AG Pick: Georges Duboeuf Fleurie Clos des Quatre Vents

It’s hot outside but you’re still in the mood for a red wine. The solution: a bottle of the 2011 Georges Duboeuf Fleurie Clos des Quatre Vents.

Duboeuf Fleurie Clos des Quatre VentsThis wine comes from the Fleurie appellation, one of the Beaujolais Crus in France’s Burgundy region. It is made entirely from Gamay grapes.

There is so much more to Beaujolais wine than Beaujolais Nouveau – and this wine demonstrates why. The flavors in the Clos des Quatre Vents are darker and more intense, with more present tannins giving the wine a good structure.

Deep garnet red in color, the light to medium-bodied wine opens with aromas of red and purple berries. The palate has a mix of fresh raspberry, boysenberry and plum with blackberry jam and a hint of crushed black pepper. Subtle floral notes of violet and rose are woven throughout, and linger on the silky finish.

Because it should be served slightly chilled (around 60°F), the Georges Duboeuf Fleurie Clos des Quatre Vents is a great red wine for a hot day. It’s perfect at outdoor barbecues and pairs well with grilled chicken, pork, hamburgers and lean steaks, as well as aged cheese.

$19, 13% alcohol by volume

More Red Wines | White Wines | More Under $20

The Varsity

Fly & Dine at ATL: Your Guide to Where to Eat at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport

If your travel plans take you through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, you’ll want to arrive early. With a host of new restaurants, there have never been more delicious dining options for travelers.

The airport offers a true taste of Atlanta, including favorite in-town restaurants like Ecco and landmarks like The Varsity.

Whether you’re leaving town, returning home or just passing through, here are restaurants to check out at the Atlanta airport.

Atrium (Pre-Security)

Atlanta Bread Company
Offering pastries, sandwiches and salads.
Location: Atrium Northeast
Hours: Open 24 hours

Atlanta ChopHouse
Offering fresh cut choice steaks, burgers, drinks and more. Offers meeting rooms for business groups to rent.
Location: Atrium Northeast
Hours: 6am – 10pm

Concourse A

Brioche Dorée
A Parisian-style café bakery specializing in French urban cuisine.
Location: A Centerpoint
Hours: 5:30am – 11pm

Samuel Adams Atlanta Brew House
Get a taste of Samuel Adams’ favorite and seasonal brews, plus a menu that includes burgers, sandwiches and chicken wings.
Location: A 12
Hours: 6am – last flight on A

Concourse B

Cafe Intermezzo
A European-style coffee house offering lunch, dinner, dessert and a variety of coffee beverages.
Location: B Centerpoint
Hours: 6am – 11pm

SweetWater Draft House & Grill
The restaurant from the Atlanta microbrewery offers a range of beers and a menu of American cuisine.
Location: B 11
Hours: 6am – 11pm

Concourse C

Atlanta Bread Company
Offering pastries, sandwiches and salads.
Location: C 30
Hours: 5am – last flight on C

Brews & Blues
Featuring southern style cooking with beef brisket, pork, turkey and chicken sandwiches.
Location: C 6
Hours: 9am – last flight on C

Burgers, BBQ & Brew
A sitdown restaurant offering a spot for a quick bite to eat.
Location: C Centerpoint
Hours: 6am – last flight on C

Chick-fil-AChick-fil-A
Quick-service chicken restaurant featuring sandwiches, salads and nuggets.
Location: C 21
Hours: 5:30am – 11pm

Miller Lite Victory Lane
Offering draft beers and traditional bar food.
Location: C 12
Hours: 6am – last flight on C

Moe’s Southwest Grill
Offering fresh burritos, tacos, fajitas and nachos.
Location: C 14
Hours: 6am – last flight on C

The Varsity
One of two airport locations (with Concourse F) of the famous Atlanta drive-in restaurant, offering chili cheese dogs, burgers and Frosted Oranges.
Location: C 21
Hours: 5:30am – 11pm

D Concourse

Grindhouse Killer Burgers
The local burger restaurant offers fresh ground burgers, fries, onion rings and Boozy Shakes.
Location: D 30
Hours: 7am – 10:30pm

E Concourse

One Flew South
An upscale restaurant featuring spirited global fare and sushi, with an extensive wine and cocktail list.
Location: E Centerpoint
Hours: 12pm – 11pm

