On June 11th and 12th, the LA Wine Fest, featuring the Robert Mondavi Discover Wine Tour, took place at the historic Raleigh Studios in downtown Los Angeles for the 6th year in a row, benefitting the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles and also supporting the Hollywood Wilshire YMCA. Spectators enjoyed over 150 wines from all over the world as well as sampled some of the best wines that the lovely state of California has to offer. The festival was filled with everyone from first time tasters, to wine connoisseurs, and everyone found something that they liked best. Along with delicious wines, the festival included wine enhancing gadgets, adorable accessories, and wonderful chocolate pairings. Wineries brought a varieties of wine which retail prices ranged from $10 a bottle up to around $80. Sampling was accompanied with details of each wine, grape and company.
Robert Mondavi Discover Wine Tour 2011, features wines from the Robert Mondavi Private selection and Robert Mondavi Winery portfolios. They have hosts offering an abundance of information about food and the arts, and tasting stations to help educate guests about the essence of wine tasting at its finest. Los Angeles was the fifth stop for the 11 stop tour this year, and will finish in Philadelphia on October 3rd. Check out Robert Modavi Winery on Facebook to see their upcoming events, and you can follow them on Twitter and share your favorite of their wine selections as well. To read more about the tour and see a selection of wines Robert Mondavi featured, please visit www.robertmondavi.com.
One of our favorite wineries at the festival was Darms Lane from Napa Valley, who was featuring their Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, which were definitely crowd pleasers. Their wine retails for around $60.00, and would make an excellent addition to any collection. You can view their current releases at www.darmslanewine.com.
Another favorite was the Witch Creek Winery, who has won twenty awards in the last 3 years at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. They are located in Carlsbad, California, and were offering a coupon to guests for buy one get one free wine tastings to sample their award-winning selections. You can see their variety at www.witchcreekwinery.com.
The historical San Antonio Winery, which has been around since 1917 and remains the heart of wine culture in Los Angeles, made quite an impression this year. San Antonio Winery and Riboli Family Wine Estates offer twelve highly-rated brands and complimentary admission and wine tasting at their three locations in Los Angeles, Ontario, and Paso Robles. You can read more about their array of awards at www.sanantoniowinery.com.
Carpathian Wines imports boutique wines from Central Europe, and offers a variety of unique and elegant choices. They are very involved and travel to meet with the wineries that they select, which insures the quality of the wine that they import. You can see their varieties at www.CarpathianWines.com.
Along with the wines, Pisco Porton made quite a splash this year. Pisco is a different type of liquor that ranges in proof, from 82 to 86, depending on the batch. They were serving the crowd a refreshing concoction using fresh cucumber, agave syrup, and lime juice, which introduced many-a-mojito-drinkers a healthier alternative to a refreshing summer cocktail, with less calories and no sugar. You can read more about Pisco Porton at www.piscoporton.com.
Along with the delicious wines and spirits, of which we just named a few, there were devices, accessories, and great pairings to accompany the tastings and to complete the experience.
The Chocolate Traveler was offering tastes of their delectable European style chocolate wedges to festival goers. Their fine chocolate is divided into single serve slices and is protected by it’s travel tin. You can order a variety of sizes and flavors either for a retail location or smaller event. Our favorite part is that you can customize the tins with anything that you want, from business retreats to birthday parties and weddings. You can see the innovative designs at www.TheChocolateTraveler.com.
Soiree is a new device that wine lovers were truly excited about. It is a blown glass attachment that fits on the top of a wine bottle. As you pour through the device, it oxygenates the wine, as if it had been opening for around 45 minutes. With added oxygen, a ten-dollar bottle of wine can immediately taste more mature and flavorful, allowing you to savor every sip from start to finish. The hand-made glass insures natural wine treatment as well as purity in taste. The deice will enhance the aromatics, structure, flair, and balance. You can order yours at www.WineSoiree.com.
Wine Treasures, who offer “Unique Finds for Lovers of Wine”, has the widest selection of affordable and unique accessories perfect for any occasion. From decorated cages for wine corks to hand-painted “Wine Girl” glasses, the crowd was buying souvenirs to take home with them all weekend. A favorite among the crowd for men and women alike was the $5.00 wine glass holder that hangs around your neck. You can find these and other accessories such as O.W.L.”Official Wine Lover” clothing, and puzzles with pieces shaped like bottles, glasses and other wine items. You can also purchase “The Great Wine Adventure“, which was written and illustrated by the delightful Edie De Avila, which will turn you into a wine-educated person through puzzles and crosswords. Visit www.winetresures.com for your next present for the wine lover in your life.
DINING OUT Magazine along with Wine Spectator Magazine were offering issues to guests, providing information on local hot spots and praise worthy wineries to try after the weekend of festivities. To subscribe to be in-the-know you can visit www.diningout.com and www.winespectator.com.
LA Wine Fest guests enjoyed a carefully selected beautiful variety of wines and spirits, as well as learned a great deal about wineries they recognized while being introduced to new wineries that could become their new favorites. The LA Wine Fest enabled sampling of every type of grape, which allowed every guest to discover their true favorite. Save the date for Next year’s festivities which will happen on June 9th and 10th, 2012. You can read more about this annual event at www.lawinefest.com.
Pictures courtesy of Robert Mondavi Winery