Author Archive | Laura Ness

Monterey County Tastes Better All the Time

April 2, 2019 – At the Monterey Trade tasting event recently held at the Sunset Center, two things were abundantly obvious: everyone was ecstatic to see the sun (except for the people whose tables were set up in front of the wall of gleaming glass on the west side of the building) and the wines from 2016 are showing really well, except for the ones that have smoke taint. The 2017, and even 2018, whites and rosés, are in general, terrific. It bodes well for fine spring drinking, whenever spring decides to show up.

The knock your socks off rosé of the day goes to the sassy fresh and spicy 2018 Sangiovese rosé from Folktale: David Baird has a true winner there. He should also get an award for giving … Read More

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Can Château Lafite Withstand Climate Change?

March 26, 2019 – At the Château Lafite seminar at Gourmet Fest 2019, we thought we were tasting some off the hook, ridiculously amazing wines from this first growth property that has been in the Rothschild family since Baron James de Rothschild purchased it in 1868. Yes, we were, in fact, but more than that, we were actually tasting the very real effects of climate change. I’ll explain.

Technical Director of the famed Bordeaux château, Eric Kohler, who has been making wines at Lafite Rothschild for 23 years, walked us through wines beginning with the 2008 vintage, all the way back to 1985, before he even started working there. He was assisted on the panel by sommeliers Larry Stone and Mark Bright.

The estate in the heart of the Médoc … Read More

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Insights From GourmetFest 2019

March 19, 2019 – At the Ment’or Cooking Demo on a brilliant Saturday morning at Gourmet Fest, organizer David Fink introduced chef Walter Manzke of République in LA as having been his original chef at Bouchée in Carmel. Fink then purchased the L’Auberge property, where Walter became the first executive chef.  The dish Manzke prepared for us was beef short ribs, something David said he ate three times a week while he owned Bouchée. Manzke mentioned the Meatery in Seaside as a good source for meats.

Among the things we learned: reduce the red wine to remove all the alcohol before putting in with the meat, cook the mirepoix separately until all the vegetables are translucent—which can be like watching grass grow—and finally, before launching them into a 325 degree oven, … Read More

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Sangria Wine and Tapas Bar Serves Up Wine Your Way

March 12, 2019 – As we announced last week, Sangria Wine and Tapas Bar is now open at 5 Del Fino Place, next to Trailside Café at the west end of Carmel Valley Village. Owned by Robert and Colleen Mann, she of Jamaica, and he of the Central Valley, Sangria is making its mark by giving wine drinkers a choice of how they want their wine dispensed. 

Says Robert, “Sangria offers three different ways for fulfilling a customer’s wish for wine: traditional pours by the glass from bottles, glasses poured from our premium keg wines and ‘self-service’ from our 12-bottle Napa Tech wine station.  The customer purchases a debit card and simply inserts it into the machine slot, pushes a button for a taste, half glass, or full glass.  The … Read More

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Best of Monterey Goes to Ghost Hull Cabernet at Monterey Wine Competition

March 12, 2019 – The 26th annual Monterey International Wine Competition gave the crown for Best of Monterey County to Ghost Hull 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon from San Lucas Vineyard, $42.99, with 96 points. This wine, produced by Scheid Family Wines at their Greenfield winery, impressed the judging panel as well as the Chief Judge, Rich Cook, who runs the competition.

It’s yet another confirmation of the winemaking prowess of this once grower-only company, that began planting vineyards as tax writeoffs back in the early days of Monterey wine country. Who knew? It’s from the San Lucas Vineyard, in the San Lucas AVA, about 20 miles south of the Scheid winery facility. With over 1k cases made, it is currently sold in Kroger stores all over the country.

It looks … Read More

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