And the winner is ????
The third annual Ventura County Wine Trail food & Wine
Challenge was recently held at the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach
Resort. Thirteen of the wineries on the Wine Trail companion themselves
with local restaurants to try to make the perfect food and wine
pairing. As in the past, the event was sold out, with close to 400 in
To me, this is the Best of the Best when it comes to a local flair with
local product. Having attended each event as I have, I must admit that
this event keeps getting better and better, and the judging becomes
harder and harder, as everyone is trying to outdo each other for top
honors. What is very noticeable at this event is the camaraderie among
the contestants. Winery owners and restauranteurs sneaking away from
their table to give hugs and "high fives" to their friends and
competitors. This is a very tight group.
As I went around to the different tables, I was greeted like family
from all the wineries. Many I know and some I met for the first time. I
have my favorites, but this is a time when I must judge each wine and
dish on its own merit. As I went around to each table, I became my own
judge. I kept asking myself, " how does this wine match with this
dish." Then it's off to the cheese table to take a break among the
contestants. Back to tasting and judging. Now I've narrowed it down to
three teams. As I go back to those three teams, it becomes harder to
pick. Then all of a sudden it hits me: "Voila" !!!!!!!! I have chosen
my favorite team.
At the end of the evening, the crowd anxiously awaits the Judges and Peoples Choice awards.
And the winners are !!!!!
Judges award was awarded to The Rhumb Line Restaurant
in Ventura and Casa Barranca Winery
Peoples award went to Cafe Zak
in Ventura and Magnavino Cellars
Congratulation to the winners and to all the participants who made this such a great event.
By the way, for the second year in a row, the winner was my choice as well.
Questions or comments?
Reach me at :
last month's "Let's Talk Wine" article by Eric
Ventura Wine Bars
County Wine Trail
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