F Concourse

Ecco Atlanta airportEcco
The airport location of the European-influenced restaurant located in Midtown Atlanta features fresh, seasonal fare.
Location: F Mezzanine
Hours: 10am – 10pm

French Meadow Bakery Café
Offers upscale sandwiches, desserts and more.
Location: F Mezzanine
Hours: 6am – last flight on F

Jekyll Island Seafood Company
Featuring fresh and fried seafood dishes and southern favorites like shrimp and grits.
Location: F 9
Hours: 9am – 11pm

Lorena Garcia Tapas BarLorena Garcia Tapas Bar
Offering a selection of small bites and sandwiches.
Location: F Mezzanine
Hours: 9am – 10:30pm

Maison Mathis
Offering European-inspired sandwiches, salads, desserts and beverages, as well as Belgian beer.
Location: F 3
Hours: 9am – last flight on F

The Original El TacoThe Original El Taco
A spirited Mexican restaurant featuring fresh food, margaritas and frozen mojitos.
Location: F Mezzanine
Hours: 9am – last flight on F

Pecan BistroThe Pecan
The airport location of the College Park restaurant offers upscale southern cuisine.
Location: F Mezzanine
Hours: 6am – last flight on F

Pei Wei Asian Diner
Offering Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Thai cuisine.
Location: F Mezzanine
Hours: 9am – last flight on F

Pei Wei and The VarsityThe Varsity
One of two airport locations (with Concourse C) of the famous Atlanta drive-in restaurant, offering chili cheese dogs, burgers and Frosted Oranges.
Location: F Mezzanine
Hours: 9am – last flight on F

Bon voyage and bon appetit!

images provided by HMSHost

Kale Me Crazy Opens in Inman Park

When do you ever leave a restaurant feeling healthier than when you arrived? You get that feeling at Kale Me Crazy, a new upscale juice and smoothie bar now open in Inman Park.

Founded by Yogli Mogli CEO Roi Shlomo, Kale Me Crazy is dedicated to healthy eating with a focus on organic, vegan and gluten-free menu items.

Kale Me CrazyThe juices are cold-pressed fresh each morning from fruits and vegetables that are pesticide free, non-GMO and locally sourced (when available). The process of cold pressing best preserves the produce’s nutrients, vitamins and enzymes.

If you’ve never had kale or other leafy greens in a juice, you may be surprised at how delicious and refreshing they can taste, especially with added sweetness from apples or spice from ginger.

Veggie juice newbies should try the Kale Yeah! Made with kale, spinach, cucumber, apple and lemon, it’s the most popular cold-pressed juice on the menu. Or if you’re feeling more adventurous try the Go Green, made with kale, spinach, romaine, chard, cucumber and celery.

Kale Me Crazy juicesIf you want something non-green, try the Beet Up. Made with beets, apple, lemon and ginger, it’s crisp and flavorful, and lovely deep magenta in color (so you may want to double check your teeth before any meetings).

The juices range from $4.50 to $8 a bottle and should be consumed within three days as they are made without preservatives.

The more filling smoothies are made to order and come in a variety of flavors and colors. Try the Green Dream, made with kale, spinach, pineapple, apple, mint leaves and coconut water. Another top pick is the Tropical Trippin’, made with orange, mango, pineapple, coconut yogurt and coconut milk. The smoothies range from $6.50 to $7.50.

juices and smoothieThere is also the option of adding herb and powdered supplements, like turmeric, spirulina, vegan protein powder and chia seeds. Not sure what to add? Knowledgeable “juicetenders” can help you select what’s best for your needs and taste.

If you like wheatgrass, Kale Me Crazy has you covered. Try the KMC Shot, which has a kick from the addition of ginger and cayenne pepper and comes with a lemon juice chaser.

If you want something more substantive try the Açaí Bowl. Made with pureed açaí berries, coconut milk, dates and blueberries, then topped with shredded coconut, granola, mint and raw honey, it is sure to jump-start your day.

Kale Me Crazy also offers vegan pastries including cupcakes that non-vegans will still enjoy. Look for salads and vegan pizza to be added to the menu in the future.

Whether you’re craving a health boost morning, midday or at night, Kale Me Crazy can accommodate your schedule. It is open for dine in and carry-out from 7:30am to 8pm Monday through Friday, 9am to 8pm on Saturday and 10am to 6pm on Sunday.

