Category Archives: Food

Flambeaux Wine On THE VARIETAL SHOW Is Tres Fabuleux!

In the northern regions of Sonoma County lies the Dry Creek Valley AVA, where Flambeaux Wine is located, not far from the idyllic town of Healdsburg. THE VARIETAL SHOW joins proprietor Art Murray and winemaker Ryan Prichard for a discussion of New Orleans roots, culinary connections and to taste some mighty fine wines!

  • Flambeaux 2020 Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast
  • Flambeaux 2020 Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley
  • Flambeaux 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley

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Getting Todo Un Poco On THE VARIETAL SHOW!

Be forewarned, this episode will make you hungry! Todo Un Poco is the creation of Chef & Sommelier Maria Mertz; THE VARIETAL SHOW visits this amazingly unique restaurant located in Elk Grove, not far from Sacramento. To translate from Spanish, it means “a little bit of everything” which perfectly describes the menu of these Mexican & Italian dishes with influences from around the world.

Celebrating their 25 year anniversary we sample prawn salad, meatballs with tomatilla salsa and an Indian chorizo mixup, as well as some equally interesting wines of their list; Clarksburg Wine Co, White Delta Blanc & Zuccardi, Concreto Malbec.


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Rose & Aromatic White/Pink Wine Festival on Thurs May 25th!

Join Gravenstein Grill for an early evening celebrating all the incredible aromatic white & rose wines produced in Sonoma County! We’ll have wines being poured by over 20 guest wineries, including Balletto Vineyards, Anaba, Crux, Cochon, Banshee, Davis Family, Muscardini Cellars, Radio-Coteau, Red Car Wine, Sea Wolf, Marimar, Porter Creek, Raft, Inman Family, Quivira, Chenoweth Wines, Kobler Estate, Benziger Winery, Imagery Winery, Rodney Strong & More!

This event is Thursday May 25th, 5-7pm, outdoors on the garden patio. TICKETS are $35 if ordered online, $45 at the door, and includes tastings with all the wineries!

To accompany these world class wines there will be passed appetizers by Chefs Bob Simontacchi & Makana Colunga. This is the first of the Summer wine series at Gravenstein Grill – and it is not to be missed!

Red Car Rose

Get Your PASSPORT To Dry Creek Valley! April 29-30

Join 35 wineries for the 32nd Passport to Dry Creek Valley April 29 & 30, 2023. Enjoy amazing wine, delicious food, vibrant entertainment and a fun-filled spring weekend within the backdrop of idyllic Dry Creek Valley.

TICKETS with the special Sawyer Somm pricing are available at this link! How does it work?

  • Choose your starting winery and go at your own pace with no reservations necessary
  • Fabulous wine & food pairings
  • Access to countless wines that you can’t find on the shelf
  • Interactions with the winemakers and growers
  • Coveted spots in wine clubs
  • Entertainment all weekend
  • Skip the line with check-in option Friday in Healdsburg (info at checkout)
  • OPTION to purchase Friday evening (April 28) Winemakers welcome dinner at The Madrona
  • Hope to be seeing you in DCV! ~Chris

Let SAWYER SOMM Entertain YOU!

Want to spice up your wine tastings? Bring in Sawyer Somm!

I am always interested in sharing my knowledge with you, and your group, at wineries or along with tour visits. We could also set up a special tasting, Seminar Style, for your large or small group onsite, or at another select venue around wine county. Food pairings are always a fun addition!

So let us know what you are thinking and let Sawyer Somm supplement your incredible wine experience! Cheers, Chris



Did you miss my epic Alaska wine cruise last summer? Well now you have another opportunity to join me on this spectacular voyage!

This 7-day Celebrity Cruise on the Solstice, exclusively through Costco Travel, departs from Seattle on July 21, 2023. Your exclusive wine experiences will include a welcome reception, two wine tasting seminars and a wine-paired luncheon!

Let me know if you have any questions and BOOK YOUR WINE CRUISE (<—here) before it sells out like the last one. Cheers! Chris


Some snapshots from my Alaska cruise in Summer 2022!

A Week Of Sweets & Treats For #VALENTINESDAY

For Valentines Week, I am going to assail you with some special tidbits in this single blast of love! Start by reading this seductive article by Dr. Liz Thach, for a lovely selection of cocktails: Mine is the Blood Orange Rose 75, so start mixing!

Follow that up with the classic romantic film, An Affair To Remember: A fine sparkling wine that can live up to this level of romance is Domaine Carneros Brut Rosé. This charming bubbly exudes fruity, tangy flavor, has a beautiful color and a long enchanting finish. To further enliven the senses, serve this sparkling gem with aphrodisiac delights such as oysters on the half shell, fresh berries, or toasted nuts.

Lastly, let’s revisit my wine & chocolate pairing on THE VARIETAL SHOW from last year. It’s never too late to get specialty treats for your loved ones! Especially if it is Acumen Wine & Phillip Ashley Chocolates.

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Happy Holidays from Sawyer Somm!

Just a quick note to say I appreciate you following my exciting adventures this year! Stick around for more in 2023 and enjoy this little collection of photos from a year of memories.

A perfect vintage 2022

From my visit to Chef Laura Pauli, winter lights in Oregon, chocolate & wine at Acumen, and the release of A Perfect Vintage. . .


. . . to Be Bubbly in Napa, the stellar crew of Celebrity Solstice, Sonoma Burger delights and the always incredible eats at Gravenstein Grill! So much to share, join me for more in 2023. CHEERS! Christopher

What is SPôRK?

So glad you asked! SPôRK is the mastermind of Chef Pat Langst which encompasses many things: Specializing in Gluten-Free treats and leading cooking classes for kids and adults. Some excellent stocking stuffers to be sure!

He is also my partner with Fire & Vine, an opportunity for you to experience a personal epicurian delight! We prepare the food and host a wine pairing in your home, inquire for details.


In The Cellar At Joel Palmer House Restaurant On THE VARIETAL SHOW

Levi Seed is the Sommelier extraordinaire at the amazing Joel Palmer House Restaurant! THE VARIETAL SHOW huddles with him in the wine cellar to discuss the history of this mushroom centric eatery in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, as well as the ‘Omakase’ Experience, and the largest selection of Pinot Noir in the country: We celebrate with some Ribbon RidgeRR‘ Reisling & Authentique Pinot Noir!

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