What better way is there to ring in the First day of Spring, than spending a beautiful Sunday afternoon on the balcony at Marina Kitchen with none other than Aaron Walker from Pali Wine Co?
Since January, Marina Kitchen has been having these intimate gatherings with different wineries (from what seems to up to Oregon). As you may recall, Mouton Wines kicked off this monthly event. Last month, Hitching Post (from the Central Coast) were our honored guests at Marina Kitchen. This Month, Pali Wine Co graced us with their delicious wines and food pairings..
A little trivia - Aaron's wife, Emily, her family are also wine makers - Hitching Post! Woot!!!!
Here is what Chef Aaron Schwartz had prepped for pairings:
Passed Bites: Smoked Albacore Tostada, Shrimp Michelada, Scallop Boudin Blanc, Smoked Oysters
Grilled Hangar Steaks, Duck Carnitas, Lamb Birra Tamales, White Mexican Sea Bass
Churro's Mexican Hot chocolate, Patron XO, Norman love chocolate
Wine Wine Wine Wine!!!
Where do I begin? Pali Wine is based in the Central California coast, near Santa Barbara, closer to San Luis Obispo. Pali Wine has been around since 2005. They are known for their Pinot Noir (have you had it? AMAZING). Pali Wine first started with two vintages then in 2007 they moved from their "small" winery to their larger, state of the art winery in Lompoc, CA. Mainly known for their Artisanal Pinot Noir, in 2012, Pali Wine launched a new label – Tower 15 Winery. The Tower 15 Winery label features wines from other parts of the central coast. I didn’t get a chance to try one of the Tower 15 wines. Darn it!! I did, however, get to taste the Huber Chardonnay. It is definitely not like most chardonnays that are mostly oakey for my palette. It had a light, refreshing flavor. Just perfect for a sunny Sunday afternoon! I was pleasantly surprised (I paired it with the Mexican Sea Bass).
Another favorite of mine was the Huntington Pinot Noir. I think I let that one last a bit for me. I feel like I am going to need another tasting of that Huntington. I thought it was spicy, but maybe I am mistaken. There are hints of berries, I thought blackberries, but there are actually notes of strawberries and raspberries.
I paired the Huntington Pinot with the dessert, Churros Mexican hot chocolate. OMG! It was so delicious! The thickest hot chocolate, perfect for dipping the churros. I need to get that recipe! Man OH Man!! Mr. Foodie liked the churros more than the hot chocolate. I LOVED THE HOT CHOCOLATE with the Huntington Pinot Noir.
Want to know something even better? Pali Wine Co has a tasting room in Santa Barbara. Aaron said it’s doing great, I mean who doesn’t want to taste fabulous central coast wines? So, around Memorial Day weekend this year, San Diego will have a its own Pali Wine Tasting Room in the magical Little Italy! I am so excited for this to happen!!
You don’t have to wait until then to try some Pali Wine. You can buy them online here to receive your own bottles at home…to entertain your awesome guests or to just enjoy on your own (this definitely a “Scandal” reference)! Or you can travel on up to Pali Wine Co's Santa Barbara Tasting room or Lompoc Tasting Room for a romantic getaway or with a group of friends.
I know that the Wine Hangouts are only three months in, but these are great gatherings! I love that the winemakers are approachable and you can talk with them. Learn their history and how they got into winemaking. I think it's the best part of the hangout!
For March’s Hangout, Aaron and Emily used to work here in San Diego before they moved back to the central coast. It’s so great to see industry folks (food and beverage) do what they really want to do. It is also great to see them give back to the industry by sharing their brands.
If you haven’t been to one of the Wine Hangouts at Marina Kitchen, you should go, at least once. It is a GREAT opportunity to meet other wine enthusiast and sommeliers.
Here is the line up for the rest of the year (schedule may be subject to change):
April: Fiddlehead Winery
May: Banshee Wines (with Sta. Rita Hills Wine and BBQ Road Show) www.staritahills.com/allevents
June: Scribe Winery
July: Red Car Wine
August: Bonny Doon
September: Foxen Winery
October: Chappellet Winery
November: Sparkman Cellars
December: Margerum Winery
You can always RSVP to one of the hangouts by calling Marina Kitchen directly at (619) 699-8222. The price for these tastings are $65 per person.