Celebrating with wine and food is an ancient tradition. Over 20 years ago, the Wine Road created a marvelous two-day tasting event called Wine & Food Affair. This event is held the first full weekend in November, and focuses on wineries offering the perfect pairing with one of their wines (but you get to taste more than one).

Welcome and Check in for Wine & Food Affair

Wine and Food Affair 2019

In the spirit of celebrating the bounty of Sonoma County, this year’s Wine & Food Affair will take it up a notch. Every participating winery will pair their wines with locally grown produce by partnering with or featuring local farmers or producers. I’m really excited to share some of the pairings, and also some fun/tasty opportunities even before the event begins.

Farmer selecting garden produce and sipping red wine.

Winemaker Dinner

On Friday, November 1st, Balletto Vineyards will hold an intimate winemaker dinner for up to 50 Wine & Food Affair ticket holders. The dinner will highlight local produce paired with Balletto’s wines. Owner John Balletto and winemaker Anthony Beckman will host this dinner, sharing stories of their winery, harvest, and why each wine was selected to pair with each course. Although this dinner isn’t on the website just yet, I got the inside scoop on it and know it will be posted soon.

Improving Your Tasting Techniques

On Saturday morning, November 2nd, the first day of Wine & Food Affair, there is an add-on option. Sign up for a Somm Series at Roth Estate from 9:30 – 10:45 am. This class is geared for both new wine drinkers and seasoned connoisseurs. Up to 30 attendees will learn wine tasting techniques, wine speak — the language of describing wine—and other information to help you further appreciate wine tasting and food pairing.

winemakers Eric Hall, Roadhouse Winery, and John Viszlay, Viszlay Vineyards
Previous breakfast with winemakers Eric Hall, Roadhouse Winery, and John Viszlay, Viszlay Vineyards. Photo by Charlie Gesell Photography.

Winemaker Breakfast

Everyone knows a good breakfast is essential prior to a day of wine tasting. On Sunday, November 3rd, the second day of Wine & Food Affair, the add-on option is Breakfast with three winemakers. Enjoy conversations and insights from the winemakers of Kendall Jackson, Hook & Ladder Winery, and Sanglier Cellars. This casual breakfast is an open forum Q&A, and does not include wine—that comes afterwards. This breakfast event, limited to 20 people, is held at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate from 9:30 – 10:45. Please remember all three of these add-on events are only available to Wine & Food Affair ticket holders.

Bowman Cellars Pinot Noir paired with sliders and chips.
A delicious pairing from the 2018 Wine & Food Affair.

Exploring Some Options

With over 80 wineries participating, I can’t share all the food offerings, but hope the following list gives you a flavor of the event options. You can view or download the full program on the Wine Road’s website.

Coyote Sonoma (New Wine Road member)
Barbacoa Vino Nachos with Oregano-Lime Crème

Foppiano Vineyards
Short Rib Osso Buco over Creamy Polenta

Hook & Ladder Winery
Yorkshire Pudding with Horseradish Cream

Jigar Wines
Gerard’s Andouille Sausage Paella

K Squared Cellars
Sauvignon Blanc and Shrimp Ceviche

Lauterbach Cellars
Fast French Cassoulet

Longboard Vineyards
Lamb Koftah Kebabs with Fennel and Pecorino Salad

Old World Winery
Fulton Folderol Pomegranate-Braised Lamb Open Empanadas

Pellegrini-Olivet Lane
Boeuf Bourguignon a la Julia Child

Russian River Vineyards
Ahi Tuna with Truffled Soy

Seghesio Family Vineyards
Pomegranate-Braised Sonoma County Lamb and Mushroom Ragout

Soda Rock
Lebanese Beef Brisket

Starlite Vineyards
Saffron-Tarragon Pulled Chicken on Herb Crostini

Sunce Winery & Vineyard
Denise’s Seafood Bisque

Walt Baca Wines (New Wine Road member)
Moroccan Lamb Stew

Pizza with a Wine Road wine glass from 2018 Wine & Food Affair
One of the many food pairings from the 2018 Wine & Food Affair

Vegetarian Options

The Wine Road wineries try to have something for everyone, including vegetarian and gluten free options (only some of them are listed below). There are even a couple of wineries where the food is both vegetarian and gluten free!

ACORN Winery/Alegría Vineyards
Acorn Squash Tamales with Mole and Goat Cheese
(vegetarian and gluten free)

Amista Vineyards
Mycopia Mushroom Ragoût with Creamy Polenta

Fritz Underground Winery
Flambéed Gravenstein Apple Bruschetta

Martinelli Winery
Sugo of Eggplant on Polenta

Sanglier Cellars
Mushroom and Gruyère Clafoutis

Super Sonoman Wine
Deconstructed Mushroom Sliders

Truett Hurst Winery
Society Bakery’s Zinfandel-Swirl Cheesecake Truffles
(vegetarian and gluten free)

Wine and food pairing option during the 2018 Wine & Food Affair

Gluten Free Options

Baldassari Wines (New Wine Road member)
Miso Salmon Tacos with Corn Tortillas

GC Lurton Vineyards
Seven-Hour Lamb with Flageolets

Geyser Peak Winery
Lola’s Street Food Chicken Taco

Harvest Moon Estate & Winery
Wedge Salad with Pork Belly Bacon Bits

Lancaster Estate Winery
Harvest Vegetable Patties with Sausages and Brussels Sprout Slaw

Locals Tasting Room
Cacciatore Scozzese

Mercury Wine Geyserville
Brad’s Chili Verde

Merriam Vineyards
Braised Keftedes (Lamb Meatballs) with Cabernet Franc Sauce

Ramazzotti Wines
Beef Stew with Root Vegetables and Ramazzotti Sangiovese

Selby Winery
Octavio’s World-Famous Cod Ceviche

Recipes

After you savor all these amazing pairings, you have the option of making them at home. The recipes will be online starting the weekend of Wine & Food Affair and remain there. Several years ago, the Wine Road began putting all the Wine & Food Affair recipes into an online database, searchable by categories (appetizers, main dish, breakfast, desserts, and more), main ingredients, wine pairing, vegetarian or gluten free, and more. It is an amazing collection, and one of my favorite places to browse when looking for something new to try.

Recently I was looking for a new appetizer, so did an Appetizers category search.  I found so many possibilities that it was hard to narrow it down to just one. I finally decided on Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Chorizo and Balsamic Glaze, and it was delicious.

Fall vineyards and scenery along the wine road.
A gorgeous fall vineyard vista along the Wine Road.

Sensory Feast

Along with tasting delicious food and spectacular wines, visitors along the Wine Road always enjoy a visual treat as well. In early November, harvest will be mostly complete, and the vines will be displaying fall colors, enhancing the already gorgeous landscape.

If you are looking for a weekend filled with sensory feasts, get your tickets to Wine & Food Affair now!

Happy Sipping!

@TheWineRoad #AlongTheWineRoad #WFA2019 #wineandfood

Posted by Rebecca Germolus

Rebecca Germolus, co-owner of Maximum Value Marketing, loves Sonoma County and playing along the Wine Road. Rebecca daily immerses herself in wine country by providing cost-effective marketing and writing solutions to wineries and restaurants.

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