Saturday, September 5th from 11am-4pm
Taste of Sonoma at Sonoma Wine Country Weekend
The chefs serve. The winemakers pour. The proceeds matter.
With so many fabulous wineries pouring their best varietals and incredible chefs serving up their most innovate cuisine, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend’s Taste of Sonoma can initially be a bit overwhelming. It’s a wine and food mecca, and you only have five hours to make the most of it. Which wines to taste first? What wine pairs with what cuisine? Which experiences are worth exploring? Below are a few helpful tips, suggestions and details for how to make the most of your experience at Taste of Sonoma.
When tasting wine, think about it from the perspective of how you would taste at a winery. Start with the bubbles, whites and Rosé, then make your way to lighter-styled reds, moving all the way through to the darker, more robust reds.
The folks at Taste of Sonoma recommend starting with Bubbles on the Half Shell in the Gloria Ferrer Bubble Lounge—paring stunning Gloria Ferrer bubbles with deliciously fresh, locally harvest oysters. On a hot summer day, there really couldn’t be a better way to get the party started.
Next up, don’t neglect the Grill Stations! Follow the sound of sizzling meat and delight in grilled goodies such as slow-smoked ribs. Of course, with hearty cuisine like this, your best bet for pairing is going to be some hearty red wines—go for varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. If it’s chicken or fish you’re enjoying from the grill, stick with white wines like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
As you meander around the stunning MacMurray Estate Vineyards, think of yourself as a foodie forager. The Chef Pop Ups provide just the right opportunity for you to sample a wide array of delicious cuisine—everything from baja shrimp and smoked scallop cocktail to heirloom tomato gazpacho. Look for the Sonoma County Region Big Tents.
If you’re feeling hesitant about trusting your own instincts to pair wine and food, worry not! Featured Food and Wine Pairings will be available in every Big Tent. There will be more than 20 hand-selected wines to pair up with individual dishes from the local chefs onsite; pairings such as MacPhail Family Wines’ Rosé served with chilled melon and Rosé soup with bay shrimp are just the tip of the iceberg, so be sure to seek out these perfect pairings!
Now, getting into the experiences at Taste of Sonoma is a whole different story. Taste of Sonoma isn’t just about tasting phenomenal wine, eating incredible cuisine and raising funds for important charities, it’s also about wine and food education. There’s several ways to educate yourself this year, all while enjoying the phenomenal wine and cuisine at your fingertips.
Experience a Somm Tour—30 minutes with one of America’s most acclaimed enophiles. There will be 12 of them onsite during Taste of Sonoma, so be on the lookout for these experts as you visit the winery tables and taste your way through the day. They’ll be happy to chat and share their wealth of wine knowledge with you!
With the Grape to Glass seminar, you will get to hear Food & Wine Magazine’s Executive Wine Editor, Ray Isle, host a panel of Sonoma County winemakers and growers. This seminar will feature a sampling of freshly-harvested grapes, excellent wines form which to taste and a discussion about the grape to glass process—giving you the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of what it takes to get that delicious nectar into your glass.
Next up is the chance to cook with an accomplished chef! Sonoma Stars on Stage brings celebrated Sonoma County chefs together to demonstrate some of their kitchen tips and tricks, while they masterfully create delicious dishes for you to sample. With five shows throughout the day, there’s plenty of time to squeeze this into your schedule.
If you’re a Grand Reserve ticket holder, don’t miss the Club Reserve tent, where winemakers will pour more than 40 limited-release wines—of course, poured alongside specially-prepared dishes from acclaimed locals chefs.
When the sun begins to wane and the day is nearly done, don’t miss the chance to take a Taste of Sonoma home with you—visit the Sonoma County Marketplace, which will be chock-full of artisan goodies such as cheese, coffee, sauces and more.
Don’t forget to engage on social media and spread the good word that the proceeds from Sonoma Wine Country Weekend and its premier Taste of Sonoma event all go to worthy causes that support the children, environment and health of the Sonoma County community. With more than $16 million raised for local charities to date, Sonoma Wine Country This Weekend has had the immense pleasure of enriching the lives of so many people living in the Sonoma County community.
#TheChefsServe | #TheWinemakesPour | #TheProceedsMatter
Still have questions? Visit www.sonomawinecountryweekend.com for event-related details, directions and more information.
*Originally published on Feast it Forward.