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The 10th annual Toast of the Coast Wine Festival will be on June 11 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Photo via Facebook/ Toast of the Coast
The 10th annual Toast of the Coast Wine Festival will be on June 11 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Photo via Facebook/ Toast of the Coast
Columns Food & Wine Taste of Wine

A brief look around the world of wine

The world of wine is breaking down new barriers and charging into the summer with new wines, wineries, wine shops and special events like never before.

Celebrities are in the wine business big time. Pop music star Katy Perry launched a sparkling aperitif and NBA basketball stars Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Damian Lillard, Devin Booker, JJ Redick and Lebron “King” James have all made moves in the industry.

And every one of them has contributed to the new wine culture, with rosé in most instances being the “go-to” wine.

Cass Winery’s Ted Plemons wows the crowd at Vittorio’s

Ted Plemons, co-owner at Cass in Paso Robles, recently came to San Diego and conquered his audience at Vittorio’s in Carmel Valley.

Ted is one guy who brings some fabulous wines to the table including his own “Rockin Ted” wine, a blend of Rhone French-style red wines, plus 2nd generation Vintage Ted. Both have won big ratings and deserve the phrase “sheer seduction in a bottle.”

Ted Plemons, architect, businessman, winemaker and “standup” comedian/storyteller for Cass Winery in Paso Robles.
Ted Plemons, architect, businessman, winemaker and “standup” comedian/storyteller for Cass Winery, recently visited Vittorio’s in Carmel Valley. Courtesy photo

This event had Vittorio’s spotlighting a roasted pork tenderloin with carrot puree and asparagus with a “poire verte” sauce. Plemons, who knows a thing or two about gourmet cooking (Plemons helped put together a feast for us last time we were at Cass) selected his 2020 Cass Grenache for the pork dish.

The wine’s light-bodied yet intense and flavored with a bright ruby red cast, finishing seamless and smooth with soft tannins framing the fruit. For more information, visit casswines.com.

South Coast, Carter wineries in Temecula win medals

This combination just posted 16 winning medals in the prestigious Toast of the Coast wine competition produced by the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar.

“South Coast Winery’s Double Gold placements for Meritage 2017 and Grenache Blanc 2020, and Carter Estate Winery’s Double Gold for its Daybreak 2022, are accomplishments we are especially proud of achieving,” said Jeff Carter, president of Carter Hospitality.

South Coast Winery and Spa set the gold standard for excellence amongst California wineries, earning more than 3,000 awards since its inception in 2003.

The South Coast & Carter wineries scored 3 Double Gold winners at the recent San Diego Toast of the Coast wine competition. Courtesy photo
South Coast and Carter wineries scored three double gold winners at the San Diego Toast of the Coast wine competition. Courtesy photo

The winery offers a portfolio of 45 wine labels. The 10th annual Toast of the Coast Wine Festival will be on June 11 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in the Garden Show area where guests can enjoy unlimited wine tastings from more than 100 award-winning wines. For tickets, visit sdfair.com.

Iconic Jordan Winery makes rare appearance in San Diego

Inspired by the Chateaus of Bordeaux, Jordan brought their best wines to Sal Ercolano’s Flora Bar and Kitchen to celebrate its 50th year as a leading French-style Sonoma winery.

Jordan’s lovely wines at Flora included Cellar library’s special vintage cabernet sauvignons. Guests to this rare event were very pleased with this opportunity to sip and savor this rare occurrence.

Ercolano was up for this occasion, matching the aged Jordan wines with a Short Ribs Ravioli in a creamy mixed wild mushroom sauce. The finale was a Veal Sage Saltimbocca made of veal scaloppine topped with fresh sage and Parma ham with a demi-glace treatment.

Jordan has a range of special 50th birthday events at the winery and elsewhere. Having experienced their event hospitality, this is a must for the wine lover. Visit jordanwinery.com.

West Steak House in Carlsbad has a new lease on life

The co-owner of the popular Paon restaurant and wine bar in Carlsbad Village, Mayur Pavagadhi, has leased the once-popular West Steak and Seafood. Mayur is reported to be planning on an opening with a new name this summer after an expansion of the patio area. West opened in 2005 and went dark early in the pandemic.

Wine Bytes

— Oak Mountain Winery presents a UNICEF Fundraiser dinner for Ukraine from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, May 13, in Temecula. Donation is $50 per person and 100% of ticket sales will be donated to this cause. The evening features a three-course plated dinner with a glass of wine or beer included. Additional drinks are available for purchase. For more info see oakmountainwinery.com.

— Vintage Wine Storage in Carlsbad’s next Summer Wine Sipper is Fri. May 13 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.  Celebrate the sipper with Belle Vie wines.  The $20. per person charge is waived with a 3 bottle purchase. You will be tasting a collection of 5 wines from Paso Robles.  For more info it’s vintagestorage.com.

— Grammy-nominated country music star Cassadee Pope will be performing on May 19 as part of the Rhythm on the Vine concert series at South Coast Winery in Temecula. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the concert is from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The event takes place in the open-air courtyard. The cost is from $40 to $175. More info and tix at southcoastwinery.com/concerts/concert-series.

Frank Mangio is a renowned wine connoisseur certified by Wine Spectator. Frank and Rico are two of the leading commentators on the web. Reach them at [email protected]

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