pokéLOVE has landed in Palo Alto, California

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pokéLOVE is excited to announce the opening of its first restaurant in June, 2016 located in Palo Alto at Town & Country Village.

pokeLOVE4pokéLOVE has a healthy fast-casual structure with an extensive menu that has been creatively crafted by restaurateur Alex Chan and Executive Chef Colin Long. The concept for pokéLOVE was created based on their passion for creating simple food that is natural, sustainable, minimally processed, and also incredibly flavorful.

pokéLOVE cares about every ingredient and the quality of their
seafood is paramount. Chan is a man of exceptionally high personal standards and values genuine collaboration. With connections to Northern California purveyors and local ingredients, they source their seafood from some of the best sources locally and around the world, such as Wild Isles Organic Salmon.

pokéLOVE’s values are centered on the fact that “Delicious food can pokeLOVE3still be really healthy and good for you, and that you should not have to compromise taste for calories.” pokéLOVE believes in using only the freshest ingredients of the highest quality that are bursting with nutrients, vitamins and plenty of fatty acids.

We got to sit down and interview restaurateur Alex Chan this week. And we also got to try variety of the dishes, endless combination even for the pickiest eater. And if you can’t eat raw, they can can steam or bake the salmon for you. Sous vide chicken and Unagi are also on the protein list for you. Plenty of choices for vegetarian and vegan. All their sauces are gluten-free, no nut, and children friendly place.

DLM:  What inspired you to pursue this pokéLOVE restaurant concept?
Alex Chan: I have a sincere appreciation for all things food and wine.
pokeLOVE5Not counting Antarctica, I’ve traveled to 6 continents in search of the best food. Food is so much more than just 3 stars or 0 stars. I’ve been to best restaurants in the world, but I really don’t give a damn about ratings and stars.  Some of the best meals I have had are in night markets that would not pass any reasonable health inspections. But I’m cool with that. Food is so much more to me than stars.  It’s about sharing, about giving, about experiencing. Why did I start pokéLOVE?  Because I’m crazy about simple food, that is healthy food, that is really tasty.  And because what’s worth doing is worth doing RIGHT. My inspiration for pokéLOVE is create the very best poke experience by serving the best poke, with the best toppings and dressings in a fun place that is chill with a cool vibe. 
 
DLM: Do have a corporate chef to help you with creating the menu? Where have chef worked before?
Alex Chan: Our executive chef is Colin Long.  Colin graduated from pokeLOVE2the Culinary Institute in Florida. From Quattro at the Four Season’s in Palo Alto to Blowfish Sushi at Santana Row, Colin brings a unique culinary background in western and eastern flavors.  He has spent a lot of time sourcing fantastic ingredients and creating dressings that would fit in most fine dining restaurants. There is a purity and sincerity to the food he makes and to the fish that he cuts. The little details do matter to Colin. The subtle nuances of flavor, color and texture do make a difference. Even something as simple as our wakame (seafood salad), is locally sourced and has no artificial flavors or preservatives.
 
DLM: There’s quite a few poke restaurants popping up around the Bay Area recently. Do you think it’s an emerging trend now? Just like Boba drink or crawfish a few years back?
Alex Chan: It is emerging and it currently is a trend. Put good food is never trendy, good food is always “in” and the consumers move to healthy and nutritious food is not going to change.  pokéLOVE brings a unique fast casual dining experience that is exciting to this space.  Inevitably, the crème always rises to the top and some players will fall by the wayside. Our food, our vibe, our brand, our respect for our ingredients and our level of customer service is anti-trendy.
 
DLM: What’s your philosophy here and what set pokéLOVE different than the rest of the poke restaurants in the Bay Area?
Alex Chan: My motto is:” we don’t eat to live, we live to EAT!”  First and foremost, the food at pokéLOVE is so much different than other strip mall poke shops.  We give a shit about our ingredients and we treat it with care and respect.  The quality of our seafood is paramount.  We have taken great pains to source our seafood from some of the best purveyors in the Bay Area and around the world and we are the only ones to proudly offer Wild Isles Organic Salmon.  In addition to the extensive protein selection, customers can select from organic quinoa, organic farro, soba noodles, rice pokeLOVE1noodles, or even quinoa tortilla chips for their base. We offer our customers an unlimited selection of traditional and edgy toppings to build their own bowl, including numerous organic options.  We pickle all our pickled vegetables in house; including our pickled leeks, shiitake mushrooms, and daikon.  We make all our dressings from scratch utilizing natural ingredients and all out dressings are gluten free.  We don’t believe your food should have dressings that come out of a PUMP! At  pokéLOVE , we want our customers to let their creativity and tastes buds roam as we craft whatever they desire, in whatever combination they wish.  Our goal for every customer to help them find that elusive healthy balance of salty, sour, sweet, bitter, spicy, and umami in a fun, relaxed and chill atmosphere. 
 
DLM: What does sustainability mean to you?
Alex Chan: Sustainability to me means walking a fine line between eating what we want and giving a real damn about the environment and our oceans. At pokéLOVE, we source all our seafood from highly reputable vendors and we are able to trace the origins of everything we buy.  We have some wild items on our menu, but only when the item is in season and bountiful.  Our farm raised products come from some of the best seafood farmers in the world. In fact, our house salmon is from the Faroe Islands, long regarded as the benchmark salmon preferred by chefs around the world.  Beyond our food, sustainable also means to be environmentally conscious.  All our bowls and utensils are compostable or recyclable and nothing in our operations go to a landfills.  Even the garbage bags we use are compostable.
       
DLM:  How did you get to this restaurant business? What’s your background? Can you share with our readers?
Alex Chan: I was an accountant turned food dude.  After graduating from the University of Southern California, I was a Consultant at Price Waterhouse. I  eventually lost interest in bean counting, and became the Master Franchiser for Cold Stone Creamery in Northern pokeLOVE7California. I developed over a hundred units in less than 5 years.  A wine enthusiast, I jumped into the vino business and started Vintage Wine Merchants at Santana Row (“Best Wine Shop” – San Jose Mercury News Readers Poll).  A few years later, Vintage Wine Bar at Santana Row opened, serving up cabs by the glass, stinky fromage plates and became the “Hottest Wine Bar” in San Jose (METRO San Jose).  I’m also co-owner of several established independent grocery stores in the Bay Area.  I’m happily married to my crazy low maintenance college sweetheart, and has three beyond super cool kids.  
DLM: What do you for fun?
Alex Chan: When I’m not working. I love to get out on the hills and pretend that I’m in the Tour de France, play golf when my old-man shoulder does not ache, watch some USC football with the family, play Iron Chef at home, and will never turn down the occasion to have some good eats and a nice glass of wine with family and friends.
 
DLM:  You’ve emphasized community service in your career and through your restaurant. In addition to being active in many organizations?
Alex Chan: We are still evaluating which community and non-profit organizations we plan to partner with.  As a sign of how serious I am about giving back and being involved, 10 cents will to go charity for every bottle of water we sell. Community involvement is a core value of the company and we give damn about giving back to the local communities that we do business in. 

855 El Camino Real, Suite 9
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Open from 11am to 9pm daily

by Manda Bear

Santa Lucia Highlands Gala 2016

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So this month, we got the honor  to attended the Santa Lucia Santa Lucia Highlands 1Highlands Gala 2016, only one a year, more than forty stellar wineries pouring some of the world’s best Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah – all from the Santa Lucia Highlands. For many of our artisan vintners, this is their one public tasting of the year.  We got to visit the lounge which offers the tasting and  includes additional Wagner Family Wines, including Caymus from Napa Valley.

Santa Lucia Highlands 5

This year’s Gala will be in the barrel cellar at dramatic Mer Soleil Winery, a venue not normally open to the public.

The winegrowers and vintners of the Santa Lucia Highlands welcomed us with open arms.  We got to try a lot of wines: August West, Belle Glos, Black Kite, Hope & Grace, Joyce, Kosta Browne, Lucia, Luli, Miura, Morgan, Pelerin, Roar, Siduri, Wrath and more. The SLH is California’s premier cool-climate winegrowing district. Its fifty famed mountainside vineyard estates and associated award-winning wine labels set the standard for New World Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah.

