Archive for August, 2012
Sonoma County’s finest hour is at hand, at the <a href=”http://www.sonomawinecountryweekend.com/events_showcase.asp” target=”_blank”>Taste of Sonoma </a>event, the showcase of the <a href=”https://www.facebook.com/winecountryweekend
” target=”_blank”>Sonoma Wine Country Weekend</a> experience. For those of you who waited to buy tickets, it sold out again this week, the earliest ever. (I did warn you!) A few tickets to the <a href=”http://www.sonomawinecountryweekend.com/events_starlight.asp” target=”_blank”>Sonoma Starlight Supper Club</a> are still available. That’s <strong>tonight </strong>fyi! Simple Hedonisms will be there to partake of this new event.
<h2>Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Sommelier Stars from across the US</h2>
The Taste of Sonoma offers more than
just the amazing AVA based wine & food pairings and tastings. Seminars, food demonstrations, and other educational experiences abound. These are lead by a team of rock star Sommelier’s who have traveled to share their expertise with attendees.
Sommeliers from Northern California, as well as cities as far as 3,000 miles away, will serve as resident all-star wine guides at several events taking place throughout Sonoma County this coming weekend at the 2012 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, co-produced by the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Foundation and Sonoma County Vintners.<a href=”http://simplehedonisms.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/329108_10150445507679554_1562591989_o.jpg”><img class=”alignright size-medium wp-image-7877″ title=”SWCW12″ src=”http://simplehedonisms.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/329108_10150445507679554_1562591989_o-300×200.jpg” alt=”" width=”300″ height=”200″ /></a>
The rising wine experts, known as the “Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Sommelier Stars,” are sponsored by Rodney Strong Vineyards and Southern Wine & Spirits. The somms will be immersed in Sonoma to gain an even deeper understanding of the region and the wines. They will also lead seminars and tours at Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch in Healdsburg on Saturday, September 1 as well as provide custom wine service to auction guests at the 20th annual Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction at Chateau St. Jean in Kenwood on Sunday, September 2.
The 2012 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Sommelier Stars are:
<li>Charlie Berg – BOURBON STEAK, Washington DC</li>
<li>Nichole Dishman – Viognier Restaurant, San Mateo, CA</li>
<li>Sian Ferguson-Nagan – Root Down & Linger, Denver, CO</li>
<li>Michael Garcia – Southern Wine & Spirits, San Francisco, CA</li>
<li>Bjorn Kock – Salt House, San Francisco, CA</li>
<li>Mariya Kovacheva – Café Boulud, Palm Beach, FL</li>
<li>Dana Manison – Southern Wine & Spirits, San Francisco, CA</li>
<li>Christopher McFadden – Hy’s Steakhouse, Vancouver, BC</li>
<li>Jennifer Perlstein – Americano Restaurant at the Hotel Vitale, San Francisco, CA</li>
<li>Bert Rangle – River’s End, Jenner-by-the-Sea, CA</li>
<li>Stefen Soltysiak – Rodney Strong Wine Estates, Healdsburg, CA</li>
<li>Deirdre Summers – Scala’s Bistro, San Francisco, CA</li>
<li>Ryan Williams – Ana Mandara, San Francisco, CA</li>
Proceeds from Sonoma Wine Country Weekend benefit local communities and charities serving students, children, farm workers and people in need. To date, more than $11 million has been raised jointly by the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Foundation and Sonoma County Vintners. The 2012 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is set for Labor Day Weekend, August 31 – September 2, 2012.
For those who cannot attend the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction, yet would still like to participate in the charitable effort, an online auction of additional lots, including many of Sonoma County’s finest large format wine bottles and exclusive experiences, is open for bidding through September 7, 2012 at <a href=”http://www.biddingforgood.com/sonomawinecountryweekend” target=”_blank”>http://www.biddingforgood.com/sonomawinecountryweekend</a>.
<h2><strong>Follow Live On Twitter</strong></h2>
Those of you who can’t attend, can follow the fun live via Twitter. If my Verizon Mifi does the job, I’ll be
broadcasting recommendations and photos over Twitter via hashtag <a href=”https://twitter.com/#!/search/%23swcw12″ target=”_blank”>#SWCW12</a>
Cheers to Sonoma and her many wonderful people, experiences, and treasures!
<a href=”http://simplehedonisms.com/archives/7839″ rel=”prev”>Sonoma County’s Finest Wine Weekend Gets Even Better: New Starlight Dinner Kickoff</a>
Labor Day weekend in Sonoma County is extra special to me. Its’ the weekend every year that hosts my beloved adopted county’s premier, county wide wine event: Sonoma Wine
Country Weekend,the star of which, for me personally, is the Saturday afternoon Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch. Its also my last hurrah before harvest for my own wine project begins.
