Category Archives: San Diego

Paso Robles Wines in San Diego Grand Tasting Tour

Good news, if you love wines from Paso Robles and live in Southern California.  The Paso Robles Wine Country, one of the nation’s premier wine producing regions, hits the road for its 2010 National Grand Tasting Tour with the first stop scheduled for February 22-25, 2010 in San Diego. Wine producers from the nationally acclaimed wine region will showcase their wines in a number of tasting events, including winemaker dinners, wine retailer tasting, a trade tasting and two consumer tasting events. This expanded marketing approach gives wine enthusiasts more opportunities to take in a Paso Robles Wine Country experience.

“It’s been two years since our Grand Tasting Tour visited San Diego,” said Stacie Jacob, executive director of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. “This is an exciting city with an amazing epicurean movement that is a perfect pairing for the style of wines produced in Paso Robles; we are thrilled to kick of our 2010 Tour in San Diego.”

The 2010 Grand Tasting Tour is the region’s 6th annual tour dedicated to bringing the Paso Robles Wine Country experience into top cities across the nation. San Diego was chosen as the only stop in Southern California with only three total Grand Tasting Tour events scheduled for the year. More than 40 winemakers will converge on San Diego with a variety of winemaker dinners and wine retailer tastings at many marquee restaurants and retail locations. Complementing these smaller events, two walk-around style consumer tastings will take place, each focusing on different audiences, including a late night tasting geared to attract the millennial generation.

The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance will also hold a seminar and tasting exclusive to the wine trade of San Diego. The many wine brands of Paso Robles utilize this outreach to expose wine buyers and influencers within the region to their brands. The complete schedule of events, venues and ticket prices for the Grand Tasting Tour – San Diego will be available by early January.  Click here for more information.

Wine Retailer Tastings – Monday, February 22 – Thursday, February 25, 2010
Winemaker Dinners – Tuesday, February 23 – Thursday, February 25, 2010
Trade Tasting – Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Consumer Tastings – Wednesday, February 24 – Thursday, February 25, 2010

If you live in Northern California don’t fret, the second leg of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance 2010 Grand Tasting Tour includes a visit to Northern California the week of April 19, 2010.  Cities include – Sacramento, San Francisco and the Silicon Valley.

The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance represents wineries, growers and businesses in Paso Robles Wine Country. Centrally located between San Francisco and Los Angeles, along California’s Central Coast, Paso Robles Wine Country is California’s fastest growing wine region. It encompasses more than 26,000 vineyard acres and more than 180 wineries.  For more information, please click here.


As if one needs an excuse to go to San Diego, I have one for you.  The 6th Annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, November 18-22, 2009.  It’s an international showcase of the world’s premier wine and spirits producers, chefs and culinary personalities, and gourmet foods.  There will be over 800 wines, 70 of San Diego’s top fine dining restaurants, wine tasting seminars, celebrity artists, cooking classes by award-winning chefs, and over 30 gourmet food companies and exhibitors participating in the week of festivities.

“The Festival puts a national spotlight on the trend-setting cuisine created by our participating chefs, drawing an amazing crowd of wine and food enthusiasts. This year will be no exception and our talented roster of celebrity chefs, winemakers and personalities make this the most exciting in our event’s history,” says Michelle Metter, the festival’s co-producer.

Southern California’s largest wine and food experience features a week of action-packed culinary events including:

•    The Tommy Bahama Rum VIP Party (Sunday, November 15) – Media, Chefs and VIPs will hit the beach at W Hotel for a preview of what’s in store at this year’s San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival at the Tommy Bahama Rum VIP Party. By invitation only.

•    WineRave 2009 (Wednesday, November 18) – WineRave San Diego kicks off the Festival by hosting 25 of the edgiest wine and spirits on the market today mixed with a DJ and the uber cool ambiance found only at the W Hotel. Price: $45 in advance; $60 at the door.

•    Wine Tasting & Cooking Classes (Thursday & Friday, November 19 & 20) – Held at the Macy’s School of Cooking and the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center, nationally acclaimed chefs, award-winning winemakers, and culinary personalities host a number of wine tasting and cooking classes that are sure to turn up the heat. Price: ranges from $45-$85.
•    ***The Master Sommelier Reserve Tasting featuring AIWF Silent Auction (Friday, November 20) – An exclusive and elegant evening for collectors of fine wine hosted by an elite group of master sommeliers.  Guests can taste the pride of the vine from 160 wineries, enjoy live entertainment, and indulge on some scrumptious fare from 10 gourmet food companies.  Location: Wonderhaus Building. Price: $100 in advance; $125 at the door.

