Supes honor four Sonomans for Food Day
Jewish Winemakers’ Tasting & Nosh Sunday; Home Winemakers raise $11K for high school Boosters
Ballot propositions: If you are interested, come to Readers’ Books this afternoon at 4 p.m. for an explanation and discussion of this year’s California Ballot Propositions.
Supervisor Valerie Brown and the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors honored four Sonomans on Food Day, Oct. 23.
Those who received the elegant certificates and recognition were Sondra Bernstein of girl & the fig enterprises for employing hundreds of people and striving for food purity; Candi Edmonson and Paul Wirtz of Paul’s Produce for 20 years of growing and selling organic produce and caring about the health of the soil and their staff; and Andrea Davis-Cetina for the only certified organic farm in Sonoma Valley and for teaching classes to backyard farmers. Andrea sells to her CSA customers Thursdays at Murphy’s Irish Pub. Best to all, and thanks to Brown for acknowledging such noble enterprises.
Sonoma Valley Grange’s Flea Market runs today and tomorrow, Friday and Saturday, with expanded offerings such as a produce and plant exchange, fruits and vegetables brought by Green String Farm interns, food and yummy organic soup and pies for sale, an hourly raffle to include a Wild Thyme Rive Gauche dinner, Grange memberships and T-shirts, and a whole section featuring members’ paintings, ceramics and other arts and crafts. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. 18627 Highway 12, Boyes Hot Springs.
Tin Barn Vineyards holds its “Barn Burner” party Saturday, Oct. 27, usually a wine club members-only event. This year Tin Barn is opening the party up to the public, with terrific food from chef Todd Humphries of Oxbow’s Kitchen Door restaurant. Humphries previously served as co-owner and chef of Martini House in St. Helena and Campton Place in San Francisco. All with live gypsy jazz. A bargain at $15 public, $10 wine club members. 4 to 7 p.m. For reservations call 938-5430 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do not miss the upcoming Jewish Winemakers Tasting & 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.
Maddy Leader says we should look forward to mini-Rueben sandwiches, matzah ball soup shooters, kugels, knishes, latkes, kosher hot dog sliders, bagels and lox, falafel and loads of desserts.
At this event, subtitled both “My Son/Daughter the Winemaker – Who Knew?” and “Knishes, Kugel and Cabernet,” you can 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. $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.
Jane and John Robb and Kay and Roger Heigel left Rob Larman’s “La Poste” dinner last week ecstatic. Hosted as a pop-up dinner at Windee Smith’s Valley Wine Shack last week, the two couples said the duck dinner was “absolutely the best dinner we collectively have had in Sonoma in 24 years.” Larman says his next dinner will feature beef on Nov. 9. For more info call 938-7218 or visit valleywineshack.com.
The Sonoma Home Winemakers’ Sunday afternoon tasting at the Swiss Hotel raised $10,953 to support Sonoma Valley High School’s Boosters Club, which in turn supports sports and arts at the high school. Both groups thank Hank Marioni of the Swiss for his generous supply of tasty meatballs, bread, cheese and tables for the fundraiser.
Many home winemakers produce excellent wines that are not for sale, so this annual event is a treat. Several of them made extra effort to create edibles ranging from cheeses or almond bark from Costco to Buena Tierra’s real homemade Spanish potato tortilla to accompany their wines.
Other standouts included Drs. Barbara and Michael Heiman’s Paradox Winery’s new port in a bottle with a porthole label as well as their home-dried plums with goat cheese and sunflower seeds and kadota figs with blue cheese; and Chateau Garnier’s fresh smoked salmon.
Ann Hollister’s recent birthday party was a grand celebration of poetry, music and a dinner of smoked salmon filled grape leaves, pesto chicken, cheesy polenta and salad catered by Worth our Weight, a Santa Rosa culinary apprentice program for at-risk teens. Hollister also hired Hanna boys to clean up, so lots of people learned and benefited.
David Noyes brought the wine for the large crowd, which was nearly topped by his and his wife Grace’s recitation of Pablo Neruda’s love Sonnet #17, with David performing the poem in deep-voiced perfect Spanish and Grace conveying the English version.
Among the celebrants were author Bella Andre and family; Lin Marie deVincent, who traveled to Hawaii for Hollister’s second birthday party there; Teri Shore; Kit and Vic Conforti (he played harmonica); Lena Perlis playing guitar; Trish O’Hara; David and former mayor Jeanne Markson Artson; Diane Rawicz; Rose Mary Schmidt; Sheila Whitney, who was loving the jazz sax of 19-year-old Henry Holbrook; Thale MacRostie; Hilda Swartz and about 100 others.
