May 30, 2016

PBFW Grand Tasting 2016 Part one the WINE

What did you do from March 31st to April 3rd 2016? Well if you were one of the lucky ones you were at the 9th Annual Pebble Beach Food and Wine event.

This wonderful and successful wine and food event is possibly one of the words best. A place to mix and mingle with the best chiefs and wine makers in the world. A place to taste food and wine that is of truly uncommon quality. Throughout these few days you can revel in access to the best of culinary and wine rock stars at wine tastings, cooking demos, and some very exclusive and unique dining opportunities.

The Pebble Beach Food & Wine is an annual event sponsored by Food & Wine Magazine and according to those who count stuff, attracted an estimated 8,500 attendees. According to the event organizers, that was the highest number of eaters and drinkers in the event's history.
They must have known we were coming...

This year we attended the Saturday Lexus Grand Tasting.  While some have told us its too expensive for three hours of tasting and nibbles, there is a couple things to remember. There are some truly world class wines that most normal people would never afford themselves a bottle or could even realistically gain access to them. Ultra premium wines from Europe, Australia and New Zealand as well as North and South America. This is also in addition to some of the worlds best chefs serving some exceptional nibbles (small bites). As a bonus there is also spirits and Beer.

Entering the event is a snap, the easiest event we ever attend. How is that you ask. The answer is drive a Lexus. The Lexus rewards of ownership program gets you a 15% discount and a drive up to the front door with free valet parking opportunity. Also pull your Visa Signature Card out to get into the slightly early entry line (one card per couple please not your entire group).

The Grand Tasting can be an intimidating experience for the uninitiated. There are so many wines to taste and so many food options that picking a starting point and wanting not to miss anything is a stressful feeling. But we had a plan. This event was to be mostly about the Aussie wines. First stop inside the door (which took too long, 10 minutes after the start time due to line delays) it was straight to the Penfolds station. Starting with a Bin 389, 707, RWT and a lovely sip of the 2010 Grange. Short of a trip to Australia this is a great start to any wine tasting. Found some New Zealand friends as well with Craggy Range and Peter Yealands (mmmm).

On the way to the wine Australia table we stopped to visit one of our Aussie wine favorites, Mollydooker and producer of Wine Spectator's #2 wine in the world. Watched a demonstration of the Mollydooker shake and enjoyed some amazing wine. Moving along it was a stop to say g'day and have a sip or two with some California fav's with Pisoni Vineyards Gary and Mark Pisoni. We must say that having the owner, founder and son pouring is a class move. Cheers Gary and Mark. Gary even had a good story about buying cheap Grange at a restaurant in Fiji many years ago. The Pisoni wines from the SLH region in Monterey County are world class. Thanks for the great wine and good laughs guys.
Next was a stop at Daou Vineyards. These guys are leading the charge for Paso Robles Cabernet to be the best in the world and are doing an excellent job. Go taste them and see for yourself. We do!

We never miss an opportunity to taste / drink some Tablas Creek wine. Consistently world class Rhone wines. Tablas Creek Vineyard is the result of a decades-long friendship between the Perrin family of Ch√Ęteau de Beaucastel and Robert Haas, longtime importer and founder of Vineyard Brands. A shared vision that creates such beautiful wine and these were no exception.

We made it to the Wine Australia tables and were well rewarded with a series of lovely wines from a variety of producers. With favorites from Yalumba, Jim Barry, Balnaves, d'Arenberg and Wirra Wirra to name a few.

David saying thanks and until next year.
The Valet when leaving.
Spent some time going through the offerings. There were a few to get through but we are professionals. While we may be a little biased the Aussie wines were hitting the spot and generally are great value. Just stay away from the critter wines that come from there that you see at the grocery store.

The food, the wine and the experience, are worth the price of admission as this is a wonderland for foodies and wine lovers alike. Coming up in part two will tell of our food experience.

Go to the Pebble Beach Food and Wine web site and register for notifications so you do not miss next years event April 20th - 23rd 2017. See you there...

Happy Tasting Adventures,


1 comment:

We are always on a WineWalkabout looking for a good drop. Please comment and ask questions about the things you like or would like to read and see. Don't drink without pants on!