Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival 2017 Culminates with Grand Tasting & Culinary Competition

Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival 2017 Culminates with Grand Tasting & Culinary Competition

northstar grandtasting manzanita2

This year, the Grand Tasting & Culinary Competition featured wine or beer and food pairings as well as food and art vendors from over 50 locations around the country. Local and regional restaurants, vineyards, breweries and distilleries and their beautifully decorated booths were awarded with both judge’s awards and people’s choice awards, but many of the dishes and drinks stood out on their own.

Rightly so, the line for the Ardent Mills/Charbay Artisan Distillery booth was the longest. The only non-restaurant at the event, Ardent Mills served up a spicy rice congee with chicken, cilantro, Thai basil, green onion and ginger. The dish was paired with Charbay’s tangy green tea vodka cocktail dancing with tapioca balls. The Denver and St. Helena, Calif. companies had everyone talking. One participant visiting from New Orleans called the pairing “a party in your mouth.”

northstar grandtasting ardentmills

The crispy pulled pork, coleslaw and Imperial Red Ale Reduction on a potato chip from Truckee-based Copper Lane Café was another judge and participant favorite. Paired with the Imperial Red Ale from Fairfield’s DNA Brewing Co., the pairing was a refreshing way to start the culinary tour on a warm fall day.

northstar grandtasting DNABrewing

Other delicious potables were Knee Deep Brewing from Auburn and the wines from Tahoe-based Illanta Wines whose grapes are sourced from Napa, Sonoma and the Santa Rita Hills of Santa Barbara. We also experienced a tasty selection of wines from both Pride Mountain Vineyards in Santa Rosa, Calif. and El Dorado County’s Mount Aukum Winery.

Aside from the award winners, some memorable bites and sips from the event were standouts.

Northstar’s Petra served a divine Mediterranean chutney with organic heirloom tomatoes, kalamata olives and fresh basil on a crispy tortilla. Paired with both bottled and canned wine from Santa Barbara’s Lumen Wines, the little duo made a splash. Lumen’s canned wines, under the Nuclear Wines label, could just be the perfect solution for hiking and backpacking.

northstar grandtasting petra

Local favorite Manzanita and executive chef Mark Jeffers of The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe served a crisp pork belly bite topped with stone fruit and an onion-based soubise sauce. Next door to them, Granlibakken’s Indonesian curried shrimp with butternut squash, mango, lime, cilantro and coconut milk on a crispy wonton was paired with a refreshing riesling from Charles & Charles from Columbia Valley, Wash.

northstar grandtasting manzanita

Another standout was the Bently Ranch beef heart with a trio of sauces (chimichurri, ancho chile and calabrian aioli) served by The Union Carson/Liberty Food & Wine Exhange’s Mark Estee. The beef worked wonderfully together with the red wine from Mettler Family Vineyards of Lodi, Calif.

To top it all off, the best little dessert booth was the Marich Chocolates selection of chocolate covered blueberries, salted caramels and toffee lovingly washed down with the Petite Sirah from Modesto’s Silkwood Wines.

GRAND TASTING & CULINARY COMPETITION – JUDGES’ AWARDS

northstar grandtasting awards

Best Food & Beverage Pairing

Gold: Martis Camp | Luli Wines | 2015 Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands | Pan seared Sonoma Duck Breast with Wild Mushroom, Golden Beet and Bing Cherry Mole

Silver: Chalet View Lodge Kitchen & Bar | Rodney Strong Vineyards |, 2014 Merlot, Napa/Sonoma | Beef al Sugo Goat Cheese Ravioli with Chimichurri

Bronze: The Union Carson / Liberty Food & Wine | Mettler Family Vineyards | 2014, “Epicenter” Ole | Bentley Ranch Beef Heart Anticucho Skewers with 3 Sauces: Peruvian Chimichurri, Calabrian Aioli and Ancho Chile Steak Sauce


Best Food

Gold: Martis Camp | Pan seared Sonoma Duck Breast with Wild Mushroom, Golden Beet and Bing Cherry Molé

Silver: Copper Lane Cafe | Pulled Pork, Slaw and Imperial Red Ale Reduction on Thick Potato Chip

Bronze: Ardent Mills | Traditional Japanese Rice Congee w/Teriyaki Chicken fresh cilantro, Thai Basil, Green Onion Ginger Sauce, Seasonings and Cashews

Best Dessert Pairing: Silkwood Winery | Marich Chocolates | 2008 Petite Sirah, Central Valley California | Chocolate Coconut Toffee Macadamia Nuts


Best Red Wine

Gold: Luna Vineyards | 2014 Winemakers Red Blend, Napa Valley

Silver: Luli Wines | 2015 Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands

Bronze: Rodney Strong Vineyards | 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Knights Valley


Best White Wine

Gold: Charles & Charles | 2015 Riesling, Washington State

Silver: Illanta Wines | 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley

Bronze: ZD Wines | 2015 Chardonnay, California


Best Beverage other than Wine:

Gold: Charbay Distillery | Green Tea Vodka Cocktail

Best Beer: DNA Brewing Co | Red Imperial Ale

GRAND TASTING & CULINARY COMPETITION – PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS

Best Food & Beverage Pairing

Gold: Copper Lane Café | DNA Brewing Co. | Red Imperial Ale | Pulled Pork, Slaw and Imperial Red Ale Reduction on Thick Potato Chip

Silver: Ardent Mills | Charbay Distillery | Green Tea Vodka Cocktail | Traditional Japanese Rice Congee | Teriyaki Chicken Fresh Cilantro, Thai Basil, Green Onion Ginger

Bronze: Sunnyside Resort | Pride Mountain Vineyards | 2014 Merlot |Sweet and Spicy Pork Belly


Best Food

Gold: Copper Lane Café | Pulled Pork, Slaw and Imperial Red Ale Reduction on Thick Potato Chip

Silver: Granlibakken | Indonesian Curried Shrimp with Butternut Squash, Mango, Lime, Fresh Cilantro, Coconut Milk on a Fried Wonton

Bronze: Ardent Mills | Traditional Japanese Rice Congee w/Teriyaki Chicken Fresh Cilantro, Thai Basil, Green Onion Ginger Sauce, Seasonings and Cashews


Best Red Wine

Gold: Pride Mountain Vineyards | 2014 Merlot, Napa/Sonoma

Silver: Cooper Vineyards | 2014 Barbera Riserva, Amador County

Bronze: Silkwood Wines | 2008 Petite Sirah, California Central Valley


Best White Wine

Gold: ZD Wines | 2015 Chardonnay, California

Silver: Charles & Charles | 2015 Riesling, Washington Stat

Bronze: Orin Swift | 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County


Best Beverage other than Wine

Gold: Charbay Distillery


Best Beer

DNA Brewing Co.


Best Booth Presentation

Copper Lane Café & DNA Brewing Co.

NOTE: This is a sponsored post.

 

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