There is something very enchanting about Hearst Castle with it magnificent stature overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Perhaps it is the reminder of the romantic time it signifies. Whatever draws us to the majestic monument and the bygone era seems even more magical when you are in the castle’s presence at night. This atmosphere made this the ideal environment to experience the opening event for Sunset Savor the Central Coast.
Sunset at Hearst Castle took place around the courtyard and Neptune pool. There was a musical ensemble at the pool that enhanced the evening’s experience, playing tunes from the era Hearst Castle represents.
Many of the attendees dressed the part; taking us back to the 1920s and 1930s. Women were attired in flapper dresses thereby embracing the times that Hearst had his elaborate parties on the grounds or those parties we have read about in Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.
The food was catered by the Lido Restaurant at Dolphin Bay and Chef Maegen Loring did a superb job of sharing farm to table offerings. The Paella was unique in that it had a Southwestern flair by the use of pulled pork. The Ratatouille was tasty without being overwhelmed with tomatoes and eggplant. The lentil and sausage was also excellent.
There was a selection of wines, some of which were the Sunset International Competition winners. Three wines really stood out. Argot’s 2011 Couture, a Grenache Rosé with its unusually low alcohol level of 11.7% was excellent and displayed wonderful fruity flavors. The wine was befitting to the period of Hearst Castle’s heyday with its Art Deco label. Brian Carter Cellars, the Washington state winery’s 2009 Byzance, a southern Rhone-style blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre Cinsault and Counoise was balance with notes cherries and clove. Lone Madrone’s 2009 Tannat was another amazingly balanced fruit forward wine that showed exceptionally at this event.
You could not have asked for a better evening. The ambiance ingratiated everyone to be friendly and sociable. It was a remarkable evening that will have a long lasting memory for every attendee.
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