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Old 03-11-2010, 09:23 AM   #16
pdxJolene
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This is awesome, thanks! I'm going to be there during the festival this year (didn't plan it that way, but now I'm pretty excited for it!) My only question though, I'm not 21 but the girl I'm going with will be. Are there areas restricted to minors? Thanks again!
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Old 03-11-2010, 02:28 PM   #17
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Sounds like so much fun! Is it pretty casual or are people dressed up?

I'm loving your report - keep it coming!
Most everything is casual. The evening events people dress nicely, probably because the Winemaker Dinners take place at Steakhouse 55, and that's a nice restaurant. A lot of men wear jackets without ties, or collared button front shirts. The women tend to wear smart pant suits or a dress (blouse/skirt). People don't generally wear T-shirts to the evening events, but it's certainly not a Tuxedo & Ball Gown event!

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This is awesome, thanks! I'm going to be there during the festival this year (didn't plan it that way, but now I'm pretty excited for it!) My only question though, I'm not 21 but the girl I'm going with will be. Are there areas restricted to minors? Thanks again!
Any events that alcohol is the focus is restricted to minors, such as the wine, beer & spirits tastings. The signature events as well. However, you can go to the Complimentary Culinary Demonstrations, purchase tasting plates at the Taste of California Marketplace, and you could probably order food in the Lounge upstairs at the Golden Vine Winery.

Keep in mind, if you want to see any Celebrity Chef demonstrations, I had to get in line at 10:30AM for Cat Cora's 2:00PM demonstration, and I was like #30 in line. I have no idea how early they lined up for Guy Fieri. Both of them are scheduled to be back this year, plus some others.
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Old 03-11-2010, 05:35 PM   #18
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I'm hoping with the new "Taste of California" Marketplace that the "tapas size offerings" will be a little bit more like the kiosks in Epcot. And I do love my cooking school!



TOTALLY! I'll post my pictures from last year. The only thing is there is very limited seating so if you want a seat at a table people started lining up four hours in advance. There are plenty of counters where you can stand and eat. The idea is to mingle around at the different restaurants represented there. We ate some very yummy things and got to try lots of different wines too!
Can't wait to see your pictures from Taste last year! We did it the 1st year and haven't been back. Not that it was bad but unfortunately we compare it and the price to PFTS and it didn't live up to it then. We are doing the Riedel class this year and maybe Taste!

I hope they have smaller Epcot sized tapas this year also .. though the Tuna salad you pictured was so good last year!
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:41 AM   #19
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great report & photos
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:43 PM   #20
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Kenwood Vineyards Winemaker Dinner

Several weeks after the Dinner with MacMurray Ranch we had a Dinner with Kenwood Winery. Again Chef Jason prepared another excellent meal and the wines were also superb.



Our first course was a Seared Dayboat Scallop with Cheesy Corn Grits and Mango Beurre Blanc, and was served with a Reserve Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, 2007. This was so good! With each bite I ate some of each component, greens, scallop, grits and sauce. Everything paired so nicely



Our second course was a Grilled Prime Rib Cap with Wild Forest Mushroom Gnocchi and the wine was a Jack London Vineyard Zinfandel Sonoma Valley 2006. This was a really amazing dish, I mean how often do you eat just the cap of a Prime Rib, and how often is the cap meat medium rare? Chef Jason told a story about how difficult it was to get only the caps, since it was such a tender cut of meat. Evidently another customer was trying to outbid him on these.



The next course was Broiled Buffalo Tenderloin with Vidalia Lyonnaise Potatoes and Braised Pork Belly (Pork & Beans) served with a Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County, 2005. This was just incredible, if you havenít had Buffalo before it is the most amazing meat, itís lean and flavorful. This was so good and those fancy potatoes with the down home pork & beans made a great pair.



We didnít get an amuse bouche with this dinner, but before dessert, we received this bonus cheese course. I donít remember anything about it other than I enjoyed it.



Dessert was a Scharfen Berger Chocolate Souffle with Bing Cherry Ice Cream and it was served with a Lake Sonoma Winery Zinfandel Port, Dry Creek Valley, 2005. This was more of a molten chocolate cake, but regardless it was REALLY good, and the cherry ice cream went with the chocolate so well and the Zinfandel Port, Mmmmmm it was so yummy.



