Taste of Mt Veeder: August 5th at Hess in Napa

Join me for this rare opportunity to TASTE and ORDER Mount Veeder wines…many of which are not open to the public and are difficult to acquire (See the full list below).

18th Annual Mt. Veeder Appellation Tasting
Saturday, August 5, 2017
1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
The Hess Collection Winery
4411 Redwood Road, Napa

Walk Around Wine Tasting, Gourmet Food Pairings from Hess Executive Chef, Chad Hendrickson, Silent Auction, Prizes and Live, High-Energy Blues from The Hummingbirdz!

Great Grub To Grill For Summer!

But first, a little background. . . Chouriço is Portugal’s answer to the Spanish Chorizo. Typically cooked over a clay assador, a mini, portable indoor grill, chouriço is one of Portugal’s prized culinary specialties. It is often enjoyed sliced as an appetizer alongside bread, cheese and olives.  Pair this delicacy with Dow’s 2015 Vale do Bomfim ($13 SRP), a product of the Symington Family Estate.  The compelling aromas showcase rich black fruit, lending to flavors of blackberries and plums on the palate. Lively acidity and freshness help cut through the fat of the chouriço, making it a perfect pairing.

Don’t forget the veggies! Our family favorite of the past few years is grilled Caesar Salad.  Yes, even the young lad goes for this one.  A great way to round out the heartier sausage and cheeses, plus add a bowl of freshly picked blackberries to finish things off (found along innumerable rural roads in Sonoma & Napa Counties).

Happy grilling!  The Sawyer Family

Theory Kitchen Founder Visits Robert Mondavi Winery, July 26th

Robert Mondavi Winery is planning a very special dinner on Wednesday, July 26th: Their illustrious winery Chef Jeff Mosher will be collaborating with rising star culinarian, 23-year-old Chef Theo Friedman, to prepare a fabulous, one of a kind, wine pairing dinner.

Spotlight on Emerging Chef Series –
Dinner with Chef Theo Friedman

Wednesday, July 26, 2017
6:30 pm to 10:00 pm


Theo has taken the NY culinary scene by storm with his inventive cuisine since recently graduating from Tufts University.  Theory Kitchen, featuring his recurring pop up dinners have been dubbed among “The 5 Most Amazing Underground Dining Experiences in America” by Vogue Magazine and his talents have been chronicled in publications such as the Village Voice, The Boston Globe and TimeOut, among others.

Purchase your tickets online or call (888) 766-6328, ext. 2

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

St. Francis events: Grease & Luxury Bacon Dinner

A perfect pairing!  After you join us for the movie night showing of Grease on Thursday July 13th, plan to return for the weekend’s 6th Ever Luxury Bacon Dinner at the St. Francis Winery & Vineyard dining room, 6:30 pm on July 15th.  Procure your tickets!


Mini Quiche Lorraine

Pancetta Wrapped Shrimp with Saba Glaze

Bacon Burger Sliders

2015 Chardonnay, Wild Oak Vineyard, Sonoma Valley
2014 Cabernet Franc, Wild Oak Vineyard, Sonoma Valley


Smoked Trout, Egg & Potato Salad
Herb Salad |  House Cured Bacon | Salmon Roe
2015 Chardonnay, Martinelli Vineyard, Russian River Valley

BBQ Pork Belly
Chipotle Glaze | Corn Purée | Fried Green Tomatoes
Pickled Green Tomatoes | Piquillo Pepper Relish
2014 Malbec, Wild Oak Vineyard, Sonoma Valley

Stuffed Porchetta
Grilled Peaches | Charred Cippolini Onions | Mustard Greens
Bacon-Fontina Polenta
2014 Zinfandel, Montecillo Vineyard, Sonoma Valley

Bacon Banana Bread
Salted Caramel Ice Cream | Banana-Walnut Fritters
2014 Port, Sonoma County

Catch the California State Fair: July 14-30

Earlier this year I participated in a judging of over two thousand wines for the California State Fair! Here is the entire California Commercial Wine Competition Results for you to peruse. You also might make those plans to hit the big event starting this Friday July 14th in Sacramento. If not there are other more local fair opportunities to hit all summer long!

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.


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


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!


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

The Incredible Wineries at Telluride Wine Festival!

Thank yous go all around to these amazing people for coming to Telluride, sharing their wines and making it a great experience for me and the wine lovers in attendance!  Such spectacular memories, many more than in the pictures below.

  • Bob Iantosca of Gloria Ferrer
  • Dave Phillips of Michael David
  • James MacPhail of The Calling
  • Julia Iantosca of Lasseter Family Winery
  • Lise & Vincent Ciolino of Montemaggiore
  • Michael McCullough of Drew Family Wines
  • Mike Sullivan of Benovia
  • Randall Watkins of Laurel Glen
  • Ryan Solis of Kunde
  • Tres Goetting of Robert Biale Vineyards

Clockwise: Bob pours Brut at the Sunday Brunch; Tres shares his wares at the Grand Tasting; Some delicious selections from The Calling; On the town with Ryan, Mike, Randall taking an obligatory selfie!


Clockwise: Myself, Lise, Nadia the Somm and Dave at the Trending Now Lunch; Some Rodney Strong & Davis Bynum at the Grand Tasting; The beautiful view of Mountain Village; The first event, Precious Bites Luncheon with Julia, Bob, Mike and myself.

Classic Summer: St. Francis Outdoor Film Festival in July

Heads up for this weeks premiere of the St. Francis Outdoor Film Festival: July 6th is The Breakfast Club!  Plus the special pre-show concert will be Band Camp.

Stars Under the Stars Outdoor Film Festival takes place every Thursday night at the Winery from July 6 to July 27.  Seating on the lawn begins at 7pm with a pre-show concert and wine reception.  El Coyote Food Truck will be serving delicious Mexican food available for purchase. Feature film begins at dusk.  I will be there to pair St. Francis’ world class wines with world class films.

Also mark your calendar for the upcoming shows:

  • Grease on July 13
  • Some Like It Hot on July 20
  • Good Will Hunting on July 27

See you there! Christopher