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Lexus Grand Tasting Event Review: Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival (2013)

By Melanie Warner

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The Lexus Grand Tasting Event was the Grand Daddy event of the 6th annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival and the most spectacular opportunity to maximize culinary indulgence. This 3-hour event featured over 300 wines from top-notch producers to 30 top celebrity chefs like Dean Fearing, Susan Spicer, Michael Romano, Carmen Quagliata, Sven Meded, and Andre Bienvenu –among others. It was a rare opportunity to mix and mingle with the best of the best in their area of expertise.


We loved sharing a taste of the new signature wines from E&J Gallo Winery and Gina Gallo. The Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley is one of the first vineyards that her grandfather, Julio Gallo, purchased in the 70’s. As the world’s largest winery, it’s refreshing to imbibe the nostalgia, family tradition, and boutique feel of the signature series.

Another favorite was the short rib grilled cheese from chef Ben Cohn of LA’s Westside Tavern. His unique version of the comfort food classic added a surprise twist with prime rib, onions, cheddar cheese, on sourdough with a horseradish tomato vinaigrette.


Other highlights included the fine chocolates from Lindt & Sprungli and their ‘virtual Ann Czaja’ that allows their Master Chocolatier to travel all over the world without personally getting on a plane. After studying in Switzerland, Ann built an enviable career based on her passion for fine chocolate over the last 20 years.


Appropriately, we were gorged with food and wine, but 3 hours was not nearly enough time to sample everything on display. This event repeats again the next day, so you have 2 days to hit all of the booths, meet the chefs, and try more wine. It’s a shame it only happens once a year in April. If you had to choose only one event out of the entire festival, this one gives you the best bang for your buck.

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Published on Apr 20, 2013

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