Pacing myself at this event is key. I really thought that as a veteran attendee, I had this all figured out by now. Sunprotection, check. Comfy shoes, check. Light/layered outfit, check. Super hungry stomach ready to go on a crazy-gastro-feast, check. However, despite my best efforts – I am simply not able to taste everything. My friends have nicknamed me ‘the Python’ for my great ability to go without food for a long period of time, and then eat the equivalent of a gazelle. However, this is the Big Kahuna of all San Diego Food & Wine events and there is A LOT to cover. If someone has ever achieved this task, I’d like to meet them.
I did manage to physically make my way around the entire event this year to check things out, and there were some new and fun surprises a long the way. This is my first review installment for the 2015 San Diego Bay Food + Wine Fest , and it will focus on wineries that I think are doing an outstanding job. The price range is $30-$60 per bottle. Before you think, “That’s sort of expensive”, please consider that these are wines are family grown and every ounce of wine exudes grade A effort. You can spend $8-$15 for a glass of subpar mass produced ‘house’ wine when you dine out – so consider that the quality bottle of wines below are about the same pricing per glass. Which would you rather have now? These are bottles to buy, sit on, share with friends, or enjoy because you know what … we are all worth it. 🙂 By the way, there is a $15 option that is fantastic, but you have to keep reading to find out who it is and how you can get it. Cheers!
Preston Parker – Amibitious $35 – This local Point Loma family has done what pretty much all of us dream of doing, and that’s creating their own wine! Named after their sons, this is a balanced bordeaux blend wine that is dating a Californian. The Cab Franc is balanced out with a soft mellow fruit kick from the Cab Savignon. Look for amazing growth – they are starting out small, but doing it right.
Linked Vineyards – $120/3 Pack – Linked is owned the by Link Family and they too are living the dream. They are fortunate to be living in Knight’s Valley between Napa and Sonoma where grape growing conditions are ideal for Cabernet Sauvignon. Not only are they making great wine, but they are living in a gorgeous part of the world. The logo is three links which does represent their last name, but also related to their connection to their family, their winemaker and the friends that help support them. Each bottle is hand numbered by Jessica and Drew, and they record who acquires each one. So, you will always have a link to Linked Vineyards, and they to you! You may purchase their beautiful wine here.
Robert Young Estate Winery – $42-$49 Moving farther east, is the Robert Young Estate Winery. This 5th generation family run winery makes small batch boutique Chardonnay that will blow your socks off. Creamy notes of citrus with a beautiful finish. Again, this is very small production wine and is 100% estate grown. You may purchase online, or visit them in Geyserville at their gorgeous vineyard tasting room. I personally can’t wait to go visit in person and get to know all of their wines better!
LangeTwins Winery – For five generations, The Lange family has been growing sustainable winegrapes in the Lodi Appellation. My family and I drive through Lodi every single summer, so I got so excited to learn about this winery after tasting their wine. I wasn’t able to taste all of their offerings, but I was very impressed with the reds that I did sample. The Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is a steal at $15. It’s bright with hints of cherry and an easy drinker. The 2012 Caricuture Red Blend is equally as pleasing with Old Vine Zin + Cab blended together to make a festive glass of cheer. It’s also another great buy at $15/bottle. I can’t wait to visit them in 2016 on our yearly roadtrip!
Peltier – 2010 Teroldego $60 Hey, I met a new grape! This 100% Teroldego wine is big and beautiful. It is fruit forward, but without all the heavy sugar. It also has smoke, earth and a balanced acid structure. This is the perfect holiday wine and would pair nicely with a big Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Operated by 3rd generation winemakers, all of their wine is estate grown, sustainably farmed, and certified green.
There were lots of tasty bites at this year’s event – who hit a home run? Stay tuned for the Food review installment!