Cheers to our Wine Education Classes on this #ThirstyThursday

One way to relax at the Fair is to participate in our wine education program. Top chefs and wine experts share their knowledge with Fairgoers, providing wine, crackers and cheese for all – as long as you are 21+.

Last week, Sharron McCarthy joined us at the Wine, Beer & Spirits Marketplace for a class in which she shared her best tips for successful hospitality, hosting parties and of course, the best Chilean wine.

Sharron’s “Charming Chile” class served six different wines (made in different parts of Chile), as well as four delicious cheeses.

The Wines
Natura Sauvignon Blanc
- Color: Transparent yellow
- Taste: Citrus and herb notes reappear on the palate. A fresh, bright and pleasing wine with nicely balanced acidity and good persistence
- 100% Sauvignon Blanc
- Pairs well with ceviche, sushi, smoked ham, goat cheese and salads

Signos De Origen La Vinilla
- Color: Golden yellow
- Taste: Lush and full on the palate with tropical fruit flavors and pleasing acidity
- 68% Chardonnay, 13% Roussanne, 12% Viognier, 7% Marsanne

Signos De Origen Syrah 2012
- Color: Deep purplish-red
- Taste: Beautiful fruit and voluptuous texture complememted by well-balanced acidity and overall tremendous structure.
- 97% Syrah, 3% Viognier

Concha y Toro Gran Reserva Serie Ribera
- Color: Deep Red
- Taste: Well structured, with concentrated flavors of red fruit and sweet tannins.
- 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Carmenere
- Pairs well with beef and pork dishes, and ripe cheeses.

Concha y Toro Marqués de Casa Concha
- Color: Dark ruby red
- Taste: Concentrated flavors are revealed in firm tannins with a soft, silky texture and a lingering finish
- 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Syrah, 1% Petit Verdot
- Pairs well with red meats, cheeses, and hearty pasta dishes.

- Color: Intense violet-red
- Taste: Beautifully balanced and full on the palate, good structure with osft, round tannins. Elegant expressions of fruit delicately interwoven with oak, mineral, and toffee.
- 41% Syrah, 29% Carmenere, 20% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Mourvedre, 1% Petit Verdot
- Pairs well with roasted red meats, strong cheeses, and pasta with spicy sauces. Also marries well with dried fruits.

All six wines had unique traits. Sharron had Fairguests see for themselves through scent, color and of course, taste. If you would like a chance to learn more about wine, cheese and olive oil, be sure to stop by!

You can get the full schedule and list of speakers here.


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Beat The Heat With A Few Cold Ones

The sun is out, the sky is clear and we’re just getting the party started here at the LA County Fair!

Sure, we know weather has not been great these past two days, but that doesn’t mean we cant beat the heat once at the Fair. Trust us – we’re experts at keeping cool. :)

One of our favorite things to do when it’s this hot is to hang out at the Wine, Beer and Spirits Marketplace. I mean, how could someone not like this place? There’s A/C, good food, good company and REALLY good drinks!

Don’t miss our final Craft Beer Classes this Saturday and Sunday!

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Cheers to our Wine, Beer & Spirits Education Classes!

Fair lovers, get ready because the schedule of our wine, beer & spirits education classes is now up on our LACF website for you to check out and get excited about!

LACF’s Wine, Beer & Spirits Education Program is very popular among Fair guests and worth the effort to get to one since they are really fun and also very informative!

Think of it this way…when you come to one of these classes, you’ll not only meet some of the top names in the wine, beer, spirits and olive oil industries (they lead the classes), but you’ll also get to hang out and meet other Fair guests at our beautiful Wine, Beer, Food & Spirits Marketplace, which happens to be a climate-controlled area! Oh and did we forget to mention the fact that you’ll probably feel a bit tipsy after the class? Don’t fight the inevitable, just go with the flow and relax!

To give you an idea of how diverse our marketplace really is, here are just a few of the classes we will be offering at LACF this year: Wines of the Central Coast with Adam LaZarre; Bonjour – Wines of France, with Chris Braun; Historical Wines of Northern Italy with Andrea Torelli-Lesky; Bubbles From All Over The World with Michael Jordan, Master Sommelier; and American Whiskey & Bourbon, with Ryan Steely.

Each Wine Class features six wines and four cheeses. Additionally, each participant will receive a tasting ticket for a taste of a Gold Medal winner from the International Tasting Bar.

Each Craft Beer Class features 5 beers and each Spirits Class features 4 samples of spirits.

The cost to participate is $20 for each wine class and $15 for each of the beer and spirits classes.

Our wine education classes are held every day of the Fair, so stop with the excuses and check out the website for a complete schedule.

Which classes are you planning on taking this year?

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Keep Cool at the Wine, Beer & Spirits Marketplace

Is the weather too hot for you? Well, stop what you’re doing and come over to LACF’s Wine, Beer & Spirits Marketplace and view more than 2,000 international wine, spirits, craft beers, and extra virgin olive oil winners. If that doesn’t cool you off, then I don’t know what will!

When you stop by the marketplace, go on an adventure and give your palate something new. Tasting new flavors is always a lot more fun when you have someone to discuss things with, so bring your family, significant other, or friends and enroll in one of our many weekend one-hour tasting classes.

Finding the right wine, beer, or spirit for YOU may be a bit difficult, which is why we are hosting these classes. We want you to have a new favorite drink…something other than your Friday-night-drink!

As a general rule of thumb, when you taste a new beverage you should keep track of these 5 things: Aroma, Appearance, Flavor, Mouth Feel, and Overall Impression.

In addition to getting into the habit of smelling and swirling your drink before you take the first sip, you should also learn to combine your drinks with food.

