The third annual Four Fires Festival will be held on May 6 at the Amador County Fairgrounds in Plymouth. This is an event where Amador really sparkles and the best thing is that the proceeds go to the Amador County Fair Foundation.
If you like open fire cooking paired with the wines representing Southern France, Italy, Iberia and Heritage California, live music, arts and crafts, cooking demonstrations, meeting the winemakers, tasting olive oils, honeys and chocolates, wine seminars, locally crafted beer and 40 wineries pouring 200-plus wines, I think you should go.
Last year, we missed out on some events because we didn’t have a game plan. This year we will have one. First on the Navigator’s list are the cooking demos, which I totally support. I’ll select wine seminars which hopefully will put some smarts in this column and in between we’ll fit in tasting and eating, tasting and eating and then repeat. We’ll wine taste alphabetically so we can always find each other. If the Navigator is really lost and can’t find me, she should check the music stage where I will be resting, hydrating and listening to rock ’n’ roll music from the ’60s.
This is a big-time wine event and it’s OK to use a spit cup, but first you might want to practice at home. Finally, before you leave the event, swing by the wine store and buy some of your favorites at discounted prices. Cheers! For more info go to AmadorFourFires.com.
Gold Medal Pinot Noirs
The Navigator likes red wine and requests a nice light red which means pinot noir. Good pinots under $20 are hard to find. Here are four gold medal winning pinot noirs from the San Francisco Chronicle 2017 Competition, all under $15 and readily available; Castle Rock 2012 Los Carneros, Hahn 2015 California, Kenwood 2014 Russian River and Ryder 2014 Central Coast. The Best of Class Award in this price category went to Three Thieves 2015 California, $7.99. A double gold was awarded to Smoking Loon 2015 Chile, $8.99. Good luck pinot hunting.
The Grocery Outlet tasting team gave thumbs up to four wines purchased at the Turlock store. The 2015 Stella Pinot Grigio ($3.99) from Sicily has green apple flavors and a crisp tart finish. The 2014 Santa Lina Nero d’ Avola ($4.99) is a surprisingly nice light red wine, almost pinot-like, with red berry fruit flavors and a soft medium finish. The 2015 El Gordo Rose from Spain ($4.99) is dry and crisp. The 2015 Quintay Pinot Noir from Chile ($4.99) has notes of spice and dried cherry aromas,red fruit flavors, a medium body and a long soft finish.
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