Toast of the Town 2008
Thousands of wine devotees gather for wine, food, music and fun at Wine Enthusiast's signature events.
In March, April and May, wine devotees in four great American cities enjoyed Toast of the Town, Wine Enthusiast Magazine's signature event. The festivities were held in
Toast of the Town was originally held exclusively in
All Toast of the Town events are held in spectacular cultural venues; live music, usually jazz, energizes the atmosphere; each city's finest restaurants offer tasting portions of exquisite, wine-friendly dishes; seventy or more of the finest wineries in the world offer pours of their best bottlings; and thousands of wine-and-food-loving attendees stroll from table to table, enjoying the music, each others' company and the exploration of artisan dishes and fine wines.
Some of the majestic bottles offered at this year's events included Domaine de la Vougeraie 2005 Clos Blanc de Vougeot Premier Cru and Mommessin 2004 Clos de Tart, both from Boisset Family Estates; Vergelegen 2006 White Wine, from 57 Main Street Imports; Michlits wines from Burgenland, imported by Prescott Wines; Hess 2005 Allomi Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon; Beaulieu Vineyard 2004 George de Latour Private Reserve; Biondi-Santi 2003 Rosso di Montalcino; Barossa Valley Estate 2003 E&E Black Pepper Shiraz; and Masi 2000 Campolongo di Torbe Amarone della Valpolicella Classico. With such variety, quality and depth, it truly is an evening of exploration, whether it's discovering wines, new friends, or unfamiliar dishes.
"I've been to hundreds and this is one of the best wine events," confirms Michael Trenk, managing partner of the Capital Grille. The Grille's Chef Aaron served over 1,400 portions of Kona Crusted Tenderloin with Shallot Herb Butter in three hours. "From the standpoint of the restaurateur, we certainly enjoyed it and benefited," continues Trenk. "It's well organized. The quality of the people that attended was high. It wasn't stuffy, wasn't pretentious. It was a fun event with great energy."
With an estimated 1,700 people attending, TOTT at
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Curtains were up at the elegant War Memorial Opera House, where Toast of the Town San Francisco kicked off the season with 1,200 guests in attendance. Close to 30 restaurants and 82 wineries serviced event-goers, with plenty to enjoy and savor while strolling five expansive floors and marveling at the premiere opera house's vaulted ceilings, marble foyer and sweeping balconies. Some of the standout dishes from local restaurants included Tuna Poke on Wonton Chip with a Seven Spice Aioli, from The Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar; Pancetta-wrapped Prawns with Truffled White Bean Purée and Marinara Sauce, from Joe DiMaggio's Italian Chophouse; and Braised Veal Cheek, Morel Mushrooms, English Pea Purée and Preserved Meyer Lemon, from Étoile at Domaine Chandon.