Central Coast Pinot Noir All-Stars
Jim Clendenen and a bunch of friends (and colleagues, protégés, co-workers) will all contribute magnums (twelve total) to demonstrate the diversity and uniform excellence from our coastal region with the Arroyo Grande Valley in the north, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, Los Alamos Valley, and the spectacular Santa Rita Hills to the south.
The Traditional Sideways/Central Coast Tour
Four people will explore the places that began a new love story for an orphaned California grape. It is very hard to believe the highly acclaimed movie Sideways was released 10 years ago. Two years ago Frank Ostini and Jim Clendenen hosted the director of the film, Alexander Payne, with lead actors Paul Giamatti and Virginia Madsen, at Rancho La Cuna in Los Alamos for a great Santa Barbara charity for 120 guests.
The winning bidder will be able to stay for two nights at Rancho La Cuna and enjoy a special tranquility. The three bedroom, spacious ranch house has a magnificent living area and kitchen with stunning views. It is situated on a 100 acre property overlooking the valley and his vineyards. You will be invited to lunch, cooked for you by Jim along with his winery staff (and often other guests), at the winery set amongst the vines, along with a barrel tasting and tour. We will dine at Frank Ostini’s Hitching Post Restaurant where Sideways was filmed. We will drink wines made by Frank, a celebrated local talent, and have some selections of delicious, mature wine from Jim’s library.
One night Jim will cook dinner at the ranch with more interesting, special selections including wines grown at La Cuna. Tiny Los Alamos has developed a true food scene since the Sideways days. We have one of the best organic, wood-fired pizza parlors in California and one of the best bakeries, along with numerous farm to table operations of the highest quality—and one cowboy restaurant (worth a visit).
You will spend your free time visiting Sideways wineries and enjoying sexy L.A.’s food pleasures—Los Alamos, that is. It is a unique trip that I guarantee will be better now than ten years ago when the Sideways crew had Thanksgiving with Jim Clendenen while scouting locations. The area has come a long way.
Please arrange at least two months in advance. Transportation not included. To coordinate your stay, contact Katie at the winery at 805-937-9801 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just Wine – Blue Series
Au Bon Climat’s Blue Series is the highest achievement in Jim’s forty year winemaking career. Two of the four wines in the series, Isabelle and Knox Alexander, are named for his children. Isabelle Pinot Noir is a cult wine in Japan and the U.K. (earning Decanter Magazine’s five star recognition multiple times). Knox is one of the best-selling, moderately expensive Pinots in Sweden, a country that loves my son. Hildegard is the sommelier’s and collector’s dream. A delicious and complex wine when young that ages extraordinarily well. The Nuits-Blanches au Bouge Chardonnay is a luscious, rich, bright, nuanced style of Chardonnay that combines some of the oldest vines in California (44 years old at Bien Nacido Vineyards) with 19 year old, organically established, Dijon clones selected by Jim Clendenen.
With this lot Jim is offering the Art Museum:
One 3 liter each (equals 4 bottles) of the 2013 Blue Series wine:
Pinot Noir Isabelle
Pinot Noir Knox Alexander
Chardonnay Nuits-Blanches au Bouge
Along with a six pack of 750 bottles to open, enjoy, and assess to see when the 3 liters might be right to open for your special parties.
Three Fantastic Days in Nashville
Okay, a question: What is the hottest city in the country for food, music, and culture? Charleston? Maybe. Austin? Maybe. Right now I think it is Nashville.
Jim Clendenen has a special friend, noted wine expert and collector Tom Black, who agreed to host a wonderful visit to Nashville at his home for four people. King-size beds, separate rooms, and en suite baths included. Jim Clendenen will fly in and sleep on the floor to join in the fun and cohost the visit. We will have fiery fried chicken with Champagne and Grenache. Jim will cook dinner with grandiose wines from Tom’s cellar and some swill Jim sends in.
We will try some of the best restaurants in Nashville—Bistro 360 or Adele’s or 404—for example. Old traditional Nashville fun like Sportsman Lodge burgers and Haut Brion. Lots of music, museums, clubs in Nashville. Tom is good friends with many, many of the superstars of the Nashville music scene so I wouldn’t be surprised if some of our soirees are garnished with wonderful, talented guests. Try to buy this from AmEx!!
Includes lodging, meals, fabulous wines, insider knowledge, and indelible memories. Donation of Tom Black and his friend, Jim Clendenen.
Road Trip to Dayton, Ohio (donation of Pam and Keith Browning)
When did you last have compelling reasons to visit the south of the state of Ohio, unless you had kin there? Lots of great stuff in Dayton including museums, golf courses, and local culture. If you need it, Pam and Keith can organize it.
But the real reason you will make the pilgrimage, is for a dinner for eight cooked by Anne Kearney, who worked with Emeril Lagasse for years in NOLA and is now a star in Dayton. She will prepare a multi-course supper accompanied by some extravagant wines from the Browning cellar. Jim Clendenen will fly in for the dinner and contribute what he can. The Brownings are wonderful hosts, great friends, and have a comprehensive knowledge of food and wine. A special offering from special people.