6th Annual Ventura County Wine Trail Celebration Sells Out!

998599_683640348328552_70706217_nIf you were waiting until the last minute to purchase a ticket to the The 6th Annual Ventura County Wine Trail Celebration today, June 20 at 5:30-8:30pm, you waited too long because tickets are sold out!

 

Why? 

1. This year, the festival will be held at a brand new venue– The Collection Riverpark’s outdoor event center located by the brand new REI and Whole Foods across from the old Esplanade near the intersection of the 101 and Highway 1 in Oxnard.

2. 17 of Ventura County’s local boutique wineries pouring tastes of their new releases.

3. Wines made from every major wine grape growing region in California from Napa Valley to Malibu.

4. Over 30  different varietals and blends to sample.

5. Opportunity to meet and talk with area wine makers.

6. The very best in local cuisine with restaurants prepared their signature dishes onsite.


7. Great musical entertainment by The Shoemakers Brothers.


Event tickets WERE available for $40 at www.VenturaCountyWineTrail.com, and  WERE going to be for $50 at the door. A portion of the evening’s proceeds will be donated to the Ventura County FOOD SHARE, a food bank that houses and distributes millions of pounds of food each year to the hungry of Ventura County.

So next year, get your tickets in advance!

The 6th Annual Ventura County Wine Trail Celebration
Returns to Celebrate the Bounty of the County!

 The Ventura County Wine Trail brings the 6th annual Wine Trail Celebration to Ventura County, June 20th, 2013. This year, the festival will be held at The Collection Riverpark’s outdoor event center – West Ventura County’s newest shopping, dining and entertainment destination.

This year, the festival will feature more than 17 of Ventura County’s local boutique wineries; each sharing their latest releases. For wine lovers, this event is truly unique – as local wine makers bring in grapes from every major growing region across California (from Napa Valley to Malibu). This allows Ventura County Wine Trail tasters to experience the very best of California wine county – all without the road trip. This event will boast more than 30 different varietals and blends, and provide an opportunity to meet the wine makers behind them.

In addition to the lineup of wines, guests will taste the very best in local cuisine – fresh from the area’s hottest restaurants. Chefs prepare their signature dishes onsite for attendees to enjoy over the three hour festival. In previous years, attendees have been treated to inspired culinary creations – such as Black & Blue Filet, Poached Salmon with dill cream sauce and Lamb Burgers.

This year’s special musical guests are local favorites, The Shoemakers Brothers. Musicians and fans alike declare this band to be one of the best live acts they have ever heard or seen. The Brothers astound audiences by switching instruments, as they perform; they are all classically trained on string instruments, they all sing lead vocals and harmonies, and they all play guitar, piano, drums and bass.

Between the delicious wines, mouthwatering fare and unforgettable music – the 6th annual Ventura County Wine Trail Celebration is festival not to miss!The festival begins at 5:30pm – 8:30pm, June 20th, 2013. Event tickets are available for $40 and for sale online at www.VenturaCountyWineTrail.com, and for $50 at the door. A portion of the evening’s proceeds will be donated to the Ventura County FOOD SHARE, a food bank that houses and distributes millions of pounds of food each year to the hungry of Ventura County.

- See more at: http://www.venturacountywinetrail.com/event/the-6th-annual-ventura-county-wine-trail-celebration#sthash.LP4735rn.dpuf

Rafters, Mammoth CA: Steven Kent Tasting–Lola & Dutton Chardonnay

Last month, after a bluebird afternoon on the slopes at Mammoth Mountain, I participated in a fantastic Twitter Wine tasting featuring Steven Kent Wines hosted by The Rafters Restaurant at the Sierra Nevada Resort 202 Old Mammoth Road, Mammoth Lakes, CA. Established in 1967; Rafters was recently reborn as a world class restaurant with a 7000 bottle wine list!

Sommelier Chip Irmish had glasses ready and the wines chilled perfectly for me when I dashed back after a few quick turns on the slopes. Continue reading

Wine Predator Makes Finals in Foods From Chile Contest!

FFC_header768223“Congratulations! You’re a Finalist!”

said the Foods from Chile folks in today’s email that arrived at lunchtime.

Just one more step & you could be on your way to taking a foodie dream-trip of a lifetime with Foods From Chile!”

Yes, really! One lucky writer will go on a Guided Culinary Tour of Chile with members of top media publications from April 7th – April 13th 2013 with flight, transportation, and accommodations all included!