Santa Lucia Highlands 2We got to tour the Mer Soleil Vinyard, Charlie Wagner II, the eldest of Chuck’s children and owner and winemaker for Mer Soleil winery in Santa Lucia Highlands. He personally gave us a walking tour of the Mer Soleil vineyards and production site. We got to see the production, how he makes their wines. We got to meet his beautiful family, and talked to him about his passion and how much love puts in to these bottles of wine.

Santa Lucia Highlands 6The Mer Soleil Vineyard is 450 Acres and the majority of it is Chardonnay, the rest are other grapes – mainly Viognier.

The Viognier goes into making the Conundrum wine.

The vines of Mer Soleil were first planted in 1988, most of the vines are not grafted and planted on their own rootstock. Their vines neighbor Talbott Vineyards.

Santa Lucia Highlands 4You could really feel the ocean breeze in the afternoon that blows away all the fog, clearing the sky, and also keep the vines cool. The grapes retain natural acidity thanks to the ocean winds. It’s such a beautiful vineyards with hundreds of lemon trees planted around the estate.

2004 Mer Soleil – It was very truffle and spicy wood nose.  Textures was almost oily and rich. Also hints of saffron.

roar 20142009 Mer Soleil – Some honey character from botrytis, flinty nose, with a hint of white mushroom.  Salinity/Minerality, with good acidity.
2014 Mer Soleil- Fruit Forward, almost like a fruit punch, peach, oak, and cream.
kosta bowneThey rotate and use 20% New oak for their Mer Soleil
Silver Unoaked Bottling 2014 – Clean, psritz, and a note of yeastyness. Fresh and lighter drinking than the regular Mer Soleil.
   It was an amazing day at the Gala. I hope to see you next year for the Santa Lucia Highlands Gala 2017! It’s a day of food and wine not to be missed.
by Issei Chiba and Manda Bear
siduri
auguest west
cheese pig pig2 snack tacos wine

Hyatt Centric Steps up Its Style with First-Ever Drybar Collaboration

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Today, Hyatt Centric hotels announced a new relationship with the Drybar, the premier blow dry bar brand, helping guests look their Hyatt drybar Media Event May 12 2016 Steven Gregory Photography-2852best while shopping, enjoying a taste of the local cuisine and exploring a new destination.

Beginning May 2016, professional Drybar Buttercup Blow-Dryers will begin to roll out in every Hyatt Centric guestroom nationwide. Custom DIY tips and a how-to video from Drybar co-founder and chief creative officer, Alli Webb, will also be available to help travelers achieve the perfect “blowout” for their adventures.

Hyatt Centric guests don’t live in a one-size-fits-all world. When traveling, they look for the personal touches they are used to in their daily lives,” said Jonathan Frolich, vice president of global brands, Hyatt Centric. “Our Drybar collaboration means Hyatt Centric guests will no longer need to pack their own hair dryers, leaving more room to fill their suitcases with what they need to explore the best of what the destination has to offer.”

Hyatt Centric Fisherman’s Wharf is centrally located near San Francisco landmarks including Pier 39, Ghirardelli Square, and the historic network of cable cars. Venture out to the Golden Gate Hyatt drybar Media Event May 12 2016 Steven Gregory Photography-2875Bridge and beyond from your convenient accommodations in Fisherman’s Wharf. In addition to Drybar Buttercup Blow-Dryers, travelers can also enjoy BeeKind eco-friendly bath and body products, Keurig in-room coffee brewing systems and JBL Wireless speakers rolling out in Hyatt Centric locations in the United States in May 2016.

Our team got to visit Hyatt Centric Fisherman’s Wharf San Hyatt Centric DryBarFrancisco for a made over with the DryBar team from Union Square location in downtown San Francisco,  as well as experience the new amenity of the newly remodeled and rebranded. Our team had a great time looking fabulous of our girls night out. We surely felt like a million bucks.

The Drybar Buttercup Blow-Dryers features an ultra-powerful motor to get the job done fast and efficiently. Buttercup was designed for use by stylists at Drybar shops to deliver perfect, long-lasting blowouts to thousands of clients every day. NanoIonic™ Technology helps to break up water quickly for reduced dry-time. Nano beads within the dryer emit powerful negative ions that seal and smooth the hair cuticle, helping to reduce frizz, increase shine, and trap moisture inside for more healthy-looking, hydrated hair.

Hyatt Centric DryBar 4The video tutorial provides Webb’s well-tressed tips for well-traveled guests to achieve the perfect blowout in their hotel room. Webb’s travel style video created exclusively for the Hyatt Centric brand can be viewed above. The video will be available for Hyatt Centric guests to view in their rooms and includes everything from tips to keep hair tame while out of town, to how to freshen up second-day hair and how to protect your hair from humidity and wind.

The Hyatt Centric Experience

Hyatt Centric is a brand of full-service lifestyle hotels located in prime destinations. Created for millennial-minded travelers who want to be in the middle of the action, Hyatt Centric hotels are thoughtfully designed to enable exploration and discovery. The lobby lounge is a launch pad providing guests with information Hyatt drybar Media Event May 12 2016 Steven Gregory Photography-2906about the most sought-after food, nightlife and activities the destination has to offer, sourced from a community of “in the know” local explorers. The bar and restaurant are local hot spots where great conversations, locally inspired food and signature cocktails can be enjoyed. Streamlined modern rooms focus on delivering everything guests wants and nothing they don’t, including environmentally conscious bath products, Bluetooth-enabled electronics and restaurant to-go delivery service. A team of associates are always available to aid guests in their discovery of the destination and make the most of their stay.

About Drybar:

Drybar is based on a simple philosophy: Focus on one thing and be the best at it. For Drybar, that’s blowouts. The idea was a natural one for curly-haired founder Alli Webb, a longtime professional Hyatt Centric DryBar 3stylist, who grew tired of overpaying for blowouts at traditional salons. Named one of the top “100 Brilliant Ideas” by Entrepreneur Magazine and one of New York Magazine’s Boom Brands, Drybar is on track to have over 70 retail locations by the end of 2016. The brand will continue adding to its popular line of hair styling products & tools sold both online and in its own shops, as well as at Sephora and Nordstrom in the U.S. and Canada.

Flavor! Napa Valley Mar 17-18, 2016 Recap

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Showcasing the finest in farm-to-table cuisine, world-class wines silverado resort golf1and culinary star talent, Flavor! Napa Valley is a festival not-to-be-missed next year. Guests will delight in events ranging from local and celebrity chef demonstrations to intimate winemaker workshops along with Grand Tastings and exclusive experiences that bring out the best flavors of Napa Valley.

Dep Lifestyle Magazine got to spend this spring for two days of culinary indulgence, and wine and dine with Napa Valley’s legendary talent, once again.

Marcch 17, 2016 – Chef and Winemaker Golf Tournament at Silverado Resort and Spa

silverado resortWe got to join some of the local chefs and winemakers for a day on Silverado Resort and Spa‘s championship golf course. We enjoyed a continental breakfast and 18 holes featuring specialty beverages and the famed burger dog lunch that was featured in Golf Magazine. A beautifully simple specialty of grilled ground beef on a silverado resort burgerdog2hot dog bun and all the toppings if you would like.  Then celebrate victory at the post-tournament reception where you can mingle with the chefs, winemakers, and fellow golfers over some of Napa Valley’s finest wines from Hewitt Vineyards, Sterling Vineyards, Beaulieu Vineyard BV, Acacia Vineyard, and Provenance Vineyards, and appetizers from Silverado Resort and Spa.

silverado resort - clay and clintOur team won 3rd place, along with winemaker Clint Holdsworth of David Clinton Wine Cellars, and Cindy of Staglin Family Vineyard, and Dan W. on our team. When we done, we were greeted nicely by VisitNapaValley.com president Clay Gregory and AF & CO president Andrew Freeman at the reception on a beautiful sunny day at Silverado Resort.

silverado resort - wine2 silverado resort - sterling golf flavor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 18, 2016 – Wine Class: Pinot Paradise

Fuel your passion for Pinot Noir with this unique tasting of sophisticated wines made with fruit grown in Carneros and Wild Horse Valley in Napa Valley.

