Sunday, October 23, 2005

Loose Goose Wine Festival - Valencia, California

So, last weekend we decided to check out the Loose Goose Wine Festival in Valencia, California. There were close to 100 wineries at the festival and the $99 two-day pass allowed you complimentary tastings at all their booths. We got a room at the local Hyatt for about half-price through Priceline. The Hyatt was rather new and very nice. No complaints there, except the room service grilled cheese wasn't actually grilled, more like toast with cheese in between.

This was the first year for the Loose Goose Fest so we weren't sure what to expect. One of the best things they did was to run a shuttle from the center of Valencia and all the local hotels back and forth to the festival. Smart move to help prevent drunks from driving around town after multiple wine tastings! The first day, we really jumped in a bit too quick with no sense of moderation. The wine was tasting good and going down fast! I believe we visited the booths of about sixteen wineries that day, tasting a lot of wines (yikes!). We were making notes about the wines for future reference, although they became somewhat unintelligible as the day went on.

I vaguely remember the festival winding down and the next thing I know I woke up hungry in the hotel room around 10 at night. I do know that I got really sick once we were back in the hotel room. Okay, lesson learned here.... pace yourself at wine festivals and eat something before you start tasting!!

The next day I slept in (imagine that) while B went to the sportsbar across the street to catch a football game. The hotel was nice enough to give us a late check out so that we didn't have to leave until after the game. We checked out and went back to the festival to try a few more wines that we were interested in, which we hadn't gotten to the first day. I can't believe I actually drank more wine, but I was much better about moderating the pace a bit this time.

Overall, I thought the festival had a nice setup in the local park. I have to give them props for the shuttle vans and the nicest portable restrooms ever! The band was okay but a bit cheesy, the food was almost non-existent, and the selection of wineries was not as upscale as we would have preferred for the $99 entry fee. There were a few wines that we really liked, such as Silkwood, Markum, and some of the French wines, but overall they seemed to be catering to the low-price California wineries. I also think that some of the wineries did a poor job of educating the volunteers that were pouring their wines. It's frustrating when the pourer can't even tell you what region the grapes are from or what the price is for a particular wine.

Given the proximity of the festival to our hometown, we found this to be a fun weekend getaway that allowed us to learn about a some new wines that we can purchase locally. Hopefully, they will work out the kinks next year. I think they did a pretty good job considering it was the first year they put on this festival. Next year, I'm hoping to see some more food and some nicer wines and I'll be sure to pace myself better!

4 Comments:

Blogger Amon said...

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