Last year the elegance of Ferrari-Carano (FC) wines from Northern Sonoma were introduced to the growing number of wine dinner guests of Flora’s owner, “maestro” Sal Ercolano.
The dinner was such a successful wine experience that Ercolano recently invited the winery back. Flora’s chef Hilario created a very special menu, led by Hunters Venison Loin with a cabernet reduction, dried cherries and root veggies to pair with an FC Tresor, the vineyard’s premier offering ($55) with 74% cabernet sauvignon, and some malbec, merlot, petit verdot and cabernet franc.
Don and Rhonda Carano, of Reno, Nevada, and second-generation Italians, founded Ferrari-Carano in 1981. They were introduced to the beauty of Northern Sonoma while collecting wines for their El Dorado hotel casino. They began making whites like Fume Blanc and Chardonnay, two whites that have stood the test of time, and were on the event list at Flora.
The current vintage Chardonnay is made with a lot of love and care. It’s the 2019 Tre’ Terre from the Russian River Valley, radiating delicious aromas of lemon, citrus and golden apple. Bright fruit flavors and a notable acidity lead to a touch of butterscotch on a lingering finish. This one ages 15 ½ months in French oak ($40).
— Story by Frank Mangio
San Diego Wine and Food Festival is almost here
After a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19, the return of last year’s San Diego Wine and Food Festival was extra special. Michelle Metter and Ken Loyst, festival producers and owners, put on a grand show last year just as society was returning to “normal.”
As one of the country’s most talked about weeks in wine and food, the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival was named the winner of the 2019 USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest for Best General Food Festival.
This year’s 18th annual show is sure to live up to its esteemed reputation as nationally-recognized celebrity chefs, legendary winemakers, guest mixologists, James Beard Award-winning authors, master sommeliers, brewmasters, artisans and tastemakers join in the fun.
A variety of ticket packages are available including single day, full weekend (Fri-Sun), short weekend (Sat-Sun), etc. More info at sandiegowineclassic.com.
- Sal Ercolano proprietor of Flora Bar and Kitchen in San Diego’s Carmel Valley is hosting 5 course Penfolds Wine Dinners at 6 p.m. on Thursday (10/20) and Friday (10/21). The main course features roasted ostrich with mushrooms and brussels sprouts paired with Penfolds Binn 407 cabernet sauvignon. Cost is $75 per person + tax/gratuity. RSVP at 858.461.0622.
- Valle Food & Wine Festival from Oct. 21 to Oct. 23 is another not-to-miss Food and Wine Festival. A weekend getaway of regional wine tasting, live music, art, and celeb chef cooking demos awaits just 60 miles south of San Diego. This year’s chef superstars include Nancy Silverton, Aarón Sánchez, Rick Bayless, David Castro & Maribel Aldaco (Fauna), Gabriela Cámara (Contramar), Ori Menashe (Bestia), and more. Additional information at vallefoodandwinefest.com.