Kale Me Crazy, 300 N. Highland Ave Suite B, Atlanta 30307. (404) 600-5048

photo credit for first two photos: Joe Micelli

Cucina Asellina Celebrates First Anniversary

Happy anniversary Cucina Asellina! The modern Italian restaurant is celebrating one year in Midtown Atlanta.

Cucina AsellinaCucina Asellina is able to seamlessly bring together two seemingly opposing concepts. It’s hip and trendy, the kind of restaurant to kick off an evening on the town. Yet at the same time, you feel like you’re enjoying Italian home cooking.

It’s due in part to Chef de Cuisine Andrea Montobbio, who grew up in the Capriata d’Orba region in Northern Italy and studied at top Italian schools. Since moving to the United States at 21, Chef Montobbio has honed his skills at Atlanta restaurants including Pricci, The Mansion on Peachtree, and Taverna Fiorentina.

Start with the Seared Beef Carpaccio, which is served with arugula, pickled root vegetables and pink peppercorns. Or try the Scottish Salmon Tartare, which gets added freshness from sliced grapefruit. The house cured duck prosciutto is a standout in the chef’s selection of cured meats.beef carpacio, duck prosciutto, salmon tartare

You’ll never go wrong with the Meatballs, made with veal, pork and beef, and served in a tasty tomato sauce (don’t worry, there’s plenty of bread for dipping).meatballs

Whether you’re a first time diner or a regular, you’ll want to try one of Chef Montobbio’s pastas. Made in house, each offers a tempting combination of flavors and textures.

The Square Spaghetti is as fun to eat as it is to look at. A simple preparation lets the freshness of the ingredients shine.

The filling in the Burrata Ravioli is accented by oven-roasted tomatoes. Balsamic vinegar infused in the pasta gives it a unique dark color.pastasquare spaghetti, risotto

A highlight is the Risotto that, with the addition of Prosecco, is light enough to enjoy on the hottest of days.

The wine list offers a variety of Italian whites and reds that complement the food. The knowledgeable servers are helpful in offering guidance when selecting a glass or bottle.

For dessert, the Tiramisu is a top pick. Or try the Cannoli, which are filled with a decadently creamy filling of fresh sheep’s milk ricotta and Grand Marnier.tiramisu and cannoli

No experience at Cucina Asellina is complete without tasting the housemade Limoncello. Served ice cold, it’s wonderfully sweet and deceptively strong.limoncello and panna cotta

Make a reservation for lunch or dinner now — your mouth will be watering after looking at the photos below.

Cucina Asellina, 1075 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta 30309 (Midtown)
404.793.0141

CWPR Restaurant Week Returns

Make your reservations for Caren West PR Restaurant Week! The eight days of delicious dining deals run from Saturday, June 22 through Saturday, June 29.

CWPR Restaurant WeekFollowing the success of last year’s restaurant week, this year will once again feature restaurants represented by the Atlanta-based public relations and graphic design firm.

Nineteen restaurants across the city will be offering prix fixe lunch and dinner menus for $15 to $35 per person. From Italian to barbecue, sushi to high-end steaks, there’s a restaurant to match all cravings. Scroll down for a list of participating restaurants.

There will be additional events during CWPR Restaurant Week including a Terrapin tap takeover at D.B.A. Barbecue and Frozen Pint‘s one-year anniversary celebration at Cypress Street Pint & Plate.

For more information on restaurants, menus and events visit CWPR Restaurant Week’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CWPRRestoWeek. You can also follow @CWPR_RestoWeek on Twitter.

Participating Restaurants:
The Albert – Inman Park
Bone Lick BBQ – West Midtown
Cucina Asellina – Midtown
Cypress Street Pint & Plate – Midtown
D.B.A. Barbecue – Virginia Highland
Diesel Filling Station – Virginia Highland
The Drafting Table – Old Fourth Ward
Eddie’s Attic – Decatur
Genki Noodles and Sushi – Buckhead, Virginia Highland, The Prado in Sandy Springs
Park Bar – Downtown
Pizzeria Vesuvius – Old Fourth Ward
P’cheen – Old Fourth Ward
The Real Chow Baby – Poncey-Highland, West Midtown, Mall of Georgia
Sidebar – Downtown
STK – Midtown

Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival Returns for 5th Year

The attack is back! Tickets are now on sale for the JCT. Kitchen Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival, to be held on Sunday, July 21st.

