Category Archives: Food

The Varietal Show Has A Seat At Catelli’s Restaurant

Join me for a trek up to the classic Geyserville landmark restaurant for a socially-distanced chat with my friend Domenica Catelli! The Varietal Show sits in their outdoor patio to discuss delicious cuisine and the variety of tasty new Italian-style dishes in this quaint berg.

Check it out here and remember to hit LIKESHARE, and FOLLOW my channel for more exciting weekly episodes on Tuesdays at 12:30pm!

The Varietal Show With Sawyer Somm Visite Avec Le Comptoir!

Craving something Tres Français? Check out this episode of The Varietal Show with Chef Stephen Bouillez of Le Comptoir in San Rafael, to satiate your desires, then plan a pick-up to try their delicious samplings of food & wine!

And, if you can, help the cause to keep them going during the pandemic at the Le Comptoir Go Fund Me site.Merci beaucoup!

Please LIKESHARE the AMOUR, and FOLLOW my channel for more exciting weekly episodes on Tuesdays at 12:30pm!

Pizza At Paradise Ridge Is A LOVEly Combination!

Stopped by Paradise Ridge Winery for a work related errand, and just happened onto this spectacular virtual event, which also featured chef Duskie Estes, owner of Black Piglet Food Truck! WATCH IT HERE!!!

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Outdoor Dining & Take-Out at Gravenstein Grill starts on Wednesday June 3rd!

After long anticipation, given the recent easing of SIP restrictions, it is time to announce that Gravenstein Grill is reopening their Patio as well as beginning Take-Out for dining beginning Wednesday, June 3rd!

While the menu and hours will be slightly limited, they are making sure to bring back everyone’s favorite dishes ASAP! Chef Bob Simontacchi has been hard at work in the kitchen, working on fantastic seasonal dishes featuring ingredients from their amazing local farm partners. Be sure to select a little something from my sip-tacular wine list, and get a little preview here of the OPENING MENU!

New hours will be Wednesday-Sunday, 11:30am-8:30pm (with an hour break between 3pm-4pm), in hopes that if Sonoma County stays safe and continues to show positive signs of recovery, that hours and menu can be expanded as soon as it is safe to do so.

Reservations are highly recommended!

Gravenstein Grill is fortunate in that they have a large open patio where people can dine in the fresh air of West Sonoma County, at 8050 Bodega Ave, Sebastopol. They are also debuting online ordering beginning June 3rd, at www.gravensteingrill.com. You will be able to pre-pay, and pick up the food with minimal interaction.

Cheers & Bon Appetit! Christopher

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The Stellar 2020 Wine Wednesday Guest List Continues at Gravenstein Grill!

Donald Patz will be pouring his wines on Wednesday February 26th!
Donald Patz will be pouring his wines on Wednesday February 26th!

As springtime quickly arrives we have a great way to enjoy the approaching change in seasons. Come to Gravenstein Grill, at 8050 Bodega Ave in Sebastopol, to try a different winery every week, in the Bartlett Bar from 5:30-7pm!  Wine Wednesday is an excellent opportunity to enjoy a complementary tasting with a local wine producer.

Start your explorations on the last week of February with a triple winery feature from our next guest!


February 26: Donald Patz Wine Group

-Maritana Vineyards
-Terminim Wines
-Secret Door Winery

March 4: Trecini Winery
March 11: Emeritus Vineyards

CANCELLED! No Wine Wednesday the next 2 weeks.

March 18 rescheduled: Copain Wines now June 10
March 25 rescheduled: Acorn Winery now June 17

April 1 : Cancelled

Celebration postponed until Gravenstein Grill reopens!

Special Sparkling Celebration! with Paula Kornell Sparkling Wine & Gloria Ferrer

 

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CHEERS! Christopher

Positive vibes from the Super Bowl and Miami Food & Wine Culture

Although it’s hard to believe: When Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami came to an end, everyone came out a winner. In the case of the Kansas City Chiefs, their dramatic 31-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers marked the team’s first Super Bowl win in 50 years. And, despite the disappointing loss to wine country locals, the game also capped off an amazing season for the 49ers: a young, talented team which made the miraculous transformation from a 4-12 record in 2018 to a 13-3 mark this past year, coupled with two convincing wins in the playoffs, which earned them the opportunity to compete for the coveted Vince Lombardi trophy on the 100-year anniversary of the NFL.

Beyond the players, the other big winners were the 49er Faithful, as well fans from the Chief’s Kingdom, and the over 6,000 members of the media attending the game on February 2, who also had special opportunities to explore the fabulous food and wine culture that has blossomed in the greater Miami area since the Niners won their last Super Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in 1995.

