Monterey Fisherman’s Wharf
We had beautiful weather
this past weekend, so Lori and I set out for Monterey and the Wine
Festival. To be specific, the 37th Annual Monterey Wine
Festival. Really? They’ve been doing this festival for
that long? We went on Saturday,
which was the chowder tasting day of the festival. (I think Friday was oysters and calamari; neither are on
Lori’s top 10 list, or even top 100.)
The festival was held in the
Custom House plaza, just a 2 minute walk from Fisherman’s Wharf. Seemed to be pretty well attended. Probably other people looked at the
weather report and decided to come out.
We met one couple that lived in Modesto. They looked at the weather forecast – 105 degrees in
Modesto, 75 in Monterey – and dropped their 2 year old off with grandparents
for the weekend. Well done!
Here are my highlights from
– US Foods, a food products supplier to restaurants,
had the my favorite traditional (New England) clam chowder. Thick with real ingredients, not just
corn starch, great flavors, clams.
a restaurant from Long Beach, had the my favorite non-traditional chowder. Their chowder had the traditional base,
but instead of clams and potatoes, it was gravlox, asparagus and dill. The gravlox gave the chowder a slightly
smoky flavor, the asparagus added it’s flavor as well as a nice crunch, and the
dill set off both.
Gladstone’s table at the festival
Ranch Winery 2010 Pinot Noir, Santa Cruz Mountains, Meadowridge
Vineyard. Nicely balanced, with
some fruit competing with a slightly earthly flavor, not too heavy a body. It rocked when paired with the
Gladstones gravlox chowder. There
are some nice Pinot Noirs coming from Santa Cruz Mountain vineyards; I’ll add
this to the list. Their tasting
room and winery is a little off the beaten path in Capitola, next to Santa
Cruz; we’re going to drop in next time we’re in the area.
Vineyards 2011 Montagna-Mare, California Central Coast. Opolo is a Paso Robles area winery,
that we found a few years back when tasting Zinfandels from that area. This wine is 56% Sangiovese, 44%
Barbera. Not a wine to lay down
for years, but for drinking now – with pizza, maybe some pork or chicken
dishes, especially with some spices – this will work well.
Look for this festival next
year. Pairing really good wine and
food with Monterey is a great way to spend a day.