The second half of Cakebread’s American Harvest Workshop, while pretty intense, has just blown by. While I’ve certainly learned even more about harvest in Northern California, I wanted to use most of the space in this last blog to talk about the Cakebreads themselves.
I spend a lot of time around very talented chefs, winemakers, viticulturists and winery owners, and I guess the one thing they all have in common is passion in the face of adversity. Passion cures a lot of ills, maybe all of them, certainly all of the important ones.
Although I love to cook with and around wine, I’ve never been a professional chef. This lack of experience in the culinary world doesn’t mean I don’t respect chefs and restaurant owners. Far from it. The idea of making a consistent living from the production of great food (never mind pairing that food with wine) has always seemed such a daunting task that I’ve never had the guts to try it.
Brian Streeter, who is Cakebread Winery’s Culinary Director and the American Harvest Workshop manager, has attended 22 of the previous 24 American Harvest Workshops. Michael Weiss, Professor of Wine and Spirits at the Culinary Institute of America, is only a few years behind Brian. They both have impeccable credentials in wine and food. So when Brian and Michael kicked off this year’s festivities with a primer on the sensory evaluation of wine followed by an artisanal food purveyor party and dinner, though I thought I already knew all I wanted about such things, I paid attention. And lo and behold, I actually learned something.
Stay tuned for live reports from the Napa Valley, where I'll be the official blogger at Cakebread Cellars 24th Annual Harvest Workshop. I'll take you behind the scenes and get up close and personal with Dennis Cakebread, a host of talented chefs, and some of the other dedicated wine workers who make these sorts of events take off.
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