Last Saturday in the summer rain, Karen Olsen hosted her annual Metropolitan Food & Wine Festival at the restaurant. With Francis Fecteau's (Libation) assistance, she gathered together a select group of reps and winemakers from California wineries who poured tastings paired with food from Metropolitan's kitchen. Plus, one guest chef: Jennifer Gilroy from Meditrina served butter-poached salmon on buckwheat cakes to go with Susie Selby's chardonnay. (How cool to see that kind of culinary cooperation!) Many of the wines were familiar faces (and tastes) from previous Metropolitan events-Jeriko's pinot noir, Saracina's Atrea's The Choir and selections from Honig, for example.

But one was news to me, and it's one we all need to remember, because of the tagline it uses-America's Value Winery. wines from Waterbrook Winery (based in Walla Walla, Washington) have received scores in the 90s from Wine Spectator, Wine Advocate, Wine & Spirits and Wine Enthusiast, but sell for between twelve and twenty bucks. Can't. Beat. That.

In the pic, I'm bellying up for another taste of the Reserve Merlot.