Matador! An Introduction to Anta Banderas Winery with owner Antonio Banderas
Friday was the Wine Spectator Trade Tasting, a sneak peek at the Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting Village. The Village runs for blocks along the beach and offers samples of every food, wine, and spirit imaginable. We sampled Skinny Girl Cocktails, Bethenny Frankel’s low-calorie line of drinks, the popular White Cranberry Cosmo, and Q Dream, another low-calorie spirit that offers two creamy blends.
A mini rendition of The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Vegas offered Bloody Marys and a comfortable lounge out of the sun. In addition to keeping everyone hydrated, Fiji Water had a fun booth with fortune tellers and warm donuts to-go.
It was a good idea to carbo-load before heading to Matador! An Introduction to Anta Banderas Winery with owner Antonio Banderas. The crowd swooned as Banderas told jokes and answered questions, but the focus was his new Spanish winery. The winemakers led the crowd through tastings, with the 2004 Ante Banderas A de Anta receiving the most accolades.
The Amstel Light Burger Bash hosted by Rachael Ray was a feast of beef (with a little lamb and a lot of pork). Chef Michael Symon won his third straight people’s choice contest award with his Porky Burger, a pork and bacon patty topped with pulled pork and slaw.
Abe & Arthur's burger and truffle fries
Guy Fieri won the best dressed award with his Straight-up with a Pig Patty burger, but it was his salted Jack Daniels whisky caramel shake that really had the crowd talking. The judges’ favorite was by chef Brendan B. Connor of Whisk, who put together a loaded bacon Swiss burger with buttermilk-marinated shallots.
Honorable mention goes to the Crème de Cassis milk shake from Good Stuff Eatery; the unusually delicious burger from NoMi Kitchen; Abe & Arthur’s truffle fries; and the frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity 3.
The night ended on the rooftop of 1111 Lincoln Road with Party Impossible, hosted by Robert Irvine. With a buffet of food, decadent desserts, and plenty to drink, it was quite an event. The sold-out group couldn’t get enough of the colossal shrimp, Cookies by Shar, and chocolate peanut butter cakes from Ready, Set Cupcake!