Enjoy Oodles of Petite Sirah on Sunday, March 18th!

P.S. I Love You!

Yes, YOU, but also Petite Sirah!  Next weekend on Sunday March 18th get ready for the P. S. I Love You event put on by the Petite Sirah Advocacy Organization at the Culinary Institute of America’s COPIA campus in Napa.

The Petite Masters class that I will be leading is already sold out and the tickets to the public tasting that will follow are moving fast. So get yours TICKETS asap!

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Pill Head: The Official Trailer!

For those not in the know (yet), here is a trailer for the much anticipated artsploitation film by my friends Daedalus Howell and Karen Hess.  Read more about the project at the Pill Head: The Website.  Set for an early-fall release date!  Be sure to catch the suave fellow who portrays The Sommelier.  Keep posted here or at the Pill Head Facebook Page.

#pillheadmovie #artfilm #indiefilm

Attack of the Clones! Or WOPN Strikes Back on March 2-3

Will you be at World of Pinot Noir (WOPN) on March 2-3? If you will be at this Santa Barbara event then please be sure to sign up for my special Saturday seminar ATTACK OF THE CLONES!

A panel of winemakers and I will lead you during my fun and educational seminar. You will get to learn – and taste – the difference between many key Pinot Noir grape clones.  Panelists include:

  • Greg Morthole – Davis Bynum
  • Heidi Bridenhagen – MacRostie Winery & Vineyards
  • Ben Papapietro – Papapietro Perry Winery
  • Amy Thorn – Thorn Hill Vineyards
  • Ben Cane – Westwood Estate Winery

Get your tickets!

Listen Here! The KGO Interview from February 8th.

Here is a quick and easy way to listen to my short discussion on KGO 810AM at 5:30pm with Chip Franklin from February 8th!  Just kick back with cup of something warm and your device now to hear about the 2018 San Francisco Chronicle Competition results.

Cheers! Christopher

Aromatic White Wine Festival: February 24-25

Are you ready to #GoMendo?  Join me this weekend at the 13th Annual Aromatic White Wine Festival in Anderson Valley:  A celebration of Alsace  varietals from around the globe.   (Formerly known as the Alsace Festival).

It all begins Saturday morning, February 24, with Educational Sessions, then the afternoon Grand Tasting with over 100 aromatic white wines, perfectly paired with locally prepared small bites.  Followed by an evening Winemaker Dinner at Scharffenberger Cellars focused on locally sourced ingredients and perfectly paired with exquisite wines.  Sunday February 25 commences the Winery Open Houses, at participating tasting rooms.  See the list of wineries and purchase tickets HERE! 

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Some fine examples of past #GoMendo adventures!

 

Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Gravenstein Grill!

An easy way to impress, make your reservations at Gravenstein Grill for this fabulous Pre-Fix Dinner for Valentines Day, next Wednesday, February 14th!  Reservation required so please call 707.634.6142:  Be sure to peruse the detailed menu options following!

Psst! If you cannot make it that night then plan to try Chef Simontacchi’s Signature Tasting Menu on any weeknight for $30 featuring signature & seasonal dishes using local ingredients. (See delicious examples way below!)

Valentine’s Day Menu

Amuse-bouche
A morsel from Chef Simontacchi to whet your appetite

Soup or Salad Choices
Organic Local Mixed Baby Lettuce Salad with Pt. Reyes Blue Cheese Vinaigrette, Orange Segments, Almonds
Lobster Bisque with Meyer Lemon Creme Fraiche

Appetizer Choices
Dungeness Crab Salad with Grapefruit & Avocado
Braised Wild Mushrooms with Creamy Mascarpone & Chive Polenta
Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna with Soba Noodle Salad & Citrus Soy Broth

Main Course Choices
Grilled Filet Mignon with Asparagus, Potato Gratin & Chimichurri Sauce
Swiss Chard, Caramelized Shallot & Pine Nut Ravioli with Meyer Lemon & Bellwether Farm’s Ricotta Buerre Blanc, Fennel Pollen
Seared Dayboat Scallop Saffron Risotto with Smoked Tomato Coulis

Dessert
Assortment of Mini-Cookies
from Pastry Chef Hannah Meeker

5:00pm – 9:30pm
$65/person + Tax & Gratuity

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February 8th: Sawyer Radio-rama on KGO & KXSF!

