A Wine Lover’s Mecca at the 2nd Annual VinDiego Wine & Food Festival

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Liberty Station’s lush outdoor plaza was a perfect venue for the 2nd Annual VinDiego Wine & Food Festival

As if on cue, blue skies and sun replaced lingering rainclouds this past weekend just in time for over 75 wineries, 25+ restaurants and thousands of wine lovers who descended on San Diego’s Liberty Station. Yes indeed … corks were popping and wine was flowing at the 2nd Annual VinDiego Wine and Food Festival! This wine lover’s event, ideally positioned amongst Liberty Station’s lush greenbelts and spectacular fountains, showcased delectable creations of west coast wineries and local restaurants alike.

Nothing like a pour of Jada Vineyards' "Hell's Kitchen" to kick off the festival

A pour of Jada Vineyards’ “Hell’s Kitchen” kicked off the festival

From Walla Walla Washington to hometown San Diego, the premier west coast wine appellations were represented, and thousands of thirsty wine lovers (myself included … YAY!) happily sipped, swirled, tasted and talked vino lingo. Just steps inside the gates, award-winning Central California/Paso Robles vintners including Justin Winery, Jada Vineyard, Daou Vineyards, Ancient Peaks and Niner Wine Estates, along with dozens of other wineries poured tantalizing tastes and offered valuable insight into the unique and deeply complex winemaking process.

Over two dozen San Diego-based restaurants including Kitchen 1540, Solare Ristorante, Jakes Del Mar, Crazee Burger, Chez Loma and Barleymash provided savory bites to hungry wine lovers wandering from booth to booth as the melodic sounds of smooth jazz floated through the air.

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Proceeds from the festival’s silent auction went to San Diego’s Freedom Station

A spectacular offering of wines filled tables in the Silent Auction arena where folks lined up to place bids on their favorite vintages. All proceeds from the silent auction were donated to Freedom Station, a San Diego based non-profit organization dedicated to helping soldiers as they face the often daunting and grueling challenges of re-entering life as a civilian … a worthy cause indeed.

For me Saturday was a day of “reds”. My tastebuds relished in fruity pinot noirs, velvety cabernets, peppery zinfandels and bold syrahs. I graciously sampled beautifully balanced reds offered by Daou Vineyards, Klinker Brick Winery, Trinchero Napa Valley, Jada Vineyards and San Diego’s own Carruth Cellars, but I must say I went temporarily insane on the Zinfandel poured by Napa Valley’s Frank Family Vineyards! Absolutely smooth as velvet, full of rich berry fruit and laced with spice, the complex flavors of the Frank Family Zin lingered long on my palate…

In addition to participating wineries and restaurants, key sponsors including Lincoln Motor Company, Massage Envy, Hawaiian Springs Water, Marriott Courtyard/Liberty Station, Salisbury Law Group, KYXY 96.5fm. Energy 103.7fm, a strong team of wine consultants, production assistants, marketing professionals, an advisory board and countless volunteers combined to make the 2nd Annual VinDiego Wine and Food Festival a superb and incredibly well organized event.

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2nd Annual VinDiego Wine & Food Festival at Point Loma’s Liberty Station

So fellow wine lovers, I hope to see you next year for more sips, swirls and tastes at the 3rd Annual VinDiego Wine and Food Festival! For a schedule and complete details on this fantastic event, visit http://www.VinDiego.com

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Sips, swirls and tastes at 2014 VinDiego Wine & Food Festival

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