I am happy to say, I have been following the delicious wave of new culinary delights since I began judging the American Fine Wine Competition, which takes place every January at the Chaplin Center for Hospitality, on the campus of Florida International University in North Miami. To make this year more special, I got a taste of what 49er and Chiefs fans could expect with my fellow wine pals Charlie Arturola, Jacqueline Coleman, Peg San Felippo, Roberto Columbia, Wendy Rosano, Stu Nudelman, Henry Escobar and other judges attending the AFWC’s 13th Annual One Thousand Bottles: Sipping Through America, a special gathering held at the Chaplin Center on the FIU campus exactly two weeks before the kick-off of Super Bowl LIV.

In a nutshell: this fabulous event gives consumers, sommeliers, retailers, wine pros, and members of the media a rare opportunity to taste the top wines we judged earlier in the day, while sampling exquisite delicacies prepared by South Florida’s best restaurants and food purveyors, as well as newly released wines being poured by special guests from West Coast wineries. As an extra touch of class, proceeds from the get-together are donated to charity. And since 2007, AFWC has raised more than $1,000,000 for these local charities, including the Miami Dolphinsadmirable collaboration with the Tackle Cancer organization.

Standout bites at this year’s event included: a stunning array of fresh seafood delights from Krudo; a lobster sandwich on top of a purple Peruvian potato from The Blue at the Boca Resort; juicy, tender and smoky morsels from Nature’s Cut Organic & Grass Feed Beef, which raised in Uruguay and imported to Miami; and a very Pinot-friendly mushroom crudité from star Chef Stefano LaCava, who prepared the fantastic judges dinner the night before.

These and more tasty offerings provided by Cvltvra Restaurant, Ortanique, The Crepe Maker, Cooper’s Hawk, Nature’s Cut, Gatsby’s Joint, A Flair For Fudge and El Brazo Fuerte Bakery were also paired with delicious wines poured by our friends from DAOU Family Estates, Trujillo Wines, Hagafen Cellars, Kestrel Vintners, Staura Cellars, A. Torano Family Vineyards, Yount Ridge, Shadowbox Cellars and Bricoleur Vineyards during the event.

As the fun continued, I was able to savor more fine wines with Napa Valley vintners Chris and Shannon Hyde of Hyde Estate, Mike Henry from Acre Wine, FIU-grad Stephanie Honig of Honig Vineyards and Winery, as well as my other great pals Ali Nemo and Andy Du Vigneaud of Bee Hunter Wines of Anderson Valley. All this, while watching the 49ers punch their way to Super Bowl LIV with their convincing NFC Championship victory over the Green Bay Packers, which was broadcast on monitors in the Chaplin Center.

The following day, we judged the final rounds of the competition, which culminated with the sweepstakes round that matched the Best of Class wines in a head-to-head showdown in each category. Here are the big winners at the AFWC 2020:

  • Sparkling Wine: Mumm Napa NV Brut Prestige, Napa Valley
  • White Wine: Castello di Amarosa 2018 Gewurztraminer, Anderson Valley
  • Red Wine: Papapietro Perry 2016 Pinot Noir, Pommard Clone, Russian River Valley
  • Sweet Wine: Ferrante 2017 Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, Grand River Valley, OH

The full details on all the Double Gold, Gold and Silver medal winners will be listed on the American Fine Wine Competition website soon.  Coming soon, look for my story about two special restaurants I visited during my visit to Miami in mid-January!

A New Year of Wine Wednesdays at Gravenstein Grill in Sebastopol!

Happy New Year to all you wine connoisseurs out there!  Here is an invitation to a try tasting something novel every Wednesday of 2020 as a most splendid resolution.

To get started trek on over to Gravenstein Grill in Sebastopol (8050 Bodega Ave) for a Wine Wednesday tasting!  It is weekly in the Bartlett Bar from 5:30-7pm, an excellent opportunity to enjoy a free wine tasting with a local wine producer.

Warm up with these upcoming guest wineries this Winter!
January 22:  Pedroncelli Winery
January 29:  Bacigalupi Vineyards
February 5:  Talisman Wines
February 12:  Shane Wines
February 19:  Miro Cellars
February 26:  Donald Patz Wine Group

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Top to Bottom: Pedroncelli on Jan 22; Shane Wines on Feb 12; Maritana Vineyard on Feb 26; Talisman (top two) on Feb 5; Miro Cellars on Feb 19 & Bacigalupi Vineyards on Jan 29!