Red Grape’s truffled onions
Lots of food & wine events; Gold medal hand pies
To die for, or maybe from (but it’s definitely worth it): The Red Grape’s new slightly salty truffled onion rings. Do not miss, but plan to share because no one should eat a whole order of these, crunchy, slightly salty gustables. Even good as leftovers. Oh my!
Rob Larman will cook a reprise of his La Poste Bistro dinner on Thursday, Oct. 18, at Windee Smith’s Valley Wine Shack. Get this: heirloom tomato salad with wild arugula and burrata (mozzarella with cream); duck legs braised in red with a purée of root vegetables and Romano beans; and mixed berries with lemon curd and biscotti. $35. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. 535 W. Napa St., Sonoma. Reserve quickly at 938-7218. valleywineshack.com.
Phyllis and John Gurney forward the good news that Sonoma’s Surachai Intarapravich, who bakes at the Sonoma Teen Center’s kitchen, won a double gold at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair for two of his “hand pies.” Intarapravich retired from Sonoma Developmental Center and then went to Santa Rosa Junior College to complete the two-year culinary program. The judges were so impressed that they ordered his pies for the wine judges lunch and asked him to serve at the fair’s grand tasting.
The Gurneys are big fans of the apple and pecan pies, which you can purchase, as well as sandwiches, at his Chai’s Gourmet Tuesday night farmers market booth and at Sunday’s Glen Ellen Village Fair.
Speaking of the Glen Ellen Village Fair, the noon parade is local and hilarious, and food vendors will include Uncle Bill’s chicken corn-dogs, Yeti tandoori and curries, Grist Mill sandwiches, Glen Ellen Village Market hamburgers, Rancho Viejo Mexican food, Java Wagon drinks, Pinky’s cotton candy, The Strudel Guy, Mommy Tammy’s Mediterranean food, Victor Nieves’ corn on the cob, E-Saan Thai food, Boy Scout root beer floats, “Cookies for Cody,” Harvey’s Gourmet Donuts and Elaine Rosenbaum’s pulled pork sandwiches.
Envolve Winery will donate $5 a bottle of their rosé wine and $10 of the $20 admission to their “Real Men Drink Pink” event on Saturday, Oct. 20, all to benefit the Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation’s October free mammogram program. Owners Mike Benziger, Danny Fay and Ben Flajnik want to show that “even pink drinks can be manly.”
The fun event will include DJ music, food from Murphy’s Irish Pub and Restaurant Rudy (formerly Café 522), sparkling cocktails made with Envolve NV Brut and the French fruit liqueur Combier; drinks mixed by Danny Ronen, director of sustainable programs for Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen; and local merchants’ donated raffle prizes. $40 or free for breast cancer fighters or survivors. 6 to 9 p.m. 27 E. Napa St., Sonoma. Only 100 tickets to be sold. Tickets and cash donations at eventbrite.com. 939-5385.
Roger Declercq, chef and operations director of Sonoma Gourmet, which makes loads of private label sauces you would recognize, will cook a beer pairing menu Friday, Oct. 19, for the Sea Ranch’s Oktoberfest 2012.
Guests will enjoy seared Dayboat scallops with paddlefish caviar with Widmer Brothers’ Hefeweizen; an heirloom tomato salad with Red Seal Ale vinaigrette served with North Coast Brewery’s Red seal ale; Duvel scented P.E.I. mussels with a sautéed mixture of vegetables; Pilsner braised chicken thighs with Julienned leeks and bacon lardon accompanied by the Cejas’ Carneros Brewing Company; a Lambic Kriek sorbet with Belgian Sour cherry Lambic beer; grilled flat iron steak with Saaz hops infused verjus Hollandaise and Belgian endive with Morena Ale; and New York style cheesecake with Imperial Stout syrup and beer from Laguintas Brewing Co. $79 inclusive. 5:30 p.m. Reserve at 785-2371. Remodeled guest rooms available,
La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs of Napa and Sonoma counties invite interested gastronomes to join them on Sunday, Oct. 21, for a gourmet luncheon excursion on board the Napa Valley Wine Train. Great way to see Napa’s fall colors at about 25 mph from the train’s Vista Dome Car while enjoying a vintner’s lunch prepared by Executive Chef Kelly MacDonald with wines. After lunch, La Chaîne officials will present a plaque honoring the memory of the late La Chaîne member Vincent DeDomenico, founder of the Wine Train and member of the Golden Grain/Rice-a-Roni family. $175. 11 a.m. departure, 2:30 p.m. return. Reserve by contacting Gene Daly at 996-8666 or email@example.com.
Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers present its annual Sonoma Valley Reserve tasting and tour Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 20 and 21 for guests to visit local wineries, well-known and hidden, and enjoy the fruits of one of the best crops ever.
Annadel will pair its 2010 chardonnay, 2009 Annadel Anni’s Blend and its 2009 Monte Rosso Zinfandel with whatever winemaker and proprietor and “damn good cook” Dean Bordigioni prepares.
Gloria Ferrer will serve tapas with sparkling and still wines such as crottin cheese, a pâté spread on crostini, lavender shortbread and short rib ragu with polenta. Viansa will pair its reserve wines with five food tastes, while Anaba will serve Caprese skewers, black olive tapenade crostini and prosciutto-wrapped melon with pinot noir, a Rhône blend and Late Harvest Viognier. $95 for one day, $150 for two days. $30 offers round-trip bus transportation from San Francisco and Mill Valley. For lots more info on all of the Reserve Wine tours and tickets call 935-0803 or visit reservesonomavalley.com.
Sheana Davis and Tony Ghilarducci of Depot Restaurant present a Harvest Dinner with wines from Hamel Family Vineyards and Idell Family Vineyards on Thursday, Oct. 25, at The Epicurean Connection. Dinner begins with a tart of Davis’ Delice de la Vallee and harvest vegetables served with Hamel Rosé; a salad of local butterleaf greens with persimmons and pomegranate with Idell 2010 Chardonnay; breast of Sonoma duck with brown butter pumpkin and turnips with sour cherry sauce served with Idell’s 2009 Syrah; and chocolate pumpkin cheesecake with chocolate cherries and Hamel’s 2008 Cabernet. $65 includes meal, four flights of wine and gratuity. Additional wine available. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. 122 W. Napa St., Sonoma. RSVP quickly to 935-7960.
Ty Caton invites everyone to taste from the barrel and buy wine futures and current releases on Saturday, Oct. 20, along with light appetizers at his Eighth Street East winery. Caton is offering 50 percent discounts on cases during this event only. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 21684 Eighth St. E., Suite 460, Sonoma. RSVP by Wednesday, Oct. 17 to 938-3224, ext. 2, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Vintage Festival’s Gala two weeks ago offered lots of sobering food and lots of un-sobering wine, with the girl & the fig’s mac ‘n’ cheese seeming to be the crowd favorite among the nibbles.
As I tasted my tiny portion (as requested), Claudia de Domenico, whose family founded Golden Grain and Rice-a-Roni, joined me, and then up came girl & fig proprietor Sondra Bernstein. What fun to introduce them and listen in on their discussion of what shaped pasta was best to ply the stomach.
Saddles served pork sliders with jalapeno cole slaw; The Red Grape had eggplant tapenade; Philip Peck and new owner Harleen Bajwa of the Basque Boulangerie provided substantial prosciutto and brie or “Parisian” sandwich slices; Maya served chicken empanadas. In the sweets department, both The Strudel Guy and Miz Lynn’s Pies vied for favorites. HopMonk offered beer-braised bratwurst protruding from cabbage salad; Mary’s Pizza Shack offered substantial pasta and bread; Stuart Teitelbaum of Homegrown Bagels celebrated 35 years in business by passing out wrapped bagels with varied schemers; Cold Stone Creamery served zinfandel sorbet made with Kenwood zin, Rancho Viejo’s molé, pepil and chile verde went fast, and
Sonoma Cake Creators offered mini cupcakes (chocolate with espresso topping my fave).