Participants include:
Jon Priest, Winemaker, Etude Wines, Carneros, Napa Valley – the etude wines john priestPinot Noir, Heirloom, from 600 ft high, clay soil, got the San Francisco Bay view, afternoon wind, his wine is transparent, disctinvive, and expressive, 600 cases produced for this 2013 vintage.  2013 Etude Heirloom Grace Benoist Ranch Pinot Noir Carneros $95.00, rich and deeply flavored, the 2013 Heirloom Pinot Noir intrigues with its spicy entry of cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise and Orange Pekoe tea, and extraordinarily concentrated dark fruit flavors. Despite the wine’s density and generous palate of red and black cherry, blackberry and plum, it shows elegance and balance. With silky tannins and delicate oak notes of clove and toasted almond that support but never override, this Pinot Noir will develop further complexities and age gracefully for years to come. Drink now through 2024.

Steve Rogstad, Winemaker, Cuvaison Estate Wines, Carneros, Napa cuvaison eastate wine steve rogstadValley – he loves making Pinot Noir wine because it’s firm but with clarity. This particular wine is from the Milliken Peak, the hillside, the heart of the hill. This was an experimental of twenty plus blocks, more than twelve different clones. 2013 Spire Pinot Noir, Carneros, Napa Valley $52.00, 600 cases produced, on a single block, Dijon clone,  an enticing array of black and red fruits come to the fore of this wine: black cherry, strawberry, raspberry and boysenberry all vie for attention. This luscious core of fruit is enveloped in a mix of exotic spice and intriguing but delicate smokiness. Aged for 16 months in French oak puncheons, the wine has mellowed and matured yet retains an unmistakable essence of lovely floral, think rose petals and bright fruit tones.

David Mahaffey, Winemaker, Miss Olivia Brion Wines, Wild Horse Valley – He’s co-inventor and developer of an “ozone for sanitation” olivia brion david mahaffeysystem that’s now used by over 700 wineries to save water and avoid harsh chemicals. Heron Lake Vineyard is in the south end of Wild Horse Valley, 1,200 feet higher than the Napa Valley floor and five miles east of Napa town.  Olivia Brion 2012 Pinot Noir, Wild Horse Valley $35.00, 650 cases produced –  With a lovely garnet red hue, the wine opens up with lofty aromas of ripe red fruits, spices, clove, and more.

When asked how he thinks about cellar aging New World Pinot Noir, he responded: “I would rather kissing Sophie Lauren at 25 years old than at 75 years old.” The audiences applauded.

Alex Beloz, Winemaker, Poseidon Vineyard, Carneros, Napa Valley – poseidon vineyard alex belozHe said:  “Pinot Noir is a very versatile grape with softness of a white wine and a structure that can get bigger with food.” His Pinot Noir is from the seaside by the bay. 2013 Poseidon Vineyard Estate Grown Pinot Noir, Carneros, Napa Valley $32.00 – Hungary oak, 1,600 cases produced, harvested the three blocks of the hillside (top, skirt, bottom) separately, picking across the three Dijon clones: 115, 667, and 777. This Pinot Noir exhibits aromas of cherry and cola with hints of fruit, leather and undertones of plum. The wine is silky in texture. Focused black cherry flavors dance on the palate, and an elegant dash of vanilla sweetens the wine for a long, inviting finish.

Amelia Ceja, Ceja Vineyards, Carneros, Napa Valley –  Long before the California legislature recognized Amelia as “Woman of the Year” cejain 2005 for “breaking the glass ceiling in a very competitive business,” the first Mexican-American woman ever to be elected president of a winery was on the frontier of wine. We have the chance to meet her many times before, and each time, she makes us feel special with her vibrant and exude personality. She’s always full of life. 2012 Ceja Vineyards, Carneros Pinot Noir $54.00. Las Amigas Road, Carneros, aging 24 months in French barrel, 1,000 cased produced. The aromas are fresh and floral with red plum, black cherry blossoms and hibiscus scents. The palate showcases a savory medley of
Jamaica tea, dried berry, herb and spice flavors. This is a bright, crisp and balanced Pinot Noir with soft tannins and layers of textures.

We learn that Pinot Noir is such a delicate grape. It chooses where to grow and it can’t be mix with any other varietal.  Adored by many critics, prized by many collectors, Pinot Noir is one of most tantalizing yet temperamental varietals in the world. For many wine enthusiasts, this is part of the appeal of Pinot — it doesn’t reveal its charms easily.

Pinot Noir’s virtue also stems from the unique characteristics of the grape. The skins are especially delicate, which accounts for the lighter color and body of the finished wine. But, despite the delicacy, the best wines have excellent backbone and length, providing aromatic intensity unlike any other grape.

Pinot Noir wines are pale in color, translucent and their flavors are very subtle. The grape itself is weak, suffering from a variety of diseases and its genetics make it highly susceptible to mutation. Despite the difficulty in growing the grape, prices for a bottle of Pinot Noir are generally more than a similar quality red wine.

Average prices for Pinot Noir are on the rise. The Hong Kong market has a growing thirst for Pinot Noir. In March 2013, six magnums of 1995 DRC sold for $27,300.00 USD a piece. Source: Bloomberg

So you wonder why a bottle of Napa Valley Pinot Noir is so christie dufaultexpensive, only if you know how costly to grow Pinot Noir and making this wine.

Moderator: Christie Dufault, Associate Professor, Wine and Beverage Studies, The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone

Marcch 18, 2016 – Wine Class: Preservation Society

Before Cabernet Sauvignon became the most popular grape in the Napa Valley, most of the full-bodied red wines were made with Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Charbono and other legendary grape varietals referred to as “mixed blacks.” Come find out what the proprietors of Biale Vineyard, Hendry Vineyards, Turley Cellars and other boutique producers are doing to preserve these special old vineyard sites.

Participants include:

Tres Goetting, winemaker, Robert Biale, Proprietor, Robert Biale Winery: Aldo’s Vineyard – Aldo’s Vineyard. Oak Knoll District Robert Biale VIneyards Tres GoettingEstate. The old vines planted in 1937 on the Biale ranch in Napa that produce their signature wine. They offer fourteen  different zinfandel.

Biale 2013 Zinfandel, Estate Grown, Aldo’s Vineyard, Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley $78.00, red fruits such as raspberry, plum, pepper aromas,  the palate is loaded with black robert bialeraspberry and kirsch liqueur elements. Minerals, chicory, and hints of sour red plum emerge on the long and tireless finish.

 

Tegan Passalacqua, Winemaker, Turley Wine Cellars: Hayne’s turley tegan passalaquaVineyard – Tegan was hired as a harvest intern in 2003 but was quickly offered a full time job when his talent in the vineyard became apparent.  Tegan has since further honed his skills working harvests with Alain Graillot in the northern Rhône Valley as well as Eben Sadie in Swartland, South Africa.

Between his travels & rigorous vineyard duties, Tegan began gradually taking on more of the Turley winemaking responsibilities as well, eventually becoming head Winemaker & Vineyard Manager in 2013.  A founding member of the non-profit Historic Vineyard Society, he now oversees the winemaking and vineyard duties for all 35 vineyards and 28 wines.

turleyTurley 2013 Petite Syrah, Hayne Vineyard, St. Helena – available on mailing list or at the tasting room only,  voluptous, richness as well as opaque black/blue colors, concentrated bold blackberry and blueberry fruit, exotic spice, leather,chewey tannin, drink now though 2026, age worthy wine, only 1,200 cases produced.

Mike Hendry, Proprietor, Hendry Winery: R.W. Moore Vineyard – The R.W. Moore Vineyard is located near the southern Hendry wines mike hendryend of the Napa Valley, in the Coombsville AVA. It was planted in 1905 and is maintained in the traditional, dry farmed, head trained, and field blended style. Mike and Molly Hendry have been producing wines from this iconic Napa vineyard since 2009. The earliest vines here date from 1905. Based on the age of this vineyard, many of the vines have been replaced due to disease and other factors. As they are replaced, Mike preserves the heritage of the vineyard and replants with varietals that historically have grown here. These are varietals such as Carigne, Napa Gamay and Petite Sirah.

A normal year sees anywhere between 300 to 500 cases. A typical vintage spends approximately 18 months in both French and Hungarian Oak and then a year in bottle before being released. There is less of the 2013 vintage because of the Napa Valley the 6.1 earthquake in August of 2014. Mike and Molly,  lost several barrels of their 2013 vintage.  Mike & Molly Zinfandel 2013, RW Moore Vineyard, Napa Valley $ 38,  savory, structure, continues to open up as we drink, pleasant at the beginning, got some muscle, berry notes, distinctively polish, structure, and will get better with age. 

