Lots To Do
Thursday, November 30, 2006
DO GOOD, HAVE FUN… Old friends, they mean much more to me than new friends, because they know where I’ve been… Those words came from a song done by Harry Chapin (I think) a pretty long time ago. But they’ve stuck with me the way old photographs stay in that big box we all keep in the closet, occasionally champagne-popping into our consciousness whenever we need to take a look. With the holiday season upon us, I am craving the fireside warmth of my old friends.
I’ll tell you something else that sounds mighty fine: the open house on Thursday Nov. 30 from 6 to 8pm at Pacific Tweed in Carmel’s Crossroads Shopping Center. DAVID BERNAHL, the snappiest dresser on the Central Coast, and his PT Fashion Squad will have hors d’oeuvres and wine for happy shoppers. The goal is to donate 15 percent of sales from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 to MCAP, which by now you should know means Monterey County AIDS Project. That is a generous gesture by Pacific Tweed, so get down there and buy a couple of new outfits. Look good and help a truly loving organization at the same time. RSVP to 625-9100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of course, the annual Feast For AIDS, MCAP’s most important yearly fundraiser, is taking place on Dec. 2 at the Beach Club. Food Network star chef CAT CORA will join locals WENDY BRODY, DORY FORD, RESSUL RASSALLAT, BENJAMIN BROWN, JOHN HUI, MIKE NEMEC and the entire staff of the Beach Club in presenting a multi-course feast. Different wines for each course were generously donated by Chateau Sinnet, Hahn Estates, Paraiso Vineyards, Pessagno Winery, De Tierra Vineyards, Ventana Vineyards, with Folie a Deux Winery of Napa plus Martin & Weyrich Winery from Paso.
JEFF JAKE, former executive chef of Pebble Beach, is coming back to town to introduce the chefs and shake hands. Auction items will be bought, money will be raised, though never enough, so even if you can’t be there, I’d better hear about the nice donation you sent. It’s a great event, full of love and caring and a fun party—plus, I have a sneaky suspicion my man WAYNE JOHNSON might be out there cutting up the rug this year. Call MCAP at 394-4747 and do something good.
LIQUID ASSETS… I wrote that one of our local gals, ALPANA SINGH, has been tearing it up in Chicago doing her master sommelier thing on a bunch of different levels, from publishing a book to hosting a TV show. She got her start right here at Rancho Cellars with our own master, JACQUES MELAC. JIM VAUGHAN, sales director for Bargetto Winery, interviewed her for the Bargetto Wine Club newsletter. I promised to print excerpts of the interview (in the interest of space and to needle JIMMY RAY, I’ll just print Alpana’s words): Sometimes couples will have differing opinions about the styles of wines to select. I always tell people that in a situation like this, the sommelier should be looking at the table as if he or she is watching a tennis match—glancing back and forth, listening to both sides of the story. With one particular couple, the man knew his wife enjoyed lighter whites like Sauvignon Blanc, while he preferred a heavier, buttery Chardonnay. I suggested a French Chablis as a compromise. He completely rejected my advice and ordered the most buttery Chardonnay on the list. The wife then looked at me and responded with: “That’s OK, honey, I can always go out and buy a new pair of diamond earrings with his credit card tomorrow.”
People assume that just because I work in a fine dining business that I eat caviar and foie gras all the time. The truth is I enjoy junk food as much as the next person, if not more. I was drinking Zinfandel at home one night and munching on some Cheetos, my favorite, and noticed the flavors were more pronounced. As a sommelier you are constantly monitoring how liquids change the flavor of food in your mouth. I do this with orange juice, coffee, Snapple—you name it.
To catch more of her interview with Jim and find out about an upcoming book signing at the winery, call Bargetto at 888-400-WINE and press them for information.
ROCKIN’ AND ROLLIN’… Dec. 2 and 3 stop down to Terranova Fine Wines in downtown Monterey for Monterey Wine Country’s Sip and Shop. It’s just like it says, taste the wines, then buy them. Saturday, it’s STEVE PESSAGNO with his Pessagno Wines, Sunday it’s DAN LEE from Morgan; times are 11am to 5pm, 333-1313…Monday, Dec. 4 sees a Veuve Clicquot event called “It’s a Sparkling Idea,” with a five-course menu in the Tuscan Room matching the top five cuvees from Clicquot. Ought to be grand, 647-7490…you Cab lovers must call Bouchée right this minute and reserve for Dec. 6 when DAVID ARTHUR brings his blockbusting Cabernets for a special wine dinner. For $125 per it’ll be Napa Cab lovers’ nirvana—oh yeah, the food won’t be half bad either, 626-7882…Dec. 6 also sees Casanova Restaurant celebrating the anniversary of the arrival of Van Gogh’s table, 625-6731…Bye-bye to Elkhorn Farm & Mercantile in Moss Landing. The short-but-richly-lived business ran into some lease difficulties and had to fold it up. All the inventory is totally on sale for another month, right down to the last nail, 633-4768…Just in from my pal CHERYL WARNER: Hi Raymond, I want your help promoting something. There is a winery called McIntyre, they make Merlot, Syrah, several Pinots and a Chardonnay (all available at Star Market), all Monterey County. They also make a sparkling wine called L’Homme qui Ris after the painting (it means laughing clown). All the wines are very nice but he is donating $25 for every case sold to Toys For Tots so I want to get some people on board to buy some, Cheryl…Peace y’all.