Hi all, Happy Tuesday! I spent time this past weekend at the Charlotte Wine and Food Weekend. I thought it would be fun to share the food and wine from these events with you all.
This was my first year attending Charlotte Wine and Food Weekend. My friend Lauren Deese has taken over as the new Executive Director of the events, so I was excited to support her and check out what the CWFW was all about.
Thursday night we attended a wine dinner at the restaurant Lumiere with Jonata wines. In total, there were 10 different vitner dinners across the city, each paired with a different winery. Many of them were really well-known wines. Oak Steakhouse had Far Niente, Bonterra had Caymus, The Porter’s House had Silvery Oak and Twomey, etc.
Jonata was only winery from Santa Ynez, which is outside Santa Barbara, CA. Mike and I got married in Santa Ynez, so that area of California is always special to us. Jonata is one of the very top producers in this area, yet somewhere we’ve never visited, so selecting Jonata for dinner was an easy choice for me — as well, we love the restaurant Lumiere.
Jonata was founded in 2000 by investment banker and wine lover Charles Banks and later purchased by real estate developer Stan Kroenke. They also own Napa über cult wine Screaming Eagle, for reference. The winemaking values that pervade Screaming Eagle appear to also guide Jonata. Robert Parker has given Jonata’s wines very strong scores since their first release (much like he did Screaming Eagle).
There were 5 courses in total — mine were made pescetarian, and I absolutely loved everything I had!
We had a great time at the dinner. We went with a couple of friends, made some new friends, ate some great food and drank some great wine – it doesn’t get any better than that!
Then, Saturday morning at 10 am my Dad and I attended the 1000 point tasting of 10 x 100 point wines. I think I look a little more excited than my Dad here, but we were both pretty excited overall!
The event was hosted by Laura Maniec, who is a Master Sommelier and co-owner of Corkbuzz restaurants in Charlotte and New York. If you haven’t seen the documentary Somm, PLEASE treat yourself this weekend and watch it on Netflix! It is the coolest movie, even for people that aren’t super-into wine. It follows the journey of 4 sommeliers on the course of study trying to pass the almost-impossible Master Sommelier exam, and it is just fascinating.
There are only 240 people worldwide who have received the title of Master Sommelier since the first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam! Of those, 133 are men and 25 are women. Laura Maniec is one of the 25 women, and was the youngest female to pass the exam. I had a complete girl crush meeting her and listening to her talk about each wine we tasted.
We tasted 10 simply fantastic wines. Here’s the listing, for those interested:
- 1999 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Blanc de l’Orée
- 2014 Morlet Fmaily Vineyards La Proportion Doree
- 2001 Domaine de la Mordorée Cháteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de la Reine des Bois
- 2008 Castello dei Rampolla Viana d’Alceo Vino de Tavola
- 2010 Paolo Scavoni Barolo Bric del Fiasc
- 2011 Viña Cobos Marchiori Vineyards Bramare Malbec
- 2012 Joseph Phelps Insignia Proprietary Red
- 2012 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 23 Napa
- 2013 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon
- 2014 Vérite La Musé
Each one was so different and the way they arranged the lineup took us through the tasting perfectly. It was great to have the chance to taste two 100-point whites, which is a rarity, as well as see a Malbec in there — which was from Paul Hobbs, one of my favorite producers.
One of the coolest parts of the weekend is that 100% of net proceeds are donated to 5 Charlotte children’s charities!
I’m definitely looking forward to these events next year. Did any other Charlotte locals attend any CWFW events? I’d love to hear your thoughts, if so.
xx — BB