The sixth annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine event at the Pristine Inn at Spanish Bay proved to be a spectacular show. In addition to the multiple seminars, cooking demos, interactive lunches and dinners, the Lexus Grand Tasting showcased the best of the best in food and wine.
Lexus Grand Tasting
*Disclosure: I received admission into the event at no charge for media coverage of the event.
Throughout the two tents of the Lexus Grand Tasting, center island lounges from various sponsors such as Driscolls and Patron offered a place to sit, interact and enjoy the plethoea of options. Surrounding those islands were wineries and Chefs from top restaurants from all over the state of California. The live DJ kept things lively and kept you moving through the event.
For me personally, I enjoyed this opportunity to reach out of my typical wine habits of Washington wine and delving into the world that is world class California wines. Many of the featured wines were from acclaimed Monterey, Sonoma and Napa Valley areas, bringing along the best of their wines including many Chardonnays, Cabs and Pinot Noirs. Pinot Noir is an area I have had very little tasting experience and it was a great way to sample many versions of this same varieties. Each winery carried a bit of a different character in the flavors. I might just turn into a Pinot Noir fan yet!
Besides wine, there were culinary experts throughout to help feed your appetite and get you through three hours of tastings. When I say culinary experts, I mean these world class chefs were present – cooking and plating your dishes right there themselves. If you had a question, all you had to do is ask and they were more than happy to talk about their creations.
If food and wine aren’t your thing and you just happen to be along for the ride, no worries, Stella Artois, Duck Pond and Patron were there to mix it up a bit. No? How about just sit back and enjoy the music and enjoy watching the crowd!
Did I have a favorite? Well, that is very hard to decide. As far as wine goes, I’m going to say I’m partial to Tyler Florence wines just because, hey – it’s Tyler Florence and I’m a foodie first and he is amazing in anything he puts his hands on. I tried the reserve cab and I actually loved it too so it really isn’t just about the name – and he really is just as charming and handsome in real life, lol!
I think the food is harder since all were simply amazing and so much I had never tasted before. I would say I had a very hard time narrowing it down, but the the Tamale from Chef Ray Garcia of Fig was simply amazing. The flavors were just perfect and the presentation, very different than a typical tamale was just as stunning.
I spent about 2 ½ hours walking, talking and tasting and let me tell you, I was exhausted. I would suggest you plan on making a few visits spread out over the day if at all possible. I barely scratched the surface in wines and did not get to all the food either.
It is an experience that is a must if you are going to be attending Pebble Beach Food & Wine. I took a ton of pictures so please do enjoy my photo journal of the day!