Thursday, June 5, 2014

Wine & Roses at the Del Mar Grand

This past Sunday was the 31st Annual Wine & Roses Charity event, held on the grounds of the Grand Del Mar. With over 40 wineries pouring multiple tastings of their award-winning wines, and 20 local restaurants, the event was a hit with patrons!

That's water in my glass
As I announced a few weeks ago, I am due to have a baby in September, so I was, sadly, not able to partake in the wine part of the festivities, but I definitely enjoyed the food offerings. However, my husband enjoyed for the both of us!

Since I’m unable to imbibe for a few more months, I will let Steve discuss the wines. Here are his highlights.

Cakebread cellars have always had a special place in my heart since their chardonnay was the first white that my wife and I shared when we were dating. They had two exquisite wines for taste at the event, a chardonnay and a merlot. The Carneros Napa Valley Chardonnay was oaked, but not your typical buttery chardonnay; it was full bodied and enjoyable. The Napa Valley Merlot was surprising, boasting spice and flavor. Both wines were not to be missed.

Our World Our Community provided a fine selection of South American wines. They included a surprising new type of wine, 2010 Tannat Reserva from Bodegas Carrau in Uruguay. Uruguay, not normally known for wines, supplied surprisingly good wine with a full body and excellent finish. I would not be surprised if Uruguay Tannat wines become the next Argentinian Malbecs.

I have been avoiding Cabernet Franc for several years after being overwhelmed with them during the early 2000s. I recently rediscovered them in Little Italy, however, and I cannot get enough of them. Fazeli Cellars, a Temecula Winery, provided an excellent mild Cab-Franc. It was a full-bodied wine that pairs well with meat and cheese that has a mild finish.

I have left the best for last: I tasted an excellent Tuscan Style Red from Faulkner Winery called Amante. The wine was spicy, with hints of blackberry and earthy aroma. I loved this wine and it really reinvigorated my interest in Temecula wine country again (I admit I have not been back in too long).

Ethiopian food from Muzita

Sausage with a potato square from Tractor Room

Yummy Cakes

For the food, the standouts were the scrumptious Ethiopian food provided by Muzita Bistro. The menu items were spicy lamb wot (a term for an Ethiopian stew), served with the ubiquitous injera, and a beet salad served on a patty of deep-fried injera. For some reason, I really expected the pretty magenta beets to taste sweet, but it was actually a very salty (not overly so) bite! I’ve never had anything like it, and look forward to visiting the restaurant for these dishes.

Another stand out for me was Oceanaire, with a salmon lightly breaded and fried, garnished with a crème fraiche and cucumbers. The fish was delicious, and my husband stated that it paired perfectly with one of the sauvignon blancs that were being tasted.

Another great pairing for the wines were the cheeses served by Venissimo. I’m consistently impressed by their generous samples in their stores, and the delicious flavors and varieties of cheeses.

My sweet tooth has been raging lately (thanks hormones!), so I was certainly up for the desserts served by Yummy Cupcakes and Viva El Café. Yummy Cupcakes served cupcakes, of course. My favorites were the classics – a rich chocolate (which Steve teased was yummy with the big reds being sampled) and a sugar cookie classic vanilla cupcake. Viva El Café sampled a cheesecake topped with berry coulis that made me remember that I like cheesecake when it’s baked and prepared properly.  

What a great event! Quite a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon, I think!
June 05, 2014 / by / 0 Comments

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