Coincidentally enough, after walking in the sun for hours, I decided to cool down at the marketplace by observing Jason Torres’, from BierBuzz, class on Food and Beer AND Shelby Ledgerwood’s class on wines and cheeses. Saying these classes were amazingly informative is an understatement. Here are a few things I learned:

For beer, you should know how to cut, complement, and contrast a variety of flavors.

Cutting refers to pairing two extreme flavors and still getting a smooth taste. In other words, one flavor doesn’t outshine the other.

Complementing refers to looking for similar aromas and flavors in both the food and the beer. Consistency is the key here!

Contrasting refers to looking for opposing flavors and aromas. Their opposing flavors will balance out in your palate.

In regards to tasting wines, you should always begin with the driest wines and slowly transition to the sweetest. CAUTION: If you do this backwards, the second wine will taste very bitter.

Having this hot weather is your cue to enroll in one of our tasting classes and make the Wine, Beer & Spirits Marketplace one of your top priorities when you come to the Fair.

I hope you enjoy these refreshing and savory drinks as SoCal continues to warm up…Cheers!


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Wine Milkshakes?

We have our fair share (pun intended) of food novelty here. From fried butter to jalapenos wrapped in bacon, we have seen it all. Or so we thought.

According to the Digest, the latest concoction from local burger join The Counter is wine milkshakes. As in, a little Pinot Noir mixed in with your chocolate shake (read: dairy) and whipped cream.

We’ve tried a lot of things here at the Fair. Maybe this is something worth checking out. What do you think?

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(Wine) Knowledge is Power!

I know you are coming to the Fair. You know you are coming to the Fair. So, how about we take a class? The work in this classroom is work we will enjoy – trust me! Meet me at the Wine & Spirits Marketplace for one (or more!) of the many great wine education classes and seminars available.

Conducted by wine makers, educators, sommeliers and wine writers, the classes range from wine and food pairings to classes on different wine varietals to cooking demonstrations by Chef Henry Gonzalez of Spaggi’s Restaurant. Master Sommelier Michael Jordan will host two Internet radio shows on Sept. 9 & 16 from the marketplace.

Each class features a minimum of six wines and three cheeses. Each participant will receive a tasting ticket for a taste of a gold medal winner from the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition, available at the International Tasting Bar. The cost per class is $17. See a complete list of classes here.

At the Wine & Spirits Marketplace, taste more than 300 medal-winning wines, spirits, beers and extra virgin olive oils. It’s a great place to hang out with friends, get a bite to eat, relax in air-conditioned splendor or have a seat in the beautifully decorated patio.

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Let’s toast the 2010 L.A. County Fair!

What better way to celebrate this year’s Fair than with a glass of wine or champagne?

You’ll find both among winners of the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition, as well as prize-winning spirits and olive oils.

The Fair’s wine education program is extremely popular. Each class features a minimum of six wines and attendees receive a tasting ticket of a Gold Medal winner from the International Tasting Bar at the Wine & Spirits Marketplace that’s presented by Ralphs. Each class costs $17.

Tomorrow, Adam LaZarre, winemaker of Villa San-Juliette, presents “Unusual White Wines – The Gems You Didn’t Know About!” at 2 p.m., “Merlot – It Doesn’t Suck” at 4 p.m. and “Pinot Noir – Sex In A Bottle” at 6 p.m.

On Sunday, you’ll learn “Why Bordeaux is the Most Famous Wine in France…” presented by Paul Wagner at 2 p.m. Wagner talks about  “6 Wines That Will Make You Feel Like James Bond” at 4 p.m. At 7 p.m., the “Passport Party” will be presented by Bob Smalls and Margie Jones.

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Don’t Whine, Wine….

wineWe have a ton of great classes at the Wine & Spirits Marketplace, so be sure to check out the class schedule before you head to the Fair (or check the Fun Guide if you are here). Today we have vodka tasting all day! Now that will make the carnival rides spin a little faster for you!

Today at 5 p.m. it’s Wine, Cheese and Chocolate; tomorrow don’t miss Wines of Spain at 7 p.m.; and Wednesday it’s Picnic & Pink with Stacie Hunt – lots of fun! Check out the entire schedule here.

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Cheers Then!

blackboxwineWe’ve had plenty to toast to recently, with the announcement of the winners of the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition, a great media preview tasting of the winners last week in Beverly Hills, and a very successful Wine & Cars Under the Stars gala last Saturday, which was the first opportunity for the public to taste the winners.

See all the medal winners here and read about us in other blog postings:



 Fairguests can taste the medal winners during the L.A. County Fair at the Wine & Spirits Marketplace, presented by Ralphs. You can also try beer and extra virgin olive oils. Sign up for a wine education class. What a way to spend an afternoon!







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It’s time for Wine, Spirits and Beer!

wine20tastingAs we all continue to work diligently to bring everyone the most amazing 2009 Fair, we are also working on the Los Angeles International Wine and Spirits Competition and the Los Angeles International Commercial Beer Competition. When it comes to the best of the best… it all comes from these competitions!

Entries are pouring in (not literally… yet) and keeping everyone on their toes. The most exciting part is where the entries are coming from- Italy, France, Canada, Boston, Mexico, Poland, Spain, Netherlands, and that is just the beginning!

The best part of all of this for our Fairguests is that you all get to taste the beerselectionaward winners. Yes…you heard right! During the Fair, you can stop off at the Los Angeles International Wine and Spirits Marketplace, presented by Ralphs and taste award winning wines, learn about the different spirits, and taste award winning beers in the brand new beer tavern. This amazing new tavern will serve the award winning beer both inside as well as outside!

So get your taste buds ready because our award winning entries are going to knock your socks off this year!

P.S. Don’t forget! If you want to join in on the fun, enter your homemade wine and homemade beer into the Fair competition. Every entry will be displayed in The Village on Broadway so you can brag to all of your friends!

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