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Kathleen Hill: Eighth Street wines... Stellar’s stellar new gig... and beans jump away from Ferry Building


Eighth Street Wineries pouring Saturday

Taste some of Sonoma Valley’s finest wines right where they are made in a light industrial center on Sonoma’s Eighth Street East on Saturday, Feb. 25.

Nine wineries will open their doors and serve appetizers including Poseidon Vineyard and Obsidian Ridge (cassoulet), Victor Hill Wines (smoked salmon and charcuterie), Vulture Winery (crudités), William Knuttel Winery (grilled sausages and vegetables), Enkidu (meatloaf sliders), Talisman (butternut squash “fondula),” Ty Caton (minestrone soup), Stone Edge Farm (charcuterie and cheeses), and Tin Barn (Girl & the Fig wood-fired pizza). Park once and stroll or roll to all of the wineries. $40 advance, $45 at any door of participating wineries includes glass, wine tastes and nibbles. $10 designated driver. Noon to 4 p.m. 21692 and 21481 Eighth St. E. 939-3930.

Stellar Catering at Jack London Lodge

Ari Weisswasser of Glen Ellen Star and Bruce Riezenman of Park 121 and Park Avenue Catering are partnering as Stellar Catering to cater all events at Jack London Lodge in Glen Ellen – including weddings, corporate events, and anything from outside the bar. Stellarcaters.com.

Horatius off of hiatus

Horacio Gomes has reopened his Horatius organic coffee bar at the corner of Jack London Village after a month-long respite, having returned home for some family celebrations in Portugal and Venezuela.

Horatius now opens earlier at 7:30 a.m. and is adding Wednesday to its schedule. That means Tuesday is the only day they are closed. He is also adding soups, sandwiches, salads and “small gourmet plates.” Enjoy a light meal with or without beer or wine, or just a cup of coffee or tea inside or on the patio facing the creek. 934-8496.

Sando closes Ferry Building bean store

Steve Sando, who moved from Napa Valley to high atop the Mayacamas Mountains, will close his Rancho Gordo heirloom bean shop in the San Francisco Ferry Building on March 27.

You have to sell a lot of $6 bags of beans to pay the rent there, but Sando thinks very positively about moving his efforts completely back to his downtown Napa shop. In that shop he offers beans, clay bean pots, Sonoman Paula Wolfert’s clay pot cookbooks, and other tempting cookware. Do not miss his collection of rare Mexican movie posters.

A Day Without Immigrants follow-up

Probably inspired by the movie “A Day without a Mexican,” this nation-wide event Feb. 16 extended to Sonoma Valley with several businesses closing and others running very slowly.

Breakaway Café, Reel Fish Shop, all of the carnicerias, or Mexican grocery and butcher shops, closed -- as did Taqueria La Hacienda, Tacos Sonoma and Maya Restaurant.

To make this effort more effective, workers might give their employers more notice so everyone can plan and adjust.

Nibs & Sips

Under its new owners, the Breakaway Café is standardizing its hours to be open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. daily… Steve Rose, former owner/chef at Vineyards Inn, has created his own “The Organic Rose” television show to running on PBS in the Bay Area, every Friday morning at 11 a.m. Long an organic gardener, Rose will feature solar energy and electric vehicles, biodynamic farming, cooking, wine and cider making and lots more. He will soon create a Spanish version as well. Theorganicrose.net.

Sam Sebastiani’s La Chertosa triumphs

Sam Sebastiani’s La Chertosa 2014 La Chertosa Reserve Zinfandel with creative labels by Sonoma artist Patti Britton, just won a gold medal and his 2015 La Chertosa Reserve Chardonnay won a silver medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. La Chertosa wines are made from grapes grown in red soil and aged in new and young oak barrels.

Arts Guild celebrates 40th

Having survived 40 years as an artists’ cooperative, the Arts Guild of Sonoma will celebrate with a reception Friday, March 3 with nibbles and wine and some of the original artists from 1977 and their work. The event will honor co-founders Ray Jacobsen, Richard Roth and Sal Guardino -- who once had a great fresh fish stand at Eight Street East and Napa Road. Free. 5 to 7 p.m. 140 E. Napa St. 996-2960 or 996-3115. Artsguildofsonoma.org.

My wannabe-didn’t-quite-make-it-Beef Bourguignon

Somehow the urge to cook up a storm (not literally) overcame me and I decided last Saturday to make a classic Beef Bourguignon, without a recipe or list, of course.

One of Sonoma Market’s butchers cut an appropriately cheap piece of beef into cubes for me, and I was on my way back to France in my mind, with Henri of course. On a mission to get some mushrooms and onions, I got sidetracked in a couple of conversations and forgot both.

I also thought I had either beef or chicken broth at home, but found only organic vegetable broth, perhaps slightly out of date, when I got back.

Oh and those onions. I found some slightly dried up green onions in the bottom of my fridge’s veggie bin, trimmed them and cut them to sauté in good olive oil in my old Le Creuset pot that was a wedding present 40 years ago.

Onions did fine, and beef browned well. So far so good.

I added the organic veggie broth and it smelled terrible. Then came the wine. A local winemaker had given me a dark bottle that didn’t have its varietal or blend on the label on the bottle. Once I cut the seam of the screw top off – so I could actually screw the top off! – I was so happy I turned to the stove and gleefully poured most of it in without looking. Oh no – it was white wine. Now we have the veggie broth and white wine combining.

In went the little red creamer potatoes and some older carrots I had left over from Paul’s Produce. As this brew bubbled slowly for a couple of hours. I couldn’t stand the smell or taste. Something was very wrong.

So I opened a bottle of zinfandel and added most of it to the pot, taking a good swig for myself straight from the bottle. That helped.

Another hour or so bubbling on low. By this time I got out the vodka and olives.

Time to taste. Wow. I had created wine soup.

I wondered what Julia would think. I’m glad she wasn’t here to try it. Or anyone else.