Taste of Wine

Gen 7 — the next generation of wines

A new wine release event flashed across the Internet recently, to celebrate the bounty of a special harvest from the Gen 7 winery and its newest releases.

Tim Bacino, owner-winemaker of Gen 7 Wines of Rancho Santa Fe. Courtesy photoExecutive Chef Stephanie O’Mary-Berwald has created a strong seafood menu at Pacifica Del Mar. Courtesy photo

It was a time of celebration for the Bacino family in the Crosby community in Rancho Santa Fe. This family came from a legacy of success with the famous Brookside Winery, which produced wine for over150 years in California, and had a number of retail locations headquartered in Cucamonga in Southern California. Over 636 stores put the family in sixth place in wine sales nationwide in the ‘50s, with over 6,000 vineyard acres. Tim Bacino is the current winemaker and he has a model to guide him in his efforts to make Gen 7 wine. “I’m not doing this just to sell wine, but to continue our family legacy. I want to pass it on to the next generation,” he promised. The Gen 7 name on the bottle reflects seven generations of winemaking, including his daughter Gabriella who helped make the wine in his 2008 Road to Zanzibar zinfandel blend. Bacino is one of the growing trends in winemakers that source the best grapes available in California, like Napa Valley, Santa Barbara, Lodi and Temecula, and artistically blend the best together.

If you ask him, Bacino has a special affection for his Zinfandel and it was on a pedestal at his new release event, labeled as the 2010 Dryfarmed Old Vines Cienega Valley 1832 Zinfandel ($48). These are plantings that are over 100 years old. His great uncle left France in 1832 and came to California to make wine from a purchased 250-acre farm in Hollister, the first vineyards in the area. The 2010 is a very big Zin and shows flashy fruit with dynamic body and a peppery finish.

Gen 7 released four other new wines on this day: A Brut style sparkling wine; a white blend of Viognier and Muscat; a French style light and crisp Chardonnay with just a “kiss” of oak, from the Central Coast; a Cabernet Sauvignon with grapes from the Temecula Valley that Bacino says “will convince wine drinkers of the quality of Temecula grapes.”

Gen 7 wines have been on the market for almost three years now and are in some wine departments in grocery stores and wine shops in San Diego County. You can purchase these handcrafted wines at www.gen7wines.com or call at (619) 540-1986.

Grillin’ and Chillin’ at Pacifica Del Mar

Grilled seafood is the passion at Pacifica Del Mar. The menu and wine list is seeded with a large array of examples of this model and diners are all the better for it.

Pacifica is fortunate to have Executive Chef Stephanie O’Mary-Berwald, a fresh talent, back in the kitchen, providing a new and exciting touch to the menu. Her Peruvian heritage seasons her dishes with a South American background, but her tendencies are to present high quality Mediterranean dishes. With a dramatic view of the Pacific atop the Del Mar Plaza, you’ll want to zoom in on such dishes as: Miso Marinated Black Cod, Grilled Swordfish and Mahi Mahi, Slow Poached Maine Lobster and my choice, Pan Roasted Seabass with soy glaze, bok choy and green curry-coconut sauce. Chef loves being in San Diego because “in San Diego there are lots of local seafood companies that provide fresh, highly acclaimed selections.”
I asked her what else she sees as a fast-growing trend. “The surge in interest for Kale, which has a texture and flavor that is increasing of interest. It’s wonderful uncooked in salads, chopped in small pieces and as a hot side for seafood entrees.” Pacifica has been awarded the prestigious Gold Medallion for “Best Seafood Dining in San Diego.”

On the wine side, Pacifica uses an iPad system on each table, so diners can electronically browse the extensive list for a favorite selection. I liked the half-bottle choices so customers can try big name wines at less than the price of a full bottle. I chose a Napa Valley 2007 Trefethen Cabernet.

For more, see www.pacificadelmar.com.


Wine Bytes

Il Fornaio in Del Mar has its Festa Regionale now through Jan. 19, this time with menus from Trentino-Alto Adige. Pairing wines include Teroldego and Pinot Noir from the district. Call (858) 755-8876.

The Ramona Wine Trail, with Eagles Nest, Schwaesdall and Pamo Valley are dong a three winery tasting with cheese and olives, Jan. 11 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost is 24. For tickets, call (760) 505-8229.

Europa Village Winery in Temecula presents Egg Cooking Jan. 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Find out how many ways you can use an egg. Tastes are paired with wines. $45. Call (951) 216-3380.

Blind Tasting Game happens at Bacchus Wine Market, downtown San Diego Jan. 11 from 2 to 8:30 p.m. Eight wines are brown bagged and you guess the grape inside. Prizes. More information is available by calling (619) 236-0005.

SDSU in San Diego has an Open House for its Wine Education Program for spring 2014, Jan. 14 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Hospitality and prizes. Details call (619) 594-6924.

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