Jun 18, 2012

Le Mistral Blending Seminar and Winemaker Dinner

This event, the Le Mistral BlendingSeminar was held at the Intercontinental Hotel on Cannery Row in Monterey California. A wonderful area surrounded by the majesty of the Monterey Bay. The hotel is in a beautiful spot and is easy to get checked into. Just pull up and they will take care of everything. The room featured a fireplace, balcony, an ocean view as well as a view of Cannery Row and was very well appointed and comfortable. While I was not using my brain and forgot the reception started at four so was busy showing his friends around the Cannery Row area on what was a spectacularly beautiful summer day. The good news is they were on time for the Le Mistral Blending seminar.
As we were welcomed in and selected our seats, it was immediately apparent that this was to be a full on, hands on, play with the wine and blend up a storm kind of event.  There were pipettes, funnels, beakers and numerous bottles of different varietals of wine on every table. We were talked through the philosophy of the Le Mistral wine by the wine maker Sabrine. The goal was to make a blend along the line of the Le Mistral only better (at least in your mouth). Much easier said than done, even though you are given the same components. Le Mistral is a blend which includes the major grape varieties, or cépages, that have been grown in the Southern Rhône Valley of France for centuries. These include (but are not limited to) Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Carignan. We also had the use of Petit Syrah and Alicante Bouschet. There are remarkable similarities between Monterey, California’s wine growing regions and the Southern Rhône Valley, including the blustery afternoon winds for which this Rhône-style wine is named.

We all had great fun and found the event very informative, with the
Ventana people being a friendly knowledgeable group who went out of their way to make it a pleasure for everyone. We even got to meet Allan (a guest at the event) a wonderful gentleman who had met the Queen on more than one occasion!

we all got to make a bottle of our blends and put a label on it and push the cork in and spin the foil on. Everyone got to take home their own unique bottle of Le Mistral. So we know you are thinking “wow that was a great night”. Well that was part 2, remember the brain lock missed the drinks and appetizers part 1. Serious fail!

Now it was on to part 3 the evening's wine dinner that was prepared by Executive Chef of The Clement Monterey Jerry Regester. Each course was specially prepared to be paired with one of the Ventana wines and the Le Mistral collection.  The dinner was served with panoramic bay views on an outdoor patio on the second floor as the sun set. The five course meal and pairings were amazing!

This was also a good time to reflect on some things you had learned and to chat with those at your table. Monterey Bay put on beautiful weather, The Clement is a great facility and the people at Ventana know how to put on a great event and to make each and every person feel like a VIP. 

So to Randy, Bruce, Loren, Barbara, Elizabeth, Georgette and Sabrine, thank you for a wonderful evening!

None of us rose early enough for breakfast but stopped into the Clement restaurant and had lunch before heading out.  An order of yummy Calamari and a juicy Kobe beef burger was excellent. The staff of the Clement took care of our luggage while we all dined.  The attention to small details helped make a nice place a great place. Thanks!

 The Le Mistral Blending Seminar is a must do event in the Monterey area and we totally 'recommend' it.

We are looking forward to future events and maybe we will let the Kiwi join us next time!

Kiwi & Koala

The 2014 Event is on, don't miss out!!!!

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