What do you get when you bring 60 wineries and 20 restaurants to Malibu on a beautiful sunny day? The Malibu Wine Classic and a whole lot of fun. This year’s wine classic was even better than the last. I decided to bring 12 of my closest friends and we rented a van and had a designated driver (always important for these kind of days).
I started off my day strong with a tasting at Tablas Creek who are known for their Châteauneuf du Pape tradition. I must say these were some of the best wines I tasted all day. The Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc 2007 was light and crisp-the perfect wine for a warm summers day. I also loved their 2006 Esprit de Beaucastel that was richer with a nice hint of spice. A combination of Grenache and mourvedre made this delectable wine. Their rose was also a winner.
A nice surprise of the day was Sweeny Canyon. We decided to try a winery we’d never heard of and Sweeny Canyon had an excellent 2006 Pinot Noir. Another hidden gem was the Griffin Family Chardonnay. It was fruity and refreshing, and I don't usually even like Chardonnays.
Another favorite winery of mine is L'Aventure. I have been to the tasting room in Paso Robles and fine their wines really wonderful. I was able to meet the wine maker Stephan, who is French and so passionate about his wines. I had the 2007 Estate Cuvee, 2008 Estate Roussanne and the 2007 Estate Cote a Cote. This was definitely one of the wineries people were talking about.
Some of the foods of the day were really excellent. My favorite was the burrata heirloom salad with prosciutto and tomato water from The Sunset. It was refreshing and lovely with a bit of balsamic.
Another star was the short rib on sweet potato with marshmallow from STK. Although a little heavy for the middle of a hot summer day, it was a great accompaniment to every flowing red wine.
Saddlepeak Lodge had a nice watermelon gazpacho –and although simple, the dish showed good thought and planning, as again it was a very warm day.
I tried Joe’s Pizza of Bleeker Street and I was not a fan of the crust. It was hard and a little thicker than I like. Luscious Organic Desserts served mini chocolate cupcakes that were quite rich and Malibu toffee was there with their wonderful almond and chocolate covered toffee.
Over all the day was deemed a success. Great wine, great food, a beautiful day in Malibu…what more can you ask for? Actually, they should have let us keep our glasses. We had to turn them in at the end of the day and it would have been nice to have a “Malibu Wine Classic” memorial glass. Maybe next year…