Category Archives: Food

Balletto Vineyard Winemaker’s Dinner on June 8th

Join me for our inaugural wine dinner at Gravenstein Grill featuring Balletto Vineyards & Winery.  I am hosting the event with winemaker Anthony Beckman, pairing Balleto wines with an incredible menu by Bob Simontacchi, sure to entice and delight any palate! 

Seating is limited so call 707-634-6142 or email brandon@gravensteingrill.com now, to guarantee your spot! 

Sunset Celebration Weekend at Cornerstone! May 20-21

This is a fun event for all ages!  For those that missed the news, Sunset Magazine purchased Cornerstone in Sonoma, so we are lucky that they now use the gardens for their annual celebration.  Lots of great activities including Wine & Spirits seminars, Iced Tea Sampling, Succulent Potting, Cocktail Garden, Music Stage as well as a great line-up of star chefs and talent; Chef Ryan Scott, Chef Perry Hoffman, Chef Ari Weiswasser, Tyler Malek, many of Sunset‘s own editors, and more!

Sunset Celebration Weekend @Cornerstone
May 20 & 21, 11am to 5pm
Purchase tickets HERE!

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Delightful Spring Dishes to Make & Try!

With the onset of spring weather (mostly!) the palate begins to savor the delicacies of the season. Lovely ingredients tantalize our thoughts until we can just get a few tastes to carry on until they meet again!  For instance this recipe for Garlic Prawns with Warm Cucumber and Ginger Salad shared by the Wine Institute of California:  Easy to make for a light weekend meal.

Then there are the easy-to-make wine paired treats like this Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Toasted Walnuts and Balsamic Vinaigrette that is best served with Kunde Family Winery Chardonnay, Wildwood Vineyard.

Or if you don’t feel like making anything, just go try this decadent Vegan White Bean & Vegetable Puree with Sebastopol Mushrooms and Pesto being served at the Gravenstein Grill:  Simply pair it with Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards Blanc de Noirs from my specialty wine list.

Enjoy! Christopher

Try out my new Wine List at Gravenstein Grill!

The amazing halibut dish!  See more food porn below.
The amazing halibut dish! See more food porn below.

If you find your way out to Sebastopol, then be sure to stop by The Gravenstein Grill, located at 8050 Bodega Avenue in Sebastopol!  It recently opened with food by star chef Bob Simontacchi of Brick & Bottle fame.

My family and I have already sampled their menu a few times with of course fabulous wines, but there is a spacious bar with hand-crafted cocktails, and Sonoma County’s famous micro-brews to experience as well.  Looking forward to finer weather to enjoy cool sips at the outdoor patio.

Check out the Menu & make your reservation!  Restaurant opens at 5pm, the bar at 4pm; Both close at 9:30, and until 10pm Friday & Saturday (closed Tuesday).  (707) 634-6142

Hope to see you there! Christopher

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Astoria, Oregon Crab & Wine Fest! April 28-30

If only I could be in two places . . . why my obscure obsession with the coast of Oregon? Because I lived there of course! In Astoria to be exact, for two years of my High School career. A place that is still warm to my heart as well as the memories of delicious sea food. While I will be returning this summer for the many-year HS reunion, perhaps there are others that can be there this weekend for the official 35th Annual Astoria Warrenton Crab, Sea Food & Wine Festival. Running Friday April 28 through Sunday April 30th, swing by and enjoy if you happen to be in north west Oregon!

The friendly representation of Sweet Cheeks Winery at the 2015 festival!
The friendly representation of Sweet Cheeks Winery at the 2015 festival!

Laird Family Estate – Wine Train Dinner! Saturday April 22nd

Ready to ride the rails? I will be there to enjoy this exquisite four-course gourmet dinner of seasonal offerings by Chef Donald Young.  The Laird Family Estate portfolio will be tasted and discussed with Consulting Winemaker Brian Mox.

This 3 hour adventure is on the all new Napa Valley Wine Train, for the Private Reserve Dinner Series, aboard the 36-seat restyled Pullman rail car.  Boarding for the special Laird Family Estate dinner will be on Saturday April 22 at 6:30 PM,  with the train departing the station at 7:00 PM.

Reserve your tickets now!

Tastings to come at Telluride Wine Festival 2017

As I prepare another amazing experience for wineries and guests at the upcoming Telluride Wine Festival on June 22-25, thought I would share some pictures from last summer, with more to come.

Also, a reminder for wineries, this Friday April 15th is the deadline for early-bird pricing to register for our Grand Tasting event.  REGISTER HERE or please send me an email if you have any questions. Cheers! Christopher

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5 Flavor! Napa Valley Events You Don’t Want To Miss

I am reposting this informative article from Legendary Napa Valley to better reach your inboxes!

Flavor! Napa Valley, the food and wine festival benefiting the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), celebrates both Napa Valley and CIA graduate chefs and winemakers with five days of exclusive experiences that bring out the best flavors of the legendary Napa Valley. Come join us during these five wonderful days of wine classes, chef demos, elegant dinners and more.

Be sure these five Flavor! Napa Valley events are on your schedule:

  1. First Taste – A Downtown Socialpresented by the Downtown Napa Association, Wednesday March 22, 6 – 8:30 p.m.; price is $95 per person. Celebrate under the stars at the brand new CIA at Copia in downtown Napa, with more than 15 of Napa’s best restaurants and more than 40 Napa Valley wineries. The evening will also include live entertainment and the opportunity to bid on Magnum editions of rare wines during a silent auction.
  2. From Vineyard to Bottle – Exploring Napa Valley with Iconic Winemaker Heidi Barrett at the CIA at Copia, Thursday March 232:30 – 4 p.m.; $95 per person. Moderated by wine, food and television star Leslie Hartley-Sbrocco of KQED’s “Check, Please!”, this exclusive seminar and tasting is focused on Heidi’s secrets behind how she captures the deep and complex flavors of the fruit in the wines.
  3. Napa Valley Icons Dinner, Tuesday March 23, 6 – 10 p.m.; $295 per person. Guests will celebrate the food and wine icons of the Napa Valley at the Silverado Resort and Spa while honoring legendary winemaker Heidi Barrett. Participating chefs include Host Chef Jeffrey Jake from Silverado Resort and Spa; Matthew Accarrino from SPQR; Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski from State Bird Provisions and The Progress; Ken Frank from La Toque; Michael Schulson from Schulson Collective; and esteemed CIA graduate Waldy Malouf.
  4. Legendary Napa Valley, The Grand Tasting, VIP admission is Saturday March 25, 6 – 7 p.m. and tickets are $225 per person; general admission is at 7 p.m. and tickets are $175 per person.  The sixth annual Grand Tasting at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena allows guests to taste their way through the Napa Valley with a selection of sweet and savory bites from more than 25 Napa Valley restaurants, paired with wine from more than 80 Napa Valley wineries.
  5. Bubbles and BrunchSunday March 26, 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.; $135 per person. Flavor! Napa Valley concludes with a brunch at one of Napa Valley’s most renowned sparkling wine houses, Domaine Chandon. Guests will enjoy dishes from Host Chef Brian Whitmer from VINeleven, winner of Bravo’s Top Chef All-Stars and Owner, Trail Blais Inc., Richard Blais, and nationally acclaimed Vegas restaurateur Rick Moonen, RM Seafood. Brunch will be accompanied by a selection of Domaine Chandon’s still and sparkling wines.