Kathleen Hill: Bastille Day and other reasons to live the good life

The "Follow This Story" feature will notify you when any articles related to this story are posted.

When you follow a story, the next time a related article is published — it could be days, weeks or months — you'll receive an email informing you of the update.

If you no longer want to follow a story, click the "Unfollow" link on that story. There's also an "Unfollow" link in every email notification we send you.

This tool is available only to subscribers; please make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.

Please note: This feature is available only to subscribers; make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.


Happy Friday the 13th!

Don’t hide under your pillow today. Instead, make Friday the 13th your good luck best day, like Marcy Smothers says Walt Disney did. Check out his theory of the number 13 in her book, “Eat Like Walt,” in which she tells the history of Disneyland food and restaurants.

Bastille Day in Sonoma

Chefs Liz Payne and Sarah Pinkin will celebrate their first Bastille Day, Saturday, July 14, at their Frenchie Picnics & Provisions take-out food shop on Broadway. In addition to their other food to go, including the closest thing to real French baguette sandwiches in town, they have added a BLTA (bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado) sandwich on sliced levain bread and an heirloom caprese salad. Plus they just got their beer and wine license.

Join in the celebration with sips of sparkling wine, snacks, a balloon animal artist, and madeleine cookies. 3 to 5 p.m., 521 Broadway, Sonoma. 343-7559.

Sarah Anderson’s Chateau Sonoma hosts a Bastille Day Fête on Saturday, July 14, with champagne and macarons (not macaroons) and Piaf-like music from French chanteuse Arabelle. 1 to 4 p.m. 23588 Arnold Dr., Sonoma. 935-8553.

Carneros Wine Alliance hosts winetasting & Cornhole Tournament

The Carneros Wine Alliance will host its second annual Cornhole Tournament & Wine Tasting on Saturday, Aug. 11 (note new date), probably having nothing to do with Bastille Day. The whole thing takes place at ZD Wines’ Private Carneros Estate on Cuttings Wharf Road, technically in Napa.

It all starts with a walk-around wine tasting of Saintsbury, Artesa, Etude, Liana Estates (Peju daughters), ZD Wines, Bouchaine and Schug Carneros Estate wines, plus small bites. Then comes the cheering for a community cornhole tournament with proceeds going to the Carneros and Schell-Vista fire departments. $40. 4 to 6 p.m. 1080 Cuttings Wharf Rd., Napa.

Oyster Girls’ shucking workshop

Don’t say it too quickly, but you can attend the famous Oyster Girls of Petaluma Oyster shucking workshop on Saturday, July 14, at Abbot’s Passage in the downtown Red Barn. Aluxa Lalicker will lead the hands-on oyster workshop where guests will learn about oyster farming with a shucking demo and instruction, then get a dozen oysters to shuck and swallow with a glass of Katie’s 2017 Sightline Chenin Blanc and Verdejo field blend. $85, or $76 for Gundlach Bundschu wine club members. Sign up at

Reminder: Schell-Vista Chicken BBQ

We all needed all of our firefighters during the October fires, and someone among us needs them every day for all sorts of services. Locals from throughout the Sonoma Valley loyally support all of the fundraising barbecues and pancake breakfasts, especially those of the fire departments that specifically worked to save their neighborhoods.

For this Sunday, July 15, locally-owned Broadway Market passes on its best prices for barbecue chicken, served with beans, salad and Basque Boulangerie rolls. You can go for lunch, mid-afternoon, dinner, or ask for foil and take the whole caboodle home. Fun for kids with games and fire engines, silent auction and lots of beverages of all sorts. $15 at the door. Noon to 6 p.m. 22950 Broadway, Sonoma. 938-2633. P.S. Kudos to Anna Nobles for coming home and stepping into Broadway Market management to keep it local.

Katie Bundschu expands Abbot’s Passage

As a multi-generational member and heir of the Gundlach and Bundschu families’ traditions, Katie Bundschu has caught the winemaking bug. She says, “Drawing on my family’s knowledge of every peak and valley in Sonoma, the vision behind Abbot’s Passage is to highlight storied vineyards from which to make distinctive field blends firmly rooted in place.”

