The Coast News Group
Taste of Wine

Here and There in the Wine & Food World

In the fast-moving world of wine and food the only thing that is constant is change. My personal pillar of fine wine and fine dining in the San Diego area is no exception to this dynamic. The Grand Del Mar has revealed that its popular Amaya Restaurant now has two locations.The beautiful, elegant Amaya of La Jolla opened with Executive Chef Camron Woods presenting menu items that made him a favorite at the original Amaya at the Grand. Tom Voss, President of the Grand Del Mar summed it up when he said “Camron Woods is perfectly suited to be Amaya La Jolla’s executive chef, and we’re pleased to announce that his replacement at the Grand Del Mar will be Mathew Sramek, who has worked with Camron the last three years.” The La Jolla location wine collection will be structured toward California favorites, with an international collection to satisfy the most discriminating connoisseur.

The list consists of 300 labels, all under $100, with over 20 wines by the glass.

Look for Chef Camron’s favorite dishes including: Smoked King Salmon, and Slow Roasted Pork Chop. He will be adding new rustic Southern classics as a tribute to his beginnings in Charleston South Carolina. More information is available at, or by calling (858) 750-3695.

Meanwhile Wine Director of The Grand Del Mar, the popular Jesse Rodriguez, has left to pursue a Master Sommelier designation and to pursue other interests. The resort has a team of 13 sommeliers to fill in until a replacement is found.

Paul Hobbs is the latest Napa Valley winemaking great to know, but he is not resting on his achievements in California. He has just added a 5th South American winery to his import portfolio, Vina Perez-Cruz from Chile’s Maipo Alto Valley. Most of his 80,000 case production there is Cabernet Sauvignon. He will also make Syrah, Malbec, Carmenere and Bordeuaux blends.

Eddie Osterland is America’s first Master Sommelier, the highest distinction anyone can receive in fine wine and beverage service. He has gone on to be a master speaker and author on wine, food and hospitality around the globe. His latest book is now out: “Power Entertaining: Secrets to Building Lasting Relationships, Hosting Unforgettable Events, and Closing Big Deals from America’s 1st Master Sommelier.” After that long a title, you will want to find out more. For instance, be sure to check out “Never Save your Best for Last. Serve your

Best Stuff First.” Find out more about the book and Eddie at


VinDiego Brings Over 75 California Wineries to San Diego

A long-time TASTE OF WINE reader and fan, Encinitas promoter David Frischetti is bringing San Diego’s newest Wine & Food Festival to the Pavilion on Broadway Pier, April 6 from 4 to 8 p.m. This is a wine-only event with food sampling from fine dining restaurants in San Diego.

Vintners and food chefs will be sharing knowledge with 30-minute seminars. A silent auction will benefit Freedom Station, helping young wounded marines and sailors get back on their feet. Prices start at $85 per person pre-show. Be sure to check the web site for price and attraction options at


Wine Bytes

PAON in Carlsbad is presenting a Blind Wine Tasting April 3 to April 10. Six one ounce tastings for $16. Call (760) 729-7377 for times.

Carol Shelton Wines will be served at a wine dinner at Firefly Grill and Wine Bar in Encinitas April 4 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Shelton is known as the Zen of Zin, and is the most awarded winemaker in the U.S. Four Zinfandels from the 2009 vintage will be poured with a four-course dinner. $55. RSVP at (760) 635-1066.

The Encinitas State of the City Address is April 5 from 5 to 8 p.m. and will feature fine wines and food from local restaurants. The wines are from Michael David and Orfila Winery. Tickets are $20. RSVP with Thora Guthrie at (760) 715-3230.

Thornton Winery in Temecula is holding a Pizza and Cabernet Winetasting Workshop April 6 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Learn about pizza and winemaking practices. $45. Check the web site at