This year was the 33rd Annual Mill Valley Wine, Beer and Gourmet Food Tasting and it was no disappointment. A welcome addition to the line up was more breweries, 10 this year. Begging the question, are you a wine person or a beer person?
The wineries are a serious, elegant group. They carefully meter out hand-crafted portions of some of the best California has to offer. Wineries range from the always excellent Husch to San Luis Obispo’s own boutique Deovlet Wines. The vintners need no response from the sippers, they know they’re good. Gracious, thoughtful; their product speaks for itself.
The brewers are a light-hearted lot. Glasses overflow, and seconds and thirds are welcome. Selections range from the classic Trumer Pils to upstarts like Headlands Brewing Company. This year saw a brand new player to the game of Devoto Hard Cider: light, refreshing and an excellent break from beer or wine.
Local restaurants had also an impressive showing. Bungalow 44 presented a kobe beef and lamb meatball in mint sauce of which I could have eaten a whole tray. Chef Rick Edge from Balboa Café brought his grilled street corn with garlic aioli, thankfully running back to the restaurant to get toothpicks. Beth’s Community Kitchen served mini brioche sandwiches, while Prabh Indian Kitchen’s plate felt like a meal with chicken tikka masala and naan.
The smaller purveyors brought ice creams, endless meringues and cookies for dessert. If a savory end is more your thing, Marin French Cheese Company’s brie or camembert with a touch of Arawak Farm’s Sweet Ginger Basil Pepper Sauce would have suited you nicely.
The weather was perfect, the band kept the atmosphere moving. I can’t wait to go back next year!