Are you hungry and thirsty for more? Let’s keep going…
Melville Vineyards and Winery is owned by Ron Melville, Chad Melville, and Brent Melville in Lompoc, CA. Since 1999, they have been making 100% Estate wine, tending the vineyard and farming the land. The 2011 Estate Pinot Noir Sandy’s is made from grapes picked from the 4-acre Sandy’s block, sandy northeast section of the vineyard. This is a full-bodied, balanced Pinot Noir with a fruity and floral nose, robust oak flavor, and slight black pepper on the backend. This would pair nicely with a rare, peppercorn-encrusted ribeye steak! If you’re wine tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley, stop by Melville Vineyards and Winery for a tasting, open daily from 11am to 4pm. For more information, please visit their website or call 805.735.7030.
Chef Mark Mollica of La Vecchia Cucina in Santa Monica, CA made Tortiglioni Al Funghi e Tartufo or Tortiglioni Pasta with Mushrooms and White Truffle. Chef Mark had a plexi-container full of white truffles and the scent reminded me of my trip to Milan last year. Truffles are in season in September and the menus in Italy are chocked full of truffle dishes from pizza to pasta. I loved the flavor of this pasta dish, especially with the shavings of white truffle. The Tortiglione pasta was too doughy for me. I think rigatoni or orecchiette would have been better. The corkscrew- or dimpled –shaped pastas would hold the sauce better and texture would match perfectly with the truffles.
John Hamilton, founder of J. Hamilton Wines, was on hand pouring the Private Cuvee flavors – Pomegranate, Peach, and Raspberry. My pick out of the bunch was the Raspberry. Bubbling like an “adult” soda, the crisp raspberry flavor bursts out like sun-kissed, fresh-picked raspberries, not too sweet. This would be great for a summer deck or pool party or elegantly served with a fresh fruit tart with vanilla bean ice cream. For more information, please visit their website.
Chef Ben Ford of Ford’s Filling Station in Culver City, CA served up Lamb Meatballs, Tomato Chutney, Guanciale, & Cilantro Yogurt. This was amazing! It was a bite of the Mediterranean – beautiful ground lamb, bright tomato chutney, lacy guanciale (Italian unsmoked bacon), cilantro yogurt that tasted like tzatziki. Brilliantly executed!
Dragonette Cellars started in 2003 by John Dragonette, Steve Dragonette, and Brandon Sparks-Gills in Los Olivos, CA. John and Brandon drew upon their previous experiences at Fiddlehead Cellars, Trobreck (Barossa Valley, Australia) Sine Qua Non, and Demetria to launch their first vintage in 2005. They are very hands on and pride themselves with crafting ultra-premium wine by buying their fruit by the acre and tend the vineyard to ensure high quality fruit. 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara is a blend of grapes from Grassini Famly Vineyards and Vogelzang Vineyards – medium-bodied, slight pepper notes, tropical fruit aroma. If you’re in the Santa Barbara County, make an appointment for a tasting and visit with the winemakers. For more information, please visit their website or call 805.688.8440.
Chef Brooke Williamson of The Tripel and Chef Nick Roberts of the Hudson House rocked out Pulled Duck with Plums, Pickled Fennel, Seeded Vinaigrette, and Beet Paste. The duck was tender and lovingly executed as a pulled meat. The texture and flavor components kept my mouth happy with the soft tender duck, sweet & tart flavor from the plums, and fresh, crisp flavor from the greens. Very creative execution!
The Perrin and Haas Families own Tablas Creek Vineyard in Paso Robles, CA. They purchased the property in 1989 and the first vintage was produced in 1997. This is not their first wine venture. The Perrin Family owns Chateau de Beaucastel in the Rhone and Robert Haas founded Vineyard Brand Imports. With their collaboration, Tablas Creek Vineyards produces Southern Rhone inspired California blends. 2012 Patelin de Tablas Rosé has a beautiful pink rose petal color with rose petal nose. It was light and crispy with a slight sour bite at the end. If you are in the Paso Robles Wine Country, stop in for wine tasting or reserve a winery tour. For more information, please visit their website or call 805.237.1231.
There was so much more to be had at this event. Just wish I had more time and room in my stomach for more food & wine. If you didn’t attend this year, definitely make plans attend next year! It’s a blast!
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Los Angeles Food & Wine