A few weekends ago, Stacey and I went to the 3rd VinDiego Wine and Food Festival. VinDiego changed venues this year – moving from the Broadway Pier in Downtown over to Liberty Station. I was again invited this year but only got one media ticket. Stacey and I split the difference between a discounted ticket. Let’s see what shenanigans we got up to this time!
Jake dropped me off at the NTC Command Center where VinDiego was being held. Somehow I got in the “good” line since I got wristbands right away for both Stacey and I. I got my ID checked but since Stacey came after (also dropped off) they never checked her ID. Interesting, no?
When you get inside, you get your chalet, er, wine glass. This is your magical vessel which allows you to have ALL THE WINE. There were leftover glasses at the end. Stacey and I maybe snagged some. (Shhh, don’t tell.)
Sadie Rose was back again which made us quite happy. They had little loaves of some kind of country bread there this time. This is also about the time we really wished we had a tote bag. Our wish came true in the form of a State Farm rep who had these cute tote bags to give away (as long as you signed up for something, of course).
Our first time was FOOD! Of course it was. Sadly I don’t remember the name of this restaurant… I THINK it was the Patio. They had these cheesy spreads all with different items in them. I choose the mushroom and the one with beets in it. The beets one was very pretty and I loved the pop of color though beets aren’t usually my thing. The mushroom one was extra tasty though.
Our first wine! Mostly what you’re going to see down past this is bottles and bottles (and bottles) of wine. White wine, usually, because that’s what I drink. Let’s count and see how many wines I tried, eh?
This is a typical pour for the event. Some places gave you more. You could also return and get more – there was no limit to the amount you could consume. Scary, huh?
I also discovered at this event that I dig Rose.
This is the only red wine I tried.
I didn’t like it.
Stacey drank all reds that evening.
Next in food! This was a ceviche verde from Chez Loma. It has rockfish, a tomatillo sauce and avocado in it. I don’t like tomatillo so I wasn’t really into this. I just ate the avocado.
Le Parfait Paris was also here with a nice spread of breads and tiny desserts. This is a little cream puff – I don’t remember the flavor, sorry! It was the perfect little bite though with the cream inside and the dusting of chocolate. Not too sweet.
Stacey and I both thought it was salt chunks on top of this brioche but it’s actually sugar! It was also really good.
In case you cannot trust yourself to carry your glass of wine, they were selling these very bright wine holders. Some people needed these since we heard a few wine glasses shattering during the event.
This one I do remember because it was my favorite wine of the event! It’s a Moscato called Essensia made by Quady Winery. The guy doing the pours made it like a wine cooler drink for us. He added ice and a twist of lemon to mine and it had a nice orange-ish lemon-ish twist to it. It was maybe a tad too sweet, but I like the sweeter wines. Stacey got the red one and she thought it was way, way too sweet.
Me with my moscato wine cooler drink in front of the roses. People seemed to love my shirt.
More food! Our pattern was “get food, drink more wine, Mary gets slight buzz, go eat more food to make the buzzing stop, repeat”.
This was a little sample from Fitzee Foods. They have a local shop in Liberty Station where you can pick up already made meals or they will also deliver to you. They create pre-portioned, freshly made, healthy meals for all lifestyles.
I believe this was a quinoa dish with peppers in it that was slightly spicy. It tasted pretty good though slightly spicier than I liked it.
If you bought a subscription to San Diego Magazine they would give you this kick ass tote bag. Instead of buying a subscription, I took a photo of the tote bag.
Look at this incredibly pretty carrot salad from Grant Grill!
Here it is all dished up. There was a light dressing on it with some kind of creamy little sauce on the side. It was very flavorful and I loved the pop of color.
Hawaiian Springs water. Gotta hydrate, yo.
Chef DK Catering had a Brown Sugar Brined Pork Loin. It came with a smoked orange reduction sauce and some mashed potatoes. It was a plate of porky goodness!
If Maya and I were ever here there’d be no worries about this happening. We’re not water people (dogs, whatever).
The Barrel Room had these cute little spoons of “Deconstructed Jambalaya”. Shrimp om nom nom!