I canít wait until the Winemaker dinners start again this year. Even more interesting will be the Brewmaster Dinner (a first for the Festival), weíll have to see how they turn out, I canít wait!
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Old 03-14-2010, 12:29 AM   #21
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Thank you Alison for the wonderful reviews and pictures.

I really hope my party meets up with yours at Taste this year. And we are in a 2 bedroom villa to boot! We plan on bringing a brekkie casserole to heat up and enjoy with some fresh fruit and mimosas the next morning!

I am really hoping they finally follow Florida's queue and have sampling sized tapas in the new location. It just didn't work the year they had them in the old Lucky Fortune Cookie location.

Anyway, looking forward to more from you!
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Old 03-14-2010, 12:56 AM   #22
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I really hope my party meets up with yours at Taste this year. And we are in a 2 bedroom villa to boot! We plan on bringing a brekkie casserole to heat up and enjoy with some fresh fruit and mimosas the next morning!
Did I already tell you that we will be the ones in scooters with our tray tables attached to the tiller bars, we'll be really easy to recognize!

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We plan on bringing a brekkie casserole to heat up and enjoy with some fresh fruit and mimosas the next morning!
OK, please share...brekkie casserole?

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Originally Posted by lulubelle View Post

I am really hoping they finally follow Florida's queue and have sampling sized tapas in the new location. It just didn't work the year they had them in the old Lucky Fortune Cookie location.

Anyway, looking forward to more from you!
Oh I remember that year when they had the tasting portions at Lucky Fortune! We tried a few of them and they were good, but it took a loooooong time to get our order. I hope that this new place has separate stations where you can get each tasting portion instead of having to order everything all together and wait.

Last year at Taste we ended up chatting up the Festival Director and he mentioned that CA food laws won't allow the kiosks like Florida has, and that the Food Police show up at EVERY event in the DCA Festival just to make sure that they are following code. Sheesh!

Glad you're enjoying it, I'm going to run out of past stuff pretty soon, and the Festival is still over a month away! I'm getting so excited. I've decided that I'm going to spend my birthday evening at the Napa Rose, hopefully the Chef's counter. In fact I have some pictures from last year still to post from another evening we spent there during F&W.

I hope we can meet up too! We'll be in a 1 br, since we requested a Handicapped Accessible, I've heard they're on the 1st floor. I'm thinking after all the weekends of such great food, I'll bring a pack of Velveeta Shells & Cheese and some Keilbasa for our dinner the night after Taste. We'll need some peasant food after all the haute cuisine that we'll enjoy! I'm planning on spending a lot of the time Sunday relaxing in the Villa and enjoying that jacuzzi tub!
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:40 PM   #23
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Oh it all looks so wonderful and fun. I am hoping to get a chance to go next year. I would love to take the cooking class.
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:57 AM   #24
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Oh it all looks so wonderful and fun. I am hoping to get a chance to go next year. I would love to take the cooking class.
It is sooooooo amazing! Chef Sutton and his staff are so nice and the things you get to make and eat are so good. They make it really easy, and it's all healthy! That's what is so amazing, the first year I was counting calories and I analyzed all the recipies (well not dessert, haven't tried any of those), but all the others were tasty and healthy. I can't wait to see what they have in store for this year!
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:05 AM   #25
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Advanced Wine Tasting Course & Concierge Level Stay

Last year at the festival they offered an Advanced Wine Tasting Course with Michael Jordan. The class took place over three different days, Tues, Wed, and Thurs afternoons from 2-4 PM. Each day we covered a different wine region, starting in Italy, going through France and ending up in Germany. The amount of knowledge that he gave us was amazing. We were provided with notepads, and I took diligent notes. I had not taken notes since Iíve was in college, and by the last day my hand was sore! He gave us much of the information on the wine regions and designations that one would have to memorize for their Sommelierís exam.



When we entered the room there were places set up, each with four or five glasses of wine and a bottle of water. These were the glasses that we were to taste/drink throughout the class that day.

