Since I literally ate and drank my way through the 1st Annual Los Angeles Food & Wine and then hopped directly on a flight to London, I never got a chance to share with you the remarkable eye-opening experience!  Check out my favorite moments & highlights below.

The Magic & Seduction of Cheese & Wine Pairing

This cheese and wine “seminar”, I use that word loosely, was more like an eye-opening journey through the talents and palates of two masters at their trade.  Cheese expert Laura Werlin and winemaker Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyards showed the eager onlookers what it’s like to have a palate so in tune that taste unique flavors, ingredients, and even creation techniques with your tongue.

Pairings I fell in love with…

  • 2007 Le Cigare Volant – Bonny Doon Vineyard
    • Blend: 60% Grenache, 32% Syrah, 4% Mourvèdre, 4% Cinsault
    • Description:  ”On the palate, fresh cherry, currant, and red bramble fruit. Peppery and lively with good acidity around an earthy, savory core.” – Bonny Doon Vineyard
    • Where to Buy: Bonny Doon Vineyard - $35.00 a bottle
  • Dunbarton Blue – Roelli - Shullsburg, Wisconsin
    • Milk: Cow
    • Cheese Family: Cheddar Blue
    • Description: “A hand crafted cellar cured cheese with the earthy character of a fine cheddar coupled with a subtle hint of bleu flavor.”
    • Where to Buy: Whole Foods
My favorite (mostly because of the cheese)!!
  • 2009 Le Cigare Blanc Reserve – Bonny Doon Vineyard
    • Blend: Roussanne & Grenache
    • Description: “Farmed biodynamically , surrounded by wilderness, and sheilded from the cool Pacific coast winds by the Santa Lucia Mountains, these vines grow complex, concentrated and mineral intensive grapes.” – Bonny Doon Vineyard
    • Where to Buy: Not available
  • Mt. Tam – Cowgirl Creamery - Petaluma, California 
    • Milk: Cow
    • Description: “It’s a smooth, creamy, elegant, 10-oz, triple-cream – made with tasty organic milk from the Straus Family Dairy. MT TAM is firm, yet buttery with a mellow, earthy flavor reminiscent of white mushrooms” – Cowgirl Creamery
    • Where to Buy: Mail Order from Cowgirl Creamery or San Francisco

Other Extremely noteworthy cheese & wines:

Guy Fieri’s Brew B’Que

Celebrity chef and Food Network rock star, Guy Fieri hosted an afternoon on the pier filled with decadent food innovations and 100+ brews from around the world.  There was no shortage of satisfying grub at this event.  Celebrity chef’s like Roy Choi (of Beachside Kitchen & Kogi), Ray Garcia (of FIG), Roy Yamaguchi (of Roy’s), and Charles Phan (of Slanted Door) served up dishes that caused us to “ooh” and “ahh”.  Meanwhile Uncle Cracker made a come back with the Santa Monica ferris wheel and the Pacific Ocean glistened in the background.

Brew BBQ on the Santa Monica Pier

Celebrity Chef, Guy Fieri, hosts Brew BBQ

Having a blast at the Brew BBQ

Lexus Grand Tasting

An opportunity to taste and explore over 300 wines from 200 wineries and devour delicious tastings from over 30 celebrity chefs.  The Lexus Grand Tasting was a remarkable experience to be a part of, an up-close and personal experience that was every foodies dream come true.  Guest Chefs: Rick Bayless (of Red O), Eric Greenspan (of The Foundry on Melrose), and Masaharu Morimoto (of Morimoto Napa)

The Grand Tasting

Me & Iron Chef Morimoto

Los Angeles Food & Wine

All in all the Los Angeles first ever Food & Wine was a grand success.  I owe a massive thank you to my parents for the best birthday gift a foodie could ever ask for!