Take Five: How Carmel Valley Can Now Claim the Best Mini Wine Walk and Four Other Nibbly Notes
November 1, 2011
• Though its official grand opening syncs with Thanksgiving, Holman Ranch opens its tasting room tomorrow. That means there’s a perfectly potent Murderers Row of small-batch winemakers assembled in one little Carmel Valley strip mall (with a taco shop for balance): Parsonage (659-7322), Joyce (659-0312), Chesebro (238-7225) and now Holman. Look for a similarly stuffed lineup of events there, from the opening’s music, demos, Santa showings and tastes Nov. 26-27 to a Lulu’s chocolate-wine pairing session with Scott Lund Dec. 8 to a Tony Baker demo-benefit Dec. 11.
• Yes: $15 pre-sale rate for a 6-9:30pm Monday, Nov. 7 tequila tasting at Lopez Restaurante y Cantina (324-4260), with Avion, Partida, Tequila Tenoso, Tequila Alerete all repped, plus snacks, is a bargain.
• Not too late to embrace the Nov. 3-5 bounty that is Big Sur Food & Wine (869-1341), especially with locals deals for the South Coast contingent that knock upwards of $100 off some of the swankier sessions. Saturday’s Grand Public Tasting is a strong value already at $55.
• Truth in advertising: A demo with the The Raw Express Chef Patti Stevens will explore healthier Turkey Day techniques 11am-12:30pm Nov. 5 at Carmel Kitchen and Baths, 624-4667 is called “A Fresh Spin on Thanksgiving,” $15.
• To take holidays past hallelujah, study at the apron of Cal Stamenov, Ben Spungin, Mark Buzan and Susanna Gamble as they talk the art of celebratory snacks, desserts, wines and flowers (respectively) and lunch flows family style with things like homemade brioche, pumpkin-apple soup, Cal's Christmas salad, whole roasted herb chicken, black truffle stuffing, hazelnut-banana tart and Bernardus wines 1-3pm Saturday, Nov. 11. $85 inclusive, 658-3550.