The fifth annual event will bring together tomato fans, chefs, farmers and mixologists for an afternoon that benefits Georgia Organics.

Killer Tomato Fest 2013The action takes place at and around JCT. Kitchen & Bar in Atlanta’s Westside Provisions District. Top Atlanta chefs and mixologists will create tomato dishes or cocktails using produce grown by regional farmers. Guests will get to snack and sip all the creations and then vote for their favorite.

This year’s Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival will include more than 40 chefs, 15 mixologists and more than 30 farmers. Scroll down for a list of participating chefs and mixologists.

There will also be live performances by The Spazmatics and local chef band Five Bone Rack.

Tickets cost $55 per person ($50 for Georgia Organic members). Ticket prices go up to $70 on July 1st. A total of 1,400 tickets will be available for the festival and may be purchased online at Xorbia by clicking here.

Last year’s event raised nearly $26,000 for Georgia Organics.

For more information visit killertomatofest.tumblr.com.

The JCT. Kitchen Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival, Sunday, July 21, 2013, 1pm to 5pm. JCT. Kitchen & Bar, 1198 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta 30318.

Participating chefs:
Jay Swift of 4th & Swift
David Larkworthy of 5 Seasons Brewing Company
Brett Ashcraft of Abattoir
Chad Clevenger of Alma Cocina
Andy Carson and Carla Tomasko of Bacchanalia
Lance Gummere of Bantam + Biddy
Bruce Logue of BoccaLupo
Suzanne Vizethann of Buttermilk Kitchen
Carvel Grant Gould of Canoe
Asha Gomez of Cardamom Hill
Delia Champion of Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand
Ryan Smith of Empire State South
Whitney Otawka of Farm 255
Dan Latham and Cameron Thompson of Farm Burger
Todd Immel of Floataway Café
Kevin Gillespie of Gunshow
E.J. Hodgkinson of JCT. Kitchen & Bar
Taria Camerino of JCT. Kitchen & Bar, King + Duke, No. 246 and The Optimist
Joe Schafer of King + Duke
Nick Carse of King of Pops
Brent Banda of La Tavola Trattoria
Eric Ottensmeyer of Leon’s Full Service
Chris Hall of Local Three
Jeremiah Bacon of The Macintosh (in Charleston, SC)
Steven Satterfield of Miller Union
Drew Belline of No. 246
Andrew Smith and Scotley Innis of Ormsby’s
Adam Evans of The Optimist and Oyster Bar at The Optimist
Robert Gerstenecker of Park 75
Nick Rutherford and Molly Gunn of The Porter
Kevin Rathbun of Rathbun’s, Kevin Rathbun Steak, Krog Bar and KR SteakBar
Ron Eyester of Rosebud and The Family Dog
Scott Serpas of Serpas True Food
Drew Van Leuvan of Seven Lamps
Jenny Levison and Jessica Hanners of Souper Jenny
Cooper Miller of Southbound
Robert Elliot of Sprig — Won“Best Booth” in 2012
Eddie Hernandez of Taqueria del Sol
Tyler Williams of Woodfire Grill

Participating mixologists:
Kevin Bragg of 4th &  Swift
Ryan McLaughlin and Heather Miller of Abattoir
Kellie Thorn of Empire State South
Jerry Slater and Callie Schlosser of H. Harper Station
Eduardo Guzman of JCT. Kitchen & Bar and The Optimist
Miles Macquarrie of Leon’s Full Service — Won “People’s Choice for Best Tasting Cocktail” in 2012
Kevin Ryan of Local Three
Stuart White of Miller Union
Paul Calvert of Paper Plane and Victory Sandwich Bar — Won “Best Tasting Cocktail” in 2012
Nate Shuman of Proof and Provision
Andy Minchow of Ration & Dram
Jeff Jackson of Rosebud
Arianne Fielder of Seven Lamps
Navarro Carr of Sound Table
Brian Stanger of Woodfire Grill

Colliano: Wines from Slovenia

A wine tasting starts with the eyes – a look at the bottle label or the name on a restaurant’s wine list. A look at the name and label of a Colliano wine may lead you to incorrectly guess the wines are from Italy.

Colliano winesYou’re right to think that Colliano could be Italian. The grapes are grown a stone’s throw away from the northeastern border, in Slovenia. These neighboring wine regions – Collio in Italy and Goriška Brda in Slovenia – grow the same grape varieties and have a similar Mediterranean climate, as well as the low rounded hills that give the regions their names. “Colli” and “brda” are the Italian and Slovenian words for hills.

