tamra will prepare and exquisitely plate a selection of food tastes for each session, while Vino 100 will pair the perfect wines. Cost is $36 per class and each class runs from 7-9 p.m. Guests can join us for all classes or just those that fit their interests and schedules; however, reservations are required and space is limited to 25 per session. Shari and I are very excited to bring this to Vino 100. Not only will this series be fun and educational, but it will be delightful and delicious, as well!
Vino 100 Valencia
28112 Newhall Ranch Rd.
Valencia, Ca. 91355
Vino 100 presents Demystifying Food and Wine Pairing – The Series
Class I – Thursday, October 1, 2009
-Basic Wine Evaluation and The Principles of Food and Wine Compatibility
-Learning to train your “taste” to develop your own pairing intuition
-Learning to read a wine label – predicting wine style and food affinity
-Flavor dynamics of food and wine
-How to “read” and evaluate a glass of wine
-Elements of Wine and Food Pairing
-The Major Varietals
Class II – Thursday, October 15, 2009
-Food and Cuisine
-Food and Wine Taste Components and Texture Characteristics
-Determining Sweetness and Acidity Levels and the impact on Wine and Food
-How Salt, Bitterness and Effervescence effects Wine and Food
-Tannin, Oak and Body
Class III – Thursday, October 29, 2009
-Food and Cuisine
-Impact of Food Cooking and Preparation Methods on Wine Pairing
-Wine Varietals and Style
-Food Types and Style
-Impact of Animal or Vegetable Fats and Oils
-Spice – Hot, Savory, Sweet
-Interaction of Wine and Food Flavor Intensity
-Interaction of Wine and Food Flavor Persistency
-Wine length, Finish and Aftertaste
-Putting it All Together
-Indigenous ingredients, Ethnic Cooking Styles, Regional Wines
-Wine and Cheese
-Wine and Dessert
|Sake Fest…An Exclusive Wine House Event!!!
2311 Cotner Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90064-1877
Phone: 800-626-9463 x260
Maryland is one of three felony states (along with Kentucky and Utah) which certainly puts us in a special category. What is most unusual is that we were a misdemeanor state starting in 1951 but became a felony state pro-actively as a result of our legislature being concerned about online underage abuse at the height of the Internet boom. As a result, our state passed the law in 1999 to make shipping alcohol a felony. We also have an exceptional work-around that the liquor lobby passed in 2003 to approximate direct shipping. The $10 Direct Wine Seller’s Permit allows wineries to ship wines to a licensed Maryland wholesaler that are not currently carried in the state. The box will then be transported by the wholesaler to a licensed retailer of the consumer’s choosing.
Sounds pretty clear, no? Well, the process is far from explicit, which coupled with the inconvenience of the permit has resulted in about 66 cases of wine being shipped into Maryland since the bill was enacted six years ago, generating a whopping $150 for the state (compare to NH which netted over $500k in 2007 alone). Conversely, the Maryland law on transporting alcohol is very clear: only one liter at a time via motorized transport on one’s person and no more than twice a month. We are obviously hoping to rewrite this law into a more conventional consumer direct shipping law as 37 states have.
How did this happen?
Like in so many states, the wholesalers have become very generous political patrons over the years and consequently are feared by many in the General Assembly. They are very good at convincing our elected officials that any new regulation or legislation will put them out of business, harming the local economy drastically. Our excise taxes are some of the lowest in the nation – $0.08/bottle for wine, $1.50/gallon for hard alcohol – and have not been changed since 1972 and 1955 respectively.
Is this just a way to control liquor being sold to minors, as may have been in the beginning, or is it a way to control who GETS to sell beer and wine?
The wholesalers and retailers opposing direct wine shipping inevitably advance four main arguments why it is a bad idea:
1) underage access by wily teens;
2) inability to pursue tax scofflaws;
3) encouraging out-of-state entities that do not pay local taxes to take business away from companies that do and making them out of reach of state authorities; and
4) loss of jobs.
All of these arguments are red herrings and have been disproven in so many states that is hard to believe they are still being used. Wineries are already shipping into Maryland, yet no public health emergency is taking place as a result. Moreover, the federal Department of HHS survey of almost 340,000 underage drinkers conclusively determined that the Internet is not a widespread source for alcohol when NOT A SINGLE RESPONDENT mentioned it (http://oas.samhsa.gov/underage2k8/Ch4.htm#4.3). This alleged behavior was also debunked by the FTC in their 2003 report on the benefits of direct wine shipping.
Regarding the evasion of taxes and inability to ride the offenders out of town on a rail, the proposed Maryland legislation requires the license-holder to submit to Maryland jurisdiction. The licensee would collect Maryland taxes and remit them on a monthly basis just like retailers in our state. The Comptroller’s office has not reported any problems collecting tax from corporations domiciled out of state with nexus in Maryland (think Best Buy remitting sales tax collected in Minnesota when you purchase a TV online).
What is interesting about legalizing direct shipping in other states is that the number of retail permittees stays the same or increases while the amount of wine sold increases faster than the imports coming in. This means that the established wholesale/retail/restaurant three-tier system sells more wine. In fact, direct wine shipping creates more jobs and does not affect the vast majority of liquor store retailers whose clientele do not visit Napa and could care less about shipping back a case of wine.
Who then profits and who is affected?
Consumers see potentially many thousands more choices, wineries can make a better, more stable living and retailers can now attract millions more customers than could walk through their bricks-and-mortar location.
Are there repercussions to any of you in this cause?
I run a food-focused venture capital fund that invests in specialty food companies. People in the wine business tend to know people in the food business, so I suspect my network will be the greatest asset that appreciates.
Can I send you wine from CA? From anywhere?
As former First Lady, Nancy Reagan, counseled us to do, “Just Say No” seems to be the motto of the state. You can only transport 1 liter of wine on your person at any one time via motorized transport into MD and no more than twice a month as an individual. Anything else is a felony.
So, what are you doing to change things and what can your friends in CA do to help?
We are making enormous strides to get this passed after 29 years in Annapolis. You can help by signing up for our cause (http://www.mbbwl.org) and petition (http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/maryland-consumer-direct-ship-petition), donating a small amount to help fight the well-financed liquor lobby (https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=2184279) and tell anyone you know who lives near Maryland and drinks wine to get engaged in this issue. We will make this law in 2010 but need your readers support to help us do so.
Marylanders for Better Beer & Wine Laws
4315 Underwood Road
Baltimore, MD 21218
Tel: (443) 570-8102