We apologize for not having new content all summer. We had so much fun that we forgot to put in the work! That said, we attended so many events, here is our attempt to get you caught up.
First, we found a great Peruvian restaurant in Walnut Creek, CA called Parada. We really love it! After our first visit, we must have gone back three weekends in a row. The menu is just so fun and easy. Their cocktail list is equally fresh and lively. Given how much we love this place, it’s likely we’ll go back to do a more in-depth feature on Parada next time we’re out in Walnut Creek...stay tuned.
For the Fourth of July Weekend, we attended the 10th Annual All American Zin Day. We discovered a great group of family winemakers that each make GREAT WINE! Family Wineries Dry Creek Cooperative Tasting Room consists of six locally and family owned wineries. Collier Falls Vineyard, Dashe Cellars, Forth Vineyards, Lago di Merlo Vineyards and Winery, Mietz Cellars, and Philip Staley Vineyard and Winery. The group of winemakers there are passionate about their wines and you see it in all they do to support one another with this joint venture. When you visit the tasting room, you’ll be able to taste more than 30 varietals and blends from the surrounding vineyards in Sonoma County. The tasting room is open seven days a week so when you’re in the area make sure to visit Family Wineries in Dry Creek and say Sip & Saveur sent you!!
While next door, we visited our friends at Kokomo Winery who just opened their Members Only lounge that weekend. Leslie Hanson, our friend and tasting room lead, was able to get us access and we had the pleasure of meeting Randy Peters- a trailblazer in the wine industry. He poured us vintages from the Kokomo library and spent time talking to us about both the wine and the vineyards. It was such a pleasure to have been able to do that. Thanks Leslie!
We were also spoiled rotten with lobster this summer! We attended two lobster feeds and who doesn't love a lobster feed!? The first was at Black Stallion Winery in Napa and the other, at “Suite D” of Girl & The Fig fame in Sonoma, was hosted by Walt Wines. The food at Black Stallion was deliciously prepared by Sorensen Catering and everything was amazing! The event started out with a welcoming reception where Black Stallion had cheese plates while pouring select wines on the patio. During dinner, they poured their 2014 Limited Release Poseidon Vineyard Los Carneros Chardonnay and Cabernet (don’t knock the pairing). We had the unexpected pleasure of meeting part of the Black Stallion family, Maché and Chris Indelicato. They were both super warm and friendly; we really enjoyed our chat with Maché. While there, we also met a couple of Maui “influencers” who flew in just for the event. Wow! Such a great evening with a very nice group of invited guests - mostly wine club members.
It goes without saying that the Walt Wines feed was catered by Girl and the Fig. It was a daytime event that was so much more than lunch. Starting with plentiful charcuterie, this event was a release party for their Bob’s Ranch Chardonnay. It was aromatically intriguing and flavorful with a beautiful floral character. Both smooth and sweet (though not overly) there was a nice grip to pair with the lobster.
On Sunday, August 21st, we attended the Family Winemakers Tasting in San Francisco. It forced us to miss the Healdsburg White Party with some of our other wine club friends, but we just couldn’t pass up this event in our own backyard for the second year in a row. It was held at the Cruise Terminal of Pier 27...a shockingly beautiful location! Hopefully Pinot Days location scouts will discover this gem as they seem to be playing around with locations.
This event has been happening for the past 26 years and for the 121 wineries that were pouring at the event this has become a family tradition.
A little about Family Winemakers of California; This is a great organization that advocates for the rights and interests of their members to produce, market and sell their products. They are dedicated to preserving the broad diversity of California wine. They have lobbied drink taxes, water issues, fees, warning labels, social media, labor issues, and farming regulations at the State Capitol and regulatory agencies. Because of this organization’s work, we are able to enjoy California wine all across the United States.
During the event, we would’ve been able to taste forty-four varietals and blends (assuming we could make it!).. We obviously enjoyed tasting, but also enjoyed talking to all the people pouring. A frequent topic of conversation was the Chimney Fire and how the smoke may affect the surrounding Central Coast vineyards. Attending the event allowed us to meet new producers from Northern California and the Central Coast that we hadn’t been introduced to before. We particularly liked the connections we were able to make along with the wineries that expressed a legitimate interest in SIP & SAVEUR…we’ve begun reaching out and visiting some, though there are obviously many long overdue e-mails to come.
On Monday, August 22nd, we attended Wines of Danger for the first time. This trade and media tasting was held at Mission Rock Resort in San Francisco. This event was a much smaller group compared to Family Winemakers, only seventeen California wineries spanning from El Dorado County to the Central Coast. We really like attending this event because it was really intimate and gave us more time to spend with, in many cases, the individual owner/winemaker - as opposed to the marketing/PR or tasting room staff you get at most other events (not that it’s a bad thing). Being new to this particularly close-knit group, we didn’t know too many people, but we were thrilled to the newbies as we were welcomed with open arms, wine and some of the freshest oysters you’ve ever had. Shout out to Mission Rock Resort!
Following such events, we would usually list our standout wineries here; but instead, we’re going to do it a little differently this time. We intend to honor these standouts with their own entire write-up once a more personal visit occurs (one has already taken place...you know who you are!).
The last event we attended for the summer was EAT DRINK SF at the Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion. This was a 3-day event, but we only attended the Sunday, August 28th tasting. If you love food - and when we say food, we mean GOOD food - then you have check out this event next year you’ve never been! EAT DRINK SF is a truly magical experience, featuring the work of more than 160 chefs and restaurants and unlimited pours from local beverage purveyors in San Francisco Bay Area.
A standout for us was the Wines of Portugal session headed by the Founder of San Francisco Wine School and Master Sommelier, David Glancy. His talk not only inspired us to buy and drink more Portuguese wines but possibly even pursue CSW Certification in the near future (we’ll also be attending the Wines of Portugal trade event hosted soon by Full Circle Wine Solutions - that same group that recently put on the stellar Latin American Wine and Spirits). So much wine and food with so many events...and so little time to tell you about all of them while still holding down our day jobs. For now ;-)
EAT DRINK SF is one food event that you definitely need to attend with an empty stomach so you can taste through the entire line-up of top-tier Bay Area restaurants from some of the top chefs anywhere. We’re already looking forward to next year (and hoping the vegans won’t be protesting again)!
To recap; we had a really busy summer and enjoyed a great deal of wine...but best of all, we met some really great people!!