For some time now the Golden Vine Winery, in Disney California Adventure, has been opening up its Alfresco Tasting Terrace to a winemakers event. Typically these are wineries that have a place in the Disney family of wines, for the weekend just over a week back they brought in one of my favorite vineyards, Fess Parker Winery. To add to the event they also had Chef Jorge Cruz whip up a set of small plates to pair with each of the wines offered by the winery.
The tasting consisted of four wines, each with its own appetizer. Every wine came from Santa Barbara County and was previewed by Eli Parker, Fess Parker’s son and the CEO of Fes Parker Winery, who just happened to be going to U.C. Davis for winemaking at the time the Parker family began its foray into vineyards and wine. He, and other members of the winery that had come along, made their way through the terrace to speak with everyone in attendance. They were gracious with their time and information, with no question or topic being too small or off limits. It was clear that they had a true passion for and wealth of knowledge of the wines that they were producing, the area they grew their grapes in, and the history of the Parker and Disney families.
On the food side of the tasting, Chef Jorge Cruz has been at the Alfresco Tasting Terrace for less than a year. Prior to making statements with his cooking at the terrace, Chef Cruz had been making a name for himself over at Club 33, which means you know the plates were worthy of being licked at this event! Just as with the folks from Fess Parker Winery, the chef would come out and introduce the plate, and then take any and all questions. Let’s show everyone what was on the menu, shall we:
- Fess Parker Chardonnay (Club 33 pressing) paired with a Rendered Bacon Seared Day Boat Scallop with Sweet Pea Puree, Crispy Prosciutto, and Pea Tendrils
- Fess Parker, Rodney’s Vineyard Syrah paired with Crispy Duck Confit Pouch with Roasted Forest Mushrooms, Syrah Demi-Glace, and Crystalized Basil
- Fess Parker, Ashley’s Vineyard Pinot Noir paired with Braised Short Rib with Soft Polenta, Crispy Onions, Point Reyes Blue, and Pinot Noir Reduction
- Fess Parker Riesling paired with Petie Brie en Croute Tart with Cinnamon Apple Chutney, Honey Comb, and Lavender
There isn’t really a way for me to compare and rank each of the wines as everyone’s palates are different, but there wasn’t a bad bottle in the bunch. As for the food, let’s just say that Chef Cruz hit home run after home run with each plate that was brought out.
The pricing for these events are remarkable and well within most budgets to attend, in the case of the Fess Parker Winery event the cost for each attendee was $35.00. For the amount of food, drink, history, and knowledge you walk away from the event with, there really is no reason to not get yourself to the Alfresco Tasting Terrace’s next event!
I would love to thank everyone at the event, from Eli to Deborah (and her lovely husband who took a shine to my wife almost immediately), to Chef Cruz and his team, and everyone at the Terrace who made the event so memorable. I would have thanked you each in person, but that rain storm seemed to have chased us all away!