Last weekend was my first time at the LA County Fair, and I will be sure to share my entire journey next week, but this week I wanted to fixate on the Wine Marketplace because I was thoroughly impressed with what was happening there.
Every year the Los Angeles County Fair has a Los Angeles International Wine Competition and they bring in over a 100 different wines to try out. The judges pick the best of each category and then these are offered at the LA County Fair to try out. Tastings can be 3 dollars a glass, or you can do about 5 tastings for 12 dollars.
Beyond the trying out of the wines, the wine marketplace has a variety of wine education classes to take throughout the fair. When I walked into the marketplace, and I saw this offering I knew I had to sit in on one. The class, “The Price is Right” put on Traci Dutton. Traci works for the culinary institute and is a wine sommelier and beverage manager, and she orders all of the wine on behalf of the culinary institute. She knows a lot about wine. Literally, over 35,000 bottle wine cellar is what she manages (how awesome!)
The focus of the “Price is Right” program was to introduce us to bottles of wines that were 10 dollars and under that won gold medals within the competition. In a way to make our life easier because they picked the wines out for us right away.
The wine education program came with 6 glasses of wine to taste, and they also included a tasty cheese plate which was provided by the cheese companies. They also provided us with a 3 dollar tasting ticket to try after our class was finished at the tasting bar.
Let me introduce you to the wines:
1) Target Wine Cube: Sauvignon Blanc, California, 2010 (18 dollars; but this it the equivilant of 4 bottles)
Okay, believe it or not, I haven’t done wine out of a box before, but after the target wine cube, I just may have to go out and get this. These wine cubes can only be found at Target, and they come in 4 different varieties. I was pretty impressed with the Sauvignon Blanc.
2) Wyndham Estates, Chardonney
This was not my favorite chardonney I have had.
3) Napa Creek, Merlot
I could definitely taste the deep flavors of the merlot, but because I am not a merlot girl, I did not enjoy this one.
4) Sawbuck, Cabernet Sauvignon
This was definitely a Cabernet, the flavors were there, the color was great, and it tasted great too. A really great wine that only costs 9 dollars a bottle!
5) Amber Hill, Secret Blend
This was my favorite wine of the entire series. In the process we were all trying to figure out what the secret blend was, but Traci found out, by turning the bottle upside down, it showed what the secret blend consisted of: think all red wines mixed together 😉
6) Gnarly Head, Old Vine Zinfandel
I haven’t tasted too many zinfandel’s in my life (I have my favorite wines and I’ve been sticking to those) however, I enjoyed this one. It had what zinfandel’s are known for in it’s very fruity taste.
2 whites, 4 reds. When I saw how many reds were provided at first I was a bit disappointed, but by the end I had 2 favorite reds out of the group, and I am learning fast how I am beginning to acquire a taste for reds.
In the end I really enjoyed this wine education class, and I’d love to take another one in the future. Classes happen every Wednesday through Sunday throughout the fair. For those that have taken 6 classes throughout the fair are given a passport, and if filled out will be invited to their end of the fair party. Happy Tasting!
After the wine class was over I went over to the tasting bar, and I tried out an Orange Muscat from Quady Winery. I absolutely fell in love with this wine instantly. A full review of this wine will be showcased soon.
Disclosure: I was provided with free admission and parking to the LA County Fair, however, I paid for the wine education class all on my own.