WineShouts – 04/17/2015 Edition

Happy weekend wine lovers!  We’ve put together a few spots where you can get your wine on this weekend in L.A.  and points North.  Know about another great spot or event this weekend or upcoming?  Please let us know in the comments or send us an email (see below).  Cheers!

We want to start this week with a shout out for a special charity event happening Saturday night in Agoura.  

Hope’s Haven Poker Tourney & BBQ Fundraiser (Agoura) – 4/18/2015

The folks at Camarillo based Hope’s Haven run a great charity that supports local hospital-bound and chronically ill children.  Please take a moment and check out their website to see some of the examples of the excellent work they do.  For instance, they have provided the pediatric ICUs of several local hospitals with iPads for the kids’ use and are working on providing an iPad for every pediatric bed in the county. Saturday night they’re hosting one of their annual fundraisers, a poker tournament, casino night and BBQ.  This event is a blast every year with 100 plus poker players, lots of food…and YES there is even wine!  Please support these great local folks and their cause!

Santa Barbara Food and Wine Weekend (Santa Barbara)

A veritable smorgasbord of food and wine events being hosted largely at the Bacara Resort all weekend long.  Some proceeds benefiting the Julia Child Foundation.  The full schedule of events can be found here.  If you have cash to blow, love to eat and drink, and pretty much want to just go full on Bacchanalian (spelled that right on the first try!) this weekend, this is the place for you.  Saturday night, you can even attend a winemaker dinner with Kurt Russell pouring his GoGi brand and other labels that he is making in the Santa Ynez Valley with the folks from Ampelos.  C’mon?!  Who doesn’t want to have dinner with Jack Burton?  (That’s right, I could’ve gone with “Snake Pliskin,” but we all know which is the better film).   The Chinese have a lot of hells, Jack, but this weekend sounds like heaven.

Wally’s Napa/Sonoma All Stars mass tasting (Los Angeles) – 4/19/2015

Want to go taste a ton of good wine? Revisit some long time favorites? Discover some new gems from top producers?  This is one of those events that’s hard to pass up for any wine lover in the L.A. area.  Wally’s, as one of the top wine sellers in SoCal, gathers a ton of the top wine producers from Napa/Sonoma to come show off their latest wares.  Several hundred excellent wines to be had.  Happening at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza this year.  Here are some important strategies for surviving a mass tasting, especially with so much quality on hand.  1) Eat first.  Steel your body for the battle to come.  Bread and hearty foods recommended.  2) Book a room!  If your mass tasting is at a hotel, get yourself a room so you all you have to do is manage to open the elevator and your room door, before you black out.  3) SUC it up!  That’s Spit, Uber, Coffee (or Cream?).  Listen, we know it seems a shame not to swallow that delicious wine, but God invented dump buckets for a reason.  It’s mostly so you don’t yak all over your fellow patrons.  To survive a mass tasting it is necessary to learn to properly taste a wine and spit it out.  Real wine geeks know that pros spit.  Be a pro.   Spit, don’t yak.  Then, of course, Uber your way to your next destination.  Even if you spit all night, Uber is the right way to get there safe.  And it’s L.A.  There are 3 black SUVs on the street for every 1 Prius.  Then, the classic way to sober up?  Coffee.  Get yourself straight, then go hit El Floradita for some late night Salsa and move on with your night.   However, if you’re like me, coffee just makes your acid reflux worse after a night of tasting wines, so opt for some creamy foods instead.  We recommend Salt & Straw on Larchmont, and the Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons.

Joseph Phelps Wine Dinner at The Cave (Ventura) – 4/19/2015

The Cave, a favorite Couch Wine hangout, has had this fantastic looking Joseph Phelps wine dinner scheduled for months when along came the sad news yesterday of the passing of Joseph Phelps himself.   The time is right to celebrate the life’s work of the legendary winemaker with a delicious looking dinner on Sunday night.   They are serving five courses and pouring Phelps wines with each course, including the famous Insignia blend (Bordeaux style) served with a prime steak.   The entire meal sells for less than half the cost of a bottle of Insignia.  As we have always said, The Ventura Wine Company (see our review here) and The Cave offer perhaps the best wine values in all of SoCal.

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Published on: April 17, 2015

Filled Under: So. Cal. Scene, Wine Shouts

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