Now that the region has been demystified, you’ll find that the wines of Colliano are just as approachable. Made from mostly familiar grape varieties, the two whites and a red are easy to drink and food-friendly.

Colliano Ribolla GiallaThe 2011 Colliano Ribolla Gialla is made entirely from Ribolla Gialla (also called Rebula), a white wine grape that is indigenous to this border region. Its taste and acidity will appeal to fans of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, with flavors similar to a dry Riesling adding complexity. The palate is a mix of lemon, grapefruit, white peach and orange peel, with a hint of vanilla and cedar. The finish is crisp and dry, with lingering notes of unsweetened wildflower honey. Pair the Colliano Ribolla Gialla with salads, white fish or shellfish.

The 2011 Colliano Cuvee White is a blend of 40% Ribolla Gialla, 30% Chardonnay and 30% Sauvignonasse (a white wine grape that despite the name, is not related to Sauvignon Blanc). The flavors of the Ribolla Gialla are balanced out nicely by the round Chardonnay, with Sauvignonasse adding acidity. The wine has notes of Meyer lemon, white apricot, golden apple and white flowers. Malolactic fermentation and oak aging give the wine added finesse and a creamy yet supple mouthfeel. Pair the Colliano Cuvee white with grilled white meats, fish, pastas or cream-based dishes.

Colliano WinesThe 2011 Colliano Cuvee Red is a blend of 40% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot. It’s a Bordeaux-style blend with the freshness of a New World wine. Flavors of cherry, plum and red currant are layered with violet and subtle cedar. Acidity from the Cabernet Franc adds texture and structure. This is a wine to enjoy with food – pair the 2011 Colliano Cuvee Red with grilled steaks, roasted chicken, game meat or semi mature cheese.

As an added bonus, these Slovenian wines are wallet-friendly, costing approximately $15 a bottle.

Enjoyable to sip, great with food and a price tag of less than $20, Colliano wines from Slovenia are ready for the spotlight.

All wines are 13% alcohol by volume

Related: Avia Sauvignon Blanc 2011 from Slovenia

More White Wines | More Red Wines | More Under $20

AG Pick: La Crema Monterey Pinot Gris

La Crema, the California winery that produces consistently good Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, has just released a new white wine: the La Crema 2012 Monterey Pinot Gris.

La Crema Pinot GrisWhat made La Crema interested in Pinot Gris after decades of focusing on two grapes? “We were intrigued with this varietal because it gave us the chance to create a white wine in a different style, yet with the nuance, delicacy and texture for which we’re known,” writes winemaker Elizabeth Grant-Douglas.

The grapes come from the cool coastal vineyards of Monterey in Central California, about 200 miles south of La Crema’s home in the Russian River Valley. The fruit was hand harvested during cool morning and evening hours and cold fermented in 100% stainless steel to preserve the fresh fruit character.

Delicate citrus and floral aromas introduce a palate of crisp fruit flavors. Pear, white peach, white grapefruit, lime zest and lemon mix with star fruit and a hint of white pepper. Good minerality and refreshing acidity add structure, and the finish is clean with lingering lemon peel.

The La Crema 2012 Monterey Pinot Gris costs approximately $20 a bottle.

13.5% alcohol by volume

More White Wines | Red Wines | Under $20

It’s Time for Wine: Napa Valley Barrel Auction

The Napa Auction Showcases Vintages 2011 and 2012

By Monty and Sara Preiser

We love the annual Napa Valley Barrel Auction, where 100 of the best wineries in the Valley have their best barrels of unreleased wines trucked to a common spot for tasting and subsequent bidding. This year the event was held on the grounds of Raymond Vineyards, and a perfect place it was – large enough (and flat enough) to accommodate both the barrel room, which needs to be indoors and cool, as well as the surrounding “Market Place,” where scores of wineries pour their current releases and dozens of restaurants show off their cuisine in the gorgeous Napa sunshine.

Auction Napa ValleyAbout 50% of the vintners brought their best work from 2011, while the other half chose to pour their 2010 or 2012 vintages. As you probably know by now, due to inordinately cool weather the 2011 harvest was difficult, and has led many writers to disparage the entire vintage. You have also heard, no doubt, that 2012 was, according not just to writers but winemakers, a perfect harvest – perhaps the best in decades.

