On June 8-9, 2013, Hollywood’s Historic Raleigh Studios hosted the LAWineFest. It showcased award-winning wines from 13 countries, craft brews, artisan cocktails, interactive cooking demos, wine tasting seminars, and GFT’s (Gourmet Food Trucks). There is no way to try everything, but here are highlights of our exploration of the festival. The VIPs received a schwag bag full of goodies – from dark chocolate bars to cookbooks. All attendees received a souvenir wine glass to use for the tastings.
The Venetian and Palazzo Hotels of Las Vegas were promoting their Carnevale which runs from May 27 through September 8. The hotels will come alive with the fantasy, food, fun, and romance of Italy during Carnevale, a three-month celebration of summer. Carnevale will feature 300 unique experiences through the summer and it’s the perfect place to unmask your inner foodie, artist, adventurer, or romantic. Visit their website for more information: http://venetian.com/carnevale
VeeV was founded by Courtney and Carter Reum and is made from the acai berry. The Acai Spirit can be served on the rocks or mixed into some great classic cocktail recipes. They introduced a new product line called Vita Frute Cocktails. The Organic Lemonade tastes like sweet lemonade. It’s refreshing and great on a sunny day, sipping by the pool, or at a BBQ. Visit their website for more information and recipes: http://veevlife.com
Chip Forsythe and Doug Burkett own Rebel Coast Winery. This is Chip’s second winery and started producing in October 2012. “Not your parents wine” is for the rebels at the table. Reckless Love is half Napa Oakville Cabernet and half Paso Robles Syrah. Tasting notes: blackberries, balanced, medium acidity. Pink Panda is their pink champagne made with Alexander Valley Pinot and bursting with raspberry and strawberry flavor. Refreshing when served ice cold on a hot summer day. Discounts are available for active duty, veterans, police, firefighters, and paramedics. Visit their website for more information: http://rebelcoastwinery.com/
James Carling and Manuela Zaretti-Carling own Ventura Limoncello. Their tagline is “Conceived in Italy. Born in California.” Like most Italian families, the Carlings have been making liqueurs at home for years. Ventura Limoncello is all natural and handcrafted with no artificial colors or flavors. All the fruit used is fresh from grove and hand peeled. Blood Orangecello is fantastic! It has a wonderful citrus flavor and the aroma goes right to your senses and smells like peeling oranges when the oils from the orange rind spritz the air. Visit their website for more information and recipes: http://www.venturalimoncello.com/
Michael Cao and Jennifer Yiu can found gourmet food trucking on Tainamite. Tainamite is a combination of Taiwan, Vietnam, and Dynamic. Jennifer is Taiwanese and Mike is Vietnamese. Garlic Noodles with Shrimp is pan fried noodles with garlic, butter, and their secret sauce, served with succulent shrimp. The aroma of garlic is exquisite when the container is opened. The garlic flavor was just right and added the perfect flavor to the pan fried noodles – almost sweet and savory. The shrimp were cooked perfectly with a great snap. Thumbs up, way up! We liked the flavors from this truck so much we had to take 3 other items home with us. Stay tuned for a follow-up article on all of the dishes! Please visit their website for more information: http://tainamite.com/ Catch Tainamite at the LA Street Festival on June 29, 2013!
Phantom River Wine is owned by four couples: John & Linda Thunen, Steve & Sue Mathis, Gary & Diana Smith, and John & Kerri Klacking. They started the winery in 2004, followed by the Tasting Room in 2009. John Thunen has been making wine for 30 years. They feature the best vineyards for each varietal produced with select fruit chosen from Paso Robles to Santa Ynez. 2010 Merlot (won Best of Class and 92 points at the LA International Wine Competition) is a classic Merlot with silky flavors of cherries and plum. Tasting notes: low/medium acidity, nice aroma, dark blood red color, would pair perfectly with a Ribeye steak. 2009 Grenache (Gold Medal from San Francisco Chronicle and MidState Fair) is 80% Grenache and co-fermented with 20% Tempranillo to produce a Spanish style wine. Tasting notes: beautiful cherry aroma, cherry fruit on the front and back ends, medium acidity, would pair perfectly with pork tenderloin or venison. Please visit their website for more information and tasting room hours: http://www.phantomrivers.com/
Kim and Jeff Steele own Roxo Port Cellars. Being fans of Portuguese and European style port wines, they wanted to produce a port that focused on the fruit and tannins. In 2005, they produced their first well-balanced port that pairs well with cheese, fruit, nuts, and more. The ports are unfiltered so you get a very different mouthful than most ports. 2008 Paso Melange is 54% Cabernet Franc, 25% Petite Sirah, and 21% Cabernet Sauvignon. Tasting notes: sweet with subtle honey and berry flavors. 2008 Magia Preta is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Syrah. Tasting notes: very dark purple color, smooth front and dry finish, very sweet and fruity. Please visit their website for more information and tasting room hours: http://www.roxocellars.com/
Sylvie Behar and Gene Siemer own Crepe de Ville, a mobile signature crêperie. Feeding studio film crews and special events since July 2011, they are doing something right. Their mobile kitchen is open air and you can watch your order cooked up by Gene, himself, with 25 years of restaurant experience under his belt. Like a well-oiled machine, your order is taken by Sylvie, who is from France making the experience even more authentic. The ticket is racked and the crepe goes on the crêperie and a few minutes later, your order is complete. La “de Ville” is a crepe with banana, raspberry, and Nutella topped with whipped cream. The fold is so fancy, you think you were in a 3-Michelin French restaurant. It has all of the components of a great dessert – fruit, chocolate, and cream. C’est magnifique! We had 2 more items so stay tuned for a follow-up article ! Visit their website for schedule and menu information : http://www.crepedeville.com/
A beautiful day in Los Angeles with great food, wines, and liqueurs to be had by all! Check back soon to LA WineFest’s website to save the date on your calendar in 2014!
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