Partridge Cellars Blog
October is off to a great start! We had an excellent time at the Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival, and we think this year was even better than last, which is saying a lot.
Saturday's events were bathed in sunshine, and the gorgeous coastal decor and fresh flowers were a great accompaniment to the gourmet restaurant offerings and rows of quality wineries.
A pleasant surprise was how many guests came through from last year who recognized myself and/or the wines (let's be honest, the real star here is the wine!), and our conversations picked up right where they left off. It's really the personalized feeling of the whole NBWFF that keeps us coming back each year.
On Sunday morning, I awoke a few hours before the event to pouring rain! Drought be darned, Mother Nature had a different plan in store for us. I made my way to Newport Beach and found that the vendors under the big white tents were unscathed (us included), so the show went on!Sunday turned out to be another great day, and rain free past 10 a.m.! I made a point to try more of the food vendors on Sunday, and the quality, the presentation, and the passion that goes into each of the vendor's offerings is something to be admired. I love having an arsenal of great local restaurants that I've tested and enjoyed, this will make for a fun year of dining out!Now that we are sufficiently hungry, we hope your October is moving along spooktacularly! Talk to you soon.
National Sales Manager
Richard Partridge Wines is donating 10% of every sale made during the month of October to the Breast Cancer Research Fund (bcrfcure.org). Join us in helping this wonderful organization. SHOP NOW
Recap of the First Annual Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival September 24 2014
Take a seat, this could take a minute...
My recap of the First Annual Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival
What an event! This inaugural wine and culinary adventure was beautifully done with rustic coastal style, complementary greenery and florals, and tall white tents with huge crystal chandeliers hanging within....not to mention, it was full of amazing wineries and renowned local chefs.
Living in Newport Beach I knew we had some truly talented chefs in our graces, but having the cream of the crop all in one place really drove that point home. I loved that each restaurant showcased a few dishes that truly represented their style because it made for such a wide variety of dishes.
I would say I often take for granted the longstanding restaurants like The Quiet Woman and Five Crowns in favor of newer noisemakers on the scene, but what a delight it was to sample some of their innovative dishes!
The Quiet Woman had a delicious sampling of gourmet grilled cheeses made to pair with either white or red wines and complemented by the most flavorful creamy bisques I’ve ever had, along with a short rib tart. Five Crowns served up tender and juicy prime rib sliders with an organic horseradish that I craftily paired with our 2010 Cab, divine (my mouth is watering, this recap isn’t fair…).
Lest we forget some of the newcomers to the Orange County restaurant scene:
- I fell in love with the swordfish ceviche from Tortilla Republic (served by the dynamic Chef Chris Tzorin).
- Lark Creek’s Chef Ryan Pitt served up black angus filet mignon with parsnip and bone marrow puree, along with a beautiful compressed watermelon with habanero orange marinade, goat cheese feta, aged balsamic reduction, and micro basil.
- The crispy rabbit confit dumpling with wasabi Dijon, edamame, and fig relish was the most flavorful little pocket of rabbit I've ever had from Chefs Tony Nguyen and Ron Lee of Anqi by House of An.
- A seasonal autumn salad from True Food Kitchen, which they’ll be premiering in the restaurant this week, included perfectly prepared, roasted white beans, Brussels sprouts, squash, cauliflower, candied nuts, and more by Chef Talia Zimmer.
- And fresh seafood was in no way lacking with yellow tail crudo from Wildfish Seafood and Grille (Chef Dante Ascenzi), house cured Scottish salmon from Driftwood Kitchen (Chef Rainer Schwarz), smoked yellowtail tacos with guac, red onion, serrano, and cilantro in a crispy wanton shell from Blue C Sushi (Chef Jeffrey Lunak), and salmon avocado “Louise” from Lemonade (Chef Alan Jackson).
Onto the wines….being a part of the wine side of things, I must say I devoted much of my attention to our own table.
We had so many amazing people come to our table and share stories about where they had their first bottle of Partridge, asking about our previous and current winemakers, inquiring about our estate vineyards, tastings, food pairings, etc. Since the Partridge's also have a home in southern California, our wines largely got their start here. The time really just flew for me, and though I didn’t get to try many other wines, I was surrounded by some great wineries with personnel that I now consider friends. These included Ahnfeldt, Bello Family, Hundred Acre, and Ascension Cellars.
Our wines showed great, which made for some rich conversations with people who had never heard of our wines before. The 2013 Chardonnay was a perfect, light, bright, white wine to pair with many of the soup and seafood dishes being served, and the mid 70’s – 80 degree weather made a white like ours a perfect day drinking wine!
The 2010 Cabernet is absolutely gorgeous right now….as I opened bottles and immediately poured without letting them breathe, I realized that the flavors and aromas are wide open, making this a great standalone wine. It has a great, muscular body that really gives this wine character and class, but the riper red notes that develop on the palate and linger throughout the finish are where this wine shines.
Going into this event we really didn’t know what to expect, but I really hope we get to participate again next year. We were among some of the best and brightest stars of the Orange County wine and culinary scene, and that's where we like to be :)
I’m off to New Orleans for a trade show with our distributor this weekend and early next week. If you have any restaurant/wine shop suggestions for us in Lousiana I’d love to stop in and pour our wines for them!
Richard Partridge Wines
What does Mr. T have to do with this? September 16 2014
This weekend I’ll be on hand to pour our wines for the inaugural Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival. It’s an honor to get to participate in this event since only 12 other wineries are pouring at the Grand Tasting Pavilion – exclusivity at its finest!
I love pouring at these events because it gives me the opportunity to speak with people who sometimes haven’t tasted our wines before. They approach my table with a virgin palate, and they often have some of the most enlightening insights into our newer wines because their minds aren’t full of memories and comparisons to past vintages.
One of the best stories I can remember is a guy walking up to me and saying “your wines remind me of Mr. T in a tux!” After my laughter settled I had to ask, “That’s great, but why?!” He went on to explain that our Cabernet was muscular and well-built, but also elegant and refined. I loved it!
So if you will be in or around the Orange County, CA area this weekend, the Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival will be an absolutely stellar event – and I will be dutifully pouring our 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2013 Chardonnay, waiting for your fresh faces to come on by and give me a great new wine comparison to use in future emails :)
If you can’t make it to the event this weekend, well, I pity the fool.
National Sales Manager