Last Saturday, we and two friends had our annual Christmas get-together at the Carmel Valley East End Wine Row Holiday Day Event, and did we have fun!
Each ticket holder received tastes of two wines from each of the seven wineries accompanied by appropriately created nibbles by a valley restaurant or catering service.
We started out at the check-in desk where we got our event bags (we love bags) and then immediately ambled to our first stop Cima Collina where we had their Tondre Grapefield Chardonnay with butternut squash soup (provided by Vineyard Bistro), followed by a 2008 Monterey County Pinot Noir and spinach stuffed mushrooms. All the pourers were wearing Santa hats and provided a festive beginning to what continued to be a very merry day, which got merrier with each additional winery we popped into.
We went right up the line--Parsonage where we loved the 2010 Xandro Red Wine (a 50/50 Cabernet/Syrah blend) and their Cafe Rustica appetizers; Holman Ranch where their 2010 Tondre Chardonnay was paired nicely with a vegan spring roll; Chesebro where we loved the 2010 Vermentino (one of our favorites in the valley) and their 2006 Syrah, each of which had little tidbits from Lokal; Joyce Vineyards with its light 2011 "Stele" Chardonnay again with fun pairings from Lokal; Silvestri Vineyards with another one of our favorites " Bella Sandra" Chardonnay and we even got to talk with the wine's namesake, Sandra, wife of Alan Silvestri--the tasty food here was from the Corkscrew and was delicious.
Finally we went to Dawn's Dream which was very lively and where we had the 2011 Carmel Valley Sauvignon Blanc with a Flammekueche Gourmet Pizza slice from Cafe Rustica and a 2010 Carmel Valley Pinot Noir with mini short ribs. Plus, there were some unusual cork items, like handbags, and the earrings two of us bought, created by a company called Cortizza.
We loved every minute of our afternoon. The event seemed beautifully organized with a lot of local folks there, as well as some visitors from afar. The tickets cost $50 each, though some wine club members get discounts. If they do this holiday extravaganza again, we highly recommend attending. It was informative, festive, and ...