Russell Bevan, Winemaker, Chase Cellars: Hayne’s Vineyard -” High energy and passionate are some of the words people often use to chase cellars russel bevandescribe Russell, but we’re not sure those adjectives do him justice.” wrote on their website. Wait until you meet him, full of energy, polished, and warm.  His passion for winemaking shined through during the wine class. He could have been a moderator.   2012 Chase Hayne Vineyard Zinfandel, St. Helena,  afternoon site, more oak, sweet, blue fruit, black fruit, cigar, essence and complexity of their ancient vines, ample tannins, smooth, velvelty.

Genevieve Janssens, Winemaker, Robert Mondavi Winery: To Kalon Vineyard – Geneviève’s connection to Robert Mondavi returned in 1989, when she became Director of Production at Opus One Winery. Then, in 1997, she came full circle as the Director of preservation societyWinemaking at the Robert Mondavi Winery. In 2000, she helped implement the To Kalon Project, the winery’s first major renovation since it was founded in 1966. The new To Kalon Fermentation Cellar allows Robert Mondavi Winery to make Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve and Oakville District Cabernet Sauvignon in a winemaking facility equal to its surrounding historic To Kalon Vineyard. “I wanted to be there for the construction, creativity and challenge,” says Geneviève. “We have created a new winery for our To Kalon estate, one of the most extraordinary vineyards on earth.”

Robert Mondavi 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, To Kalon Vineyard, Oakville $155.00, 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% robert mondavi to kalomCabernet Franc, 3% Petite Verdot – A powerful wine,  rich, spicy blackberry and blueberry fruit, cinnamon, sage, coriander and tobacco flavors. While muscular, the wine is elegantly structured with fresh acidity, fine tannins and a richly dense mouthfeel. This is their second vintage of our To Kalon Vineyard-designated Reserve. When Robert Mondavi chose the To Kalon Vineyard, in west Oakville, as the home for his new winery in 1966 he remarked that, “It was a vineyard with a distinguished history and a magical nature. Ideal soils, sunlight, and rain—to my eye, the vineyard was a treasure.” Those sentiments were re-preservation society2confirmed when the To Kalon Vineyard was named the Vineyard of the Year by the California State Farm Bureau in 2011. This Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is blended from the finest blocks within To Kalon.

This Preservation Society class was amazing by wine educator Christopher Sawyer of SawyerSomm.com. We learn that old vines don’t need much water. We’re lucky to have these vines that as old as hundreds of year. Europe doesn’t have these vines. And to be consider historic, these vines need to be fifty years old ore more.

These winemakers are doing what they can to preserve these old vines and continue to make good wines for us to consume. So next time before you raise a glass of old vines of Zinfandel, Petite Syrah, or Cab, think of these winemakers, how hard they work to preserve the good juice that we are lucky to drink.

Moderator: Christopher Sawyer, Sommelier, Wine Educator, Journalist

We didn’t get to attend the cooking demo, lunch, dinner, nor the Grand Tasting this year. However, for the three events we attended. rick moonen katie shafferWe have learned so much from the wine classes, tasted some of the iconic wines, and golfed with some celebrity chefs and winemakers. Along with making some new friends, we got to sit next to Master Top Chef Rick Moonen of RM Seafood Restaurant in Las Vegas and Katie Shaffer of Feast It Forward in the Presevation Society class at the Culinarily Institute of America Greystone, this only happened at Flavor! Napa Valley.

Flavor! Napa Valley continues to be one of the best food and wine festivals that not to be missed. Until Flavor! Napa Valley 2017, Happy wining and dining.

Nineth annual pebble beach food & wine, MAR 31 – APR 3, 2016, Pebble Beach, CA

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Enjoy 4 days of the decadent in food and wine with an epic epicurean
event, Pebble Beach Food and Wine. One of the country’s premier destinations, bringing together the world’s Founders -217most revered culinary
talent for 3 nights and 4 days of epicurean excellence.  Attendees are invited to explore the three world-class resorts including The Inn at Spanish Bay, Lodge at Pebble Beach, and Casa Palmero, where more than 100 renowned chefs and 250 distinguished wineries come together to showcase a dynamic weekend of exceptional lunches, dinners, cooking demos, chef collaborations, and experience the amazing Grand Tastings, featuring the industry’s leading experts and most coveted restaurants in the world. Participants include
1nationally and internationally acclaimed chefs such as Daniel Boulud, Gavin Kaysen, Stephanie Prida, Bryce Shuman, Philip Tessier, Dave Beran, Jérôme Bocuse, Mathew Peters and Joshua Skenes, will showcase the skills that place them among the world’s very best.

 

Highlights from the ninth annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine:

Lunches & Dinners:

  • Christopher Kostow & Nathaniel Dorn – The New Napa Experience: Chef Christopher Kostow‘s three Michelin stars at the Restaurant at Meadowood require a discipline of technique and talent. This year at Pebble Beach, Kostow and business PBFW_chefs_toasting_fadepartner Nathaniel Dorn will relax a bit as they début the family-style cuisine that epitomizes the “New Napa Experience.” Kostow and Dorn’s event will offer guests a sneak peek taste of their upcoming new restaurant in St. Helena, offering guests another “only at Pebble Beach” dining experience

Date: Saturday, April 2, 2016 from 6:30p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

  • South Australia – The Epicurean Way: Welcome to South Australia: our sunburnt land of wide blue skies and ochre desert sands, of vineyard-laden hills and clear ocean waters. Take a culinary adventure where the produce is real and the wines are robust and unique. Join Tasting Australia Creative Director Chef Simon Bryant and Barossa Chef Lachlan Colwill on an epicurean journey through some of Australia’s most iconic food and wine regions. Travel through South Australia via Kangaroo Island’s pristine beauty, stunning coastline, and world-renowned vineyards. U.S. chefs Michel Nischan and Bruce Kalman will join Simon and Lachlan to guide you through the flavors of South Australia.

Date: Friday, April 1, 2016 from 6:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

  • Booze & Bites Lunch at Restaurant 1833: Pebble Beach Food & Wine is very proud to host San Francisco’s most amazing culinary Friday Dinner (25)couple for the annual lunch at Restaurant 1833. Chefs Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinsky of State Bird Provisions and The Progress have re-invigorated the Bay Area dining scene with what many consider to be the two of San Francisco’s best restaurant additions in decades. They’ll join Restaurant 1833 Executive Chef Jason Franey to create an extraordinary lunch, available “only at Pebble Beach.”

Date: Friday, April 1, 2016 from 12:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Wine Seminars:

  • Women and Wine: Master Class: In the words of acclaimed singer James Brown, “This is a man’s world, but it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl.” Historically Remix-74speaking, the wine industry has been heavily dominated by males, but at the end of the day, are women intuitively and biologically better tasters of wine? This unique seminar allows guests to explore the world of wine through a female’s perspective with moderator Christie Dufault, Culinary Institute of America’s Associate Professor and all female Master Sommeliers Gillian Balance, June Rodil and Emily Wines. Taste through a flight of wines together while discussing the intersection of physiology, psychology and gender.

Date: Saturday, April 2, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

  • Big Bottles Bubbles Seminar: Ever wonder why certain wines are bottled in larger formats than the traditional 750 mL? Did you Founders-313-103know that the average glassblower’s lung capacity was between 700 – 800 mL of air, such that the volume gradually standardized? Many winemakers and sommeliers nevertheless feel that the 1.5 L size bottle is preferable for ageing. Can you tell the difference in the glass? Join the fun exploration of comparative tasting while addressing the the age old question, “Does size matter?”

Date: Sunday, April 3, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

  • Champagne Bollinger: A Living Heritage: Drunk by James Bond and beloved by connoisseurs the world around, Champagne bollingerBollinger is synonymous with luxury.  It is also the only Champagne house to receive the prestigious “Enterprise du Patrimoine Vivant” award, the French government’s highest award given to businesses. Bollinger is France, a living heritage, and Pebble Beach Food & Wine is thrilled to host an unparalleled retrospective tasting of their top cuvée, “Grande Année.”

Date: Sunday, April 3, 2016 from 10:00 a.m – 11:15 a.m.

