Category Archives: Monterey

Monterey Wine Festival 2013

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
.  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
the festival:



   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. 
Really good. 

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. 

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. 







Santa Cruz, Monterey Wine Events in June

Not that there aren’t wine events all year, but the events in the Summer seem to be a lot more fun.  Maybe it’s that we take an extra day, and make a three day weekend of it sometimes. 

In any case, June is almost on us, and here are the first two events, in the Santa Cruz and Monterey regions: 

Roots That Rock – Santa Cruz Mountains Winery Association, June 1-2 and June 8-9. Event goes from 12 – 5pm each day.  The first weekend features wineries on the east side of the mountains, while the second weekend features wineries on the west side of the mountains. 

Monterey Wine Festival – Friday June 7th 4 – 8pm, and Saturday June 8th 11am – 4pm.  Saturday also features a chowder competition. 

Lori and I are definitely going to the Monterey Wine Festival; might wind up in Santa Cruz at some point.  Hope to see you at one of these, or another wine event this Summer. 

Monterey Wine Festival Celebrates 35 years with historical highlights!

The Monterey Wine Festival Celebrates 35 years with historical highlights!

June 10th 4 – 8 p.m. and June 11th Noon – 4 p.m. 2011

Now in its 35th year The Monterey Wine Festival continues to evolve into a platform for the regional wine industry and the community of wine lovers.  After 35 years the festival will take a historical turn and bring guests along for the sips and scenery.  On Friday the festival will kick at The Monterey Hyatt Regency where bites and sips from the wineries will be enjoyed.  During this evening guest’s can take a quick hop on the Champagne Shuttle sponsored by Sam Linder Auto Group and continue the party at The Monterey Museum of Art-La Mirada.  This museum is known for its historic architecture and the former celebrities that resided there.  Guests can enjoy the views from the hilltop and the art inside the gallery, but perhaps the most ardent competition for attention will be found in the sips of champagne and bites of chocolate dipped strawberries.  What fun to hob-knob in the same location as old Hollywood!

On Saturday the celebration continues at another historic destination The Custom House Plaza and The Maritime Museum, which boasts a snazzy newly appointed foyer.  These historical edifices are on designations that many consider hallowed ground.  Guests will continue this day of celebration with a completely mouth watering experience from both the wineries and purveyors of food.  Along with these two ingredients live music is the final sensation that further ensures a winning combination. Wine, Food, Music! Aaa hhh!

It’s a Chowdah Throw Down!

A sweet addition to the festival this year is the 2nd Annual West Coast Chowder Competition.  Professional chefs from the Western Coast will come to compete and chowder lovers will pay homage to their special creations.  This year chefs from Seattle, San Francisco, Portland, and other chowder known destinations will be landing in Monterey to compete against the local titans of chowder.  All competitors will be trying to slay the judge’s tongues with their creations, take home the prize money and boast of their achievement in what is expected to be one of the most impressive competitions around.  Clam, Seafood and Creative Chowders are the categories that make up the contest and the big copper pot award goes to the people’s choice along with a cash prize.  Guests can sample or buy a cup of chowder of their entries and pick their own personal favorites and compare their palettes to the judges.  Wines that pair with chowders will also be available to sample.

Tickets online at