A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg
This week brings the 32nd Annual Central Coast Wine Classic, as well as the 75th birthday celebration of its Founder & Chairman Archie McLaren. A benefit for the Talley Winery Fund for Vineyard & Farm Workers, the Friends of Hearst Castle and the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts, this weekend is a celebration of great wine as well as great generosity.
First up, on Thursday, August 24 is a Rare French Wine Dinner taking place in the private dining room of the LIDO at Dolphin Bay Hotel & Spa in Pismo Beach.
The dinner begins with a toast featuring the extraordinary Limited Edition 2006 Lanson “Clos Lanson” Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne in Magnum. According to organizers, “In 2016, Champagne Lanson winemaker Hervé Dantan decided to release 7,870 bottles (Only 655 cases!) of 2006 Clos Lanson, which are all individually numbered. Considered as ‘one of the most exciting new wines of the entire Champagne’ region by the well-known Champagne expert, Richard Juhlin; indicated as the ‘Haut Brion’ of Champagne in Drinks Business, Clos Lanson is a precious and rare wine from the one hectare comprising the only vineyard in the city of Reims. This exceptional and rare Champagne, which Dantan unequivocally states is ‘certain to delight the most demanding connoisseurs,’ was aged for nine years prior to release, and the Magnums will be released to great anticipation and fanfare this year during Vinexpo in Bordeaux.”
Dolphin Bay Resort Executive Chef Jacob Moss will present a creative six course menu that showcases the remarkable rare wines, all of which were provided by Don Schliff, a longtime supporter of the festival and Retired CEO of Imports for Wine Warehouse. Among the highlights: 2014 Didier Dagueneau ‘Silex’ Pouilly Fume; 2006 Marquis de Laguiche Montrachet in Magnum; 1999 Armand Rousseau Clos de Beze in Magnum; 1970 Chateau Lynch-Bages, Pauillac in Magnum; 1989 Hommage a Jacques Perrin Chateau de Beaucastel in Magnum; 1990 M. Chapoutier Le Pavillon Rouge and 1967 Chateau d’Yquem, Sauternes.
Friday, August 25 offerings include a choice of two winery dinners:
A Farm to Table Dinner at Talley Vineyards & Winery in the Arroyo Grande Valley, Prepared by Chef Brian Collins and featuring San Luis Obispo Wine Country wineries, plus special Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande Valley Vintners who are Wine Classic supporters. Participating wineries include: Center Of Effort, Chamisal,Laetitia, Niven Family, Saucelito Canyon, Talley, Tolosa and Verdad.
Also on Friday, August 25 is a superb group of iconic California Vintners at Lido Restaurant at Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa in Pismo Beach. The wineries include Alma Rosa from the Santa Rita Hills, Au Bon Climat in the Santa Maria Valley, Babcock in the Santa Rita Hills, Eberle from Paso Robles, Pisoni from the Santa Lucia Highlands and Pride Mountain at the confluence of Napa and Sonoma Counties.
The 32nd Annual Auction, on Saturday, August 26 at the ACI Jet Services Hangar at the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport, features an impressive array of wines and upscale experiences available to bid on, as well as a super silent auction and multi-course gourmet luncheon.
The super silent auction includes many large format etched and hand-painted bottles from magnums to salmanazars representing the unique blends created for the Wine Classic over the years. The live auction will include not only unique etched and hand-painted large format artist bottles, but also rare wines from throughout California and around the world, many donated by McClaren from his private cellar.
The auction luncheon is prepared and presented by Wine Classic’s family of chefs including: Chef Rick Manson of Chef Rick’s Ultimately Fine Foods, Chef Frank Ostini of Buellton Hitching Post and Chef Michael Hutchings of Michael’s Catering in Santa Barbara.
On Sunday, August 27 is the VIP Departure Brunch at the Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa in Pismo Beach, featuring a special Champagne and caviar from Graham Gaspard of Black River Caviar as a fond farewell to this extravagant event. For more information, visit centralcoastwineclassic.org.
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When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”
Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on August 23, 2017.