April 26, 2011
You can almost taste the Roederer, feel the baby bubbles tickle the roof of the mouth: The fourth annual PBF&W is right on the tip of our collective tongue. Here are several ways to seize the days' deliciousness.
• Stay hydrated. Aqua Panna and San Pellegrino are ubiquitous all weekend long, and to maximize all the potential tastes, you’re going to want to stay upright.
“It’s all you can drink for every Pebble Beach Food & Wine location,” event co-founder David Bernahl says. “Enjoy. Drink great-ass water. You can't go through four days enjoying everything without it.”
• Find a way into the afterparty. They’re “exclusive, invite only” affairs (though when you see a few hundred in there it feels a little less intimate) so keep an ear out for ticket offers and/or make pals with a powerbroker or a platinum passholder who has spares. The big room filled with legions of leftover wowser wines from the day's insane tastings, lunches, panels and dinners, the top-shelf designer drinks, the saucy dancefloor and another installment of celeb chefs eagerly await.
• Preserve your palate. To best honor the craft these world-classers pour, make sure to rinse your glass with just a touch of your new pour before getting a full taste to purge what might throw off the taste. Also remember to start with the sparkling before moving through whites and lighter reds before taking on the heavy blends and dark varietals—starting with a big Parsonage Syrah is a heavenly way to go, but makes it devilishly difficult to appreciate the nuances in the Testarossa Pinot you want to try in a few minutes.
• Get your swerve on at the afterparty, not on 17-Mile Drive. Local entrepreneur Steve Summers already had a nice private party valet and security gig going. Now he’s started a designated driver company, My VIP Driver, that provides designated drivers to customers in the comfort of their own vehicle. It’s $25 per hour for members ($60 a month with their first three hours free) and $30 per hour for nonmembers.
• Take Monday off. Sleep ain’t so sexy when DJ Vinroc is just starting to amp up the Belvedere afterparty while chefs like Michael Schwartz (of Miami’s Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink) and Ray Garcia (of Santa Monica’s Fig) are plating the best late-night snacks in the Golden State—or at the 10am Taste Perfection With Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal. But it will come in handy eventually.
• Go for the Grand. If you can do but one thing, do a Grand Tasting ($195). If there’s a better large-scale party around this county all year, I haven’t seen it. A couple of years ago I attempted to describe the overwhelming spectacle with some specifics by enlisting PBF&W principals to conjure a potential tasting menu. Take a peek at what we called Best Meal Ever—a study in the otherworldly possibilities of wine and food at a Grand Tasting—for an idea of the opulent options.
Here's a exceedingly rare peek ahead at the Saturday-Sunday breakdown of super chefs:
SATURDAY Andre Bienvenu of Joe's Stone Crab in Miami Beach Akira Back of Yellowtail Japanese Restaurant & Lounge in Las Vegas Tom Colicchio of craft in New York Tim Cushman of o ya in Boston Robert Del Grande of Restaurant RDG & Bar Annie in Houston Clark Frasier of Arrows Restaurant in Ogunquit Mark Gaier of Arrows Restaurant in Ogunquit Michael Ginor of Hudson Valley Foie Gras in New York Hedy Goldsmith of Michael's Genuine Food & Drink in Miami Mark Kiffin of The Compound Restaurant in Santa Fe Shawn McClain of Spring Restaurant in Chicago Brian Overhauser of The Chef Kitchen at Hahn Family Vineyards in Soledad Stephan Pyles of Stephan Pyles & Samar By Stephan Pyles in Dallas Kent Rathbun of Abacus in Dallas Michael Schwartz of Michael's Genuine Food & Drink in Miami Mindy Segal ofMindy's Hot Chocolate Restaurant & Dessert Bar in Chicago Mark Sullivan of Spruce Restaurant in San Francisco Kent Torrey of The Cheese Shop in Carmel Jason Wilson of CRUSH in Seattle Sherry Yard ofSpago in Beverly Hills Tim Love of The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro in Fort Worth Sean Shelton of Pèppoli at Pebble Beach Jeremy Tummel of Stillwater Bar & Grill Matt Bolton of Pacific's Edge Justin Sledgeof Calistoga Ranch Dory Ford of Aqua Terra Culinary in Pebble Beach Josh Drage of The Ranch At Rock Creek in New York Ralph Pagano of STK-Miami