Why is Taste of Sonoma So Special?
It’s the only event of the year where wineries from our many widespread AVA’s (regions) gather together into one place. People email me regularly saying “I am coming to ‘Sonoma’ where should I go?” Often not realizing we have 13 AVAs, and the county is very spread out. And the regions can be VERY different. Russian River Valley and Dry Creek Valley are only miles apart, but one is very warm, and one is very cool, and produces very different wines.
Sonoma County has lots of great wine ‘bracelet’ events, where you go from winery to winery, but fewer ‘walk around’ tastings where you can move from table to table covering ground more quickly, and these tend to be focused on a single variety or narrow focus.
There is no other event where all our regions are combined together in one event on this scale. As if that isn’t enough, each regional tent is accompanied by some cheap auto insurance of the many rock star chefs and great epicureans of the county. It’s an event not to be missed. I attended it in a boot cast once even and hopped around at lightning speed!
My only ‘complaint’ every year is that 4 hours is just too little time, I could spend 2 whole days just tasting food and wine from so many amazing artisans. The afternoon window is a gift and experience I’ll happily accept.
The other amazing thing about Taste of Sonoma is the leisurely pace. It’s true several thousand people attend, but the event is so well organized, and spread into so many venues and things to do, it never feels busy, rushed, or crowded.
This event sells OUT! You have been warned if you procrastinate. People travel from all over the country ever year to attend this event.
In addition to tickets there are additional items you can add to your event, including Sommelier Tours and more. Many are already sold out!
New in 2013: Sonoma Starlight Supper Club
On Friday, August 31, the first ever Sonoma Starlight Supper Club will be held at Francis Ford Coppola Winery. Set against the backdrop of the shimmering night sky of the Alexander Valley, the Sonoma Starlight Supper Club begins poolside at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery, featuring an array of wines from twenty Sonoma County wineries paired with local cuisine served al fresco and prepared by Jeff Mall, Carlo Cavallo and Josh Silvers, the Sonoma County trio of chefs that comprise Culinary Cuvee.
The evening will culminate with dessert, live music, and dancing to the ever-popular Bay Area band Pride & Joy.
Also available is an exclusive Patron Ticket which will entitle guests to a Sparkling Wine Reception, a luxurious, sit-down multi-course meal prepared by Mark Stark – Chef/Owner of Stark Reality Restaurants, and access to a cigar bar and private lounge.
But Wait, There’s More!
I am not doing the Wine Country Weekend experience justice focusing just on the Taste of Sonoma. Locals and visitors alike can fill their weekend with lunches, Friday and Saturday night dinner parties, and BBQs. I attended a wine maker dinner last year and it was an incredible evening.
Last but not least, there is the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction – a grand affair at Chateau St Jean this year. I was the guest of a sponsoring winery 2 years ago, its an amazing, fun, experience. Also, money raised at this, goes to support Sonoma charities. In 2011, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend gave $395,385 to local charities in Sonoma County.
See you at MacMurray Ranch!
2012 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Schedule At-A-Glance
Friday, August 31
12:30 p.m. – Winemaker Lunch Series, sponsored by TricorBraun WinePak
7:00 p.m. – Sonoma Starlight Supper Club at Francis Ford Coppola Winery sponsored by Kaiser Permanente
6:00 p.m. – Winemaker Dinner Parties, sponsored by TricorBraun WinePak
Saturday, September 1
11 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch®
6:00 p.m. – Winemaker Dinner Parties, sponsored by TricorBraun WinePak
6:00 p.m. – Chairman’s Dinner Party
Sunday, September 2
12:30 p.m. – Winery Barbecues at Wineries throughout Sonoma County
1 p.m. – 7 p.m. Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction at Chateau St.
Jean, sponsored by TricorBraun WinePak
This was was a
steal at Oliver’s Market
in Santa Rosa for $11. At 11.5% alc, and a fan of Grüner Veltliner, I couldn’t resist and bought blind without even looking
Sadly, domestic, good Gruner is hard to find, so indulge yourself with a foreign investment.
Tasting Notes: 2011 Höpler Grüner Veltliner
To The Eye: Pale straw color, with slight hint of effervescence.
On The Nose: Green apple, lime peel, hint of wet stone.
In the Mouth: Green apple, citrus, nice minerality, bright but well rounded fruit, despite the acidity.
Recommendation: A great summer sipper. Recommended. Great QPR. 89 points.
Expand beyond NZ Sauv Blanc will you?!
Please take out of the fridge 15 minutes before drinking.
Overchilling will obliterate the subtleties of most whites, expect the bad ones of course, then over chilling is encouraged!