Cooking Demonstrations:

  • Cat Cora’s “World Tour”: It’s no surprise that Cat Cora has become a world renowned chef. In 2005, she made television 3history on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” as the first and only female Iron Chef, and in November 2006 Bon Appétit Magazine bestowed her with their “Teacher of the Year Award,” an honor she calls, “the greatest recognition she could achieve as a chef.” That same month, she was also bestowed with another great culinary distinction when she was named Executive Chef of Bon Appétit. Since then, Cora has continued to evolve her craft, becoming an accomplished author, restaurateur, contributing editor, philanthropist, and television host.

Date: Saturday, April 2, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

 

Opening Night Reception

opening-night
The 9th Annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine kicks off on Thursday MAR 31 at 6 PM at the famous Inn at Spanish Bay for a night of unbridled indulgence. The Opening Night Reception features delicious bites from from 23 top chefs and tasting of over 200 domestic and international wines
Get your ticket now!

Wine Seminars

With 22 dedicated wine seminars over the course of the weekend, wine2Pebble Beach Food and Wine is the perfect place for the true wine connoisseur. Whether you prefer to compare a broad spectrum of wines within a certain varietal, discover the diverse range of wines that one winery can produce, or taste how different the same wine from the same vineyard can be depending on the vintage, Pebble Beach Food and Wine offers the experience you’re looking for. Whatever tasting you visit, you’re assured to be trying the finest wines the world has to offer. A few events with tickets are still available: Get your ticket here!

After Hours v.1-01At Pebble Beach Food & Wine, the partying continues for our select group of celebrity chefs, winemakers, sommeliers and industry influencers who dance quite literally until dawn.

Tickets

Three total weekend packages are available. Tickets can be purchased at: Pebble Beach Food and Wine website.

I’m so looking forward to support this great cause epicurean event, as well as meeting these chefs, and industry influencers. There’s so much to learn, to explore, and to be inspired.

Don’t forget to harshtag us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook #PBFW @PBFW @DiningOutVegas @DepLifestyleMag and @1MandaBear.

Pebble Beach Food & Wine Hotels

Golf-41Many of the motels and hotels at Pebble Beach are within walking distance or just 10, 15 minutes drive to the Pebble Beach Food & Wine events. Nearby options, search in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Pacific Grove and Monterey also provide easy access to the event with shuttles daily by half an hour or an hour, please check www.PBFW.com website for details. To check for hotels availability here Travelocity.com/Hotels

Pebble Beach Food & Wine: 

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California’s Artisan Cheese Festival March 18-20, 2016 Petaluma, California

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Three days of cheese, cheese and MORE cheese awaits at the 10th Annual Artisan Cheese Festival. Take a farm tour, sign up for a class to learn from our experts how to taste, buy, serve and enjoy distinctive artisan cheeses with wine, beer, cider, and even sake.

Meet the cheesemongers and vote on their Best Bites! Sample cheese-inspired dishes from more than two dozen restaurants at California Cheesin’ – We Do it Our Whey! With wines, beers, and ciders to complement.

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Visit the Bubbles Brunch or go to the Artisan Cheese Tasting and Marketplace where you can taste and buy cheeses from over two dozen artisan cheesemakers and artisan food producers; sample artisan wines, craft brews, and much more. Celebrity chefs, world class cheese, wine, beer, cider and more all in one fun filled weekend!

Sheep bucket credit Derrick StoryThe 2016 schedule features the following events:

 Friday, March 18

Cheesemongers’ Duel – The Best Bite

Friday night under the Big Top is where cheesemongers will take center stage in a light-hearted yet energetic competition to see who can create the best bite using California artisan cheese. Guests are encouraged to vote for their favorite bite while enjoying plenty of artisan wine, cider and beer. A “Fantasy Cheese Table” will be center stage, so guests may taste the wide variety of local and rare cheeses at this not-to-be-missed party to kick off the weekend.  Tickets $50; The Big Top at the Sheraton Sonoma County, 6 – 9 p.m.

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 Saturday, March 19

 Farm Tours & Lunch

New this year, the popular and coveted Friday farm tours have been expanded to Saturday! Guests will be guided on walking tours of various local farms and creameries to meet the cheesemakers and farmers, learn how the cheeses are made and taste the fruits of their labor. Tours on Saturday will feature an educational component such as a discussion or tasting led by an industry expert on a variety of topics. Tours allow guests to observe behind-the-scenes aspects of cheesemaking and interact with the animals in their natural environment. Each tour includes round-trip transportation from the Sheraton Sonoma County, as well as cheese tastings and lunch. Cheese is available for purchase on most of the farm tours.  Tickets and specific details about the farm tours to be available January 1, 2016; $135; 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

 Seminars + Tasting and Pairing Demonstrations

In addition to the educational components that are included on the farm tours, there are also a handful of seminars offered a la carte on Saturday at the Sheraton Sonoma County and at Cowgirl Creamery in Petaluma. Led by industry experts on a variety of topics, the seminars will range from pairing cheese with sake to the similarities of making cheese and chocolate. Confirmed instructors include Peggy Smith and Sue Conley of Cowgirl Creamery; renowned cheese writer and author Janet Fletcher; author and cheese expert Laura Werlin; cheese expert and founding president of the California Artisan Cheese Guild Lynne Devereux; and cheese and wine author Kristin Jackson. During the lunch break and after the afternoon seminars authors will be available for book signings. Books will be available for purchase by Copperfield’s Books. Tickets $75; Sheraton Sonoma County and Cowgirl Creamery Warehouse. 10 – 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 – 3 p.m.

California Cheesin’ We Do It Our Whey!

In celebration of a decade of California’s Artisan Cheese Festival,

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guests are invited to taste their way around this evening celebration of California cheese, sampling dishes from some of the Bay Area’s best chefs and caterers. Each chef will incorporate their favorite locally made cheese into an impressive dish for attendees who will then cast their vote for their favorite dish. The winner will be announced on-site during this lively and festive competition and there will also be a special tribute to some of the icons of California’s artisan cheese industry. Artisan wines, beers and ciders will be on hand to complement each dish, and live music and a photo booth will add to the jovial atmosphere. Tickets $75; The Big Top at the Sheraton Sonoma County, 6 – 9 p.m.

 Sunday, March 20

Sunday Bubbles and Brunch with Visionary Chef John Ash

Considered the Father of Wine Country cuisine, chef John Ash will be dishing up a special Sunday brunch celebrating California cheese at every course. Chef Ash will provide a live cooking demonstration and sparkling wine will be provided by Gloria Ferrer Champagne Caves. Tickets to brunch also include coveted early entry into the Artisan Cheese Tasting & Marketplace at 11 a.m., before it opens to the public at 12 p.m.  Tickets $115; Sheraton Sonoma County Ballroom,
9:30 – 11 a.m.

Artisan Cheese Tasting & Marketplace

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The grand finale of the Festival, the Marketplace brings together more than 90 artisan cheesemakers, winemakers, brewers, chefs and producers to sample and sell their products directly to attendees in this feast for the senses. Guests can discover the next wave of local, hand-crafted cheeses, boutique wines and artisan-brewed beers as well as interesting cheese products, books and recipes.  Each ticket includes entry to the Marketplace, an insulated cheese tote bag and a signature wine glass. Tickets $45 for adults; $20 for children 12 and under; The Big Top at the Sheraton Sonoma County, 12 – 4 p.m.

Complimentary Cooking and Entertaining Demonstrations

In between tasting and buying cheeses at the Marketplace, guests are invited to watch live cooking and entertaining demonstrations conducted by local chefs and cheese experts, including a demonstration of how to create the perfect party cheese platter.  Free with a Marketplace ticket; Sheraton Sonoma County Ballroom, 12 – 4 p.m.

You can purchase tickets at www.artisancheesefestival.com.

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Sheraton Sonoma County
745 Baywood Drive
Petaluma, CA 94954
Friday, March 18, 2016 at 8:30 AM Sunday, March 20, 2016 at 4:00 PM

Generous sponsors of the Artisan Cheese Festival include All American Printing, American AgCredit, Beehive Cheese Company, Bellwether Farms, John Boos Boards, Central Coast Creamery, Cheese Connoisseur,  Chevoo, Cowgirl Creamery, Culture Magazine, Cypress Grove Chevre, Donald & Maureen Green Foundation, Fiscalini Farmstead Cheese Co., KWMR Community Radio, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Laura Chenel Chevre, Marin French Cheese Co., Mike Hudson Distributing, Nicasio Valley Cheese Company, Nugget Markets, Oakland Packaging, Oliver’s Markets, Pennyroyal Farm, Petaluma Market, Petaluma Post, Pisenti & Brinker LLP, Pt. Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co., Pure Luxury Transportation, Real California Milk, Redwood Hill Farms & Creamery, Rustic Bakery, Sheraton Sonoma County, Valley Fig Growers, Valley Ford Cheese Company, Willapa Hills Cheese and Yelp.

