Taste of Wine: Encinitas Rotary wine event benefits 19 charities

Taste of Wine: Encinitas Rotary wine event benefits 19 charities
Encinitas Rotarian Rich Houk and Sandy Houk are co-chairs of the 12th annual Wine & Food Festival at the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas. Photo by Frank Mangio

Recently, I observed that the wine consumer was getting washed with wine shows. This was not meant to be a complaint.

Wine shows give the visitor an opportunity to sample some superior wines, upwards of 200 choices, along with food pairings, for one nominal admission fee.

The realization that big wine shows equal big profits has resonated, especially in Southern California where most days are perfect for outdoor events.

There is one wine/food event I want you to keep your eyes and palates on: the Encinitas Rotary and its Wine and Food Festival.

Set for June 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the pristine San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas, this event has quickly won the support of the public, like no other of its size. 

Guests will taste from over 20 wineries, breweries and other beverages. Area restaurants are pitching in with their best menu offerings and all will be serenaded by live music while they bid up auction items.

All this makes for a pleasant wine event like most others, however Rich and Sandy Houk, co-chairs of the Encinitas Rotary, want you to know that 19 charities benefit from your attendance at this event.

“Last year was the seventh year of a sellout,” Rich declared.  “Our festival raised over $120,000 for both children’s and community charities. It was a team effort with all 90 Rotary members volunteering to make it a success,” he added.

“Tickets start at $90 and when people buy their tickets, they can choose their favorite charities from our list. The beneficiary charities need to attend all our meetings and they agree to sell a designated number of tickets.  They also help with raffle items to raise additional dollars.  It’s a total team effort,” said Rich.

The wines offered are a great fit. Most are from the Southern California region.

Be sure to pay special attention to a favorite of mine this year, the Coomber Family Ranch wines.  Skip Coomber has made a high-end style of wine, with Pinor Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.

These wines compete with any I’ve tasted.

To purchase tickets for the Encinitas festival, go to encinitaswinefestival.com. Enjoy the festival and help a charity.

Red & White Wines-More than just Color

A Chardonnay and a Cabernet, classic white and red wines, courtesy of Pedroncelli wines of Sonoma. Photo courtesy Pedroncelli Wines

A Chardonnay and a Cabernet, classic white and red wines, courtesy of Pedroncelli wines of Sonoma. Photo courtesy Pedroncelli Wines

It’s always red versus white. Whites always start out, and reds finish.  That’s because reds are more robust and more complex than whites.

Reds are made from dark red, even black grapes.  Whites are made from green grapes.

During fermentation for whites, the stems, seeds and skins are gently removed from the grape juice after being squeezed from the pressing machine.  For reds, stems, seeds and skins are left in the grape juice during this process. Tannins and pigments are produced, resulting in this complexity that wine lovers strive for.

Wine Bytes

Shorehouse Kitchen in La Jolla celebrates their first anniversary with a Champagne & Sparkling Wine Dinner, May 27 from 6:30 to 8:45 p.m.  RSVP required at (858) 459-3300.  Cost is $65.

It’s the fourth annual Night at the Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside, May 28 from 5:30 to 9 p.m.  Local wineries, breweries and restaurants will participate.  Costs are $40 in advance, $50 at the door.  For ticket information, call (760) 672-4371.

Marina Kitchen at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina has its Wine Wednesday, May 27 from 6 to 7 p.m.  This is an educational tasting led by 14-year Sommelier Wendy Shoemaker. $20. Theme is the Best Wines of Summer.  Call (619) 234-1500 for an RSVP.

Vittorio’s Restaurant off Highway 56 in Carmel Valley offers a Bonny Doon Wine and Dine night May 28 starting at 6 p.m.  Main entrée is Braised Short Ribs, with Bonny Doon 2112 “Le Pousseur” Syrah.  $49.95. RSVP at (858) 538-5884.

Firefly Grill & Wine Bar in Encinitas presents a special Amici Wine and Baker & Olive Balsamic, Food and Wine Dinner, May 28 at 6:30 p.m.  Cost is $85. Call (760) 635-1066 for an RSVP.

Frank Mangio is a renowned wine connoisseur certified by Wine Spectator.  He is one of the leading wine commentators on the web. View and link up with his columns at tasteofwinetv.com.  Reach him at mangiompc@aol.com and follow him on Facebook.


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