SUNDAY Peter Armellino of The Plumed Horse Restaurant in Saratoga William Bloxsom-Carter of Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles Bill Corbett of Absinthe Brasserie & Bar in San Francisco Chris Cosentino ofIncanto in San Francisco Mark Estee of Moody's Bistro & Lounge in Truckee Tyler Florence of Wayfare Tavern in Mill Valley Ray Garcia of FIG in Santa Monica Joseph Humphrey of Murray Circle Restaurant -Cavallo Point Lodge in Sausalito Emily Luchetti of Farallon and Waterbar Restaurants in San Francisco Walter Manzke of Walter Manzke Consulting in Los Angeles Kelly McCown of Ella Dining Room & Bar inSacramento Pablo Mellin of Roy's At Pebble Beach in Pebble Beach Masaharu Morimoto of Morimoto Napa in New York David Myers of Comme CA in Los Angeles Roland Passot of La Folie in San Francisco,Joachim Splichal of Patina Restaurant Group in Los Angeles Michael Symon of Lola Bistro in Cleveland Anne Burrell of Food Network Jerry Regester of C Restaurant at The Clement Monterey Todd Fisher ofSticks Clint Wilson of The Lodge at Pebble Beach Justin Sledge of Calistoga Ranch Dory Ford of Aqua Terra Culinary in Pebble Beach Josh Drage of The Ranch At Rock Creek in New York Ralph Paganoof STK-Miami
Oh, and there are one or two wineries:
Donkey & Goat Winery, Arkenstone Vineyards, Au Bon Climat Winery, Benziger Family Winery, Bergström Wines, Bernardus Winery, Black Stallion Winery, Blackbird Vineyards, Boekenoogen Vineyards and Winery, Bonny Doon Vineyard, Brooks Winery, Brown Estate Vineayrds, CADE Winery, Cain Vineyard & Winery, Chateau d'Esclans, Chateau d'Issan, Château de Beaucastel, Chateau Julien Wine Estate, Chateau Lagrange, Cypher Winery, Dolce Wine, Duckhorn Wine Company, EnRoute Winery, Evening Land Vineyard, Far Niente, Figge Cellars, Frank Family Vineyards, Galante Vineyards & Winery, Gargiulo Vineyards, Goldeneye Winery, Gruet Winery, HALL Wines, Hanzell Vineyards, Hartwell Vineyards, Jordan Vineyard and Winery, Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Joullian Vineyards, JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery, Krutz Family Cellars, Ladera Vineyards, Lail Vineyards, Lockwood Vineyard, McIntyre Vineyards Estate, Meteor Vineyard, Miner Family Winery, Morgan Winery, Nickel & Nickel Vineyard, O'Shaughnessy Estate Winery, Orin Swift Cellars, Outpost Wines, Paradigm Winery, Paraduxx Wines, Paraiso Vineyards, Parsonage Village Vineyards, Paul Hobbs Wines, Pax Mahle Wines LLC, Perrin & Fils Wine, Pessagno Winery, Pisoni Vineyards, Plumpjack Winery, Pruett Vineyard, Realm Cellars, Roar Wines, Rombauer Vineyard, Rosati Family Winery, Round Pond Estate, Sandhi Wines, Scheid Vineyards, Signorello Estate, Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery, Spring Mountain Vineyard, Staglin Family Vineyard, Stone Edge Farm Vineyards, The Donum Estate, Ventana Vineyards, Vineyard 7 & 8, Vision Cellars, Wente Vineyards, Gioia Wine Corp., Jeff Gordon Cellars, Kristine Ashe Vineyards, Talbott Vineyards, Ramos Pinto Wine, Azur Wines, Buccella Wines, Coquerel Family Wine Estates, Hahn Family Wines, La Fenêtre Wines, Oakville Ranch Vineyards, Beringer Vineyards, Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards & Winery, Cherry Pie Wine, Domaine Serene Vineyards, Educated Guess Wine, Garnet Wines, Gemstone, Gloria Ferrer Winery, Goose Ridge Vineyard & Estate Winery, Grgich Hills, Grieve Family Winery, Hestan Vineyards, Hidden Ridge Vineyard, J. Lohr, Joseph Carr Wines, Kutch Wines, Layer Cake Wines, Luna Vineyards, Mirror, Page Wine Cellars, Premium Port Wines, Purple Cowboy Wines, Robert Mondavi Winery, Silver Oak, Skipstone Ranch Vineyard, Sonoma Coast Vineyards, Stags' Leap Winery, Trinchero Family Estates, Twomey Cellars, Wrath Wines, John Anthony Wines, Barnett Vineyards, Ridge Vineyards, Roessler Cellars, Antica Terra Winery, Captûre Wines, Chateau St. Jean, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Franciscan Estate, Sequoia Grove Winery, Geyser Peak, Casa Lapostolle Wines, Champagne Dom Perignon, Champagne Krug, Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte, Champagne Ruinart, Champagne Veuve Clicquot, Wind Racer Vineyards, Cheval des Andes, Cloudy Bay Winery, Decoy, Etude Wines, Jermann Winery, Joel Gott Wines, Kuleto Estate, Kunin Wines, Lincourt Vineyards, Massimo Prestige Vineyards, Migration Wines, Newton, Penfolds Wine, TastingRoom.com, Alpha Omega Winery, Silvestri Vineyards, Maggy Hawk Vineyard, Heitz Wine Cellars, Kim Crawford, Morlet Family Vineyards, Tantara Winery, Estancia, Numanthia Wines, Trefethen Family Vineyards, Heller Estate Organic Vineyard, Louis M. Martini, MacMurray Ranch, William Hill Estate, Ribera del Duero, Boisset Family Estate, Belvedere, Stella Artois, Leffe, Hoegaarden, Patron, Acacia, Chalone Vineyard, Provenance Vineyards, Rosenblum Cellars, Beaulieu Vineyard, Sterling Vineyards, Vineyard 29, Inception Wines, Chateau Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Columbia Crest, Northstar, Oh Wines, Col Solare, Spring Valley, Doubleback, Andrew Will Winery, Bridlewood Winery, Swiftwater Cellars, Waterbrook, Highland Park, The Macallan, Cavatappi Winery, Merryvale Vineyards, Carmel Road, Cambria Estate, Kendall-Jackson, La Crema, Stonestreet, and Arrowood Vineyards & Winery