With the above as the backdrop, we found the tasting and information gathering this year even more interesting than usual. By the way, we happily note that those wineries participating were, on this day, almost universally represented by the owners or winemakers – quite often both. Unhappily, time (and our well known schmoozing) would not allow us to sample all 100 wines – only about 80.

2011

Unlike award shows, we won’t wait until the end to announce the “Best Film” or “Best Musical.” We’ll begin by telling you that many 2011 wines were absolutely stunning, especially those from Beringer, Blackbird, Crocker & Starr, Darioush, Far Niente, Frank Family, John Anthony, Kongsgaard, Oakville East, Pride Mountain, Realm, Red Mare, and Vineyard 7 & 8. Strong tannins are clearly a hallmark of this vintage, and those wineries that had access to quality fruit that can stand up to the tannins are the ones that will put superb wine in the bottle, but only IF they were smart enough, and able, to pick late enough in the harvest season so sufficient ripening could occur.

Napa ValleyWhen you look at the wineries we enumerated above, you will see a common thread. They all boast great pedigrees, highly trained personnel, wonderful fruit sources, and intuitive winemakers of note. This is what allowed what we sampled to be so good. Conversely, there were some 2011s that were certainly not ready for prime time, and we suspect there will be many like wines throughout the Napa Valley, as smaller and less successful wineries did not participate in the barrel pouring and often will not have been able to cope with the problematic weather.

We had already been told that a number of winemakers were adding a touch of 2012 fruit to the 2011 to buck it up a little (it is legal to have 5% from another year and still call a wine “vintage”). We put the question to many winemakers, and the answers and attitudes were astonishingly different. Some unabashedly said that they absolutely did so, and the addition helped greatly. Others said they certainly experimented with supplementing, but felt the differences were not too great or that the small amount of 2012 was not really affective. Then again, others were taken aback and said they would never do so, and were surprised anyone would. We guess that if one needs proof that winemaking is an individual art, here it is.

2012

Every writer we know has been salivating to start sampling the 2012 vintage en masse, which has been aging for about 8 months now. While we think it is still too early to say it may be the best California vintage of our wine-writing years, we were certainly not disappointed.

Literally everything one looks for in a fine wine could be discovered in most of the 2012s. Lush fruit, complexity, strong but supple structure, lingering finish, and identifiable layers converged to make a formidable showing out of the gate. Our personal top selections came from Acacia, Artesa, Continuum, Dancing Hares, HALL, Nickel & Nickel, and Rombauer (to be clear, wineries only pour one vintage so none of those mentioned above for 2011 had a 2012 to compare). It seems 2012 is one of those rare years that a winery has to be truly poor in skill to make a bad product.

Interestingly, a number of the vintners or winemakers that chose to bring the 2012 were clear that they did not think their 2011 vintage was good enough for this day. As writers who have long been critical of wineries that harvest everything, and then tell the public how good it is (true or not), the candor of these representatives was most appreciated. To be clear once again, this does NOT mean that those wineries featuring the 2011 vintage were pouring inferior wines. We have already mentioned how superb many were. Our intent here is only to show that the best wineries make the best decisions for the public. If you made a great 2011, you showed it off. If yours was not so good, you passed on it and moved to something else. Either direction chosen features the ethics of the industry and reflects why Napa wines are probably the best in the world.

Conclusion

What a day it was. For those who have not attended a Napa Valley Barrel Auction, watch for the announcement early next year as to how and when you can purchase admission. There is no better time to be in Napa. The hotels and tickets sell out quickly, so plan early. And to the Napa Valley Vintners Association, which sponsored the event, as it does every year: “Great job!”

For more information on the 2013 Auction Napa Valley visit auctionnapavalley.org.

First image from Auction Napa Valley’s website

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It’s Time for Wine is a column published by wine writers and educators Monty and Sara Preiser that is featured on the Amateur Gastronomer.

Monty and Sara Preiser reside full time in Palm Beach County, Florida, and spend their summers visiting wineries and studying wines on the west coast where they have a home in Napa. For many years they were the wine columnists for The Boca Raton News, have served as contributors to the South Florida Business Journal, and are now the principal wine writers for Sallys-Place.com. Monty and Sara also publish The Preiser Key to Napa Valley and Sonoma, the most comprehensive guides to wineries and restaurants in Napa and Sonoma. Click here to read more columns by the Preisers.