Category Archives: Culinary

Holiday Shopping in Wine Country

Wine Caddies at Imagery Winery, Kenwood CA

Wine Caddies at Imagery Winery include Cowboys, Firemen, Chefs, Cyclists, Golfers, Pilots, Fishermen, Pets, Boaters and many more – great selection of a unique gift item for the wine lover in your family

Whether looking for a gift for your favorite wine lover, friend, or pet – Wineries have more to offer than just fabulous wines.  I went out over the weekend to find some great last minute gifts from some of my favorite spots.  If you have another treasure, I’d love to hear about it. Wine Tasting while Gift Shopping is the perfect combination to reduce stress during the Holidays.

Glassware and Decanters are always a popular idea featuring seasonal or wine designs, these items will enhance any party or provide a great hostess gift.  A couple of my favorite spots for glassware include J Winery (especially for sparkling stemware) an Cast Wines, both also feature beautiful decanters.


J Winery, Sparkling Wine Glassware and Carriers


Cast Wines Decanters and Glassware








Hostess Gifts, Household Designer Items, and Wine Country Souvenirs are available in both the Ferrari Carano Showrooms.  Their downtown Healdsburg location, called Seasons of the Vineyard Wine Shop specializes in the household & hostess gifts as well as chocolate while the Dry Creek Valley Tasting Room at the Winery has beautiful Wine Country souvenirs, large format and library wine selections. Also note the Wine Caddies featured in the opening photo from Imagery Winery – these unique items are beautifully made and feature a variety of professions and hobbies. One final location with a great gift shop is at St. Francis Winery – they feature a lot of local artisans.


Ferrari Carano Wine Country Souvenirs, Large Format Wines & Library Wines


Season of the Vineyard Hostess Gifts & Household Gifts – I Love the Glass Sushi Trays









Artwork featuring wine themes and many local artisans are featured at many wineries, especially during our Art Walks, but wineries that have regular installations for sale include Passaggio Winery and Thumbprint Cellars. I am sure there are many others and traveling displays are often featured during special events.  I love to hear about your favorite as this is a gift I purchase all year long.


Thumbprint Cellars’ year-round galary of local artists is unique, they also feature glassware and candles


Passaggio Winery is current featuring Sandra Speidel’s Motion Series & Custom Chocolates









Olive Oil is another staple in Wine Country with an affinity for similar growing conditions grapes and olives co-exist well.  Flavored Olive Oils, usually blood orange, lime, or lemon, and green to aged oil varieties are available directly from the source.  Two of my favorite spots to pick up these goodies are the Gourmet Shop at BR Cohn Winery and Trattore’s New Tasting Room in Dry Creek Valley.  Also look for other gourmet foods and vinegars.


B.R Cohn Winery and Olive Oil Company – Check out their Gourmet Shop next to the Winery


Trattore Winery & Dry Creek Olive Oil Company have a beautiful new Tasting Room in Dry Creek Valley









Finally, if you are a Sparkling Wine fan and have taken up the saber to learn The Art of Sabrage for New Years, then get ready for modern designs to traditional Nepoleon inspired styles at many of our Sparkling Tasting Rooms and Wineries, including Sigh Sonoma, Cast Wines, and Breathless Wines.


Sigh Sonoma features Laguiole (French) sabers as well as domestic and international bubbles


Breathless Tasting Room features Sabrage Demonstrations during events with Italian blades









If we make it through Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years, I guess we can start looking for chocolates for Valentines Day.  I’m always ready for Chocolate too.

#ImageryWinery #JWinery #CastWines #StFrancisWinery #FerrariCarano #ThumbprintCellars #PassaggioWinery #BRCohn #Trattore #DryCreekOliveOil #SighSonoma #BreathlessWines #RackandRiddle #Holiday #Shopping #Winery #Wineries #Wine #Glassware #Stemware #Decanters #OliveOil #Art #WineArt #Saber #Sabrage #SparklingWine #Bubbles #Chocolate #Hostess #Gifts #Household #Souvenirs #Wines #LargeFormat #LibraryWine

The Ultimate Wine Weekend – Your Way!

