Here is your second chance to experience the best of art, poetry, food, and wine all in one place! Pairings for the Senses is a Sonoma Valley Museum of Art concept inspired by the long-running event Flight of Poets, organized by Bay Area poets Hollie Hardy and Tess Taylor, and myself (Sonoma Sommelier Christopher Sawyer), where live poetry readings are paired with the perfect Sonoma County wines.
Get yourTICKETS to join us Saturday December 2nd, 5:30-7:30: I will be the MC for the evening, with another amazing line up of Poets, Chefs, and Vintners sharing how it all comes together in a set of dynamic pairings to delight all our senses.
The POETS: Introduction by Tess Taylor, Hollie Hardy, Iris Jamahl Dunkle, Tongo Eisen-Martin
The CHEFS & WINES: Armando Navarro of El Dorado Kitchen, Bryan Jones of St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, Carlo Cavallo of B&V Whiskey Bar and Grille, Jeff Tyler of Palooza Gastropub, Muscardini Cellars, Gloria Ferrer, La Rochelle Winery
Top to bottom: Poet Iris Jamahl Dunkle, Muscardini Cellars selection: Chef Armando Navarro preps at EDK (PD photo); Gorgeous view of La Rochelle Winery
The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art is thrilled to announce our Fall 2017 season of Pairings for the Senses. I will be your MC for the evening festivities, introducing our visiting poets, vintners, and chefs, and talking with the audience about how each taste component complements one another and pairs with the selected artwork.
November 4, 5:30-7:30pm POETS: Introduction by Hollie Hardy, Tess Taylor, Bruce Snider,
CHEFS: Sheana Davis–The Epicurean Connection, Ed Metcalfe–Shiso Modern Asian Kitchen, David Bush–Oso Sonoma, Matthew Nagan–Schellville Grill
WINERIES: Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards, Anaba Wines, Jeff Cohn Cellars, and Gundlach Bundschu Winery
ART: David Ligare: Magna Fide (The Great Belief) and Forge and Stone: Contemporary California Women Sculptors
Don’t wait to purchase tickets—seating is limited to just 75 people each night. Tickets (per night): $35 SVMA members and $40 general public
It is time for the Vampyre Sommelier to make his seasonal appearance! He has been keeping busy this year, with a jaunt in Pill Head, an upcoming Artsploitation film with some of the same folks. Scroll down to see the V.S. in action!
Some of you know I have had film cameos and numerous interviews throughout the digital and audio realms. Well Pill Head is my newest adventure, making my big screen debut as The Sommelier in the new feature film being made by our friends Karen Hess and Daedalus Howell. Not so much of a stretch theatrically for me but more a case of perfect casting! Filming begins September 30th, so please contribute toward the production with plans to witness the final product in the near future: http://igg.me/at/pillhead
The Pill Head kick-off reception last month at La Dolce Vita Wine Lounge in Petaluma was a hoot, and yielded a spirited original interview with Writer-Director Daedalus and Assistant Director Ben Staub. Enjoy this discussion as a primer for what may (or may not be) to come!
(originally aired on The Morning Show, KSVY, 91.3 FM, Sonoma)
Join all-star chefs as they prepare creative pairings with art:
Saul Gropman of Cafe La Haye
Sondra Bernstein of the girl and the fig
Andrew Wilson of Carneros Bistro and Wine Bar
Ed Metcalfe of Shiso Modern Asian Kitchen
Carlo-Alessandro Cavallo of B&V Whiskey Bar and Grille
The first will be this Sunday October 16th, Art+POETRY+Wine, where poets Indigo Moor, Dean Rader, Brynn Saito, and Tess Taylor will each read a selection of their poetry inspired by art in the Pairings exhibition. Sonoma County wines, selected by myself, complement each poem/art pair.
Mark your calendars and stay tuned for details about Art+MUSIC+Wine on November 5, and Art+FOOD+Wine on December 3.
At Christmas, Santa comes in so many different forms. Besides supposedly working with reindeer and elves, sometimes he’s simply the nice person that opens the door for you when you’re shopping or the fun wine pro who tips you off on a flavorful new wine in a tasting room. Or, if you are very lucky, the person that fixes you an amazing dish that far exceeds your expectations. In short, hospitality, fine wines, and tasty cooking are an easy route to thrills and memories during the holidays and the winter months leading into the New Year.
I bring this subject up because of my recent encounter with my old friend Chef Bob Blumer, who lit up the countdown to the holidays with a special dinner he designed for friends and wine lovers at Jessup Cellars in Yountville.
Gastronaut Bob’s other name is the The Surreal Gourmet, an admirable title he’s earned via the artistic styles of food he’s been creating since he broke into the national scene in the early 1990s. Since then, Bob has gone on to become a master of molecular gastronomy; star in shows on Food Network; publish books; and do live cooking demonstrations at big events around the globe.
If that wasn’t cool enough, in 2010 Bob broke two memorable world records. The first was the Guinness World Record for removing grains of rice from a bowl with chopsticks (134 grains in 3 minutes in Taiwan).
The second was the fastest time for peeling of 50 pounds of onions at the Walla Walla Sweet Onion Festival in Washington, with a record time of 2 minutes and 39 seconds.
Although he was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, he now calls Los Angeles his home. Along the way, I was lucky enough to work with Bob and wine PR guru Joel Quigley worked for the Wine Brats organization and mythical cult magazine Wine X over a ten year period starting in the mid-1990s. What I learned is that Bob is more than a chef. Instead, he’s an artist who is willing to push the boundaries of how to prepare dishes and attract the attention of the soon-to-be eaters with his amazing presentations.
At the recent dinner at Jessup Cellars, Bob showed his skills by creating a masterful menu that was paired with their new releases. Highlights of the special Tastemakers Dinner included:
– The classic Shrimp-on-the-Barbie, which included spicy grilled marinated prawns served via Barbie dolls on the plate; a tangy dipping sauce; and sips of the charming aromatic gem, Jessup Cellars 2014 Viognier.
– Cracker Jacks Soup made with variations of corn (including popcorn) and a great pairing with the extremely balanced 2013 Jessup Cellars Chardonnay.
– Duck Sno-Cones, a lovely combination of Duck with fresh herbs and spices. As seen, paired with 2012 Manny’s Blend, a dynamic cepage of old vine Zinfandel planted by Robert Mondavi in 1972 and a smaller portion of Petite Sirah. Jammy flavors and a long engaging finish. Yum!
– Life is a Box of Chocolates paired with the 2011 Juel, a Bordeaux style blend with lively notes of wild berries, tobacco, and fresh sage.
– The finishing touches were the Caramelized Pear and Walnut Pizza, a great recipe from B, paired with the stately 2009 Jessup Cellars Zinfandel Port.
Across the board, each dish was paired perfectly with the wines crafted by Executive Winemaker Rob Lloyd, who also makes the Handwritten and Humanitas wines that are also part of The Good Life Wine Collective.
Although the seating for the dinner was very limited, the great thing is that Bob can come to your house on a daily basis if you buy his great books and share these festive styles of food with friends and family throughout the year. Great last-minute presents too! Visit www.bobblumer.com to find out more about his books available online.
In the meantime, if you are in the Napa Valley area during the holidays or the New Year, don’t forget to stop by Jessup Cellars to taste all the fabulous wines they make!
Jessup Cellars Tasting Room
6740 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599