By Jenny Peters
It was blazing hot this year at the Seventh Annual Malibu Wine Classic, held on Saturday, August 29, 2009, at the Malibu Civic Center. Every year the Classic features an afternoon filled with top-notch wines and gourmet foods, this time showcasing more than 60 wineries from California’s Central Coast (Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles, and Ventura counties) and tasty tidbits from many Malibu-based restaurants and beyond.
This Learn About Wine production supports a good cause, too, as a portion of the ticket sales went to Childhelp®, one of the oldest and largest national non-profitorganizations dedicated to the treatment and prevention of child abuse.
Tori Spelling, Dean McDermott, Mariel Hemingway, and Farah Griffin, Merv’s granddaughter and the newly crowned Miss Malibu Teen USA joined hundreds of revelers as they sipped wines from favorites like Buttonwood, Calcareous, Carr Winery, Ciello, Fiddle Head, Foley Estate Wines, Jim Palmer’s Malibu Vineyards, Kaena, Ken Brown Wines, Laetitia, L’Aventure, Lucas & Lewellen, Malibu Family Wines, Malibu Solstice Vineyard, Robert Hall, Rosenthal Malibu Estate, Sierra Madre Vineyards, Stolpman, Summerland, Sweeney Canyon, and Tablas Creek. It was mostly about the cool whites on offer, however, like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, and Riesling, as the heat caused most of the oenophiles on hand to eschew the reds; we ran into the Tablas Creek folks as the event wound down, and they were carrying home two cases of reds that hadn’t been imbibed.
The best foods of the day were cool and crisp, too, and paired beautifully with the wines being offered, especially the Malibu Sanity Chard matched up with the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village fabulous raw Ahi Tuna served in a crispy cone and topped with a dappling of roe. Chef Dakota Weiss of the hot new Shangri-La Santa Monica Hotel created an amazing hamachi with watermelon, avocado, cilantro, and a jalapeno pistou, while the culinary wizards from The Sunset did a spectacular and farm-fresh heirloom tomato and Burrata concoction.
But the most popular treat at the Malibu Wine Classic wasn’t a classy, high-end chef’s offering; instead, it was Joe’s Pizza, he of Brooklyn and Greenwich Village and now Santa Monica and West Hollywood.
“I brought 44 pies,” grinned owner Joe Vitale, “and they were all gone in less than two hours!”
Photos courtesy Learn About Wine.