About California’s Artisan Cheese Festival
A 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, California’s Artisan Cheese Festival strives to increase cheese appreciation, educate consumers about artisan cheeses, support the cheesemaking community and its sustainability and celebrate the creations of California’s many farmers and cheesemakers. The festival began in March 2007 as the first-ever, weekend-long celebration and exploration of handcrafted cheeses, foods, wines and beers from California and beyond.  In keeping with its dedication to the community, the Artisan Cheese Festival donates 10% of all ticket proceeds to Sonoma Land Trust, Marin Agricultural Land Trust, Petaluma Future Farmers of America, California Artisan Cheese Guild and Redwood Empire Food Bank. To date the Artisan Cheese Festival has contributed more than $80,000 to these non-profit organizations that work to support the artisan cheesemaking community and its infrastructure in California.  For more information, visit www.artisancheesefestival.com.

Cab Fest Napa Valley, March 4-6, 2016, to benefit the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center

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CabFestCabFest Napa Valley, the premier luxury lifestyle event that celebrates Cabernet Sauvignon and benefits the arts, is set to return to the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater in Yountville, California, March 4 – 6, 2016.

CabFest Napa Valley, a world-class, three-day arts benefit event, will again feature hundreds of wineries showcasing tastes of Napa’s flagship wine varietal Cabernet Sauvignon, an exclusive selection of wines curated by The Wine Bible author Karen MacNeil, vibrant grand wine tastings, intimate boutique wine tastings, innovative cuisine, interactive and informative breakout sessions and live entertainment including a performance by recording artist Mat Kearney, as well as VIP and limited-access experiences and after parties.

wine“While CabFest Napa Valley is definitely a celebration of this region’s signature wine varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon, it is also a reflection of the finest combined elements of wine country including the food, live entertainment, people and trendsetters that personify the Napa Valley lifestyle,” said CabFest Napa Valley Producer, Michael Madden. “We are proud to also announce that we will again stage this event with our beneficiary non-profit partner, the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater.”

A preview of just some of the 2016 CabFest Napa Valley Event Mat KearneySchedule includes:

• CabFest Napa Valley Kickoff Concert with headliner, recording artist Mat Kearney, followed by the highly-popular and exclusive “Cigars and Guitars” after party for VIP pass holders.

• Daily Grand Karen MacNeilTastings and Boutique Tastings featuring hundreds of wines, as well as the CabFest Symposium with wine world stars such as wine author Karen MacNeil, winemakers, sommeliers and chefs.

• The release of the new hardcover book the CabFest Napa Valley – Premium Guide to Cabernet Sauvignon, First Edition.
About CabFest Napa Valley 2016

CabFest Napa Valley is a luxury lifestyle celebration of wine, food and entertainment, created to attract a wide audience to the Napa Valley during the shoulder season and simultaneously benefit local arts education. The inaugural CabFest Napa Valley attracted more than 2,000 patrons, with 70% of the attendees traveling from outside the area (17 states and more than three countries). For tickets, or to participate or sponsor, visit CabFestNapaValley.com or call 707.944.9900.

Tickets are also available at the Lincoln Theater Box Office at 100 California Drive in Yountville, California from 11 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

For more information visit CabFestNapaValley.com.
Like CabFest on Facebook and Follow on Twitter, and Instagram.

About the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater

The Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater is a non-profit performing arts organization dedicated to the cultural and artistic education and well-being of the Napa Valley. The Performing Arts Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that nurtures the next generation of artists and audiences through extensive arts education programs, while sustaining a more vibrant and engaged community, through initiatives ranging from presenting world-renowned artists and producing Symphony Napa Valley, to creating and sustaining arts education and access programs in schools, to producing arts and culture education and outreach on site at Lincoln Theater.

Wine Events at Flavor! Napa Valley with Christopher Sawyer of SawyerSomm.com – WINE MANAGEMENT AND PROGRAMMING

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ChristopherSawyerWine Events at Flavor! Napa Valley with Christopher Sawyer of SawyerSomm.com – WINE MANAGEMENT AND PROGRAMMING – Christopher Sawyer is an internationally-renowned sommelier,  wine educator, journalist, consultant, critic and public speaker: He travels the world following trends in wine and participating as a VIP judge in the world’s top wine competitions, and has been featured in a wide range of national media, including USAToday, MSN, NBC, ABC, CBS, Redbook, The Hollywood Reporter, Maxim, National Geographic Traveler, CNN and Esquire.

WINE PARTNER
NVV_CenteredLogo_150wThe Napa Valley Vintners nonprofit trade association has been cultivating excellence since 1944 by inspiring its more than 525 members to consistently produce wines of the highest quality, to provide environmental leadership and to care for the extraordinary place they call home.

Check out these amazing wine events:

Terroir to Table: Exploration of Pinot Noirs with Etude Wines
Location: Etude Wines – 1250 Cuttings Wharf Road Napa, CA 94559 
Thursday, March 17, 2016 -Time: 3:00pm – 4:30pm

Join winemaker Jon Priest for a unique tasting that showcases Etude’s continual study of this captivating varietal and its varying expressions from Carneros, Sonoma Coast, Santa Barbara County and Willamette Valley. Jon will lead a side-by-side tasting of these limited regional Pinot Noirs to help you understand how terroir influences the aromas and flavors of this popular grape and explore how Pinot Noir is highly sensitive to climate and changes in soil composition. With Etude’s minimal intervention approach, even when each Pinot Noir is treated the exact same way in the winery, the resulting wines will ultimately be different. After the intimate seated tasting, Jon will lead Flavor guests into Etude’s cellar for a behind-the-scenes barrel tasting of an unreleased vintage of all the Pinots just tasted. Guests will also come away with a bottle of Pinot and other surprises. Space is very limited.

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The Taste of Time: A Retrospective Tasting with Chateau Montelena and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars
Location: Silverado Resort and Spa – 1600 Atlas Peak Road Napa, CA 94558
Thursday, March 17, 2016 –  
Time: 4:00pm – 5:30pm

In celebration of the 40-year anniversary of the Judgment of Paris Tasting, join winemakers Matt Crafton of Chateau Montelena and Marcus Nataro of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars for this exclusive tasting of rare and unique wines that represent the flavor of Napa Valley and each winery’s commitment to quality over the past four decades.

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Wine Class: Spring Awakening & the Rosé Revolution
Location: The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone 2555 Main Street St. Helena, CA 94574
Friday, March 18, 2016 –  Time: 10:00am – 11:30am

rose-grabAn in-depth tasting experience focused on the wide range of dry, elegant, and refreshing styles of pink wines made with premium grapes from Napa Valley, and how these tasty delights pair with fine cuisine in the Spring and Summer months.

Participants include:
Tim Collar, Saintsbury: Vin Gris of Pinot Noir, Carneros
Kevin Morrisey, Ehlers Estate: “Sylviane” Cabernet Franc Rose, Estate, St. Helena
Julia Johnson, Tres Sabores: “Ingrid & Julia” Rose, Napa Valley
Robin Akhurst, Swanson Vineyards, Rosato, Antica Vineyard, Atlas Peak

Moderator: Traci Dutton, Manager, Public Wine and Beverage Studies,The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone

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Wine Class: Pinot Paradise
Location: The Culinary Institute of America at Copia – 500 1st Street Napa, CA 94559
Friday, March 18, 2016 – Time: 10:00am – 11:30am

Fuel your passion for Pinot Noir with this unique tasting of sophisticated wines made with fruit grown in Carneros and other special sites in Napa Valley. Food pairing suggestions from chefs, sommeliers, and much more!

