Jun 25, 2010

Culinary Gad News Roundup (6-25-10)

The periodic Gadabout Roundup compiles interesting news from a variety of sources--press releases, industry associations, websites, and more--on the subjects of food, wine, spirits and/or travel. Today's Roundup focusses on wine-related news.

Wine Tasting Cruise Aboard Historic S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien: A treat like this rarely comes along, but now's your chance. This authentic WWII Liberty Ship—one of the few survivors from the nearly 7000-ship armada that stormed Normandy on D-Day in 1944—will embark on a leisurely cruise of San Francisco Bay on Saturday, July 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., while guests sip wines from local urban/boutique wineries (Foggy Bridge, Rock Wall, Wait Cellars, Winery Collective, broccellars, and R&B Cellars). 

But before the wine is poured, you'll enjoy a light breakfast complemented by Sparkling Wine Mimosas as you sail beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Reversing course, the ship will then sail to the Bay Bridge, where a Cal Trans official will offer an overview of that bridge's history and discuss details about the configuration and design of the new span. By then it will be time for the picnic lunches.

Then, as the cruise continues—with views of the city skyline, Angel and Alcatraz Islands, and the Marin Headlands—the wine tasting will begin, accompanied by cheeses from Cowgirl Creamery and
other local producers. And somewhere along the line entertainment will be provided by The Fondettes, a trio of young women who specialize in 1940s music à la the Andrews Sisters (their clothing, accoutrements and gestures seem straight out of that era—no small feat, considering that all three are 18 or 19 years old).

Learn more about the Jeremiah O'Brien "Bay Bridge & Urban Wineries Cruise"

Purchase tickets for the cruise

Annual Wine Adventure Weekend in California's Lake County: Adventurous vinophiles will taste wines from Lake County’s high-elevation growing regions at this sixth annual passport event (July 24-25, 2010). Just two hours' drive from San Francisco, Lake County is part of the North Coast AVA, which also encompasses Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino counties—all winegrape growing regions located in the Mayacamas mountain range. Within Lake County itself, five AVA’s exist: Clear Lake, Benmore Valley, Guenoc, Red Hills, and High Valley AVA.

Adventure Tickets can be purchased online ($35, plus a small handling fee) through July 15, or at any participating winery during the event ($40). Each ticket is good for two days of activities and entitles the holder to wine tastings and hors d’oeuvres at each winery, a logo wine glass, a tasting booklet and a re-useable wine bag. Several wineries will also offer barrel tastings, winery tours, art exhibits and entertainment. Visitors will be entered into a raffle drawing by leaving their Adventure Tickets with the last winery they visit. The grand prize: a collection of premium Lake County high-elevation wines.

Visit the Lake County Winery Association for more information.

Yosemite's Ahwahnee Hotel Announces 2010 Vintners' Holidays Lineup: I attended Vintners' Holidays a few years ago, and it was simply awesome. Just to spend a couple of days at the Ahwahnee, sitting before that gigantic stone fireplace, was pleasure enough. But to add the Vintners' event put the whole experience over the top: fabulous wines, amazing food, and when I wasn't eating or tasting I could don my hiking boots and walk off all those calories in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

This year the Ahwahnee welcomes 32 outstanding California winemakers to its 29th annual Vintners' Holidays. A partial list of attending winemakers includes Hugh Davies (Schramsberg Vineyards), Kent Rosenblum (Rosenblum Cellars), Carol Shelton (Carol Shelton Wines), and K. R. Rombauer III (Rombauer Vineyards). Eight separate sessions will be held from October 31 to December 2, with a different group of winemakers at each session. Guest participants will meet the winemakers, learn about the latest trends in viticulture, taste the wines, and enjoy a five-course finale candlelit dinner in The Ahwahnee's grand Dining Room.

Learn more, see a list of winemakers at the various sessions, and/or make a reservation.

Wente Vineyards's 2010 Concert Lineup is a Wow: The Livermore Valley winemaker, recently voted CalTIA's Winery of the Year, has put together a smash concert season. It actually got underway last night (June 24), with Liza Minelli as the season opener. Coming up between now and September are (in sequential order): Barenaked Ladies, Huey Lewis & The News, Chris Isaak, ZZ Top, Willie Nelson, and Harrie Connick, Jr. Concert seating is in a terraced amphitheater surrounded by gardens, hills, and the winery's Old California-style buildings.

More information about Wente's 2010 concerts.

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