Chandelle Winery released a new wine at the gala, its 2008 Red Wine “The Affaire,” a blend of Sonoma Valley syrah and Alexander Valley cabernet. With only 130 cases made and adorned with an 1890s Jules Cheret poster of Paris, you can taste it at the Cellar Door tasting room at The Lodge at Sonoma. 938-5862.
The Future Farmers of America and High School Ag Program fundraiser at Larson Family Winery was a great success, partly due to the constant generosity of Becky and Tom Larson and friends.
Broadway Market catered the bloody Mary tri-tip and beans, Marilyn Costa made loads of great three-cheese polenta, and high school ag teacher Danny Ashwanden and crew barbecued oysters and garlic bread.
In the crowd were many leaders of our agriculture community such as Arnie and Joan Riebli, Pam Millerick Hellen, Jeff and Ann Kiser, Barry Kiser, Judy Serres, Mike and Pina Brocco, Andrew Toimil, Scott and Linda Yenni, Marie Lambert, and Darla Brocco Kobza. Continuing supporters were Synette Radford, Suzanne Smith, Tito and Janet Sasaki, Becky Elster, Superintendent Louann Carlomago, Kathleen Hawing and high school principal Dino Battaglini, Bud and Jeanne Schuerman, Roger and Junko Cook, Russ and Russelle Johnson, Norm and Jan Hoglievina, Rob and Brenda Sherwood, Steven and Laura Moterosso, Tony and Christine Neles, Rhonda Von Gover, Ron and Audrey Chapman, Sharon and Helmut Emke, Annie and Walt Baccala, Will Ivankovich, Keith and Valerie Casale, Chris and Mary Blakeslee, Claudia DeDomenicao, and Rich and Joan Little.
Do not miss the upcoming Jewish Winemakers Tasting and Nosh on Sunday, Oct. 28, at the Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building, all sponsored by Congregation Shir Shalom with more wine, more music and more food even than last year. Taste wonderfully rich wines from Sonoma and Napa counties including those of Blue Rock Vineyard, B.R. Cohn, Carella Kaplan Cellars, Cline and Jacuzzi, Hagafen Cellars, Halleck Vineyard, Hobo Wine Company, Honig Winery, Idell Family Vineyards, Judd’s Hill, Kamen Estate, Leto Cellars, Longboard, Molon Bench, Paint Horse Winery, Shapiro Cellars, Silver Pines Vineyards, Stein Family, Tres Hijas Vineyards, Wake Robin and Zmor Wines. Mara Levy Kahn and crew work for days preparing extremely tasty nibbles of traditional Jewish foods, and $40 advance, $45 at door. 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tickets at Readers’ Books, Tiddle E. Winks or at shir-shalom.org/winemakers/
Roger Declercq and Jesus Ceja will host and October Fest Chili Cook-Off on Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Cejas’ new Carneros Brewing Co. across from Fremont Diner. The Cejas have planted hops on the property, which diversifies them
even father beyond their winery, a downtown Napa tasting room, and a Napa restaurant.
Home or professional chili chefs may enter in any or all of three categories: Classic (meat only), Open (anything but the kitchen sink,) and Vegetarian. Medallions will be awarded to first through third places, with a People’s Award to the overall winner. Bring all of your ingredients, a crock-pot, burner, serving utensils, a chair, stool or whatever you need. Open flames OK. Guests must be 21 and older to taste beers. All proceeds to Sonoma’s Meals on Wheels. Free to guests. $20 chili entry fee. Donations appreciated. More info from Declercq at 939-3700, ext. 102, or email@example.com.
Happy Birthday to me!