Gloria Ferrer’s Glorious Bites Challenge
Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards just announced it has opened its third annual appetizer contest that decides the best appy to go with Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut sparkling wine. The ultimate national prize will be $5,000, which was won last year by Chera Little of Leander, Texas. Little beat 1,800 other entries with her Miso-Maple Glazed Cod Wonton-Cho with Crispy Bok Choy Slaw.
This year 12 semi-finalists will be chosen at three live cook-off events to be held in Boston (Oct. 3), Minneapolis (Oct. 5), and Denver-Englewood (Oct. 7). Chef Jennifer Luttrell of Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company will again serve as Keynote Judge, who will give cooking demonstrations at all three sites where Gloria Ferrer wines and savory bites will be served.
The finals will, of course, take place at Gloria Ferrer Winery in Sonoma on Saturday, Oct. 14 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The three finalists will get VIP visits to the Giacomini family farm and ranch overlooking Tomales Bay where their Holstein cows graze in the cool fog, as well as a three-course dinner prepared by Chef Luttrell. Lutrell is executive chef at the Fork, a Culinary and Educational Center on the Giacomini dairy in Point Reyes. For official rules, entry deadlines and more visit gloriousbites.com.
Sonoma Valley Crush
Sonoma Valley Crush is an event hosted by the Heart of Sonoma Valley Association, which is made up of wineries along Highway 12 in Glen Ellen and Kenwood, this year on Friday, Sept. 8 through Sunday, Sept. 10.
Guests can visit 12 boutique wineries and get a behind-the-scenes look at what happens during harvest and sometimes actually get involved. Sample grapes, taste wine while it’s fermenting, learn how to read a refractometer and meet winemakers.
Passes include a souvenir wine glass, all activities and wine tastings at participating wineries. Those involved include La Rochelle, Loxton, Manzanita Creek, Mayo, Muscardini, Orpheus, Paradise Ridge, Spann, St. Anne’s Crossing, Suncé, Ty Caton, and Willington wineries. Tickets: one-day pass $35 advance, $45 at door; two day pass $50 advance, $55 at door; designated driver (not wine tasting) free. Tickets at 431-1137 or heartofsonomavalley.com. For advance bookings use discount code 17SCRUSH for $5 discount.
Starbucks’ Horchata Almondmilk Frapp is not Horchata
Starbucks is marketing a Horchata Almondmilk Frappuccino in an apparent attempt to attract those who want to avoid lactose, either by intolerance or choice. It turns out the Horchata Frappuccino contains no horchata, but is made with almond milk, according to eater.com.
The horchata we know came from Mexican tradition and is made from ground rice that is made into rice milk, with sugar and cinnamon and sometimes lime juice added. In Spain it is apparently made with tiger nuts, and in Puerto Rico where it is made with sesame seeds.
If you want real Mexican horchata, try it at La Michoacana Natural Ice Cream in the Springs, where owner Teresita Fernandez grinds rice into milk herself for their horchata. Or even at La Hacienda Taqueria. Both drinks are a little sweet, but soothing.
If you want sweet with caffeine, Starbucks’ horchata is made with almond milk, their Cinnamon Dolce syrup, coffee and ice with whipped cream, caramel drizzle and cinnamon-sugar sprinkles.
Sonoma Valley Uncorked
Wine lovers, get your tickets now for the Sonoma Home Winemakers annual Sonoma Valley Uncorked Sip and Savor event on Sunday, Sept. 17, which has grown so much that they are moving it this year to the Sonoma Veterans Memorial Building.