Caraccioli wine tasting bar (copy)

Congratulations to Caraccioli Cellars: The local winery’s 2013 Brut Cuvée and Brut Rose were both awarded gold medals at the 2019 Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships.

The 41st annual Gilroy Garlic Festival arrives July 26-28 loaded with gourmet garlic eats, cooking competitions and demonstrations, live music and more. On Friday, July 26, there’s the Champions for Charity and Garlic Chef Jr. cooking competitions with MasterChef season nine winner Gerron Hurt. On Saturday, July 27, James Beard Award-winning chef, restaurateur and Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio hosts the Great Garlic Cook-Off for amateur chefs and the afternoon features a cooking demo with Real Housewives of New Jersey star and cookbook author Teresa Giudice sharing her family’s favorite Italian dishes. On Sunday, July 28, Alexander La Motte—executive chef at San Martin’s Rosewood CordeValle Resort—presides over the Garlic Showdown for professional chefs. The festival also brings the fourth annual Gilroy Garli-Que Barbecue Challenge with an officially sanctioned Kansas City Barbecue Society contest for professional teams on Saturday and a backyard BBQ ribs challenge for amateurs on Sunday. Samples will be available for purchase to cast votes for people’s choice awards. And throughout the three-day festival, Gourmet Alley has food vendors ready with an assortment of garlicky foods. The festival at Gilroy’s Christmas Hill Park is open 10am-7pm on Friday, 10am-8pm on Saturday and 10am-6pm on Sunday. $20 adults, $15 seniors 60+, $10 children ages 10-16, children under 10 free, $15 parking, discount tickets available at gilroygarlicfestival.com and at Raley’s, Bel Air and Nob Hill Foods stores.

Carmel Valley Ranch hosts its annual Lavender Harvest Festival on Saturday, July 27, from 1-4pm. Spend the afternoon in the ranch’s organic gardens—which boasts more than 7,000 lavender plants in full and fragrant bloom for summer—and enjoy harvesting demos, lavender-inspired food and drinks, crafts and live music. Meet Carmel Valley Ranch’s food artisans and taste honey, cheese and salt made on the property. $95, $70 children 6-12, children under 6 free, includes one alcoholic beverage with additional drinks available for purchase, info at carmelvalleyranch.com.

Pizza at Cantinetta Luca

Enjoy Cantinetta Luca’s pizza hot out of your own oven with new ready-to-bake pizzas from the popular Carmel restaurant. Choose from four-cheese ($22), margherita ($22), sausage and mushroom ($25), salumi ($25) and house-cured pepperoni ($24) for curbside pickup. The fine print: Requires 48-hours notice and the minimum order is two pizzas. Call 625-6500 to order.

Speaking of pizzas: Don’t forget Tricycle Pizza is parked outside of Post No Bills on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5-8pm. And as if case pizza and a pint weren’t enough of an incentive to visit, Tricycle’s truck has debuted a new dessert: a wood-fired chocolate hazelnut calzone. Visit tricyclepizza.com for the latest on where to find the popular pizza truck.

Dive into classic white wine pairings at Aubergine at this month’s cooking class with Executive Chef/Director Justin Cogley on Wednesday, July 24. Taste through three different white wines and learn how to prepare foods that pair with their terroir and texture. 11:30am-1:30pm, $145, 624-8578 to sign up.

Two events coming up at The Annex this week:

On Thursday, July 25, the shop’s Traveling Winemaker series welcomes Napa Valley’s Miner Family Winery. The winery will pour tastes of 2018 Mendocino Rosato, 2017 Wild Yeast Nappy Valley Chardonnay, 2016 Sierra Mar SLH Pinot Noir, 2013 Napa Valley Merlot and 2014 Oracle Napa Valley Red (4-7pm, $40). And grab 10 percent off retail bottles for the evening.

And on Friday, July 26, The Annex kicks off its Brown Bag Lunch series with Ser Winery. Enjoy a catered lunch and in-depth seminar with Winemaker/Proprietar Nicole Walsh and explore the Santa Cruz winery’s varietal, vineyard designate Old World-style wines (11:30am-2pm, $85, purchase tickets at theannexcarmel.com). 

Monterey’s Portola Hotel & Spa partners with Bernardus Winery for a summer wine dinner on Thursday, July 25, from 6-9pm in The Club Room. Executive Chef Danny Abbruzzese will prepare a five-course dinner paired with Bernardus wines. Dinner begins with a Kumamoto oyster (with 2017 Griva Sauvignon Blanc), then roulade of young chicken (with 2016 Monterey County Chardonnay), heritage pork loin (with 2012 Sierra Mar Pinot Noir), Sonoma duck breast (with 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon) and apricot tart for dessert (with 2017 rosé). $90 (inclusive), tickets call 649-7874.

Raise a glass for a good cause at Barmel on Thursday, July 25. The monthly Celebrity Guest Bartender series with KRML radio station features Jeff Davi as the guest bartender from 6-10pm with 50 percent of the night’s proceeds going to the Kinship Center to support adoption and foster services on the Central Coast. 

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Morgan Winery’s Vintage Fridays returns on Friday, July 26. Look for library wine tastings at the winery’s tasting room in the Carmel Crossroads Shopping Center from 11am-5:30pm. $20, $10 wine club members.

Fourth Street Tap House in Gonzales has teamed up with Casas del Humo Barbecue for Barbecue & Brews on Saturday, July 27, from noon-4pm. There will be tri-tip for lunch with beer—of course—and music by DJ Paul Reyes. $50, includes souvenir glass, advance tickets required, tickets available until July 24, purchase at squareup.com, 21+ only.

Waypoint Bar + Kitchen’s next Dinner at Waypoint is Saturday, July 27. With the departure of Executive Chef Brian Kearns—who traded restaurants to retail and joined the sales team at The Chefs’ Warehouse earlier this month—Waypoint has invited chef Anuwat “Nu” Morakotjantachote, executive sous chef at sister property The Peninsula Chicago, to helm this month’s menu. Chef Nu will prepare a three-course dinner for the evening, with complimentary corkage for the evening. 6-9pm, $55, reservations required: 620-8910.

The Carmel Mission Foundation hosts a mixer on Tuesday, July 30, from 4:30-6:30pm. Enjoy local wines and small bites and get a closer look at the Harry Downie Museum and learn about its history and plans for the future. $10, free for members, 624-3261 to RSVP.

Stave Wine Cellar’s next Flight Night on Tuesday, July 30 puts the spotlight on a local Monterey County winery: ROAR Wines. Taste ROAR’s famed Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Santa Lucia Highlands, plus rare bottlings of Grenache, Syrah and Viognier. Seatings at 5, 6 and 7pm, $35, 644-7997 for reservations, 21+ only.

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