Jon Priest, Winemaker, Etude Wines, Carneros
Steve Rogstad, Winemaker, Cuvaison Estate Wines, Carneros
David Mahaffey, Winemaker, Miss Olivia Brion Wines, Wild Horse Valley
Alez Beloz, Winemaker, Poseidon Vineyard, Carneros
Amelia Ceja, Ceja Vineyards, Carneros
Moderator: Christie Default, Professor, Wine and Beverage Studies, The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone

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Terroir to Table: Appellation Exploration at HALL Wines
Location: HALL Wines St. Helena – 401 Saint Helena Highway Saint Helena, CA 94574 
Friday, March 18, 2016 – Time: 12:00pm – 3:00pm

Led by acclaimed winemaker, Steve Leveque, Flavor guests are invited to join HALL Wines for an unparalleled opportunity experiencing the quality and diversity of Napa Valley’s distinct appellations. This is a one-of-a-kind wine tasting of HALL’s most limited-production wines showcasing the impact of terroir, climate and elevation. Everything other than appellation is constant – the vintage, winemaking team, winemaking approach, technology in the vineyard and cellar all remain the same. This tasting proves just that. All wines served are carefully paired with seasonal bites with one of HALL’s Chefs providing insight into why the wines pair well with the dish. With a portfolio of outstanding wines from thirteen of the sixteen Napa Valley appellations, HALL is uniquely positioned to offer this experience to guests ranging from novice wine drinkers to experts and critics. All guests will come away with a special giveaway. Guests will experience luxury at its finest with HALL’s unique Appellation Exploration event.

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Wine Class: Preservation Society
Location: The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone 2555 Main Street St. Helena, CA 94574
Friday, March 18, 2016 –  Time: 3:00pm – 4:30pm

Food-WineBefore Cabernet Sauvignon became the most popular grape in the Napa Valley, most of the full-bodied red wines were made with Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Charbono and other legendary grape varietals referred to as “mixed blacks.” Come find out what the proprietors of Biale Vineyard, Hendry Vineyards, Turley Cellars and other boutique producers are doing to preserve these special old vineyard sites.

Participants include:
Robert Biale, Proprietor, Robert Biale Winery: Aldo’s Vineyard
Tegan Passalacqua, Winemaker, Turley Wine Cellars, Hayne’s Vineyard, Mike Hendry, Proprietor, Hendry Winery: R.W. Moore Vineyard, Russell Bevan, Winemaker, Chase Cellars: Hayne’s Vineyard, Genevieve Janssens, Robert Mondavi Winery: To Kalon Vineyard

Moderator: Christopher Sawyer, Sommelier, Wine Educator, Journalist

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Wine Class: Aromatic White Wines for Spring

Location: The Culinary Institute of America at Copia – 500 1st Street Napa, CA 94559
Friday, March 18, 2016 –
Time: 3:00pm – 4:30pm

Love refreshing wines with aromatic aromas? Or simply looking for a crisp alternative to Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc? Then check out the new delicate styles of white wine from Napa Valley that are becoming very fashionable to pair with so many styles of fine cuisine.

Participants include:
Mike Chelini, Winemaker, Stony Hill Vineyard, Spring Mountain
Jeff Virnig, Winemaker, Robert Sinskey Vineyards, Carneros
Francis Mahoney, Mahoney Vineyards, Carneros
Ry Richards, Chappellet Winery, Pritchard Hill
Craig Becker, Priest Ranch/Somerston Estate, Napa Valley
Moderator: Robert Bath, Master Sommelier & Professor, Wine and Beverage Studies, The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone

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Wine Class: Forward Thinking, The Young Stars of Napa Valley
Location: The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone 2555 Main Street St. Helena, CA 94574 
Saturday, March 19, 2016 –  Time: 10:00am – 11:30am

Meet the next generation of talented winemakers in Napa Valley. Find out the new wine trends they are applying to their family vineyards, discover the intriguing grape varietals they are working with, and taste the signature styles of wines which set them apart from the rest!

Participants include:
Alan Viader, Viader Vineyards & Winery
Judd Finkelstein, Judd’s Hill
Alex Llamas, Winemaker, Llamos Winery
Joe Harden, Robert Mondavi Winery
Patrick Foley, Foley Johnson Winery

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Terroir to Table: St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery Aromatherapy with a Corkscrew
Location: St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery – 8440 Saint Helena Highway Rutherford, CA 94573 
Saturday, March 19, 2016 – Time: 10:00am – 11:30am

Explore wine aromas suggestive of fruit character, barrel aging and terroir while tasting four estate grown St. Supéry wines. Exercise your sense of smell through a series of aroma identifications designed for you to discover how your personal sensory memory impacts how you recognize aromas. This interactive sommelier-led experience includes a mystery wine game and ultimately guides guests to develop a savvy for identifying more aromas in their glass which heightens the enjoyment of wine. This is a fantastic way to begin your visit to Napa Valley.

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Wine Class: High Elevation Wines, Part 1 – Eastside
Location: The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone – 2555 Main Street Saint Helena, CA 94574
Saturday, March 19, 2016 – Time: 10:00am – 11:30am

Join us for this detailed exploration of complex wines made with grapes grown on high elevation sites in the rugged eastern hills of the Napa Valley.

Participants Include:
Remi Cohen, President, Poetry Wines/Cliff Lede Vineyards: Stags Leap District
Glenn Salva, Antica Napa Valley, Atlas Peak
Gillian Balance, Beringer/Treasury Wine Estates
Tina Mitchell, Palmaz Vineyards, Combsville
Mia Klein, Cimarosso, Howell Mountain

Moderator: Christopher Sawyer, Sommelier and Founder of SawyerSomm.com

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Wine Class: High Elevation Wines, Part 2 – Westside

Location: The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone 2555 Main Street St. Helena, CA 94574
Saturday, March 19, 2016 –  Time: 3:00pm – 4:30pm

wineExplore flavorful selections of wines made with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and other special varietals used to create limited release wines and proprietary blends from hidden sites on the Mayacamas Range overlooking Napa Valley.

Participants include:
Hugh Davies, Proprietor, J Davies/Schramsberg, Diamond Mountain
Christopher Howell, Winegrower/GM, Cain Winery & Vineyard, Spring Mountain
Stuart Smith, Winemaker, Smith Madrone Vineyards & Winery, Spring Mountain
Mariano Navarro, Viticulturalist, Mt. Brave/Lokoya Wines, Mt Veeder
Jay Turnipseed, Mount Veeder Winery, Mt. Veeder
Moderator: Christopher Sawyer, Sommelier and Founder of SawyerSomm.com

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Wine Class: Exploring the Rhone Zone
Location: The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone – 2555 Main Street Saint Helena, CA 94574
Saturday, March 19, 2016 – Time: 3:00pm – 4:30pm

From aromatic white wines and elegant red blends, to bold and spicy vineyard designates, taste and discover why many talented winemakers in Napa Valley are working with grape varietals that were originally made famous in the Rhone Valley of France and other special regions around the globe.

Participants include:
David Miner, Proprietor, Miner Family Winery
Joanne Wings, Stags’ Leap Winery
Carolyn Meridith, Proprietor, Lagier Meredith Vineyard
Ashley Hepworth, Winemaker, Joseph Phelps Vineyards
Jeff Cohn, Jeff Cohn Cellars

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Bubbly Sensations: Exploring the Top Sparkling Wines of Napa Valley

Location: The Meritage Resort and Spa – 875 Bordeaux Way Napa, CA 94558
Saturday, March 19, 2016 –  Time: 9:30am – 11am

wine2Start your Sunday off in style by tasting through the top sparkling wines of Napa Valley! Find out where the grapes are grown and how the winemakers create levels of flavor and complexity that make their sparkling gems so special. Bubbles and knowledge in every sip!

Participating Wineries:
Domaine Carneros, Domaine Chandon, Mumm Napa, Schramsberg

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Countdown to Flavor! Napa Valley March 16 – 20, 2016 Five Days, 40 Events and One Legendary Festival


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The countdown to Flavor! Napa Valley, March 16 – 20, 2016, has begun! The five-day food and wine festival

foodsupports programs and scholarships at The Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone Campus in St. Helena, CA. Flavor! Napa Valley showcases the finest in farm-to-table cuisine and world class wines with a series of local and celebrity chef demonstrations, intimate winemaker workshops, as well as grand tastings and exclusive experiences to bring out the best flavors of Napa Valley.

