6th Annual Ventura County Wine Trail Celebration Sells Out!

998599_683640348328552_70706217_nIf you were waiting until the last minute to purchase a ticket to the The 6th Annual Ventura County Wine Trail Celebration today, June 20 at 5:30-8:30pm, you waited too long because tickets are sold out!

 

Why? 

1. This year, the festival will be held at a brand new venue– The Collection Riverpark’s outdoor event center located by the brand new REI and Whole Foods across from the old Esplanade near the intersection of the 101 and Highway 1 in Oxnard.

2. 17 of Ventura County’s local boutique wineries pouring tastes of their new releases.

3. Wines made from every major wine grape growing region in California from Napa Valley to Malibu.

4. Over 30  different varietals and blends to sample.

5. Opportunity to meet and talk with area wine makers.

6. The very best in local cuisine with restaurants prepared their signature dishes onsite.


7. Great musical entertainment by The Shoemakers Brothers.


Event tickets WERE available for $40 at www.VenturaCountyWineTrail.com, and  WERE going to be for $50 at the door. A portion of the evening’s proceeds will be donated to the Ventura County FOOD SHARE, a food bank that houses and distributes millions of pounds of food each year to the hungry of Ventura County.

So next year, get your tickets in advance!

The 6th Annual Ventura County Wine Trail Celebration
Returns to Celebrate the Bounty of the County!

 The Ventura County Wine Trail brings the 6th annual Wine Trail Celebration to Ventura County, June 20th, 2013. This year, the festival will be held at The Collection Riverpark’s outdoor event center – West Ventura County’s newest shopping, dining and entertainment destination.

This year, the festival will feature more than 17 of Ventura County’s local boutique wineries; each sharing their latest releases. For wine lovers, this event is truly unique – as local wine makers bring in grapes from every major growing region across California (from Napa Valley to Malibu). This allows Ventura County Wine Trail tasters to experience the very best of California wine county – all without the road trip. This event will boast more than 30 different varietals and blends, and provide an opportunity to meet the wine makers behind them.

In addition to the lineup of wines, guests will taste the very best in local cuisine – fresh from the area’s hottest restaurants. Chefs prepare their signature dishes onsite for attendees to enjoy over the three hour festival. In previous years, attendees have been treated to inspired culinary creations – such as Black & Blue Filet, Poached Salmon with dill cream sauce and Lamb Burgers.

This year’s special musical guests are local favorites, The Shoemakers Brothers. Musicians and fans alike declare this band to be one of the best live acts they have ever heard or seen. The Brothers astound audiences by switching instruments, as they perform; they are all classically trained on string instruments, they all sing lead vocals and harmonies, and they all play guitar, piano, drums and bass.

Between the delicious wines, mouthwatering fare and unforgettable music – the 6th annual Ventura County Wine Trail Celebration is festival not to miss!The festival begins at 5:30pm – 8:30pm, June 20th, 2013. Event tickets are available for $40 and for sale online at www.VenturaCountyWineTrail.com, and for $50 at the door. A portion of the evening’s proceeds will be donated to the Ventura County FOOD SHARE, a food bank that houses and distributes millions of pounds of food each year to the hungry of Ventura County.

- See more at: http://www.venturacountywinetrail.com/event/the-6th-annual-ventura-county-wine-trail-celebration#sthash.LP4735rn.dpuf

Painted Rock & Poplar Grove Merlots from the Okanagan, British Columbia

kittenOKmerlotflowers1So being the Wine Predator that I am, I acquired numerous bottles of open and closed wine during and after the Wine Bloggers Conference that I either tasted before I left (nothing like a 3am taste and dump session to break your heart!) or I snaked across the border.

Somehow, I was blessed to bring home three bottles of Okanagan merlot (pictured). One bottle of these bottles that made it home open was Continue reading

Experience Central Coast Wines on #CCWineDay Friday May 31, 2013

select central coast wines

select central coast wines

You’re invited to the Second Annual  Central Coast Wine Day, Friday May 31, 2013!

