Category Archives: Sommelier

The Menu! Zin Zin Din Din on August 10th

Join us for this spectacular Zinfandel paired meal by myself and Executive Chef Bob Simontacchi at Gravenstein Grill in Sebastopol,  Thursday, August 10th, at 6:30!  To make reservations phone: (707) 634-6142 or email: brandon@gravensteingrill.com

Bing Cherry Salad
Local Pepper Cress, Fresh Shaved Corn, Torpedo Onion, Rice Wine Vinaigrette
ACORN 2012 Medley, Alegria Vineyard, Russian River Valley

Walnut Keep Pork Sugo
Local Pork Shoulder Slowly Braised with Tomatoes, Onions, Peppers, & Fennel over Crisped Yukon Gold Potato & Chive Gnocchi
Hartford Family 2015 Zinfandel, Russian River Valley

“BBQ” Duck Confit
Cured Duck Legs Pulled & Tossed in Honey-Bourbon BBQ Sauce over
Creamy White Cheddar & Scallion Polenta
Gordian Knot 2014 Old Vine Zinfandel, Winberrie Vineyard, Russian River Valley

Applewood Smoked Short Rib
Sugar & Salt Crusted Short Rib slow smoked, served with Heirloom Peppers in Creamed Corn with Crispy Shallots
Gamba 2014 Zinfandel, Family Ranches, Russian River Valley

Stone Fruit Galette
Organic Local Stone Fruit, Sweetened Whipped Mascarpone with Vanilla Bean

Gravenstein Grill, 8050 Bodega Avenue, Sebastopol, California 95472
(707) 634-6142

Update! Zin-Zin Din-Din at Gravenstein Grill set for August 10th

Sorry about the scheduling confusion!  We have set the new date for this dinner as Thursday August 10th.  It will feature fabulous zinfandels from ACORN Winery, Hartford Court Family Winery, Gamba Vineyards & Winery and more! I will be there again as your happy Sommelier Chris Sawyer. Stay tuned for the menu details at the Gravenstein Grill Facebook page and call 707-634-6142 to make your reservations!  See you there! ~Christopher

Gravenstein Grill is located at
8050 Bodega Ave, Sebastopol, CA 95472

TWF: Food, Somms & Team Sawyer!

More appreciation goes out to those that made this event work for me and the wineries involved.  Cannot overlook the amazing food, Sommelier experts Wayne and Nadia, plus my team of Deborah, Teale, Simone and even my son Rupert (who helped deliver ice & water at the Grand Tasting)!  I could not have done it without them.  Besides this view of the Sunday Brunch along the main street of Telluride, here are some more great pix to share from behind the scenes.

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Left to Right: Selfie with my Somms, Wayne Belding & Nadia Pavlevska; A delicious salad from the Precious Bites picnic; Busy chefs prepare a gourmet meal

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Clockwise: A cake by Fig & Bloom at the Grand Tasting; The gondola view from above Telluride; Special course from guest star chef Dean Max at The Calling dinner; With my team, Deborah and Teale, surrounded by oodles of wine talent!

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Clockwise: Telluride main street; Delectible snacks at the Grand Tasting; The crowds gather around the Sommelier Selection table at the Grand Tasting

Countdown to Telluride Wine Festival, June 22-25

Wines are arriving, travel plans stirring, stomachs rumbling for the big event next week! If you are not coming be sure to follow the adventures on social media, but virtual is nothing like the reality of those gorgeous mountains, delicious wines and elegant meals.  Hope you will all be joining me there!
Cheers! Christopher

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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! 

Ravenous for Rosé? Some June events for you!

It just must be the season for those lighter spring delights to make an appearance! June seems to be blooming with delicious Rosé opportunities to please the palate.

Thursday, June 1
FREE Rosé Tasting at Gravenstein Grill
Join ME for a fun and educational Rosé tasting on the Gravenstein Grill patio in Sebastopol (8050 Bodega Ave). No reservations required, but show up early to guarantee a spot!

Saturday, June 17
Rosé Today Presents: A Country Garden Party
Jaxon Keys Winery & Distillery will host pourings on the grand tasting court & in the meadows, talks from industry leaders, gourmet food pairings by the Culinary Institute of America, pétanque, badminton, dancing, and merriment!

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

Seminar Schedule for the Telluride Wine Festival!

I am busily crafting a list of stellar winery and sommelier guests to join the seminar offerings at this year’s Telluride Wine Festival, June 22-25Benovia Winery, Robert Biale Vineyards, Gloria Ferrar, Laurel Glen Vineyard, Montemaggiore, Rodney Strong are all on the list, and more coming. . .

(Photo courtesy of the Cycling Foodie blog.)
(Photo courtesy of the Cycling Foodie blog.)

There will be four one-hour special seminars, all scheduled for Friday and Saturday (details below): There are of course many more fabulous events to attend so take a moment to peruse the TWF full scheduleThen purchase your tickets HERE!

Perfectly Pinot: Friday June 23, 10:30-11:30
A unique opportunity to taste a collection of these sophisticated, limited-release wines crafted from world-class grapes grown in the prestigious regions of Russian River Valley, Santa Rita Hills, Anderson Valley, Willamette Valley, and other coastal regions of the West Coast.

Rhone If You Want To: Friday June 23, 2:30-3:30
Learn about the characteristics of the special grapes used to make a wide range of flavorful red and white still wines, dry pink wines, and complex blends that are great to pair with a wide range of cuisine all year long!

A Mixed Bag of “Mixed Blacks”: Preserving Rare Old Vine Wines Friday June 23, 4:30-5:30
Join us at this rare opportunity to taste and find out what proprietors of the Robert Biale Vineyard and other special producers from Napa Valley and Sonoma County are doing to preserve these old vines as you experience this magnificent series of limited release wines.

Inventing an Icon: The Art & Craft of Proprietary Red Blends Saturday June 24, 10:30-11:30
From elegant to powerful, the profiles of complex red wine blends made with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and other special grape varieties offer flavor profiles that set themselves apart from all the rest.

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VOTE!

The final tally is upon us.  Just a reminder if you have not already mailed or dropped off your ballot that Tuesday November 8th is the final day cast your vote!  Your voice matters.

After you participate in the general election, use that momentum to participate in the Bohemian Best of Sonoma 2017!  Please consider voting for me as Best Sommelier for Sonoma County?
Just type in Christopher Sawyer!
nbb-vote2017-300x250Many thanks for your support!