A highlight of Flavor! Napa Valley 2016 events include and a whole lot more events at Flavor! Napa Valley :

  • rose-grabWednesday, March 16First Taste, Napa Valley, presented by Downtown Napa at the Culinary Institute of America’s new downtown campus at Copia in Napa, 6 – 9 p.m., *$95 per person. *Those who book overnight accommodations in downtown Napa will receive two tickets to the event.
  • Silverado-500wThursday, March 17The Celebrity Chef and Winemaker Golf Tournament, new for 2016, at Silverado Resort & Spa in Napa, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. $200 per person.
  • Thursday, March 17 – A Celebration of the Judgment of Paris Dinner at Silverado Resort & Spa in Napa, 6 – 10 p.m., $295 per person. Participating chefs include Matthew Accarrino, Bradley Ogden, Justin Yu and Larry Forgione.
  • ChristopherKostow-150wFriday, March 18 – “Chef Demonstration: Cooking with Chef Christopher Kostow – Join Chef Christopher Kostow of The Restaurant at Meadowood Napa Valley, 12 – 1:30 p.m., $101.22 for a behind-the-scenes look at his cooking style and techniques. A Michelin-starred chef before the age of 30, Kostow attributes his culinary philosophy in part to Napa Valley’s vibrant terroir.
  • Saturday, March 19- “Legendary Napa Valley, The Grand Tasting –  all presented in The Culinary Institute of America’s
    ToddEnglishhistoric Greystone building, St. Helena, Napa Valley, VIP 6 p.m, general admission 7 – 9:30 p.m., $185.62-$238.37. This epicurean adventure showcases a collection of the Napa Valley’s most celebrated and innovative vintners and chefs. The Legendary Grand Tasting will feature nearly 80 wineries and fare from over 25 of the Valley’s best restaurants.
  • Sunday, March 20 — The Meet Your Maker; The Butcher, The First-TasteBaker, and The Sparkling Wine MakerBrunch Party at The Meritage Resort & Spa in Napa, 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., $125 per person.Saturday, March 19 — Legendary Napa Valley, The Grand Tasting at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, 7 – 9:30 p.m., $175 per person.

Terroir to Table
In addition to the Flavor! Napa Valley events listed above, the five-
Flavor_Hero_1280x618v3day food and wine event also includes a series of “Terroir to Table” workshops Thursday, March 17 through Saturday, March 19. These include “Behind the Scenes with Nickel & Nickel;” “Detox to Retox” at Indian Springs Resort; “Appellation Exploration” at HALL Wines; and “Winery Aromatherapy with a Corkscrew” at St. Supery Estate Vineyards.

Chef Demos
A highlight of Flavor! Napa Valley “Chef Demos” include an “OpenTable Industry Trends Panel” at the Culinary Institute of America at Copia; “Cooking with Christopher Kostow,”chef at Michelin three star The Restaurant at Meadowood; “Pizza Making with Tony Gemignani,” of Tony’s Pizza Napoletana; and “From Vegas to the Valley with Chef Rick Moonen.”

Wine Classes
Additional highlights of Flavor! Napa Valley include Wine Classes, offered Friday, March 18 and Saturday, March 19, include “Spring First-TasteAwakening & the Rose Revolution;” “Aromatic White Wines for Spring;” “Exploring the Rhone Zone;” and “The Young Turks of Napa Valley.”

Other exciting events, including “After Parties,” and “Tours,” as well as full descriptions of all events, including dates, times, pricing and ticket information, may be found at Flavor! Napa Valley.

Overnight Packages
For those wishing to enjoy a “full” Flavor! Napa Valley experience by attending multiple events over the course of four days, Visit Napa Valley offers an array of overnight packages, many of which include tickets to select Flavor! Napa Valley events.

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Buy your tickets here: Flavor! Napa Valley
Website: FlavorNapaValley.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FlavorNapa
Instagram: https://instagram.com/FlavorNapa
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First Day at NAPA VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL NOV 11, 2015

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The Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) is the ultimate celebration of Uptown Theaterfilm, food and wine, in the picturesque towns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga at the most colorful time of year, November 11-15, 2015. In addition to amazing films, attendees enjoy industry panels, culinary demonstrations, wine tasting pavilions, special events and parties, winemaker dinners and more.

jason wise dlynn proctor marc lhormerThe opening day and night of the Napa Valley Film Festival on Wednesday, November 11, 2015. The Opening Night World Premiere Screening of SOMM: INTO THE BOTTLE and Somm: Into the Bottle Opening Night Party with Director Jason Wise and documentary subjects Steve Mathiasson, Festival Co-Founders Marc Lhormer & Brenda Lhormer and many more.

Uptown TheaterThere’s about 120 films will be screening this year, just as last year. There’s more seats added this year with three more theaters showing. The opening night much anticipated with medias, movie lovers, and Festival pass holders at the Uptown Theater got turned away.

This is our first year cover Napa Vally Film Festival and we were disappointed with the process from the BWR PR company. We didn’t get to see the Somm: Into The Bottle, and we didn’t get to meet any of the documented Master Sommelier nor director Jason Wise. We can’t share with you how good to movie was.

YOUNTVILLE, CA - NOVEMBER 11: Members of the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, from the film 'Landfill Harmonic' at the Lincoln Theatre during a screening of the film at the 2015 Napa Valley Film Festival on November 11, 2015 in Yountville, California. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup)
YOUNTVILLE, CA – NOVEMBER 11: Members of the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, from the film ‘Landfill Harmonic’ at the Lincoln Theatre during a screening of the film at the 2015 Napa Valley Film Festival on November 11, 2015 in Yountville, California. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup)

The Carol screening with Producer Christine Vachon and Composer Carter Burwell was  on the Opening Night Red Carpet. The screening, Q&A and concert for Landfillharmonic, featuring 24 children from the Paraguayan musical group, the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, performing with their musical instruments made entirely out of garbage at the 2015 Napa Valley Film Festival.

NAPA, CA - NOVEMBER 11: Q&A for the film 'Somm: Into the Bottle' at the Napa Uptown Theatre at the 2015 Napa Valley Film Festival on November 11, 2015 in Napa, California. (Photo by Bob McClenahan/PictureGroup)
NAPA, CA – NOVEMBER 11: Q&A for the film ‘Somm: Into the Bottle’ at the Napa Uptown Theatre at the 2015 Napa Valley Film Festival on November 11, 2015 in Napa, California. (Photo by Bob McClenahan/PictureGroup)

We are looking forward for screenings of the award-winning dark comedy MOMENTS OF CLARITY, part of the Narrative Feature Competition. The film stars Lyndsy Fonseca (How I Met Your Mother, KICK-ASS), Xander Berkeley (24, Nikita), Eric Roberts (LAZARUS RISING, RUNAWAY TRAIN), Mackenzie Astin (The Facts of Life, IN LOVE AND WAR, IRON WILL), breakout star lead actress/producer/co-writer Kristin Wallace(LETHA ACIDENTS, TREE LINE), and Saxon Trainor (SAND CASTLES), also featuring Marguerite Moreau (WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER), Jonathan Lajoie (The League), Bitty Schram (Monk, A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN) andA.J. Trauth (WELCOME TO HAPPINESS, Even Stevens).  It was directed by Stev Elem, written by Christian Lloyd (and Kristin Wallace), and produced byDavid J. Phillips (and Kristin Wallace).

MOMENTS OF CLARITY is a dark-comedy adventure in which a repressed agoraphobic’s daughter (Kristin Wallace) meets a hardened pastor’s daughter (Lyndsy Fonseca). While escaping their homes to fix a broken camera they end up en route to attend an annual church youth group jamboree and on the way they encounter a host of characters that slowly reveal that their worlds aren’t what they thought they were.  Here is the trailer :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7CURsvzOGI

One of the honest and vibrant film, Crafted, directed by Morgan Spurlock, at the Napa Valley Film Festival. Crafted: inspired by the Häagen-Dazs brand’s own artisanal roots and unwavering commitment to master its craft. The brand commissioned Spurlock to direct this unbranded documentary short that explores what the artisan mindset means in today’s world. Like the Häagen-Dazs brand, the documentary film craftsmen demonstrate a keen dedication to perfecting their craft and holding themselves to the highest standards to deliver products of the finest quality. Check them out.

Buy your passes here: Napa Film Fest Passes

Website: NapaValleyFilmFest.org
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NapaFilmFest
Instagram: https://instagram.com/napafilmfest/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NapaFilmFest

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