Wine in O.C.: Dueling Fests in Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach sure looks like the place for weekend wining… from Orange Coast wine writer Anne Valdespino:

This weekend winos will have to choose between big bashes or resign themselves to exhaustion. Two interesting events will take place Saturday afternoon March 10 in the same town. I personally will be shuttling from one to the other and then somewhere nice for dinner before hitting the road back to HB.

At the Festival of Arts grounds it’s “Laguna Beach Uncorked! International Wine & Food Fest.” Local restaurants such as Broadway by Amar Santana, Katsuya, Three Seventy Common Kitchen, and a host of others will provide food. There will be musical entertainment and tastings of beer, sake, and wine. Heavy hitters in the lineup include Famille Perrin, Chateau Montelena, Domaine Serene, Michele Chiarlo, and Tres Sabores. One of my favorite local vintners, Thompkin Cellars will also be pouring—love their gutsy reds. The event takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. A VIP ticket will include a two-hour wine seminar by master sommelier Peter Neptune. General admission is $75 pre-sale, $95 at the door. VIP admission is $125. Click here to purchase tickets.

At Rock’N Fish—yeah, you read that right, high-toned wines in a tap house—it’s “Ultimate Wine Festival” with tray-passed hors d’oeuvres, along with celebrity vintners such as Heidi Barrett of La Sirena and Screaming Eagle (1992-2006), right; Amelia Morán Ceja of Ceja Vineyards, and Michael Silacci of Opus One. They hope to make it an annual event and if so, great because we would love to see some of these Cadillac vintners back: Silver Oak, Grgich Hills, Far Niente, Nickel & Nickel, Rombauer, and more.

So drink up my friends! “Uncorked” benefits CHOC Children’s and some proceeds from “Ultimate” benefit The Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach.—Anne Valdespino

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