The San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival took over the city from November 16th to its finale on the 23rd. The event is a marathon for foodie and wine aficionado alike and for the amateurs, an opportunity to stretch the gastric muscles before the Thanksgiving holiday. This event’s eleventh year proved once again to be a unique and gourmet experience that shines a light on San Diego’s culinary prowess as well as award prestigious culinary and enology scholarships for the preservation of gastronomical talent. The Festival brought together a range of wine enthusiasts of all levels in the name of education and pleasure.
Tackling old mindsets and misconceptions regarding the Bordeaux reputation, Mary Gorman-McAdams, Master of Wine from the North American Market Adviser Bordeaux Wine Council, shared 10 bottles of affordable Bordeaux wines under forty dollars. By old terms, the label of affordable did not coincide with drinkable to wine aficionados. Times are changing, more and more chateaux are coming together in an otherwise private and coveted industry to share sustainable practices and increase the quality of affordable wines. As the largest AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée) in France, Gorman notes an increase of Merlot planting in the region as another solid contributor and a refocusing on plot by plot vinification. Overall, the 2014 vintage offers promising dry white wines and while reds were harvested later this year, wine enthusiasts can count on serving a higher quality red Bordeaux for a fair and affordable price. (Recreate Gorman’s Bordeaux wine tasting with the list provided at the end of this article.)
San Diego pride awoke during the Stump the Masters event as San Diego Advanced Sommeliers took on Master Sommeliers in a blind single varietal wine tasting of three whites and three reds. The audience turned participants sipped and measured up the Somm’s tasting insights, everything from clarity, nose, structure, and flavor elements. A point was given each for vintage, grape, and region. Between giggles and raised eyebrows, choices were made and the reveal of the true characters of the wine energized the room. San Diego Advanced Sommeliers out-tasted their Master counterparts and truth-be-told, the audience proved to be well versed as well. Single varietals included:
- 2012 Tormentoso Chenin Blanc Old Vine
- 2013 Monte Tondo Soave Classico
- 2013 Freemark Abbey Chardonnay
- 2013 Moillard-Grivot Fleurie
- 2008 Poderi Elia Barbaresco Serracapelli
- 2005 Arrowood Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
In the end, wine is full of nuance that can go unnoticed by one palate and be an obvious marker for another. Below are the wines poured during Garmon’s Bargain Bordeaux.
- Châteaux de Sours Blanc, 2012 – Retails around $18 per bottle.
- Châteaux Timberlay Blanc, 2012 – Retails around $22 per bottle.
- Les Hauts de Smith Blanc, 2012 – Retails around $40 per bottle.
- La Fleur d’Amelie Rouge, 2010 – Retails around $15 per bottle.
- Château Robin, 2010 – Retails between $20-22 per bottle.
- Château D’Aiguilhe, 2010 – Retails around $24 per bottle.
- Château Cap de Faugères, 2010 – Retails around $27 per bottle.
- Château Paloumey, 2009 – Retails around $25 per bottle.
- Château Saint Glinglin, 2011 – Retails around $40 per bottle.
- Château Laroze, 2009- Retails around $40 per bottle.