Grand Wine Tasting draws big crowd

KING CITY — Once again the Salinas Valley Fair Grand Wine Tasting attracted a big crowd to the opening day of the 73rd Annual Fair on May 18.

Wine tasters enjoyed wine poured by volunteers and wine that had been part of the Monterey International Wine Competition in March. Among the volunteers pouring wine were Kathy and Doug Dean.

“Many years ago we started working as volunteers for the judging competition,” Kathy said.

The Deans now live in the Sacramento area. Kathy poured the platinum wines during the Grand Wine Tasting.

“It’s a chance to meet a lot of very nice local people here,” Doug said. “It’s just a chance to try out some new wines and share it with other people.”

Sampling wines with her friends was Melissa Piini.

“I work in the wine industry and I’m fascinated by the whole industry so I wanted to come and try the different areas of wines,” Piini said. “I also wanted to see the different wines we have in the county.”

Appetizers and snacks were also part of the evening, including cheese trays, vegetables, sandwich bites made by Rosa Pacheco and much more.

The Grand Wine Tasting volunteers usually enjoy participating in the Monterey International Wine Competition and the Wine Tasting so much that they keep coming back year after year like Bill Hunt.

“I was once the cellar master for this competition, 20 to 25 years ago,” Hunt said. “Since that time I’ve retired because the cases got too heavy to lift. Every once in a while they ask me to come back and pour wine at the fair.”

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