Sabor de Baja 2015 Is Another Success

Althouogh it was hotter than hell, it was sold out. Tents next year. That’s a must
BY: REN DRAKE HILL

Bo Bendana and Dennis Sein, owners of Mi Casa Supper Club, pulled off another successful finale to summer. Participanting restaurants in the Sabor de Baja event were set up and ready for the sold out crowd and they were enthusiastic in describing their offerings.   The event was hotter than last year…and we’re not just talking about the weather. 300 white-attired guests wined and dined on the talented concoctions of 20 chefs from 20 wineries/breweries.

Sabor de Baja was a sell out, even though everyone had to sit out in the sun the entire afternoonThis year’s judges were TV host, chef, and author Porter Brooks; author and food blogger Anita Lau; Michelin-star chef and restauranteur Drew Deckman; food blogger Michael Gardiner, and an enologist (wine guy,) from Valle de Guadalupe, Marco Antonio Amador.

First Place was awarded to Sabor first-timer Latitude 32 and chef Mareos Martin for his Mayan black ceviche, made with recada negro, habanero oil, red onion and cilantro. The paired wine was Cassiopea 2014 Sauvignon Blanc from Vinos el Cielo.

Second place was given to Savieros’ chef Brito and his Risotto in wine sauce with sundried tomatoes and crispy deep-fried lamb chicharon. Vincola Regional de Ensenadas provided the 2014 Nebiollo surcorojo/cabernet blend pairing.

Third place went to La Caza Club and Chef Aviles with his sautéed pig’s collar taco, with arugula, fig, goat cheese and almonds. Cerveza Insurgentes’ Tiniebla Witbeer, brewed with coriander and orange peel (available in TJ and SD) was a brilliant pairing.

The People’s Choice was awarded to Navio and Chef Rodriguez with a sublime Bluefin tuna tostada, paired with Legado Seis’ 2014 Sauvignon Blanc.

I found it harder to judge wines against one another this year as so many were blends of two to five grape varieties. I’m a conservative imbiber (not that I’m voting for Carly Fiorina), but I drink less than one bottle of wine per week. Pairing 15 to 20 wines (and beer) is 7 to 10 glasses of wine, or one glass for every three or four bites of food. This could have been a recipe for disaster; the hottest day of the summer, with no shade, and four hours of all-the-wine-one-can-drink,before we all drive home.

They might think about shade tents…white tents, to keep with the theme. Guests shouldn’t be toppling over before the fourth booth.

This year tickets sold out three weeks before the event. If you missed out (or even if you didn’t) the 2016 Sabor de Baja and White Attire Party will be August 31, so mark your calendars for early ticket purchase now. If you haven’t attended, you are missing out on the social event of the year.