This image shows the wines (glasses some finished, sorry!) from our first day in Italy, the empty one contained Magicale. This is such a tasty wine! It is actually a sparkling wine from Brachetto, called Brachetto díAcqui. Michael Jordan has it bottled under the name Magicale for all the Disney resorts, and the brand name Magicale is exclusive to Disney. The white wine is a Soave, the remaining reds are a Tommy Lasorda Chianti and a Negro Amaro, Verve from Solento.



The next day we went to France. The wines in this picture from left to right are White Burgundy, La Fite Bordeaux, Chateau Neuf de Pape Grenache and a Chateau St. Marten, Coteaux du Languedoc. (Sorry if my spelling is off.)



The final day I didnít get a picture because I was almost late for the class. We used some DVC points that we needed to burn through to stay at the Hotel. I was checking in and getting the tour of the Concierge level, but had to cut it short in order to make the class, so I forgot to take pictures of the wines that day. They were all German wines, mostly Reislings which were all of a different age. Michael Jordan wanted to point out to us the different flavors of these wines as they aged.

We tasted a Pfeffingen, Dry Riesling from Pfalz, a Graff Reisling, a Spatlese, then from Wolf a Wachenheimer Belz Reisling also a Spatlese. Then from Wirsching a Slivaner Auslese, and lastly a Kammerberger Spatlese Burgundian QMP.

All the wines we drank we just wonderful, and it was such an informative class, the amount of knowledge this man has in his head is incredible. Iím sorry that he is not running any wine classes this year. At the end of the class we were all presented with a certificate of our participation.



As I mentioned earlier, we used up some DVC points to stay overnight (it was the day before DPís birthday) and since it was a Thursday we had enough points to stay on the Concierge level, so here are a few shots from the Concierge Lounge afternoon service. In the morning, they had Continental Breakfast, from 11 to 4 they served snacks, chocolate covered strawberries, cookies, finger sandwiches, cheddar goldfish, uncrustables. From 5-7 they served veggies & dip, a few hot items and beer and wine. In the evening they served cookies and other desserts, and some cordials.







That evening we dined at Napa Rose Restaurant at the Chefís Counter. We ordered the Vintnerís Menu and split it between the two of us, but we added an extra cup of the signature mushroom cappuccino (soup) to our order. I donít have pictures of all the courses we ate, but here are a fewÖ.

No idea what this was except that it was some sort of fish served over beans and a tasty sauce. I can say that because everything I have eaten at this restaurant has always been GREAT! They split everything for us in the kitchen at no additional charge.



The next course was soups, since we ordered two they didnít split them and we just switched halfway through. One is the signature Mushroom Cappuccino and the other is a Tomato Soup





We had the strawberry duck, and one of the accoutrements was sweetbreads, which we never would have eaten had we known what it was. However, we found out that something we thought weíd never eat was actually good! The split portion here was just perfect so that we could eat dessert later.



So I thought that I didnít have pictures of all the courses, but I was wrong, I just didnít get a very good picture of the dessert. Since it was DPís birthday and mine was the week before, I think we let that slip sometime during dinner, so they brought us both birthday desserts! Perhaps I had enough wine that I wasnít thinking when I took these dessert pics!

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Old 03-15-2010, 11:45 AM   #26
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Thank-you! Everything looks wonderful!
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:48 PM   #27
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Thanks! I'll try to clue you in on what's there, so you can try!

I'm counting on it, Alison!

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Old 03-15-2010, 06:51 PM   #28
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Alison,
Looking at these pictures just cement my decision to go for some of the F&W next year.
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:41 PM   #29
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Thank-you! Everything looks wonderful!
Just wait until I post the pictures from Taste!

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Alison,
Looking at these pictures just cement my decision to go for some of the F&W next year.
Oh you definitely should! You're close enough, take your BWG (is that his nickname?) and leave the kids! The events are pricey, but I save all year for this. We bought points at the GCV so we can stay there for "free" every year during F&W at least 2 weekends a year.
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Old 03-15-2010, 08:47 PM   #30
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I have been making sure that I have eaten before I read your updates. Everything looks sooo goood that I get hungry looking at the pictures!
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