February Fun Part 2: Valentine’n Wine, Steven Kent, Garagiste South

Will you be my Valentine? Please vote for me to go to Chile!

Welcome to February Fun –the Fat Tuesday edition where I’ll share details about this week’s events.

  • Tue. Feb. 12 Fat Tuesday
  • Thu. Feb. 14 Valentine’s Day
  • Thu. Feb. 14-18 Valentine n Wine, Ventura County
  • Fri. Feb. 15 Twitter Tasting 4-6pm PST Steven Kent Winery
  • Sat. Feb. 16 Garagiste South Tasting, Solvang
  • Thu. Feb. 21 City of Bordeaux Twitter Wine Party
  • Fri. Feb. 22 Dark and Delicious Petite Sirah Tasting, Rock Wall, Alameda

Tue. Feb. 12 Fat Tuesday!

Did you know today is Pancake Day? Do you know why? (And what do you pair with pancakes??) According to wikipedia, during Lent, people often give up rich foods including butter, milk and eggs, key ingredients in pancakes. Because so many people would use these ingredients up by making pancakes the day before Lent, it became known as PANCAKE DAY! (What do YOU pair with pancakes and syrup? Riesling? Something sparkling and a bit sweet?)

While I suggested pancakes for dinner to my husband, Chef Tim Kilcoyne at The Sidecar Restaurant is doing it up right with gumbo and oyster po boys and more–with oysters from the Jolly Oyster, of course–and my husband has got his hopes up for that!

Th Feb 14-18 Valentine n Wi2013_ValentineWine_Largene, Ventura County: Starting on Valentine’s Day and going all weekend is the third annual Valentine n Wine passport weekend event in Ventura County. Last year, I made a few stops during the event including Four Brix where Annie AnyDay and I visited their new facility in Ventura and tasted, tweeted, and facebooked through the wines.  My husband and I also stopped at the Bella Victorian in Camarillo for lunch and tasting. In 2011, my husband and I made it to almost all of the participating wineries with Cantara, Ojai, Vino V, Old Creek Ranch, and Four Brix being highlights. For just $40/person ($45 at the door), a Valentine ‘n Wine passport gives you:

  • A Wine Tasting flight at eleven wineries
  • One-of-a-kind food-pairings at many locations
  • Wine purchase specials at many locations
  • Passport-holders can receive special one or two-night rates at participating area hotels
  • Thursday February 14 through Monday February 18, 2013
  • Click Here to download event map and winery list
  • (805) 603-1099.

I strongly recommend stops at Four Brix in Ventura to taste and peruse their playfully named wines (“Smitten” and Rhondevous” for example!) and at Cantara to sample:

2009 Franknvine from Lodi, 15.4% $39 – 40% Cabernet Franc, 25% Syrah, 18% Zinfandel, 10% Old Vine Zinfandel, 6% Petite Sirah, 1% Malbec. $39 Retail. Super rich, dense, complex, just like love.  Drink this amazing monster at cellar temperatures, NOT room temps! If you’re having a steak at home, this is a go to wine! I’m particularly fond of blue cheese and cab franc; think mashed potatoes and blue cheese as well as cheese platters and chocolate for dessert.

2009 The Bride from Lodi 13.5% $29– As in the Bride of Franknvine! This delightful blend of Barbera, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Sangiovese offer succulent layers of red fruit: raspberry and red currant plus rose petal, sage, cigar box. (The straight Barbera is luscious also!) This wine goes with just so many meals–sliders, BBQ, ribs, stews, bolognese, lasagna, stuffed portabellas…a fun wine for your bride for Valentine’s Day!

Fri. Feb 15 Twitter Tasting 4-6pm PST Steven Kent Winery There are twitter tastings…and then there are TWITTER WINE TASTINGS!! Because of the quality, Friday’s tasting of wines from the Steven Kent Portfolio is sure to be one of the more memorable ones of the year, if not of my life! The Steven Kent Winery is located in Livermore, and produces three brands:BC7SM6VCEAAC22-

  • The Steven Kent Winery (Cabernet focused, Livermore fruit),
  • La Rochelle (vineyard-designated Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays from appellations throughout California,) and
  • Lineage (a single wine made from the five classic Bordeaux varieties). Steven Kent Mirassou is the proprietor and one of the winemakers.

Follow the hashtag #StevenKentWines and join in the conversation! If you have a Twitter account, you can follow me @Art Predator,  Steven Kent Mirassou (@StevenMirassou), Tracey Hoff (@Tracey914), Steven Kent Winery (@skwinery) and La Rochelle (@larochellewine). We will taste the following wines in this order:

    1. 2011 “Lola” (Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon Blend) $24
    1. 2010 La Rochelle Chardonnay, Dutton-Morelli Lane, Russian River Valley $65
    2. 2009 La Rochelle Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands $38
    3. 2009 La Rochelle Pinot Noir, Donum Estate, Carneros $75
    4. 2009 Steven Kent Petite Verdot, Ghielmetti Vineyard, Livermore Valley  $50
    5. 2009 Steven Kent Cabernet, Home Ranch Vineyard, Livermore Valley $65

I am drooling just thinking about tasting the six wines they sent me. To make it even more exciting for folks who follow the tasting along on twitter, I will be doing my tweeting from a remote location–Mammoth Mountain! I’m still working on exactly where –details soon!

2013SYVlogo-734x1024Sat. Feb. 16 Garagiste South Tasting, Solvang I attended the Garagiste event in November 2012 up in Paso Robles–and it was worth every hour of the drive there and back! “Garagiste” is a term from Bordeaux for renegade small-lot wine makers, sometimes working in their garage, who refused to follow the “rules” and now it’s a world-wide movement.  I only had a chance to taste a few wines in November because the stories there were so interesting that I spent more time talking than tasting; I definitely met some winemakers that I will visit this summer. The wines were really mind-blowing,  truly artisanal wines, rare and special, eloquent of terroir and varietal character and the experimental heart of the winemakers. Plus the event raises funds for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s wine program; they raised $10,000 in November which will support the purchase of a new spectrophotometer to allow Cal Poly winemaking students to accurately and routinely measure a variety of wine chemistry components critical to the production of superior wines.

PS If you were wondering, that Russian River Chalk Hill Chardonnay pictured above was simply amazing…and wow, did it go with the grilled lobster dipped in butter! Not too oaky, not too buttery, not too too, well, you probably know what I mean…but so much of everything I would ever dream of in a Chardonnay!

3 thoughts on “February Fun Part 2: Valentine’n Wine, Steven Kent, Garagiste South

  1. Pingback: Wine Predator to Do Steven Kent Tasting at The Rafters, Mammoth! | wine predator

  2. Gwendolyn:

    Thanks so much for being part of our first Twitterpalooza! I greatly appreciate all of the feedback you and our twitter friends gave; and next time we do this, I’m going to follow your example and pair the wines with an amazing menu too.

    Steven Mirassou


    • Thank you! It was fun! And yes, do pair the wines with a menu and show it off with pictures–but don’t expect to eat anything while it is hot! It gets crazy trying to do it all! At least I had an amazing chef and staff at Rafters helping with the cooking and plating as well as a beautiful ambiance!


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