I will be making the rounds via airwaves to discuss the results of the 2018 San Francisco Chronicle Competition.  So on Thursday February 8th, set your tuner for the following:

  • KGO 810AM at 5:30pm with Chip Franklin
  • KXSF (SFCR) 102.5 FM at 7pm with Steve King
  • Or follow the links to listen online

To followup, the list of big winners will be posted in the Sunday issue of the San Francisco Chronicle on Feb 11 and the Grand Tasting of the winners will happen on Sunday, Feb 18.  It is a great Valentine Day Weekend gift idea! Info is available at www.winejudging.com.

Results! 11th annual American Fine Wine Competition

As some of you may know already, I spent the middle of January in the balmy climes of Miami.  It is a ritual these past few years to participate in judging at the American Fine Wine Competition.  Lucky for you as well that I have some splendid results for your perusal.  This is a partial list, but you can check the  AFWC website for final results in the next few days.

The 2018 Top Awards
CONGRATULATIONS TO THESE TOP WINNERS

BEST OF SHOW

Selfie with Carol Shelton, who won the best Red Wine at the AFWC!

Sparkling Wine
Domaine Carneros 2011 Le Reve, Carneros ($110)

White Wine
Fox Run Vineyards 2015 Riesling, Finger Lakes ($18)

Red Wine
Carol Shelton Wines 2013 Petite Sirah “Florence”, Dry Creek ($40)

Sweet/Dessert Wine
Ferrante Winery Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, Ohio 2016 ($30)

BEST OF CLASS

Sauvignon Blanc: TIE!
Hoopes Family Vineyard 2016 $35
and Kelleher Family Vineyard 2016 $34

Chardonnay: Eleven Eleven Wines 2015 $95

Dry Rosé: Shadowbox Cellars 2016 $35

Pinot Noir: Mi Sueno Winery 2013 $55

Zinfandel: Brown Estate Chiles Valley 2015 $55

Cabernet Franc: Detert Family Vineyards 2015 $95

Merlot: Muscardini Cellars 2015 $60

Syrah: Klinker Brick “Farrah” 2014 $65

Red Bordeaux-style Blend: Ahnfeldt Wines “Quid Pro Quo” 2015 $59

Cabernet Sauvignon: Frank Family Vineyards Rutherford Reserve 2015 $95

Other Red Single Varietal: VIE Winery “L’Intruse” Mourvedre 2014 $45

Grenache VIE Winery “L’Imaginaire” 2014 $45

Other White Single Varietal: Reustle-Prayer Rock Vyds, Gruner Veltliner “Smaragd” 2015 $25

Other Red Blend: Buena Vista “The Sheriff” 2016 $40

Hanging with my judging crew!

Zinfandel Experience begins in SF, Thursday January 18th!

While the trade portion gets going earlier in the week, you can still get the Zinfandel Experience with tickets to a few events that are not already sold out!

Flights: January 19, 10:30-1pm
Moderated by Joel Peterson, winemaker of Ravenswood Winery.
Aimed at the true wine aficionado with a keen curiosity, this seated seminar-style tasting allows attendees to experience the true character of Zinfandel through the eyes of experts.

Grand Tasting: January 20, 11am-5pm
The weekend’s main event is the Grand Tasting, where you will meet the winemakers at the most comprehensive showing of Zinfandels and blends in the world and experience a selection of sumptuous culinary samples from restaurants and winery chefs.

Winemaker Auction & Dinner: January 19
Unfortunately this event is already SOLD OUT.  However, if you happen to be a lucky ticket holder be sure to look for my special Auction Package #20 and bid high! The live and silent auctions will showcase one-of-a-kind lots, rare bottles, and winery experiences with proceeds benefitting ZAP’s programming.