Category Archives: Food

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

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


The Robb Report: Sawyer’s wine pick with lamb!

Failla winemaker Ehren Jordan with our friend Mark Freund.
Failla winemaker Ehren Jordan with our friend Mark Freund.

This just in! SawyerSomm lamb and wine pairing featured in the Robb Report. Check out my selection below and see all the featured wines in the article 5 Wines to Pair with Lamb. Happy holidays and enjoy all those delicious meals (with good wine, of course)!

Failla 2015 Syrah Hudson Vineyard

The 2015 Syrah Hudson Vineyard ($56), a new release from Failla’s gifted winemaker Ehren Jordan, hails from the celebrated Hudson Vineyard in Carneros, an appellation that will celebrate its 35-year anniversary in 2018. Fittingly, before becoming a prominent winegrowing region, this area between Napa and Sonoma was well known for the young lambs that frolicked in the pastures. “Lofty scents of dark fruits, fresh violets, and roasted meats lead to concentrated flavors of dark cherry, wild berry, fresh truffle, black olives and layers of spice,” says Chris Sawyer, sommelier at Gravenstein Grill and founder of “It’s got fabulous texture, and a deep, rich, and rewarding finish that is a perfect match for lamb.”

Dec 2nd: Pairings for the Senses Returns!

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.

Chef Bryan Jones in the kitchen at St. Francis Winery & Vineyards.
Chef Bryan Jones in the kitchen at St. Francis Winery & Vineyards.

Get your TICKETS 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

Fire Relief Fundraiser! November 10th at Gravenstein Grill


Another fabulous way to support your community! Join me and Ziggy the Wine Gal at this Superstar event to raise funds for the North Bay Fire Relief, an incredible effort to help our neighbors rise from the ashes.

Gravenstein Grill
8050 Bodega Avenue Sebastopl, CA 95472
6pm to close
$100 suggested donation

There will be an amazing selection of wines, many from Russian River Winegrowers and the Coffey Park areas, being poured and up for auction!  Cocktails and appetizers to enjoy while perusing the silent auction, then get ready for live bidding at 7pm.

Reserve your space at
(707)-634-6142 or 

Napa Valley Film Festival: November 8-12

It’s not just for movies anymore!  NVFF is the ultimate celebration of film, food and wine, throughout the vibrant Napa Valley. Attendees enjoy cooking demonstrations, afternoon wine tastings, winemaker dinners and more, as well as an amazing selection of films!

This year the Caldwell Vineyards Maverick Tribute will be given to Will Ferrell.

The new Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch Humanitarian Tribute will be presented to actors Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder of the Ian Somerhalder Foundation.

Other actors receiving recognition in 2017 are Nancy Meyers (“It’s Complicated,” “The Intern”), Michael Shannon (“The Shape of Water,” “The Current War”), and Michael Stuhlbarg (“Call Me By Your Name,” “The Shape of Water”) at various scheduled events.

Hope to see you there! Christopher

Pairings for the Senses: Wine, Poetry, Food & Art!

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,
Tomas Moniz
 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

ARTDavid 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

October 7th: A Biodynamic Farm-to-Table Feast!

Experience this fundraiser at DeLoach Vineyards for Demeter USA and their critically important Biodynamic Farmer Education Initiative, including both silent and very live auction items: To feature incredible Biodynamic wines, products, and experiences. Live music by Sonoma County’s favorite band the Cahoots, playing their own blend of “Sonomacana” country blues and rockabilly. And of course featuring the award wines of DeLoach Vineyards, Buena Vista Winery, and Raymond Vineyards.  RSVP online!

The Demeter Biodynamic Education Initiative supports the education of farmers and others to expand the practice of Biodynamic agriculture, and the production of Biodynamic food and wine, across the country. Last year, Demeter increased Biodynamic acreage by more than 16% to 22,000 acres, advised more than 350 farmers and brands, and hosted 20 farmer workshops that provided Biodynamic training for 1,155 farmers. Your support of this work is vitally important for the quality of our farms, our food, and our planet. Thank you for joining with Boisset and Demeter in our vision to help heal the planet through agriculture.