Toast of the Coast – Delicious wine and cheese extravaganza!



A few of my fellow participants in the ‘Business of Wine’ Certificate program from SDSU, offered to volunteer at the “Toast of the Coast” Wine Festival at the San Diego State Fair this weekend. As they had too many volunteers, we were given wristbands to participate in the event. How lucky were we!

We tasted a lot of wine, and sampled some amazing cheese! We ended up enjoying many of the winners of the 2018 Toast of the Coast event. Here are some of our favourites.

We loved the wine that won a double gold  at the 2018 Toast of the Coast, The 2014 Testament Bordeaux Blend, Ascension Cellars.  This Paso Robles wine is comprised of 38% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 14% Petit Verdot, 8% Malbec.

This wine was amazingly smooth. We tasted berries – blueberry and blackberry. A nice rich finish on the palate. Very tasty and delicious!

Another red favourite and double gold winner with the second highest score of the competition at 95, was Vino Urbano Winery’s 2015 Petite Syrah. I was curious to try this as it’s a local San Diego Winery! This French wine had a nice minerality and we paired it with the Cypress Grove’s Midnight Moon cheese. We were all in love with this cheese!

We tasted a couple of Cypress Grove’s other award winning cheeses. When you visit the Cypress Grove website you will find cheese pairings for each cheese, recipes and other useful tidbits. The Truffle Tremor a soft-ripened goat cheese that was incredibly smooth and tasty. The other favourite was the Humboldt Fog another delicious soft goat cheese with a ribbon of vegetable ash in the center of the cheese.

We were curious to try some of the Rosés at the Rosé Away area. 
The Gloria Ferrer Brut Rosé won the Best Sparkling Rosé at the Toast of the Coast event with a score of 96 points! A delicious sparkling rosé with 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay.
We also enjoyed the Rodney Strong Rose of Pinot Noir that received a Silver Award. Taste of strawberries and nice and crisp . 
Some very interesting cheese was Beehive Cheese from Utah. These unique buttery cheeses are hand-rubbed with tasty ingredients with many flavours to interest your palate. The catchy names are intriguing. Seahive is a cheese rubbed with wildflower honey and sea salt. This RealSalt® is  is harvested from an ancient sea bed near Redmond, Utah and contains unique flecks of color from more than 50 natural trace minerals.The Teahive cheese is rubbed with tea and bergamot. We tasted the Red Butte Hatch Chile cheese that I thought would pair nicely with white wine. In short order we found the 2017 Pinot Gris from Volcan Mountain. It was a great pairing! This winery is based in Julian, CA.  All in all, it was a great day and wonderful opportunity to taste wine with my wine buddies, and experience some amazing wine and cheese!