76Imagine Labor Day weekend in Wine Country with Jean-Charles Boisset (DeLoach Winery, Buena Vista Winery) ; Joe Anderson and Mary Dewane (Benovia Winery); or James Beard Outstanding Restaurateur semifinalists Mark and Terri Stark (5 Sonoma County Restaurants – Willi’s Wine Bar, Stark’s Steak & Seafood and Monti’s in Santa Rosa, and Willi’s Seafood and Bravas Bar de Tapas in Healdsburg).  These entrepreneurs are serving as honorary chairs for one of the most decadent weeken23ds of culinary and wine events, along with 200 or so of their favorite chefs, winegrowers, and winemakers in Sonoma County – Sonoma Wine County Weekend.

Sonoma County chefs have access to the seasonal abundance of the most fertile foodshed anywhere in the world, often grown and provided by small, local family farms – combine this with world-class wines and you have an event perfect for oenophiles and foodies alike!   Plan a weekend that exactly suits your fantasy from intimate luncheons or dinners to the exciting flagship auction at Chateau St. Jean with lots of exciting events inbetween.

BobbyI slide into the weekend slowly with an intimate winemaker luncheon on Friday – a fabulous way to meet with the owners and winemakers while you sample their current releases.  These are world class wines from the most diverse wine region in the world and the wineries pair them with seasonal local foods prepared by experienced chefs to perfectly highlight our local bounty.  These exemplary culinary and wine luncheons are relaxed and casual and usually hosted in the vineyards or wineries from which the wines are created.

At NightBut Sonoma Starlight dinner and dancing really gets weekend moving as Francis Ford Coppola’s team hosts an extravaganza – dine, drink and dance under the stars poolside Friday night at this iconic Sonoma County winery. Toast the start of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend at the sparkling wine reception, followed by a bountiful array of local, seasonal cuisine poolside. Over 25 local wineries will be on hand to share their finest Sonoma County wines, so you can create infinite perfect pairings for your favorite Sonoma County varietals and wines al fresco.

On Saturday, Kate MacMurray, daughter of Hollywood stars Fred MacMurray and June Haver, hosts guests at the breathtaking MacMurrary Estate Vineyards – once a gentlemen’s cattle ranch and now a premier estate vineyard for the Gallo Family of WiMacMurraynes.  This is a culinary and wine immersion into the culture of Sonoma County with a combination of chefs, winegrowers, and winemakers that is unequalled in Sonoma County – Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Estate Vineyards. Sip wines from more than 200 wineries pouring thousands of wines, and over 60 local chefs whipping up divine pairings in a once-in-a-lifetime experience for oenophiles and foodies alike. But it doesn’t stop there – cooking demonstrations throughout the day, farm-to-table marketplace, food & wine pairings with the pros, blind wine-tasting, reserve tasting, bubble room, sommelier lead tours, the crushpad (experience our harvest), and wine tours & talks. Many of these events sell out, so get yours tickets early – but the nice part is, you can customize your day to suit you own unique tastes and interests with a little or a lot.  On Saturday night you can relax at a winemakers dinner with local delicacies and wines that never disappoint.

Sonoma Harvest Auction 2On Sunday is the flagship event of this ultimate wine weekend with the Sonoma County Harvest Auction at Chateau St. Jean. One-of-a-kind auction items include unique tastings experiences, exclusive trips & packages, collectable etched wines, and many surprises every year.

In additional to acquiring fabulous items, your donations support deserving Sonoma County charities aiding efforts to support youth and children to ensure their success, preserve our environment for future generations, and provide for basic unmet health needs and services which improve the welfare of our local communities.

Your ticket not only offers you passage into the Wine Spectator Auction Tent, but it also allows you to minSonoma Wine Weekend Auction Story 1gle with Sonoma’s finest winemakers, as each table will be presided over by a local Vintner or Grower who will share not only their finest wines, but great stories, too! This is an upbeat fun time with featured chefs, including Ari Weiswasser, Glen Ellen Star; Armando Garcia, El Dorado Kitchen; Andrew Cain, Santé; Catherine Venturini, Olive & Vine; Douglas Keene, Cyrus; Duskie Estes & John Stewart, Zazu kitchen + farm; Dustin Valette, Valette; Jamil Peden, Applewood Inn Restaurant; John Franchetti, Rosso Pizzeria and Bar; Josh Silvers, Jackson’s Bar and Oven; Moaya Scheiman and Andrea Koweek, Crisp Bakeshop; Robert Nieto, Jackson Family Wines; and Tracey Shepos Cenami, Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates.

This is truly an oenophiles and foodies extravaganza that can be customized to your favorite culinary adventures and wine experiences.  But tickets for the most popular events sell out fast, so don’t wait for the last minute to plan your Labor Day weekend in Sonoma County.

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