They’ve just released their 2017 Sightline Chenin Blanc x Verdejo blend from the alluvial soils flanking the Sacramento Delta in Clarksburg – California’s newest AVA for chenin blanc.

Says Katie: “We also just received our fifth 91 point score… on our 2014 Points Unknown Rhone field blend from Steel Plow Vineyard at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain in Sonoma.”

Check them out at Katie’s Abbot’s Passage shop in the Red Barn off Broadway and Napa Street.

One door closes, another door opens

As you read here a couple of weeks ago, Pearl’s Diner also closed rather abruptly on a recent Sunday. I commented that two sources had told me it was going to be a Mexican restaurant and an offspring of Maya on Sonoma Plaza.

This is why I always double check rumors, even if they come from good friends. The Mexican restaurant part was correct, but the Maya part was not.

La Hacienda Taqueria Bar & Grill will be going in, but not for three to four months from now, according to owner Juan Sahagun. He envisions a shorter menu than he offers at La Hacienda on Sonoma Highway with lots of organic and more healthy ingredients, seating with the same colorful furniture he has at La Hacienda, and lots of convenient to-go offerings.

Thai cave soccer players’ requests

After 17 or 18 days trapped and isolated miles into a cave where their soccer coach probably should never have taken them, the boys came out and asked for “basil fried rice” first, and then “fried chicken,” and then chocolate, in that order. Big hats off to 16 volunteer Thai chefs who cooked tirelessly outside the cave entrance to feed all of the Thai and international divers and rescuers.

What would our kids have asked for? Pizza? The Thai soccer players did not immediately get to eat the rice or the chicken, as they had to be eased back into being able to process real food by health and nutrition experts.

Idell Family Vineyards winemaker dinner

Susan and Richard Idell and their family will host a winemaker dinner at Suite D on Saturday, July 28. The renowned award-winning winemaker Steve Matthiasson is their partner in their prized Michael Mara Vineyard.

The evening begins with 2015 Chardonnay with housemade charcuterie, pickles and crostini, followed by 2013 Red Field Blend with mixed greens, grilled peaches and burrata salad with toasted almonds. The entrée is Chef John Toulze’s famous local chicken thighs with ratatouille and summer corn polenta served with 2013 Zin from the Hamel Family Ranch Vineyard, followed by the Idells’ Oscar Syrah with local Pecorino, Midnight Moon, and Vella Dry Jack cheeses with red onion confit and cherry chutney.

Plates of house cookies to be passed including fig thumbprints, Black Forest cookies, and espresso chocolate cookies. $75 or $63.75 for Suite D or wine club members. 6:30 p.m. 21800 Schellville Rd., Suite D, Sonoma. 933-3000, Ext 10.

Windee Smith and Chad Richards sell Panel Wine Lounge

Dar and Charlie Rhodes have purchased the Panel Wine Lounge on West Napa from Windee Smith and Chad Richards, including the international wine shop and global wine club.

The Rhodes have added craft beer on tap and espresso in partnership with Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters of San Francisco. The Rhodes’ daughter, Zoë Colaso, will open the entire place to the public with four seating areas.

Among the beers Colaso recommends are Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Milk Stout from San Diego, or Maui Brewing Company’s Pineapple Mana Wheat. Small bites include Tony Packo’s Sweet Hot Pickles from Toledo, Ohio, anchovy-stuffed olives from Spain, and shortbread cookies from Honolulu Cookie Co. 535 W. Napa St., Sonoma. 938-7152.

As many people know, Windee Smith is a very generous member of the Boys & Girls Clubs board. Many of us still miss the monthly pop-up dinners Rob Larman of Cochon Volant used to serve at The Panel.

Sommelier to talk about glasses

Petaluma sommelier Chris Sawyer will give a class called “The Glass Makes the Difference” on Friday, July 20, at Cook Vineyard Management’s store on Eighth Street East.

Sawyer has a great gift for wine gab and will guide guests through analysis, discussion and tasting of wine through the nuances of stemware choice. He wrote a review of stemware that was published in Wine Business Monthly. $25. 1 to 3 p.m. 19626 Eight St. E., Sonoma. Reserve with Martha at 938-7917.

Show Comment

Our Network

The Press Democrat
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Emerald Report
Spirited Magazine