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Jun 10, 2014 02:13 PM

Wally's Central Coast tasting July 27, 2014 - 1-4pm

An annual event of high quality proportions.
Great wines, very good food, and a cause well worth the $99 donation.

And the roster of participants will grow in the next 6 weeks.
Have sloshed through about 5 of these.

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  1. Is this the Michael Brancusi (???) charity scholarship event ?

    Thanks carter.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kevin

      Bonaccorsi scholarship event to you, Kevin!
      Yes, it is, and this year's scholarship goes to Allan Hancock College's (in Santa Maria) wine program, rather than UC Davis where it had previously gone.
      Click on the link - informative.
      But definitely chow-worthy and wine-worthy.

      1. re: carter

        got it, cool.

        and this is the one where usually both spago and the hitching post show up ????

        sadly, i seem to miss it every year.

      1. Went to this event a number of years ago. SQN was pouring, but my buddies said to hang around til later on when SQN brought out their stickies. WOW!!!

        11 Replies
        1. re: Midlife

          are you kidding me ?

          sin qua non ????

          those bottles are rare as can be for CA producer.

          i doubt they'll be there this year

          well, if they were, i'd sign up this very instant.

          1. re: kevin

            They're not listed, so you're off the hook.

            1. re: Midlife

              Manfred was pouring the SQN dessert wines the first year of the event. Unfortunately not since. I've been every year as Michael was one of the first people to get me into wine during his Spago days. It's a great event with a lot of excellent wines. (Look for the half-asian in the shorts and loud shirt)

              1. re: john gonzales

                I haven't been back since then, but wasn't aware that was SQN's one and only appearance. I had the impression my friends had been there before and that's how they knew the dessert wines would be poured toward the end of the event. Was the event held prior to Michael's passing, possibly honoring him beginning that year? I'm thinking I was there in
                2004 or 2005?

                1. re: Midlife

                  Michael passed in 2004, and IIRC the first event was in 2005. Wally's skipped the event the last couple of years and I'm really glad that they've found a way to continue on with it. This would be a good year for people to rally and attend to asure that the event continues on. Nothing better than wining and dining for a cause, especially one with a local connection. I would assume that they add some more food and wine to the roster in the near future.

                  I still have one of the three-pack of Manfred-signed SQN dessert wines I bought at that first event. There's always a good selection of wine and other stuff to bid on at the silent auction.

                  1. re: john gonzales

                    As I said in the original post, additional wines & food will be added.
                    If you attend only one wine tasting event for the year, this one is as good as it gets, making an assumption you like Central Coast Wines. For those preferring wines from elsewhere, you need to come to this tasting to realize what you have been missing.
                    And the food is always from the elite local operators.
                    JG - were the past two years cancelled due to lack of attendance, or what? I was really bummed when I could not go these past 2 years.

                    1. re: carter

                      I am not positive but I heard rumblings that Wally's had added a couple of tasting during the first part of the year recently (eg Napa-Noma All-stars) and they couldn't fit this event in. I highly doubt it was related to attendance as it has been consistently well-attended and a lot of the wine-crowd was disappointed to not see it happen. Personally, like you, I value this event more than a generic tasting so hope they will be motivated to keep it stable. I also think that there are few events where the wine is really good AND the food is quite adequate. Most events, aside from the most expensive events like Systic or the old Puck Meals on Wheels, lack in either food or wine.
                      In regard to the style of wine, over the years of this event the Central Coast wines have become populated with more selections outside the full-throttle camp. Wines like Paul Lato or Liquid Farm make a decided attempt at restraint.

                      1. re: john gonzales

                        they also have this wine tasting and in n out burgers event. the wine should be good, the in n out is up for debate.

                        1. re: kevin

                          No thread drift encouraged, but if it was good enough for Julia Child it's good enough for me. In n Out may be the Tito's of the burger world for some but for me it's a decent, inexpensive pleasure if you try to forget that a good burger is about the beef. ;o)

                          1. re: Midlife

                            get a 3x1 or 4x2 if you really want to taste the beef.

                            1. re: ns1

                              Hey! I LIKE In n Out! But the patties are pretty small and there's no way you can get them medium-rare. Won't happen. 3x1, 4x2??? Remember Rodney Alan Rippey??? "Too big a eat!" I did once see a photo of a 15 patty burger they made for someone. OUCH!!

        2. Just received a call from Wally's to say the event has been CANCELLED.
          An ABC issue regarding the licensing.

          5 Replies
          1. re: carter

            Damn. I kind of wanted to make it for the very first time.

            1. re: carter

              That's odd. Haven't they been doing this event for years? Maybe something with the change of ownership at Wally's?

              1. re: Midlife

                They had not done one in at least the last two years, and you may have a point, in that new owners may not have known all the requirements of holding a tasting outdoors where a special license was required, over and above any licenses they hold for inside the building.
                But it is a shame, regardless of cause. But can you imagine the money already spent by the participating wineries, restaurants, and Wally's itself?

                1. re: carter

                  i'll gladly eat the leftovers that they would have had to throw out, since it's so late in the game.

                  1. re: kevin

                    But you may have to drive up the coast to do so!

            2. UNFORTUNATE NOTE: This event has been CANCELED due to unforeseen glitches with ABC permitting issues.


              8 Replies
              1. re: J.L.

                I HATE THE ABC.
                Why do we allow them to stifle business and pleasure with their outdated prohibition mission?

                  1. re: Ciao Bob

                    I wouldn't be so quick to blame this 100% on the ABC without more info.

                    1. re: Midlife

                      Below is Wally's statement on the cancellation, as quoted in the LATimes article (which I had hyperlinked above):

                      ... “Wally’s has hosted the Central Coast Wine & Food Celebration benefiting the Michael Bonaccorsi sScholarship Fund ince 2004 and over the years we have successfully raised over $300,000. This Sunday’s event was scheduled to be a huge success and was slated to raise an additional $50,000 for the charity. Unbeknownst to us, within the last year the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control has changed their regulations on licenses and permits for wine-related events. Despite our exhaustive efforts with the ABC, consultants and attorneys, due to the change in regulations, the ABC was unable to grant us permitting for this event. Due to these unfortunate circumstances we must cancel the Central Coast Wine & Food Celebration that we have all come to care so deeply about. We will continue to hold charitable events in the future.”...

                      You're saying it goes deeper than this?

                      1. re: J.L.

                        I'd really be interested in knowing more about this. Not that ABC rules always make sense, but they're usually pretty clearly spelled out.

                        1. re: J.L.

                          ABC does have licenses available for special events, even of the one-day variety. Whether this license, or for that matter, any other license was applied for I don't know. But to have a tasting license for inside the store does not give you any rights to have an event anywhere but inside the store, including your own parking lot.
                          You can also get an off-premise license if applied for with appropriate lead time.

                          1. re: carter

                            I don't care how clearly the rules are (or aren't spelled out) - they are BS. Plenty of other states survive just fine without these asinine rules. How is a Wally's parking lot wine tasting such a threat to society that it needs such regulation? And heaven forbid a licensed place serves spirits with the beer and wine. Or a family brings their own bottle to a place applying for a license. Pure over-regulation of nothing.

                            1. re: Ciao Bob

                              And I highly, sincerely,doubt that teenagers are going to hit up Wally's just to get toasty if that were a concern, or that the Wally's crowd is a bunch of drunkards, winos perhaps, er rather oenophiles (???????, if that's the right term) but an excessively drunken and disorderly lot ????????

                              Probably not.