All posts by christopher

Delicious Easter Brunch at Gravenstein Grill!

You know where I will be!  Enjoy a little bubbly from MY WINE LIST to pair with the amazing menu by Chef Bob SimontacchiMake your reservations by calling (707) 634-6142. (Then walk it off with a refreshing visit to Ragle Ranch, just down the road.)

Follow this LINK to view the special Easter Brunch menu!

Gravenstein Grill
8050 Bodega Ave
Sebastopol, California 95472

Enjoy Oodles of Petite Sirah on Sunday, March 18th!

P.S. I Love You!

Yes, YOU, but also Petite Sirah!  Next weekend on Sunday March 18th get ready for the P. S. I Love You event put on by the Petite Sirah Advocacy Organization at the Culinary Institute of America’s COPIA campus in Napa.

The Petite Masters class that I will be leading is already sold out and the tickets to the public tasting that will follow are moving fast. So get yours TICKETS asap!


Pill Head: The Official Trailer!

For those not in the know (yet), here is a trailer for the much anticipated artsploitation film by my friends Daedalus Howell and Karen Hess.  Read more about the project at the Pill Head: The Website.  Set for an early-fall release date!  Be sure to catch the suave fellow who portrays The Sommelier.  Keep posted here or at the Pill Head Facebook Page.

#pillheadmovie #artfilm #indiefilm

Attack of the Clones! Or WOPN Strikes Back on March 2-3

Will you be at World of Pinot Noir (WOPN) on March 2-3? If you will be at this Santa Barbara event then please be sure to sign up for my special Saturday seminar ATTACK OF THE CLONES!

A panel of winemakers and I will lead you during my fun and educational seminar. You will get to learn – and taste – the difference between many key Pinot Noir grape clones.  Panelists include:

  • Greg Morthole – Davis Bynum
  • Heidi Bridenhagen – MacRostie Winery & Vineyards
  • Ben Papapietro – Papapietro Perry Winery
  • Amy Thorn – Thorn Hill Vineyards
  • Ben Cane – Westwood Estate Winery

Get your tickets!

Listen Here! The KGO Interview from February 8th.

Here is a quick and easy way to listen to my short discussion on KGO 810AM at 5:30pm with Chip Franklin from February 8th!  Just kick back with cup of something warm and your device now to hear about the 2018 San Francisco Chronicle Competition results.

Cheers! Christopher

Aromatic White Wine Festival: February 24-25

Are you ready to #GoMendo?  Join me this weekend at the 13th Annual Aromatic White Wine Festival in Anderson Valley:  A celebration of Alsace  varietals from around the globe.   (Formerly known as the Alsace Festival).

It all begins Saturday morning, February 24, with Educational Sessions, then the afternoon Grand Tasting with over 100 aromatic white wines, perfectly paired with locally prepared small bites.  Followed by an evening Winemaker Dinner at Scharffenberger Cellars focused on locally sourced ingredients and perfectly paired with exquisite wines.  Sunday February 25 commences the Winery Open Houses, at participating tasting rooms.  See the list of wineries and purchase tickets HERE! 


Some fine examples of past #GoMendo adventures!


Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Gravenstein Grill!

An easy way to impress, make your reservations at Gravenstein Grill for this fabulous Pre-Fix Dinner for Valentines Day, next Wednesday, February 14th!  Reservation required so please call 707.634.6142:  Be sure to peruse the detailed menu options following!

Psst! If you cannot make it that night then plan to try Chef Simontacchi’s Signature Tasting Menu on any weeknight for $30 featuring signature & seasonal dishes using local ingredients. (See delicious examples way below!)

Valentine’s Day Menu

A morsel from Chef Simontacchi to whet your appetite

Soup or Salad Choices
Organic Local Mixed Baby Lettuce Salad with Pt. Reyes Blue Cheese Vinaigrette, Orange Segments, Almonds
Lobster Bisque with Meyer Lemon Creme Fraiche

Appetizer Choices
Dungeness Crab Salad with Grapefruit & Avocado
Braised Wild Mushrooms with Creamy Mascarpone & Chive Polenta
Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna with Soba Noodle Salad & Citrus Soy Broth

Main Course Choices
Grilled Filet Mignon with Asparagus, Potato Gratin & Chimichurri Sauce
Swiss Chard, Caramelized Shallot & Pine Nut Ravioli with Meyer Lemon & Bellwether Farm’s Ricotta Buerre Blanc, Fennel Pollen
Seared Dayboat Scallop Saffron Risotto with Smoked Tomato Coulis

Assortment of Mini-Cookies
from Pastry Chef Hannah Meeker

5:00pm – 9:30pm
$65/person + Tax & Gratuity


February 8th: Sawyer Radio-rama on KGO & KXSF!

I will be making the rounds via airwaves to discuss the results of the 2018 San Francisco Chronicle Competition.  So on Thursday February 8th, set your tuner for the following:

  • KGO 810AM at 5:30pm with Chip Franklin
  • KXSF (SFCR) 102.5 FM at 7pm with Steve King
  • Or follow the links to listen online

To followup, the list of big winners will be posted in the Sunday issue of the San Francisco Chronicle on Feb 11 and the Grand Tasting of the winners will happen on Sunday, Feb 18.  It is a great Valentine Day Weekend gift idea! Info is available at