We had big names in wine - Duckhorn, Banfi, Wildman, Krug, Charles Woodson wines, Clos du Val - WOW.
We had perfect weather - 60s with sun.
We had wine, food, fun, and great people running the show.....
Some highlights for me were -
Thursday night - I was one of the judges for the Chefs Challenge *Chef from the Horse and Plow won the Title...
Friday - Morning was Chef Demo with local talent Stefano from Trattoria Stefano - another sell out crowd with food that was by far some of the most delicious all weekend. He talked about his recent trip to Italy and shared some recipes and secrets. Hes always a crowd pleaser, his food and Staff is amazing and hes quite a charmer. I paired up Castello Monachi Salice Salentino from Puglia with his food and we SOLD OUT of his wine - only chef demo all weekend to sell out!
We had Andrew Zimmerns Chef demo and he talked about some of his travels to india and made some great food - dumplings and crispy shrimp.
Alex Guranashellis made some rolls and some other tasty bites - Shes on the show CHOPPED on Food network.
The Grand tasting is a great place to taste and then buy wine at and had great attendance.
Then off to the Kohler Design Center to drink wine in a Toilet and Bathtub museum! Taste of the Vine! Sounds completely crazy but they have all of their new styles to look at and full bathroom displays - pretty neat! This is also the best event of the weekend to try wine that normally you dont get to. All expensive and great quality wines - names like Insignia, Beringer Private Reserve, Pol Roger, Trivento RSVA GOLD malbec, Banfi Brunello, Duckhorn Three Palms Merlot, Goldeneye Pinot noir, Caymus Special Select, 24! WOW. They also have the Oprah approved chocolate station, and many other amazing foods. Awesome night out!
Saturday - Duckhorn Family of Wine seminar - we tried through 6 duckhorn wines! great way to start the morning - I was buzzed by 10!
Andrew Zimmern again making chicken 2 ways, Alex again and the crazy Jon Ashton (he was a doll and had tons of energy) the whole place was dancing!!!
Sunday - The Amazing Charlie Trotter who had amazing food - Duck with asian influence (waterchestnuts, soy) and then langostines with pickeled pineapple and kaffir lime curry - WOW.
And the best part of my weekend - I was asked to have lunch with Charlie and his fun and crazy wife, ROchelle. They ate their first cheese curds (deep fried) I think she liked them and he wasnt as impressed.....Hes quiet and either is absorbing whats around him or thinking very hard constantly. He intrigued me.
A friend of mine was at lunch with us and had something amazing happen - long story short he makes gelato - he happened to have dropped off gelato that morning to the place we were eating. That chef sent out little espresso cups of his gelato and Charlie tried it and said - wow thats good. My friend is not going down there on Saturday to drop off gelato to CHarlie Trotters restaurant in Chicago.. awesome. AWESOME!
Great experience to cap off a great weekend. Life is good with food and wine. Its hard work - but hard work that has tons of pay offs by chance. I love life.....these are the moments we remember forever.