The Pineapple-Kiwi Combination: Maui Food and Wine Festival Plays Host to Mt. Beautiful Winery

A pineapple-kiwi convergence may sound like the commencement of a smoothie expedition. In this post, however, it is a far more delightful (and a touch inebriating) sojourn to the shores of Maui with one of New Zealand’s great wineries. A tropical vinous adventure packed with sunshine, wine and, most assuredly, a modicum of frivolity. 

Okay, I admit, this post isn’t entirely new. I would characterize it more as an amended and restated post -- new and improved! -- from an earlier bargain Pinot Noir featuring Mt. Beautiful Winery. That post is no longer active so I was patiently perusing other opportunities to revisit this tremendous winery and recommend a few tasty food pairings for its wines that are available locally in Honolulu. I discovered the perfect occasion in the Winery’s event travel itinerary...

The Kiwis are coming, the Kiwis are coming! The Island of Maui plays host to Mt. Beautiful Winery, among other notable vineyards, at the Kapalua Food and Wine Festival on June 7-10. A chance to highlight one of my favorite New Zealand wineries and a Maui food and wine festival all in one post? I will cheerfully take that deal.

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The Food and Wine Convergence: Chefs and Somms Meet for Hawaii’s Biggest Annual Food and Wine Festival

Does your ideal vacation entail sipping wine on the tropical shores of a beautiful Pacific Island, with picturesque scenery and world-class cuisine? Hawaii may have just the festival for you. The Hawai‘i Food and Wine Festival, now in its seventh year, is a preeminent epicurean destination event definitely worth exploration. Celebrity chefs, prestigious vineyards and skillful mixologists collide in a melange of flavor and excitement. This is unequivocally the most impressive and renowned food and wine event in the state.

Given the festival’s prodigious reputation, it is difficult to fathom that nearly a decade ago Hawaii did not have a major wine event. A small band of food professionals and enthusiasts, including local celebrity chefs Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, sought to remedy those unfortunate circumstances. The result is a festival spanning three islands and featuring over 100 esteemed master chefs, culinary personalities, and wine producers in an accord of culinary traditions and experiences that are certain to impress any palate. With significant support and momentum, the festival now dazzles attendees at some of the most beautiful locations Hawaii has to offer. Luxury and style meet for the ultimate food and wine experience.

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The Eggnog-Malasadas Amalgamation: A Match Made in Paradise

Christmastime is here. Chaos has commenced. While there is a dollop of happiness and cheer, most of us experience anxiety levels rise to troublesome levels. Malls are gridlocked with frantic patrons finalizing their holiday lists. Christmas pageants, school recitals and office parties fill an already brimming schedule. Family gatherings are ... well ... filled with family. Feuds are foreordained.

In a season indelibly marked with stress and busyness, we can all relate at times to Charlie Brown's holiday melancholy monologues. But we have an effective countermeasure that poor Charlie Brown did not: alcohol.

This season, assuage the holiday anxiety with a remedy of equal potency. Crack a few eggs, break out the liquor, and mix up a batch of the quintessential Christmas beverage: eggnog. Looking for a pairing partner for your nog? Hawaii has the perfect sweet companion. So grab a glass and read on!

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Finding the Mele in Kalikimaka: Hawaiian Christmas Music and Wine Pairings

Thanksgiving is officially in the books and the Christmas madness is in high gear. In every store and street corner, one must fight the bevy of busy patrons procuring their holiday treats, trees and trinkets. Stressed and overwhelmed? My reliable method of relaxation during this bustling holiday season is the strategic alliance of a refreshing vinous beverage and festive Christmas tunes.

In this post, I briefly ponder the fascinating musical heritage of Hawaii, while recommending a few wine and Christmas album pairings that will help you to celebrate the season in [Hawaiian] style. Fear not; we have many more options from which to choose than Mele Kalikimaka.

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The Ho-Lee Alliance: Ho Farms and The Pig & the Lady Present a New Farm-to-Table Paradigm

The Pig & the Lady, located in Honolulu’s Chinatown district, has developed a steadfast following for its unique Vietnamese-inspired menu, whimsical personality and family narrative. Chef de cuisine Keaka Lee has elevated the original concept with elegant fusion dishes that emphasize local ingredients and fresh, vibrant flavors. Keaka’s style focuses on a seasonal menu that highlights the restaurant’s affiliations with the community. For Keaka, strong relationships between chefs and farmers are central to achieving a sustainable, effective local food network. Chefs and farmers partner to provide a complete farm-to-table culinary experience. 

This symbiotic relationship was on display when The Pig & the Lady joined forces with Ho Farms, a family farm located on Oahu’s North Shore, to host a collaborative six-course farm-to-table dinner with wine pairings designed to stimulate conversations about food, community and culture. Sounds informatively tasty.

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Old World vs New World: The Vinous Deductive Challenge, Revisited

Last week, I provided a rudimentary Guide to Blind Wine Tasting. Taste, hypothesize, repeat. This newfound knowledge was immediately put to the test in a blind wine tasting event for the Friends of Italy Society of Hawaii. Italians unrelentingly boast of their wines as unsurpassed anywhere in the world. They are confident, but are they correct? Time to determine whether they can blindly discern the difference in a crowded and diverse lineup. Challenge presented ...

The event commenced with a few elementary tasting tips, followed by a blind tasting of six wines - three Old World Italian and three New World. Those New World newbies couldn’t possibly keep pace with the refined, elegant wines of Italy. Could they? The patrons, as laudable arbitrators, held the final verdict. Would their vinous paesani blindly prevail?

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