Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day 1 San Diego Food and Wine Festival: SWISH

Last night the San Diego Food and Wine Festival officially began with SWISH: Serious Sips & Urban Eats Presented by Simply Naked Wines at Fifty-Seven Degrees.
The location was great! I can't tell you how many times I have driven by this place and didn't know it was a trendy spot for wine lovers. The atmosphere was great. I loved their wine cork pillars!
They have a very large wine bar and a huge selection of wines from around the globe. 
I had to stop for a photo shoot. My husband was with me so he snapped a few pictures with my camera, I can share one with you. 
This was a fashionably chic downtown tasting, featuring 25 of the edgiest wineries and breweries.
Hungry? No problem, All you had to do was step outside to dine al fresco at the food truck block party featuring San Diego’s hottest restaurants on wheels. 
My favorite truck was Mangia Mangia! Marko Pavlinovic, pictured above in the window, was so much fun! With his strong Italian accent and his playful nature, it is no wonder people come from far and wide to taste his food. I had his Home made fried mozzarella that was the best I have ever had.
If you live in the San Diego area, follow Mangia Mangia on twitter @MangiaTruck to find out where they are serving today! They go all over the place, including the suburbs, so don't miss out!

Back inside it was wine tasting galore! They were also tasting beer, but I don't drink beer, I would be a poor judge of what is good and what isn't so this is just going to be about the wine. 
25 top notch Vineyards were pouring at Swish. obviously I could not taste them all! So I am going to give you some highlights. 

My favorite affordable find was Venteaux 2009 P.M.S. The name alone was a great marketing tool. What female wine lover wouldn't love to sit down with some great chocolate and a 75% Petite Syrah, 10% Mourvedre, and 15% Syrah wine? Especially one named P.M.S. It was a unique and delicious blend. It was Awarded "Best in Class" in the 2012 Sunset International Wine Competition. Available for $30. Check out your local wine shop or order from them directly HERE
My husbands favorite wine of the night was Saintsbury 2009 Carneros Stanley Ranch Pinot Noir
Swirl and smell this beauty. It reminded us both of home. Home being Oregon. Since Oregon is home to some of the greatest Pinot Noir's it is a big honor for my husband to say this is a great Pinot. With 94 points and this quote from Wine Spectator; "Incredibly dense and rich, this rocks with luscious aromas and flavors of cherry pie, anise, mushroom and sandalwood. It feels so vital on the palate, offering real complexity and intellectual interest, as it reveals different aspect of its personality with each moment" This wine is definitely going to be talked about for a long time. It is a steal at $45 a bottle. 

We enjoyed meeting Patty from Saint Helena Road Vineyards and Winery. She was pouring their Maier Family Meritage 2007. Another favorite of the night. A Double Gold Winner from the San Fransico International Wine Competition, and a STEAL at $28 a bottle. Here is their description of the wine: " Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! This wine is dark, dense, and inviting, with blackberry, sassafras, chocolate, sweet oak and spice notes in the aromatics and on the palate. The character of the Maier Family Vineyard comes through loud and clear, with a spicy complexity overlaying the dense fruit that is the hallmark here. Fine tannins lead to a long finish." I could not agree more. One case please!

After a bit, you definitely needed to make sure you had a lot of water. No fear! S.Pelllegrino was there to provide us with unlimited water. From their amazing non-alcoholic aperitifs to soft drinks. It was all available to make sure everyone stayed hydrated and healthy. I drank 4 bottles of their delicious water.
It was a fabulous way to start off this wonderful international showcase of the world's premier wine and spirits, chefs and culinary personalities, and gourmet foods. 
If you are in the San Diego area, it is not too late to get in to the Grand Tasting on Saturday. Hope to see you there!
Next up for me... Celebrating Julia: Past & Present at the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center.
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