Looking for Gifts At The San Diego Wine And Food Festival

Welcome to day two of

“Partners in a Pair Tree – Kelly and Mo Celebrate December”.

Tis the season of gift giving and party going.

Peter and I are looking forward to spending time with friends and family at parties, quiet dinners and holiday celebrations. We enjoy sharing our love of wine with people both by serving it to our guests and by giving it as gifts.

2013 San Diego Wine and Food Festival

Last weekend we had the good fortune to attend the San Diego Wine and Food Festival.

Or, as Peter called it, Heaven.

Our brother-in-law, PJ, works for one of the big sponsors and he was kind enough to treat us to some tickets.

Peter and I really got in the holiday spirit as, armed with our shopping list, we toured the festival looking for some ideas to help us celebrate the season.

Here are a few gems we found. (FYI – this is not a sponsored post. We selected and tasted all of these wines ourselves.)


Peter likes to pick up bottles of wine to give to a few key people on his team – folks who work very hard and enjoy great wine. Spoiler alert – it’s possible that this year these colleagues will be getting some wine from Daou Vineyards.

2012 Daou Chemin de Fleurs

At $36 per bottle their 2012 Chemin de Fleurs white wine blend will be perfect. It is a wine that will appeal to both white and red wine drinkers because it has many of the yummy white wine notes (honey, cloves, orange blossom and a touch of vanilla) but has a nice long finish and medium body that red wine drinkers will appreciate.



Don’t we all love to have some hostess gifts stashed away that we can pull out as needed?

As you might imagine, we often bring wine to parties but after sampling some port from Hunt Cellars, I might vary that theme a little.

Fortified wine like port is great as an after dinner drink or dessert wine.

Hunt Cellars makes port from many of the different types of grapes they grow. At the festival I tasted their 2003 Zinful Delight port made from (obviously) zinfandel grapes. Although that wine is sold out, Hunt Cellars offers a Cabernet Sauvignon Port (“Good Vibrations”) and a Petite Sirah Port (Sweet Serenade Le Petite”).

At $50 per bottle, this may not be a port that I buy in bulk but the Hunt Cellars port might be good for that special hostess on our list.



We have a couple of friends on our gift list to whom we send wine each year. These are folks who appreciate learning about new and different wineries – and we sure have fun searching for something new!

This year, that something new will probably be The Farm.  We first discovered this wine at The California Family Winemakers event last spring. Once again we had the chance to visit with two of the owners of the winery, Jim and Az Madsen. Peter was delighted to get the inside scoop on The Farm’s 2010 Big Game and Cardinal wines which are spectacular.

The Farm produces a tiny amount of big, big red wines. To us that means the perfect “very special wine” gift.



We will be spending Christmas this year in Nashville with PJ and his family. So, wine tasting at the festival was the perfect opportunity for Peter, PJ and I to select some wines we can enjoy at the family gathering.

We found a winner in the array of wines produced by Cholame Vineyards. Pronounced “Show-Lamb”, this is a new winery in the Paso Robles area of California.

In its very first year, their 2010 Cross Country Rhone Style Blend ($28) won a gold medal at the Sommelier Challenge International Wine Competition.

Cholame Vineyards 2010 Cross Country Rhone Style Blend

Look at all those shiny medals!

Actually the list of awards won by Cholamb’s red and white wines is pretty impressive! Great selections for everyone!

We liked these wines so much that we bid on and “won” eight bottles in the Festival’s silent auction. Those bottles were sent home with PJ to serve when the family is in town for Christmas.


What a great way to kick off the month. Peter and I got to enjoy an amazing wine tasting festival with our brother-in-law and we got a great head start on our holiday shopping list.

I call that: Win-Win-Cheers! And add another ornament to our Partners in a Pair Tree!

Partners in a Pair Tree

What about you? Have any favorite holiday season wines?

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  1. What a fun event! I am pretty sure I am going to give my dad and stepmother wine for Christmas…it is easy and they love it…so glad to have this as my guide! :)-Ashley
    thedoseofreality recently posted…How Are We Going To Keep Our HolidayZen This Season?My Profile

  2. Hi Mo~ Nothing better than a good red wine, I always say and your description of holiday wines including a “big, big red” tickles my fancy. Thanks for the tips. We will be cracking open a bottle of Veueve to toast each other on Christmas morning. Orange juice is optional. ;~) Cheers! Wendy
    PS Love Partners in a Pair Tree!

  3. What a splendid Day Two reveal Partner! As always, I learned another tidbit about the world of wine. Really appreciate that you broke it down into the three groups – hostess gifts, wine fanatics and Christmas dinner. I’ll be working from this list for all three. Thanks Mo. See you on over at my place for Day Three.
    Kelly McKenzie recently posted…Day Two of Partners In A Pair Tree – Kelly and Mo Celebrate DecemberMy Profile

  4. Cool! Never been to one of these but it’s on my bucket list, so to speak. We have some friends that go to CA to visit vineyards from time to time and we’ve talked about joining then one year for that kind if experience since we love wine and learning more about it. You scored some amazing ones!!!
    Beth Teliho recently posted…Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire!My Profile

  5. Heaven is right! I love wines from the central coast and will definitely check out Cholame. Thanks for the tip!

  6. Fun! And now I’m thirsty. 🙂

  7. I do enjoy more bubbly choices when in my festive mood. Many of my friends must notice as come to think of it I do get given a few bottles each year.

  8. Oooohhh… Wine and Food Festival. I’m with Peter on this one. Heaven! I plan on picking up a few bottles of our local fruit wines for my mom for Christmas.

    • It’s hard to believe but we even got a little “wined out” by Saturday afternoon! I can’t imagine being able to keep up the pace for the whole week of the event!

  9. yes, i agree when it comes to port. i also love how port keeps for so long because of it’s high alcohol content. can’t beat high alcohol content!
    catherine gacad recently posted…Bloggers: Are you 100% confident your readers are getting your responses to their comments?My Profile


  1. […] to day ten of Partners in a Pair Tree as Kelly McKenzie and I celebrate December. Today it’s my turn to add an ornament to our […]

  2. […] On the second day of Partners in a Pair Tree Mo and Kelly gave to you: Looking for Gifts At The San Diego Wine And Food Festival […]

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