#CCWineDay follows in the footsteps of various #VarietalDays that have been going on for a few years. These include  Cabernet Day, Albarino Day, Tempranillo Day, Pinot Noir Day, Zinfandel Day, and even Wine Tourism Day! (As you can see, I enjoy participating in these varietal days!)

Personally, I say the Central Coast begins with Ventura County, Continue reading

Wine Predator Named One of 5 “Wine Chicks that Click”!

Did you know that there are about 1500 active wine blogs? And that about 1000 of them are written by “citizen bloggers” like me?WBC13

See a list of Wine Bloggers here.

Allan Wright and his colleagues who organize the North American Wine Blogger’s Conference keep track of this kind of info; recently, I completed a survey for them for wine bloggers and another one for food bloggers. (Did you know I spoke at a wine and food panel at the International Food Bloggers Conference November 2011? Yep! I also spoke at the 5th WBC in Portland!)

A week ago, Lettie Teague of the Wall Street Journal posted about the State of the Wine Bloggosphere using information from an interview with Allan Wright and after reading 10,000 pages of blogs.

Her results? Continue reading

Rafters, Mammoth CA: Steven Kent Tasting–Lola & Dutton Chardonnay

Last month, after a bluebird afternoon on the slopes at Mammoth Mountain, I participated in a fantastic Twitter Wine tasting featuring Steven Kent Wines hosted by The Rafters Restaurant at the Sierra Nevada Resort 202 Old Mammoth Road, Mammoth Lakes, CA. Established in 1967; Rafters was recently reborn as a world class restaurant with a 7000 bottle wine list!

Sommelier Chip Irmish had glasses ready and the wines chilled perfectly for me when I dashed back after a few quick turns on the slopes. Continue reading

Celebrate NZ Harvest & CA spring! Villa Maria Thirsty Girl Tasting Weds!

It’s Harvest Time in New Zealand and Spring Time in California! Celebrate both with the first Thirsty Girl #TGTaste Twitter Tasting of 2013 set for Wednesday March 27 at 5 pm PST  (8 pm EST). You’re invited! Continue reading

Chile Style! Hey Gwendolyn Alley!

“Congratulations! You’re a Finalist!” said the email. 

All I have to do now is convince YOU to choose me,  Gwendolyn Alley, the Wine Predator, as the one lucky writer to go on a Guided Culinary Tour of Chile!

Please choose me as the winning blogger who takes tours and participates in tastings at vineyards, olive groves, and fruit plantations. Who better than a wine blogger to wax eloquently about wine and food?8465982902_0ea11ce421_m

Please choose me to meet with local Chilean exporters and producers, and to eat specially prepared meals at the restaurants of local Chilean chefs. I love all kinds of seafood and shellfish, I love game, beef, fowl, pork, vegetables and fruits! My Wine Predator and Art Predator blogs and my twitter and facebook feeds are full of photos of fine food and wine that I share with my followers and friends.

Please choose me to visit the Mercado Central in Santiago, one of the world’s

top food markets, to see cultural heritage sites in Santiago, and to attend the Nam Santiago Food Festival where I will taste of the culinary innovations of Chile.

I, Gwendolyn Alley, Wine Predator, am the right blogger to write about the food AND the wine of Chile!”

So that’s the script I chose to produce for the video above instead of this one with seven reasons why Foods from Chile should choose me. And sometime in the next 24 hours I will find out whether my video submission and this blog post convinced the powers that be to send me to  Chile as the one lucky writer who will go on a Guided Culinary Tour of Chile with members of top media publications from April 7th to April 13th 2013 –flight, transportation, and accommodations all included!

chile styleYes, as you can imagine every few minutes I am obsessively checking my email just in case they decide to pick me and let me know early!

Regardless of whether I win the contest and get to go to Chile in April or not, we had a great time shooting the video–as you can see from the video I submitted as well as the out-takes video below! Continue reading