It was a whirlwind Sunday afternoon of distinguished food and fun wine finds at the Fourth Annual Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival, which I attended Sunday, October 1. Between juggling plates from famed Top Chefs and pours from new and old school wineries alike, I was also belting along to the live band’s rendition of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” It was a beautiful Southern California fall day to relax, laugh, learn, and savor the experience at hand.
I was really impressed at the variety at the Festival’s wine choices. It wasn’t your standard fare of grocery store pours, but a thoughtful mix of boutique wineries, some old school labels, importers, and even Orange County’s top retailers were on hand pouring their top wares. Here are my standouts from the day, though I certainly didn’t hit all the wine tables, nor all the pours at each stop.
Old School Wineries
Williams Selyem Unoaked Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2014
Frog’s Leap Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Kessler-Haak Pinot Rose 2016
Roadhouse Winery Orange Label Pinot Noir 2014
Nellcote Rallye 76 Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
VML Starscape Pinot Noir 2014
Animo Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2014 by Michael Mondavi Family Estate
Mercer Wine & Spirit Imports: Chateau Vannieres Bandol Rose 2016, Manoir du Capucin Aux Morlays Pouilly-Fuisse 2013
M&M Imports: Pieve Vecchia Bianco Veronese IGT 2014, Alteo Amarone Della Valpolicella DOC 2011
Orange County Wine Shops – You know this is a sought after wine crowd, when our top two Orange County wine shops are there pouring a few of their favorites.
Hi-Time Wine Cellars – Alpha Omega Proprietary Red II 2014 Napa Valley
Wine Exchange – Cvne Vina Real Rioja Crianza 2011
How can we all enjoy these wines outside of the festival? The Old School Wineries are generally widely available at BevMo, Total Wine, and the like. The Boutique Wineries should be contacted directly. All have great websites with online purchasing. Importers are trickier. H. Mercer did share they sell to Hi-Time, but both importers have web sites and denote how and where to find their wines.
Lesson learned. The Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival is a top notch two-day affair. My one day of three and half hours wasn’t nearly enough time to fully experience the culinary delights and bevy of wine.