The winner  will visit a number of different areas in Chile known for their wines, olive oils, and fruits (for example, the Atacama, Coquimbo and Valparaíso regions), experiencing tours and tastings at vineyards, olive groves, and fruit plantations. The group will meet with local exporters and producers, and eat specially prepared meals at the restaurants of local Chilean chefs. Continue reading

February Fun Part 2: Valentine’n Wine, Steven Kent, Garagiste South

Will you be my Valentine? Please vote for me to go to Chile!
http://promoshq.wildfireapp.com/website/302/contests/310099/voteable_entries

Welcome to February Fun –the Fat Tuesday edition where I’ll share details about this week’s events.

  • Tue. Feb. 12 Fat Tuesday
  • Thu. Feb. 14 Valentine’s Day
  • Thu. Feb. 14-18 Valentine n Wine, Ventura County
  • Fri. Feb. 15 Twitter Tasting 4-6pm PST Steven Kent Winery
  • Sat. Feb. 16 Garagiste South Tasting, Solvang
  • Thu. Feb. 21 City of Bordeaux Twitter Wine Party
  • Fri. Feb. 22 Dark and Delicious Petite Sirah Tasting, Rock Wall, Alameda

Tue. Feb. 12 Fat Tuesday!

Did you know today is Pancake Day? Do you know why? (And what do you pair with pancakes??) According to wikipedia, during Lent, people often give up rich foods including butter, milk and eggs, key ingredients in pancakes. Because so many people would use these ingredients up by making pancakes the day before Lent, it became known as PANCAKE DAY! (What do YOU pair with pancakes and syrup? Riesling? Something sparkling and a bit sweet?)

While I suggested pancakes for dinner to my husband, Chef Tim Kilcoyne at The Sidecar Restaurant is doing it up right with gumbo and oyster po boys and more–with oysters from the Jolly Oyster, of course–and my husband has got his hopes up for that!

Th Feb 14-18 Valentine n Wi2013_ValentineWine_Largene, Ventura County: Starting on Valentine’s Day and going all weekend is the third annual Valentine n Wine passport weekend event in Ventura County. Continue reading

“Spoon Trick” Saves Birthday Bubbles!

For my birthday  in 2011, I was in Egypt. Last year, I had a huge party. This year, I wanted something more quiet.

EgyptBDayCakeOn the eve of my birthday, we drove late into the night to arrive in the first few minutes of my birthday at Benton Hot Springs Bed and Breakfast in eastern California near the Nevada border. Appropriately, we stayed in the “Cowgirl Room”!cowgirlBenton

In the morning, we soaked in an outdoor hot springs fed pool, enjoyed a delicious breakfast, packed up and put on our ski clothes, and drove 45 minutes to Mammoth Mountain in the Sierra Nevada where, at lunch, we met up with Tony Fletcher, a dear friend of ours from Burning Man, a fellow wine enthusiast and music buff who was in California on tour for his book about the Smiths and who joined us for a weekend of skiing. Tony even bought me a birthday beer of the local Mammoth brewing IPA which went perfectly with my pulled pork sandwich at the Mill Cafe on the mountain. (Read about Tony’s epic powder day at Mammoth the day before–possibly the best day of skiing in his LIFE!)

Because of a reservation mix-up, for our accommodations the rest of the weekend, Tamarack Lodge upgraded us to a luxury two bedroom cabin where this exquisite bottle of Roederer Champagne waited, chilled, which we enjoyed with oysters I brought from the Jolly Oyster in Ventura plus some rosemary crackers and goat cheese.  It was worth every penny (and since it was room service, I’m sure that was a pretty penny!)

That night, we hamammothbirthdayd dinner at the Lakeside Restaurant (review to follow!). While they have a nice list, I had brought something even better, a Marilyn Remark 2003 syrah that fellow wine blogger David Rodriguez (aka @zensolo on twitter) had given me in November (review to follow!)  All in all, it was a perfectly incredible day!

On Saturday we skied all day and we cooked dinner in: arugula salad with portabellas cooked in a 30 year tawny port and fresh manila clams from the Jolly Oyster with an amazing chardonnay from Ojai Vineyards (review to follow!). For dessert, we had the 30 year tawny and salted chocolate almonds.

Sunday morning as we were packing up, I realized there was one glass remaining of the Roederer. I’d never tried the spoon trick before–imagine my pleasure to discover that it works perfectly and the Champagne paired delightfully with my bagel and lox!

Thanks to Mammoth, Tamarack, The Lakeside, The Mill,  Zensolo, Tony, Benton, and my family for such a wonderful birthday weekend!

PS Do you like the daffodils? Believe it or not, I brought them from home!