Sunday, February 27, 2011

Wining all around town...

Can't believe we're at the end of February already. How did that happen? And there have been so many wine events already, and so many more coming up. It's hard to choose when there are so many opportunities to meet like-minded folks and taste great wines. So far this year, there have been a couple of Grape of the Nights at Valencia Wine Company, the 1st Annual SCV WineFest (pictured right), several LearnAboutWine events, not to mention my own series of Introduction to Wine With the Goddess classes.

Did you go to Pinot Days at the Barker Hanger in January? It rocked. We were so 'pinot-ed out' that we hit Pourtal in Santa Monica to chill out with a French rose and yummy snacks. Met owner Stephen Abronson and we're working out some dates for the Goddess to do some food and wine pairings. Stay tuned!

We followed up with a visit to Palate Wine Merchant to taste some additional Pinot Noirs represented by Jamie Edlin. The 2005 Westwood from Sonoma, with its cherry nose and spicy finish delighted the senses; the 2009 Chesebro from Arroyo Seco had mushrooms and tobacco on the nose, followed by red fruit, and the Prodigal and 2008 Vergari made the trip to Glendale worth it.

Lava cake. OMG.
Did you attend the SCV WineFest? It was pretty great for a first-time event. The friendly staff at Embassy Suites Valencia (Santa Clarita?) did a good job providing the venue, there were lots of small production wines to choose from, some great food choices, and additional fun wine-related and spirits-related booths. The Million-Dollar-Palate himself, Mark Newman, provided some fascinating insights into Spanish and Italian wines; there were Scotch and Sake classes and a delightfully delicious dessert wine and death-by-dark-chocolate-lava-cake made in front of us by Chef Cindy Schwanke of COC. I think Joel Fisher and company did themselves proud. Some of my favorite wines that day belonged to Shai Cellars, Four Brix, Pulchella - all local winemakers - and I was in heaven with some of the wines provided by and importer Jason Hayes.

Did you attend the STARS of Santa Barbara events from LearnAboutWine? There were two of them, and they were fabulous, as always! LAW just recently did a STARS of Oregon and Washington - which I unfortunately had to miss - and I heard great things about that as well.

Where are you?
Did you attend my Introduction to Wine classes? No, you probably didn't, 'cause I didn't see you there. But you should! I have another class scheduled on March 8th at 7 PM at Total Wine and More in Northridge. Click on the link at the top right of the blog to buy your tickets. Go ahead - make the commitment! You'll be glad you did!

At Pulchella
A bunch of us showed up at the Pulchella tasting room in Newhall a couple of weeks ago. Steve and Nate are making some great, well-priced wines and serving them up in a delightful setting filled with art. We're big fans of their 2009 Tempranillo, but took home a few bottles of their NV Everyday Red blend for $14.99/bottle. Great pizza wine for a great price!

Many more events coming up - and I'll have exciting news about the LA WineFest on June 11th and 12th!


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