Thursday, June 19, 2014

Casa Pacifica Wine, Food & Brew Festival 2014

The 21st Annual Casa Pacifica Angels Wine, Food & Brew Festival
California State University Channel Islands, where the festival is held each year, was built in a 1930s  Mission style and is located near the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Mountains. 
Our first stop was to get our wine glasses engraved by A Total Diva Designs.

 Delicious colors.

Sound Effect Band kept a great variety of music going.
Plated Events by Chef Jason whipped up some great food.
Lamb Slider with Avocado & Sweet Potato Fries. Can't fool me, that was KALE in the slider!

I tasted many familiar wines from the Ventura County Wine Trail and they were all very good as usual.  I also enjoyed tasting some new wines, or ones I don't see very often from Paso Robles.

Magnavino Cellars
Tastings inluded the 2011 Tre Gemmé, 2010 Zinfandel, 2010 Syrah, and 2010 Petite Sirah.
Cantara Cellars
I sampled the 2010 Zinfandel, Old Vines - Block 817, Mons-Fry Ranches, 2010 Frankenvine, Red Wine, and 2010 Sangiovese, all from Lodi.  And all three were very good! 
Ventura County Winery Association 
The VCWA offered some very good representative wines from the area. These included wines from Magnavino, Herzog, and Panaro Brothers. 
I tasted the Magnavino 2010 Trifection, a blend of Grenache, Sangiovese and Petite Sirah.
Herzog Cellars
It was a warm day and some of the cool crowd-pleasers poured were the 2012 Chenin Blanc, Clarksburg and the 2013 Special Reserve Chardonnay, Russian River Valley.  The Chardonnay is my favorite!
J. Hamilton Wines
From the blending guru Jon Hamilton, a sparkling Private Cuvée, Un-Deux-Trois, that was nicely chilled.
Wades Wines/Malibu Sundowner Wines/Sundowner Brewery
The multi-talented Bill Candela, the long-time resident wine expert at Wades Wines, was pouring Malibu Sundowner Wines. Bill happened to mention that he'd be in charge of wine education at Sunstone Winery soon. Cool! I'm sure he'll be missed at Wades.

A couple of great white wines from these two wineries...
Summerland - 2013 Viognier, Paradise Road Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley

Ferrari-Carrano - 2012 Chardonnay, Sonoma County

Pomar Junction 
I tasted the 2010 Pinot Noir, Paso Robles, one of my favorites.
I tasted their Double Gold winner, 2010 El Sueño (75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot) and their 2010 Primitivo (100% Primitivo) and both were very good.

Scott Cellars
This boutique winery in Lompoc poured a great Cuvée JP 2010, Central Coast (86% Sangiovese, 14% Syrah).

This is why I like coming to wine festivals--discovering new wineries (or those that are new to me) and sampling their wines.
Strey Cellars
The 2012 Merlot from this new start-up in Ventura County was excellent!
Aldabella Custom Crush Winery
I liked both of their new white and red wine offerings. One of the white wines and two of the red wines were made with grapes from the "South Coast" and I think they mentioned that these were from Temecula. The Chardonnay grapes were from Ventura County (I don't see that very often) and the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were from Santa Barbara County. They are close to home in Westlake Village, so I'll have to check them out soon.


Ranchita Canyon Vineyard 
This is a winery I'd never seen before and I was glad to taste some of their very good red wines.  They are located near Pleasant Valley in San Miguel, north of Paso Robles.
  • 2010 Old Vine Petite Sirah - Estate
  • 2011 Old Vine Zinfandel - Estate
  • 2009 Fusion - Estate (Grenache & Petite Sirah)
  • 2009 Divin - Estate (Bordeaux blend - 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 14% Malbec, 14% Petit Verdot, 12% Cabernet Franc)
  • 2009 Serenata - Estate (Super Tuscan - Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc)
DV8 Cellars
DV8 Cellars produces Rhone-style wines using Rhone varietals from the Central Coast and their wine labels are inspired by Formula One car racing. I liked both their white wines and red wines.
  • 2012 Turn One Viognier
  • 2012 Grand Prix Roussanne
  • 2011 G-Force Grenache
  • 2011 Eau Rouge GSM Blend
  • 2011 Monaco Syrah
Eden Canyon Vineyards
I liked the Cabs, Bordeaux Blend, and Syrah from Eden Canyon.

  •  2010 “Freedom from the Press" Estate Cabernet Sauvingon
  •  2011 “Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon
  •  2010 “Jolie" Bordeaux Red Wine 
  •  2011 “Syrah" Estate
Amigos with fiesta hats appeared to like Eden Canyon wines too!
Village Commons Market & Deli
Pouring wine and advertising the Beer Cave.

