Friday, June 7, 2013

Casa Pacifica Wine & Food Festival 2013

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Casa Pacifica 20th Anniversary Wine & Food Festival
California State University Channel Islands
A nice way to begin: Domaine Ste Michelle Champagne with a strawberry in the VIP Welcome area.

California State University Channel Islands, formerly the Camarillo State Mental Hospital, was the site for this year's wine and food event to benefit Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families. A reported 85+ food vendors and 150 wine and beer vendors from Conejo Valley to Santa Barbara took part in the event.  

Music in the VIP entry was performed by Luca Ellis, Jazz Singer/Crooner and a fine jazz guitar accompaniment.

Delicious appetizers were provided by Mastro's Steakhouse.

This festival had some of the best arranged food displays I've ever seen, and it all tasted very good.  These were from Panera Bread.

Food, food, and more food...

 Bread Basket Cake Company

 Cuppy Cakes
 Frost It Cupcakery

The Sugar Lab
Chef Stroh's Pestos
Smok'n is my favorite!
 Cookies by Design

 Yolanda's Catering
 Spanish Hills Catering
 STACKED: Food Well Built
 Café Fírenze 
 Sweet Arleen's
 Trader Joe's of Camarillo
 Food Art inside the VIP tent

 The Tavern
 Inside the VIP tent
Sushi Fresh Ventura
KIND Healthy Snacks

The Yummies Culinary Competition is a culinary showdown judged by a panel of celebrity culinary judges. Awards are given for both Savory and Sweet categories

The Yummie Savory award was won by Chef Gabe Garcia of Tierra Sur restaurant with his housemade pastrami and corn beef on a housemaid onion challah roll topped with a zucchini pickle. The Willows was awarded 2nd place, and The Yacht Club at the Harbor was awarded 3rd place.

The Yummie Sweet award was won by head pastry chef Anastasia Chavez of Wolf Creek Restaurant & Brewery Company with a spice cake infused with Dunkelweizen brew, layered with a burnt-butter spiced frosting, and garnished with a beer toffee infused with Abbey Dubbel beer.  Vivoli Cafe was awarded 2nd place and Cold Stone Creamery was awarded 3rd place.
Volunteers Adam Sperber and (Emcee) Cheri Elson Sperber.

Beer Tasting

Dr. Hops, from the LAB Brewing Company, poured a hearty Double IPA (99 IBU, 10% ABV). It was excellent!
 Fireman's Brew, started by two LA firemen, donates a portion of its profits to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. I tasted their Brunette - a German Doublebock with chocolate malts.
Wolf Creek was celebrating the grand opening of their new brewery (3rd location) with a taste of Midnight Howl Black IPA, which blends an IPA and a Stout together to create a very unique beer.

The Hitching Post - my favorite was the 2008 Perfect Set Pinot Noir, Fiddlestix Vineyard.  A very good way to start my wine tasting. Devon enjoyed the 2012 Dry Rosé Central Coast.
We enjoyed tasting Tolosa Winery's 2012 Rosé, 2010 Pinot Noir, and 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon. 
Eden Canyon Vineyards poured their 2010 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles, and their 2009 “Jolie" Bordeaux Style Red Wine.
LeVigne Winery poured their Super Tuscan 2007 Le Vigne di Domenico Cabernet Franc and a 2007 NIKIARA Meritage (53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 9.5% Cabernet Franc, 9.5% Malbec, 9% Petit Verdot). Both were excellent! Devon tasted the 2010 Kiara Private Reserve Chardonnay, Paso Robles.
San Vicente Cellars poured their new 2010 Full Circle (65% Syrah, 35% Sangiovese), 2009 Sangiovese, Sanjojovese (Super-Tuscan blend of 75% Sangiovese, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 8% Tannat), 2009 Syrah, San Stefano's Blend, and 2009 Dulcinea, Red Wine (65% Tempranillo, 25% Grenache, 7% Syrah).  White wine fans were enjoying the chilled 2010 Viognier - which we enjoyed a bottle of recently. My favorites were the Syrah, Dulcinea and the Full Circle.
Magavino Cellars poured the 2010 Butterfly, Chardonnay, 2010 Zinfandel, 2010 Syrah, 2010 Magnatude.  I enjoyed a taste of my favorite, the Syrah.
Cass Winery 2010 Rockin' One Red (47% Syrah, 32% Grenache, 11% Petite Sirah, 10% Mourvèdre), 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot, 5% Malbec, 3% Merlot), 2011 Grenache, 2012 Oasis Rosé, 2011 Roussanne, and 2012 Viognier. I'm a fan of the Rockin' One Red!
Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery poured their 2010 Train Wreck (Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Mourvèdre), 2010 Zinfandel, 2010 Fiesta del Pomar Junction (Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot), 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010 Syrah, and 2010 Zinfandel.  The Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon were excellent.
Toucan Wines is a micro-winery that produces estate grown Zinfandel and Petite Sirah wines from the Arroyo Grande Valley. They were pouring their 2008 Estate Zinfandel, 2010 Old Vine Carignane, and 2009 Estate Toucanet. All excellent!
Harmony Cellars poured their 2010 Chardonnay, Central Coast, 2010 Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2010 Malbec.  All were excellent!
Squashed Grapes showing a Peach Semillon.

