If there were one place on Earth I could be this coming Saturday, it would be in the California coastal community of Monterey.
The release excerpts from the Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association that follow will explain… and, if you’re like me, cause you to salivate…
As the winegrape harvest starts coming to a close, the Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association (MCVGA) will launch a new gathering for passionate gourmands and wine lovers who want to experience the essence of this burgeoning California wine region.
On Saturday, November 12, Monterey Wine Country’s “Best of the Blue” event will be unlike any other: Gourmet food trucks will travel from around the region to park at the Del Monte Aviation Center’s private jet hangar, where Monterey County wines will be featured alongside fun, delectable dishes made from locally-sourced ingredients.
“Best of the Blue” takes its name from the “Blue Grand Canyon” — an underwater gorge beneath the surface of the Monterey Bay of the same size and scope as the Grand Canyon. The maritime influence caused by this geological feature has a remarkable effect on this viticulture region, producing fog patterns and variable temperatures that span throughout the 90-mile-long grape-growing area.
“The Blue Grand Canyon and the orientation of Carmel Valley and the Salinas Valley combine to provide some of the most hospitable and diverse growing conditions for vintners. It’s what differentiates our wines and helps to make the region so special — a true marriage of land and sea,” stated Rhonda Motil, executive director of the MCVGA, whose members represent nine distinct American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) and forty-two winegrape varietals grown throughout the county.
The “Best of the Blue” will present an opportunity to taste the broad spectrum of wines produced by over 45 wineries across Monterey County alongside creatively conceived, delicious dishes from popular gourmet food trucks, including:
* Babaloo Cuban Cuisine, featuring sumptuous traditional and with-a-twist Cuban dishes.
* Treatbot, the famous karaoke ice cream truck featuring sorbets and cookie sandwiches.
* Piece of Cake Bakery, which bakes goodies from scratch daily using only the highest quality ingredients.
* The Pizza Gypsy, featuring a wood-fired oven that can bring authentic Italian pizza and other wonderful Italian dishes.
* Me and the Hound Memphis BBQ, featuring authentic Memphis pulled pork.
* Lugano’s Swiss Bistro, Chef Andre Lengacher’s culinary magic-mobile that brings Switzerland to you.
Additional food stations will feature Marich Confectionary, Butterfly Brittle, Dr. Kracker, the Monterey Chocolate Company, Paris Bakery, San Tasti, Joseph Farms, Vertigo Coffee, Emi’s Biscotteria and a Williams & Sonoma Culinary Showcase that will provide cooking demos throughout the day and sample holiday recipes that visitors can use at their own Thanksgiving table.
Sited in what is considered Monterey’s finest full-service executive air terminal, with its luxurious yet industrial charm, the event will be a true celebration of all things Monterey County. Live music from the Cachagua Playboys will accompany captivating artwork from internationally-acclaimed photographer Kip Evans, videos from the Blue Ocean Film Festival, and displays from the National Marine Sanctuary and Monterey Bay Aquarium that demonstrate the majestic beauty of the Blue Grand Canyon alongside the very wines that exist as a result of its geography.
Guests can also feel good about their ticket purchase, knowing that a portion of the proceeds will be going to a great cause. The event organizers will be purchasing the furniture for the Wine Lounge, which will feature a social networking room and wines that are certified sustainable. Immediately following the event, all of the furniture will be donated to Shelter Outreach Plus, an organization serving displaced individuals and families in transition.
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The food truck phenomenon has really caught on in cities across America, in many cases providing talented chefs with a venue to strut their stuff without the overhead associated with a permanent restaurant location. Some of the best food I’ve ever eaten has been purchased from food trucks parked on side streets in downtown Portland, Ore.
If you’re anywhere near Monterey this Saturday, you owe it to yourself to attend this new event.
Full details, including ticket information, is available at: www.montereywines.org