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Days of Lavender and Wine

Posted May 26 2010 4:36pm

It’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it.

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I just got back from the Days of Wine and Lavender Festival media preview over at Matanzas Creek —what a day! The actual festival is Saturday, June 26th, from 1 to 4pm. Tickets are available online.
Before I get into details I want to add a disclaimer that even though I now work for the company, the views on this blog are still my personal views and opinions. I don’t get paid to blog for Kendall-Jackson….I really do just love and recommend their wine!
Anyways. I was super excited to go to this event today because Matanzas Creek holds a special spot in my heart. It’s just so pretty and I love, love, love lavender. I can’t wait to take my mom here when she comes in two weeks…she’s going to love it! I was running late because I had to work at the yoga studio this morning so unfortunately I missed the tour of the lavender fields (bummer!) but got there just in time to head up to Jackson Park Vineyards on the top of the hill.
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So funny to be at the same spot I was almost seven months ago !
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From Alex Reble, associate winemaker, and Brian Malone, vineyard manager, I learned about how Matanzas Creek Pinot is actually organic (in the process of being actually certified organic…hopefully within six months it will be!) and how they really uphold sustainable farming practices. I love learning all the “behind the scenes” stuff about wine that makes it taste the way it does so this was interesting for me. Did you know that different soil types really affect the taste of the wine? Interesting stuff.
After hanging out on the vineyard, we headed back inside for what I thought was the best part of today—the cooking demo!
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Chef Taki was making this coconut and lavender rock shrimp ceviche and it pretty much rocked my world. Combining coconut, lavender and shrimp?! Only the three best ingredients in the world?! Yes please. I’ve always been really interested in cooking with lavender. If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile (as in…..almost three years), you might recall when I made a chocolate lavender cake for a practical in culinary school. Okay, you probably don’t remember it because I hardly remember it, but it was pretty epic. I remember it falling apart and me smooshing an excess of lavender infused buttercream in the center to hold the cake together and then just praying my chef instructor wouldn’t cut a slice from that part. I learned a valuable lesson though—when in doubt, add buttercream.
I digress. Back to shrimp ceviche….which was pretty epic in itself, especially when paired with some 08 Sauvignon Blanc.
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Just when I thought things couldn’t get better, they did.
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On the lunch menu was: Fennel pollen crusted scallops with meyer lemon and sweet onion fondue and estate artichokes, mussel and arugula salad—
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Roasted liberty farms duck with chimmichurri, painess, vanilla scented parsnip puree and lundberg heritage wild rice—
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And, lavender honey nougat glace with poached bing cherries and pistachio cream
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That one deserves a second glance
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Or a third….
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With lots of wine….
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And seedy, crunchy bread….
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I know.
I know.
There’s not many words I can say right now that describe the sheer awesomeness of this lunch but you’ll have to just trust me. Actually, it was so awful that I couldn’t even touch it and all that food just went to waste. I forced myself to eat though because I was their guest and because I was taking one for the team. Not.
I stumbled out in a hazy fog clutching my goody bag wishing I had stolen another plate of lavender honey nougat glace for the ride home. But that wouldn’t have been very classy so I abstained.
I’m meeting some friends from church tonight to go to this exhibit. ..it’s supposed to be REALLY intense. I will report back. Also, my vegan chocolate chip oatmeal cookies are up for bidding over at Angela’s Shop 4 A Cause . All proceeds go to fund cancer research and they are pretty darn awesome, if I do say so myself.
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