Thursday, September 19, 2013

WINE TASTING: Fifth Annual Taste of Conejo in Westlake Village

Updated posting, late September, 2013, just following completion of the Fifth Annual Taste of Conejo: Busy venue, great food to wine ratio.  There are clearly some very mature food offerings in the Conejo Valley area, and some wine labels that are beginning to come of age.

For future reference: you will enjoy the equivalent of a full dinner and full flight of dinner wines at the Taste of Conejo.  This will be preceded by an very challenging attempt at parking in the area, however.  Also, do keep in mind as you taste at the venue that only a minority of the wine-tasting stations offer dump-buckets.  So, I suggest a very small sip of a wine before deciding to accept the (quite healthy) full portion of pour.   Once past parking and dump-buckets, however, you will find a high-value and top-notch tasting experience.

For the Fifth Annual Taste of Conejo tasting, entertainment included a unique Japanese drum ensemble (Crespi Taiko Drummers) and some well-performed acrobatic dance routines (by Talent Lab).

If you are reading this in 2014, make a point to check out the tasting web site for particulars about the (anticipated) Sixth Annual Taste of Conejo.

Original posting, early September, 2013:
Here comes the well-regarded Taste of Conejo, presented by the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce!  The wine and food tasting event is returning for its fifth annual edition this Thursday, September 19, 5 to 8 p.m., to the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village.

Food and wine enthusiasts will enjoy an all-inclusive evening of exceptional food, wine, beer and spirit tastings from local restaurants, breweries and wineries.

But hurry, time is running out to secure your tickets.  ALL tickets are sold in advance and NONE will be available at the door. Tickets are available online at at the rate of $60 for members of the Chamber and $70 for non-members through September 19 at noon. Each paid admission comes with a souvenir wine glass, tasting tray and an exclusive special offer book with over $200 in savings from participating restaurants and local businesses. Guests must be over the age of 21.

"This is a unique opportunity for guests to experience more than 100 of their neighboring businesses under one roof, including more than 50 participating food and beverage vendors, while enjoying a night out,” said Jill Lederer President/CEO for the Chamber.

The evening of food, wine and spirits will be complimented by a live entertainment throughout the evening. Pianist Mark Anthony will greet guests upon arrival and stage performances in the grand ballroom will include aerial hoop performances by Talent Lab, violinist Liz Bacher, Celt Taiko Drum Ensemble from Crespi Carmelite High School, and woodwind specialist Hayan Charlston.

Prizes donated by local businesses will be featured for guests to bid on at the silent auction, with 50 percent of the proceeds benefiting Cancer Support Community, the Greater Conejo Valley Community Foundation’s 2013 Nonprofit Organization of the Year.

Among the food and beverage providers which confirmed early participation are: 9021 PHO, AB Cafe Services , Anheuser-Busch, Beanscene Expresso CoffeeHouse and Café, Billy D’z Backyard BBQ, Brendan’s Irish Pub, California Kettle Corn, Chick-fil-A, Corner Bakery, Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas, Crunchies Food Company, Four Brix Winery, Lobby Lounge & ONYX Restaurant, Fresh Brothers Pizza, Frost It Cupcakery, Herzog Wine Cellars, Harvest Kitchen & Bar, Holdren’s Steaks & Seafood, J. Hamilton Wines, Jersey Mike’s, Jinky’s Café, Ladyface Ale Companie, Loteria Grill, Magnavino Cellars, Malibu Sundowner, Muvico Theatres –Bogart’s Bar and Grill, Niroj Levant Cuisine, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Opolo Vineyards, Paul Martin’s American Grill, PF Chang’s China Bistro, Pomar Juction, Red Lobster, Shave It, Sheraton Agoura Hills, Sossy’s BBQ Sandwiches, STACKED, Stonehaus, Stonefire Grill, Sunland Vintage Winery, Surf Brewery, Taco Bell, The LAB Brewing Company, Triunfo Creek Vineyards, Ventura Limoncello Company, Vom Fass Westlake Village.
Sponsors include:
Premiere: BOGOPOD, Four Seasons Hotel, Ventura County Star
Entertainment: Dole Foods, Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center, Pacific Western Bank, Union Bank.
Major: California Lutheran University, Fidelity Investments, Pepperdine University, Skyline Home Loans, University Village, Verizon.
Supporting: Baxter, Community West Bank, Go West Creative, Kaiser Permanente, Logix Credit Union, Montecito Bank & Trust, Roadrunner Shuttle & Limousine, Southern California Gas Company, Taco Bell, The Studio, Ventura County Credit Union, Waste Management.

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