While Hollister is known locally as a great friend, volunteer, calligrapher and poet, her “day job” is as a congressional liaison for FEMA. Possibly the most moving poem of the evening was one she wrote about a woman wandering and carrying her plastic bag of belongings after a disaster hit her town of 125 families.
Ravenswood Winery, now owned by Constellation Brands with founder and superb winemaker Joel Peterson still at the helm, was just anointed one of the country’s Top 100 wineries by Wine & Spirits magazine for the fifth year in a row. As well, 7X7SF named Ravenswood number 32 on a list of things to do before you die. Congratulations to the whole Ravenswood team.
7X7SF also suggested that after you taste special wines at Ravenswood that you indulge in a duck sandwich at Sunflower Caffé.
Native Daughters of the Golden West Sonoma Parlor #209 will present its annual Chicken Cacciatore and Polenta Dinner Saturday, Nov. 3, at Vintage House, offering great drinks and great food. It’s a bargain at $25, with all funds going to Sonoma Valley High School senior scholarships. $25. Bar opens 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets at Eraldi’s or at the door. 938-3995.
Sonoma’s Best launched two new programs yesterday that many Sonomans will enjoy. Co-owner Tom Jenkins re-started Thursday wine tastings with specialty wines at bargain prices in conjunction with his current summer rosé wine sale.
Dog lovers might try the East Napa Street store’s new “Slap Happy Hour” Mondays through Wednesdays where dog owners can bring their “best friends,” as Jenkins sees it, to the heated garden behind the store. The Jenkins’ re-do of the garden is strikingly appealing. On these evenings, you can enjoy a glass of wine for $5 or beers on tap for $2.50. Tom will also serve his creative piadini that he made at the recent Sonoma Music Festival at the Sonoma Community Center. 4 to 5:30 p.m.
Michael Muscardini’s 2010 Rancho Salina red wine just won its third gold medal this year, this one the Sonoma Harvest Fair. The other two came from the prestigious 2012 California State Fair and the Orange County Fair Wine Competition. His 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon also garnered gold at the county Harvest Fair. He won others this year at the Los Angeles International Wine Competition and at the San Francisco International Wine Competition.
Bryter Estate held the first winemaker dinner at Sondra Bernstein’s SuiteD on Eighth Street East last weekend with great success and enthusiasm. Winemaker and co-owners Terin and Bryan Ignozzi celebrated with an after harvest dinner of antipasti served with their Le Stelle Sparkling Wine, a fig and arugula salad with double gold winning Affine Chardonnay, pan-seared black cod with roasted sunchokes with Carneros Lux Chardonnay, braised short ribs with potatoes, rainbow chard and Black Mission figs with cabernet sauvignon and chocolate pots de crème.
Locals and wine club members enjoying this gustatory experience included Samantha and Rick Reed, Beth and Dr. Eliot Carter, Mel and Elizabeth Fenn, and Shel and Maddy Leader who celebrated their anniversary at the dinner. Mark Abdilla of Petaluma played acoustic guitar to set the tone.
Book Passage in Corte Madera will present some interesting food-related events in the next few weeks. A lunch at Larkspur’s Left Bank Restaurant on Sunday, Oct. 4, will feature Tom Douglas of The Dahlia Bakery. Douglas was recently named “2012 Outstanding Restaurateur” by the James Beard Foundation, and owns 13 food establishments. Douglas is especially well known for his triple coconut cream pie and breads.
Guests will sample lots of food from Douglas’ “The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook.” The fee includes lunch and a signed copy of the book. $110. 12:30 p.m. For more information and reservations call 415-927-0960 or visit bookpassage.com.
Book Passage also has “Cooks with Books” events scheduled with Bruce Aidells, Hubert Keller, Kim Severson and Julia Moskin. Check their website for dates.
Nibs & Sips:
According to Yahoo.com, KitchenAid, Whirlpool Corp.’s prominent makers of home and professional mixers, apparently dismissed the employee who Tweeted to the company’s 25,000 followers a nasty remark about President Barack Obama’s Caucasian grandmother who died in Hawaii three days before he was elected president … USA Today reports that Bachelor Ben Flajnik and his courted Courtney have split. Flajnik is a co-owner of Envolve Winery … Sonoma native and chef Michelle Cookson Morgante, a graduate of the CIA in Hyde Park, is recovering from a deep tissue infection in her knee and hopes to be back at her Crescent City Vita Cucina culinary shop soon.
Next week: Los Angeles survival tricks and restaurant treats. Glad to be home in Sonoma again.
Have a happy and safe Halloween and Dia de los Muertos!