We hosted a big dinner party last night at my house celebrating the visit of my sister Eden and baby Clementine (who will one day be one of the world's great gastronomes). Many courses, many wines--a great time was had by all. But, the challenge with so many wines--and having a wife who prefers to use a separate and proper glass for each one--is the clean up in the morning. Ugggh.
I was fortunate enough to attend the Taste3 conference in Napa last week. Sponsored by the Robert Mondavi company, the gathering of food, wine and art minds from around the world is supposed to be a sort of culinary TED conference and—if you have an extra $2-grand and consider yourself a die-hard foodie—is well worth your time and money. Great thinkers, scientists, story tellers, cooks, taste makers and thinkers gather together for two days of awesome talks on everything from bees and mushrooms to terroir, food blogging and new kitchen inventions. And you can rub elbows with the speakers at several lunches and dinners.
Wine in Time discussion panel
The annual Whiskies of the World tasting was last weekend, my first one to attend. This is a pretty big deal, as evidenced by the line of people waiting to get in, which stretched from the Palace Hotel meeting hall where the whiskies were being poured through the lavish main hall of the into the glittering lobby and down another hall. Almost as impressive as the several hundred people who paid over $100 a ticket to taste whiskies was the number of people willing to pay over $100 a ticket to taste whiskies in a kilt.
I’m down here in New Zealand for this big international Pinot Noir conference, but as an added bonus for coming all the way across the earth, the good kiwi people decided to throw a one-day conference on cool-climate Syrah. The conference was set in an upcoming wine region here in NZ called the Gimblett Gravels (www.gimblettgravels.com). A unique area of land inside the larger appellation of Hawke’s Bay on NZ’s North Island, Gimblett Gravels has some of the stoniest soil you’ll ever see anywhere.