I’m 92.1% sure that this is from Solterra. I do know that it’s a little cupful of lentils and ground lamb. Interesting flavor!
I’m also like, 94.6% sure this is from Marina Kitchen. It had eggs, asparagus, croutons and caviar. Also interesting. Stacey gave me her asparagus, woo!
Oh god, more wine.
Back to food!
Solare, which was probably two blocks away from VinDiego, had these little cups of Pomodoro with Burrata. It was like tomato soup withe cheese in it! We liked it.
Flagship Cruises were making little samples of the food you’d find on one of their cruises. Stacey and I watched a lady take the meat off of two other plates, put it onto her own plate, and then dump the chips and bread and gave it back telling the folks she didn’t want that part. Uhhh. Yeah. That was weird.
The meat had some BBQ sauce on it and the chips had truffle oil on them!
BICE had salami and cheese, hooray! I know you can’t see the cheese here, it was on a level below this one. I was getting a bit more buzzed at this point…
There was very little rhyme or reason to the places we choose to sample wine from. I did pick this one because they had photos of their puppies out! They told me the puppies were the owners. ??
Studio Diner had chili. Spicy chili. Oh my god spicy chili.
Kuba Kreations had a whole setup showcasing their pretty cakes. For their sample they offered little chocolate peppermint cookies. Adorable!
Fig Tree Cafe had a long line earlier and when I went back, they only had mashed potatoes left. Spinach mashed potatoes. That were unseasoned. Stacey and I both took one bite and then made a face. Maybe it would have been better with whatever it was they were serving…
It was getting closer to the end of the of the event.
We decided to stand in the long line for Crazee Burger.
While in line someone was making a drone fly by. Stacey and I put on our “unhappy” faces to stare at the drone as it flew by us. I bet they won’t use that footage. Hah!
They ran out of Kobe and only had Buffalo and Kangaroo left. The lady in front of us seemed distraught that Kobe was gone – that was, after all, the “safe” flavor. Stacey and I decided to just go for it and try kangaroo.
Dude. Kangaroo is really weird. It had a chewy texture and was very gamey at first. And then! Then… the aftertaste… was fishy. It was super weird. Stacey had weird dreams that night. She blames the mix of having lamb, kangaroo and chili.
We picked this one to try because the label looked really cool.
Around this point the band stopped playing jazzy-elevator versions of popular songs and started to sing upbeat songs. It was pretty much dance central in here as everyone really loosened up from drinking so. much. wine.
No, Stacey and I did not dance. We just tried to drink more wine.
Who’s the buzzed one in this photo?!
My last wine. I can tell you nothing about it since I don’t even remember. Stacey managed to get another bit of red. Most places had already run out of wine before the official end.
Feet photos. Yeah. Seemed like a good idea at the time.
Taking selfies also seemed like a good idea. Buzz central over here.
How’d your count go? If you said “17 wines” then you’re correct. I tried 17 different wines. Stacey tried a couple without me and I dumped a couple after one sip. I’m not sure how many glasses that equates to, but damn, that was a lot of wine. I also might have had trouble going up a few stairs at this point. Luckily Jake picked us up right outside so neither of us had to drive.
After we dropped Stacey off, we drove by the Cravory in Point Loma and I got very, very excited about the prospect of cookies and made Jake stop. He had to help me out of the car. After we picked out six cookies to take home, I had to sign my name on the iPad and I remember saying “Oh, boy.” When I successfully finished, both Jake and the girl working at the Cravory cheered for me. That’s when you know you’re really drunk – strangers are cheering for you when you accomplish simple tasks.
It was a fun event! Would I pay full price for it? Probably not, but then again, I’m not a huge wine fan. I’ll drink it, but it’s not my favorite thing. I was glad to see there was more food offerings this year. We didn’t get to go to all of the food places since there were long lines at a few, but we got to try almost all of them. Having the event at Liberty Station also made it feel more open than at Broadway Pier but we missed being able to go outside and sit by the water for awhile.
Disclaimer: I received one complimentary ticket to VinDiego and we split the cost of the other ticket (with a discount code). All opinions stated here are my own.