SALINAS >> There was wine. There was beer. There was food. There was live music.
The seventh annual Salinas Valley Food & Wine Festival was that and more Saturday in Oldtown Salinas.
Two blocks of Main Street, from the National Steinbeck Center to Alisal Street, were closed for the four-hour event. Some 250 volunteers helped put together this year’s event, which was sold out.
From noon to 4 p.m. ticketholders received a wrist band and a wine glass and access to pourings by 29 Monterey County wineries and 19 breweries. The food ranged from chocolate truffles from the Chocolate Dipper to wasabe flavored ahi tuna salads from BJ’s.
All that and a chance to visit the Salinas Farmer’s Market on West Gabilan Street as well.
Those who hadn’t been to Oldtown in while had a chance to check out some new businesses. Casona on Main, in the Taylor Building, sells furniture and décor from San Miguel de Inde, Mexico. There’s also a Starbucks in the building, and Portabello’s will soon open a new restaurant.
Salinas City Councilman Steve McShane, the festival founder, greeted guests at the Steinbeck Center.
“There’s more focus on food and wine this year,” McShane said.
“The goal,” said former festival chairman Frank Savino, has always been more wine, more experience.”
In the beginning, the festival was held in October during the grape crush. But wineries were too busy at that time, so the festival was moved to August.
“This is a community that buys Monterey County wines,” Savino said. “We’re very proud of the whole Salinas Valley. We have a lot of fun.”
The number of wineries in the…
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