The Wine Road’s 20th annual Wine & Food Affair satisfies our desire for delicious wines paired with savory bites, all compressed into two glorious autumn days along the Wine Road. This being the 20th annual, the wineries have outdone themselves with the food pairings.

Wine & Food Affair 2018 Poster

Winemaker Breakfast

Consider starting the weekend by attending a breakfast with three winemakers prior to your a day of tasting. On Saturday, November 3rd from 9 – 10:30 a.m., Balletto Vineyards will host an intimate group of ticket holders for breakfast with winemakers Anthony Beckman (Balletto Vineyards), Josh Bartels (Jigar Wines), and Susan Lueker (Simi Winery) for a casual morning of Q & A prior to the start of Wine & Food Affair at 11 a.m. Though no wine will be served, you’ll get a chance to chat with the winemakers as you enjoy a causal breakfast. Advanced tickets are required, and very limited.

Pristine autumn day along the wine road by Jolene Patterson

Photo by Jolene Patterson

The Perfect Day

Now imagine gliding along the backroads of Northern Sonoma County on an early November day with vineyards ablaze with the fall color palette and the air crisp and clean. Traveling from winery to winery to taste delectable foods paired with each winery’s selection of stellar wines. Let’s break it down into some tempting, mouthwatering categories to entice you to this exceptional wine & food adventure.

International Cuisines

Some wineries are pairing savory international dishes with their wines, giving ticket holders a chance to experience some unique flavor combinations.

As you review the list, please note that GF means gluten free and V denotes vegetarian.

Paella Campesina GF – Amista Vineyards

Middle Eastern Lamb Tacos with Cucumber Salsa & Garlic Yogurt – Clos du Bois Winery

Atelier Gougères V – DeLoach Vineyards

Sonoma Shawarma with Tahini-Yogurt Sauce and Syrian Pita – Hanna Winery, both locations

Provençal Cassoulet – J. Rickards Winery

Smoked Duck and Porcini Empanadas with Blackberry Mostarda – La Crema in Healdsburg

Classic “Peking-Style” Pork GF – Locals Tasting Room

Pork and Grilled Pineapple Banh Mi Sliders with Glass Noodle Salad – Matrix Winery

Coconut Chicken Mole Tacos – Rockpile Vineyards

Jamaican Jerk Jambalaya GF – Sbragia Family Vineyards

Brassicas with Bagna Cauda Sauce GF – SIMI Winery

Spicy Potato Samosas V – Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards

Taste The Local Italian Heritage

Yes, the Italian dishes should have been under “International,” but they earn a category on their own. The rich Italian heritage in Northern Sonoma County is reflected in the numerous Italian cuisine pairings. Here are a few:

D’Alfonso Rigatoni with Bolognese Sauce – D’Argenzio Winery

Prosciutto and Mushroom Pizzetta – deLorimier Winery

Wild Mushroom Arancini with Truffle Aioli – Foley Sonoma

Fonduta d’Alba (Fondue in the Style of Alba, Italy) V – Holdredge Wines

Tajarin with Porcini Mushroom Sauce – Portalupi Wines

Beurre Blanc Chicken Pasta – Sapphire Hill

Polenta Balls with Smoked Turkey and Wild Mushrooms – Trattore Farms Winery

Grandma’s Pasta Sauce – Zialena Winery

Stunning Seafood Pairings

There’s no shortage of crab or shrimp dishes during Wine & Food Affair, and all sound scrumptious. As a bonus, several of them are also gluten free.

Chef Roger’s Crab Cakes – Balletto Vineyards

Grilled Shrimp Korma with Spiced Panisse GF – Jigar Wines

Shrimp and Sauvignon Blanc Ceviche GF – K Squared Cellars

Shrimp and Artichoke Cheesecake – Landmark Vineyards

Crab Fondue – Occidental Road Cellars

Chilean Crab Cake Appetizer GF – Pech Merle Winery

Sweet T’s Shrimp and Grits – Ramazzotti Wines

New Orleans Shrimp and Grits GF – Roadhouse Winery

Tasty sliders served at Viszlay Vineyards for Wine & Food Affair 2017

Tasty sliders served at Viszlay Vineyards for Wine & Food Affair 2017

Other Hearty Fare

Nothing pairs with wine like red meat, and Wine & Food Affair has that covered as well. Here are just a few of the selections you’ll have to pick from:

Braised Pork Belly Sliders – Bowman Cellars

Veal Marengo – G & C Lurton Vineyards

Tri-Tip Sandwiches with Onion Jam and Blue Cheese Crumble – Kelley & Young Wines

Dominica’s Mini Summer Meatballs – Mercury Geyserville

Bourbon-Glazed Heritage Black Pig Bacon Skewers with Bourbon-Molasses Dipping Sauce GF – Mutt Lynch Winery

Beef Lasagne – Pedroncelli Winery

Lamb Popsicles with Za’atar – Starlite Vineyards

Super Sonoman Coffee-Rubbed Tri-Tip GF – Super Sonoman Wine

… and there are many more.

Toasty Warm Soups & Stews

Nothing says the change of seasons like the heartwarming aromas and flavors of soup or stew. They also match up well with wine, and during Wine & Food Affair you’ll have ample opportunity to choose your favorites. Again, this is only a partial list of options:

Mama D’s Chili with Honey Ham GF – Dutton Estate Winery

Braised Lamb and Barley Soup – Foppiano Vineyards

Creamy Leek and Corn Soup GF – Hook & Ladder Winery

Cold Squash Soup with Basil and Parmesan V, GF – Merriam Vineyards

Pork Stew with Prunes and Armagnac – Sanglier Cellars

Denise’s Crab Bisque – Sunce Winery

Bison Stew with Wild Mushrooms, Guajillo Chiles and Butternut Squash – Virginia Dare

St. Paul Booya – Viszalay Vineyards

Thai soup served at Comstock Cellars for Wine & Food Affair 2016

And There’s More

With almost 90 wineries matching up their wines with delicious bites, there are far too many to list here. However, check out the Wine & Food Affair page for a full listing of wineries and the food they will be serving. You’ll find additional pairings like Brie & Black Truffle Sandwiches V (Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards & Winery), Crispy Chicken Sliders with Rosemary Biscuits (Donelan Family Wines), Duck Meatballs with Winter Spices and Black Currant Chutney (Longboard Vineyards), and Dark Chocolate Blackberry Tarts with Toffee Crunch V (VML Winery).

Recipes Online

If you want to view the recipes, they will be available on the Wine Road’s website the week of the event. And, the best part, they remain online so you can go back again and again to search for your favorites. Plus, the recipes from the past Wine & Food Affairs are also available on the site. This is a spectacular resource for foodies who are looking for a new recipe, an old favorite, a specific pairing, or something new and different.

Old fashion recipe book with ingredients on the counter

To Wrap It Up

Wine & Food Affair only happens once a year, so don’t miss out! Tickets are only available online, and ticket sales end on October 29th. Event hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Sunday-only and Designated Driver tickets are also available. If you love wine and food, get your tickets now for the 20th annual Wine & Food Affair on November 3 & 4th. Hope to see you along the Wine Road.

Happy Sipping!

#WFA2018 #AlongTheWineRoad @TheWineRoad #WineAndFood #WineAndFoodPairing

Vineyard Vista along Russian River Valley

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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