•    ***Grand Event (Saturday, November 21) – This mega-tasting is among the largest of its kind in the nation.  Features over 170 wineries and spirits producers, 70 of San Diego’s finest restaurants, 30 gourmet food companies, the “Chef of the Fest” Competition, VIP tent, cookbook author signing, live entertainment, and more.  Location: Embarcadero Park North.  Price: ranges from $125- $175.

•    Celebrity Luncheon featuring AIWF Big Bottle Live Auction (Sunday, November 22) – Features 15 celebrity winemakers and a world-class menu prepared by nationally acclaimed chefs.  The luncheon will culminate in a spirited live auction with jet-setting vacation packages, large format bottles, and one-of-a-kind items that are perfect for the serious wine and food enthusiast.  Location: San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina. Price: starts at $150.


Wine and food enthusiasts have the opportunity to experience Southern California’s largest wine and food festival with affordable packages that put them right in the action. 

Wine Weekend “Grape Escape” Package:
2 tickets to the Reserve Tasting
2 tickets to the Grand Event (General Admission)
2 nights hotel (Choice of participating property)
Packages range from $679 to $890 based on hotel selection

Wine Weekend VIP Treatment Package:
2 tickets to the Reserve Tasting
2 VIP tickets to the Grand Event
2 Cooking or Wine Tasting Class tickets (Choice of wine or cooking class while supplies last)
2 nights hotel (Choice of participating property)
Packages range from $829 to $1037 based on hotel selection

Participating Hotels include:
San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Hard Rock Hotel San Diego,
Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego and the Omni San Diego.

Proceeds from the events live and silentauctions benefit the American Institute of Wine & Food culinary andenology scholarships for students and professionals in San Diego.  Todate the Festival has raised over $125,000 for the AIWF scholarshipprogram.

A complete schedule and line up of all events for the 6th Annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival can be found by visiting the website or calling 619-342-7337.
If you go, reply to this blog, tweet me, text me 925-872-7987 or email me at so we can hook up.  The events with *** are the two that Larry and I will be attending.  Hope to see you there in beautiful San Diego!

California Wine Festivals in June, July, August and Beyond

This is an update of what is going on in the California wine
regions.  I’m not going to post what the individual wineries or wine
shops are doing, but I will post the wine festivals that I’m aware of. 
If I’ve missed anything, please inform me at, so I
can add it to the list.  Some future events are listed down below.


          Current California Wine Events June – August ’09

June 6th & 7th, 11-5pm – Santa Cruz Mtns. (western side) June 13th & 14th Santa Cruz Mtns. (eastern side) Santa Cruz Vintners Festival

June 6th, 1pm-4pm – Two Harbors, Avalon 8th Annual Wine Festival, Catalina Island

June 13th, 3pm-7pm – Historic Escalle Winery, Larkspur – 5th Annual Marin County Pinot Noir Celebration

June 24th-28 – San Francisco San Francisco Pinot Days 2009

June 26-28th, 11-5pm – MurphysCalaveras Passport Weekend 

June 28th – San Francisco Pino Days, Grand Festival Wine Tasting

July 9, 5:30-9pm – Sacramento California’s Grape and Gourmet

July 23, – 6pm-9pm – Livermore Taste of Terroir

July 26th, – 1-6:30pm – NapaJewish Vintners Wine Trail

July 26th,  1-4 pm – Camarillo22nd Annual Wine Food Festival

August 8th, 6pm-9pm – Paso Robles Winemakers Cookoff

August 8th, 12-3:30pm – Monterey 17th Annual Winemakers Celebration

August 14-16th – Sonoma County14th Annual Russian River Valley Wine Growers “Grape to Glass” Weekend

August 16th, 2-5pm – MoragaSaint Mary’s College Wine Festival

August 29, 10am-6pm, August 30th -10am 5pm – Bodega Bay Bodega Seafood Art and Wine Festival

August 23, 3-6pm – San Francisco – Family Winemakers of California

     Belly Dancers at Mounts Winery – 2009 Dry Creek Passport Weekend –   Live band at Martorana Winery

                                   Future Wine Events

September 4th – 6th,  Healdsburg – Sonoma Wine Country Weekend which includes TASTE of Sonoma

September 6th & 7th, 12-5 each day – Livermore – 28th Annual Harvest Wine Celebration

September 11 & 12, 11-5 each day – Fort Bragg, – 25th Annual Winesong!

September 27, 12pm-6pm – LodiTaste of Lodi

October 25th – Russian River, Sonoma County 6th Annual Pinot on the River

November 18-22 – San Diego  –The 6th Annual San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival

June 12th, 2010Russian River Passport Weekend – Sonoma County