Herzog Wine Cellars poured their 2011 Chenin Blanc, Clarksburg, 2011 Special Reserve Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, 2010 Estate Petite Sirah, Prince Vineyard, Clarksburg, 2010 Weinstock Cellar Select, Zinfandel, Lodi, 2010 Herzog Limited Edition Zinfandel, Lodi, 2010 Herzog Tasting Room Reserve, Meritage Red Wine, and 2010 Herzog Special Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley. Chenin Blanc has always been a little to light of a style to me, but I enjoy the rest of these wines.

Malibu Sundowner pouring their popular wines, like Camarillo Cuvee.
I tasted the Ritual 2009 and 2008 GSMs and both were very good!  The 2009 had 40% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 30% Mourvèdre and the 2008 had equal amounts of each.  Devon tasted the 2009 Viognier, Paso Robles.
First Crush Cellars poured a vey nice 2010 Fatal Attraction (50% Malbec, 50% Syrah) and a 2010 Smooth Operator Bordeaux-Style Blend (78% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Malbec). Devon tasted the 2011 Friends with Benefits, Central Coast white wine.
Kiamie Wine Cellars poured a 2010 White Kuvée, Paso Robles (67% Viognier, 33% Roussanne), a 2008 R'Own Style Blend (57% Grenache, 38% Syrah, 5 Viognier), and a 2008 Meritage (75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot).  The GSV was interesting, and I liked the Meritage the best.

Scott Cellars poured a 2010 Pinot Blanc, Mesa’s Edge, a 2010 Sangiovese, and a 2010 Cuvée JP (85% Sangiovese, 15% Syrah).
The Ventura County Winery Association was pouring some familiar wines - Cantara, Magnavino, and Four Brix.  I had a sample of one of my favorite Four Brix wines - 2009 Temptress (44% Tempranillo, 29% Mourvèdre, 16% Grenache, 11% Graciano).  It was great as usual.
J. Hamilton Wines - pouring a new blend.
Riverbench poured an excellent 2009 Chardonnay, Santa Maria Valley and an very good 2009 Estate Pinot Noir.
We caught the popular Ferrari-Carano with a little bit of his 2012 Fumé Blanc left and managed to get a pour before he packed up to leave early.  It was excellent, which is why I'm sure he was out of it.
Harmony Cellars poured a 2010 Chardonnay Central Coast,  a 2010 Zinfandel, a 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, and a 2010 Malbec. They were all excellent!

The Rest of the Fun

 Cayman Jack - wow, that's bright!
I've seen this clever attention-getting performance at Brendan's Irish Pub & Restaurant booth before.  Mike Reynolds plays bagpipes while standing on a Powers Gold Label whiskey barrel.

The VIP area included free wine bottles and other drinks.
A continuous line was at Tolosa Winery.
Sound Effect has everyone dancing.

Surprising who you might meet at a wine festival! Happened to see Charly Emery, a personal strategist, author, and wine fan.
Silent auction items were very interesting and colorful.

Boogie Nights did a good job of playing oldies.
The TJs group was enjoying the day! I'm not sure what chord the Ukelele player is using, but I always thought they looked easy to play.