Mastro's Steakhouse
The VIP Entrance featured Mastro's, Oppolo, Red Blossom Sales, and Nakamura Farms.
Chef Stroh’s Pestos
Smokin’ Chili with Smokin’ Pesto--a great chili with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and chicken added.
Market Broiler Restaurants - Third Place Yummie Award in Savory
The fresh fish experts from Simi Valley had a yummy seared sea scallop with mixed green salad. This is the dish that won the Yummie award.
Sweet Arlene's
The Sugar Lab - Second Place Yummie Award in Sweets

StoneFire Grill
I Would Rather Be Baking Co.
Bread Basket Cake Company
The Patio Restaurant at Players Casino
Barrelhouse 101 - First Place Yummie Award in Sweets
Paul Martin's American Grill
Hitching Post
They got my First Place Award for BBQ!

Ranch Hand BBQ & Grill
Main Course California - Second Place Yummie Award in Savory 
This is their winning dish--cherry smoked short rib, whipped potatoes, and crisp kale.
Café Firenze
Popular with their Kentucky Sling and Sparkling Sangria Cocktails.
Fresco II
Rhumb Line
Trader Joe's
Tierra Sur - First Place Yummie Award in Savory
Chef Gabe Garcia won the first-place award of the Yummie Top Chef Awards/Culinary Competition (can you tell?). The winning dish was a cold, smoked Hamachi with beef butter, sweet & sour leeks, and dried citrus.

Head Chef Gabe Garcia (on right) in the Tierra Sur booth.  
Emcee Jason Hendrick, Everybody's Hungry, and Cheri Elson Sperber did a great job of managing the awards presentation.
Where is Gabe? Come on up!
First place in Savory - Gabe Garcia, Tierra Sur
Second place in Savory - Executive Chef Rachel Main, Main Course California
Third place in Savory - Market Broiler
First place in Sweets - Anastashia Chavez, Pastry Chef, Barrelhouse 101
Second place in Sweets - Ali Davis, Owner/Pastry Chef, The Sugar Lab
Third place in Sweets - Ernie Borjas, Executive Chef, The Yacht Club at Channel Islands

And the Shanghai Beer Garden got in on the action too! Click here to watch as this chef accepts the Tierra Sur First Place Savory Award.

The Yummie Judges pictured above are (L-R):
  • Lisa McKinnon, VC Star
  • Chef Julia San Bartolome, Sweet Arlene's
  • Sarene Wallace, Edible, Ojai & Ventura County
  • Chef William Bloxsom-Carter, Playboy Mansion
  • Paul Delagnes, Bread Basket
  • Chef Daniel Atkin, Bistro Café Amgen
  • Chef Robin Atkin, Private Chef & Caterer
  • Chef John Paolone, Café Firenze & Firenze Osteria
  • Chef Tim Kilcoyne, Scratch Food Truck
  • Chef Karl Holst, Birnam Wood Golf Club
  • Chef Masa Shimakawa, Four Seasons
  • Sandy Seekins, Tom & Sandy’s 805

Since they added “brew” to the festival title this year I made sure I tasted a brew from almost every beer exhibitor.  Some very good beers were on tap, but I stayed mostly with IPAs and didn't try the Best in Fest  winner--Institution Ale Company's Restraint Brown Maple Ale. Click here to see the award.
I had the White Walls Citra Wheat IPA instead; a very interesting combination of wheat beer and IPA.
Firestone Walker Brewing Company
Easy Jack Summer Session IPA
Kona Brewing Co.
Castaway IPA

Ninkasi Brewing Company
Rogue Farms Chipotle IPA - different, a little spicy.

Anchor Brewing
Anchor IPA - Finally!

Smog City Brewing Co.
little bo Pils

Surf Brewery
County Line Rye Pale Ale

Sierra Nevada Brewing
Pale Ale
Enegren Brewing Company
Imperial IPA - Yeah! A local favorite.

Hanger 24 Craft Brewery
Double IPA

Ladyface Ale Companie
Hop Project American IPA - Good news!

Wolf Creek Brewery
Desparado IPA served by a couple of desparados.

Kirin Brewery of America
Ichiban Frozen Beer - I HAVE never tasted a beer this frosty! I forgot to ask how to make this at home. Pretty good for a hot day.

The LAB Brewing Co.
Roger Bott, the mad brewer behind it all.  A popular guy with some popular brews and lots of friends.  I had a Hop Solution Double IPA - excellent!

 David & Sandy Seekins - wait a minute, somebody has 2 glasses! 

Le Creuset
Beautiful cookware, which would look even better if they had cooked some real food in it.
Brendan's Bagpiper warming up.  Click here for a short video.
 Professional wine tasters with wine glass holders.
Happy wine tasters in front of Herzog Wine Cellars.
Roni Benise and band entertained from the stage. Benise is an American guitarist who plays in a "nouveau spanish flamenco" style. Click hear for a video (I have to get a steadycam device for my iPhone!).
 - Devon & Gary
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