bASH: basking in Appellation St. Helena’s bounty

Reconstituted Cherries on Whipped Goat Cheese Tart

Reconstituted Cherries on Whipped Goat Cheese Tart

If you don’t have anything planned yet for Saturday, April 19, you should go here now to purchase tickets for bASH, an annual food and wine event from Appellation St. Helena showcasing this northern Napa Valley community. What is the 2014 bASH?  Well, it’s basically a festive “bash” from 6:00 to 8:30 pm with over 30 premium wineries joining forces with local culinary talent.  But it’s more than just a wine tasting event: it’s a food and wine pairing competition where your votes help select the winners (and believe us, the competition is fierce).

In addition to being able to taste up to 50 wines that night, attendees can sample food offerings from local professionals as well as chef teams from the Culinary Institute of America made up of “Rising Star” students selected by the teaching staff.  The students design and develop customized dishes for the event only after tasting and analyzing the wine that they will be paired with.  This helps make the wine sipping and food tasting more fun, as you keep trying to figure out which dish (and team) deserves your vote.

Moroccan Spiced Waffle Cones

Moroccan Spiced Waffle Cones

We’ve been to a lot of food and wine events and bASH is phenomenal with respect to the pairing of food and wine and it is clear a LOT of thought goes into the chefs’ dishes. In the past, we’ve had Sliders, Tostadas, Cones, Crostatas, Ravioli, Croquettes, Lettuce Wraps, and even Breadsticks used as delivery methods for tasty dishes based on Beef, Pork, Lamb, Duck, Boar and a variety of vegetables.

Tickets for bASH are $90 each and that’s a pretty good price for what is basically a 30-course Chef’s Tasting Menu with wine pairings for each course. But you should move quickly before the tickets sell out. So, purchase your ticket(s) now – you won’t regret it.

The CIA, site of the 2013 bASH

The Culinary Institute of America

For the third time, this delightfully fun event will take place in the historic Barrel Room at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone (255 Main Street, St. Helena, 707-967-1100).  We are always impressed at bASH three ways: the wine itself, the food alone, and how well the elements of the food offerings compliment the flavor nuances of the wine.

If you’d like a sense of what awaits you at bASH, these are some of our favorite combinations from past events:

  • Anomaly Vineyards paired Cabernet Sauvignon with Smoked Tri-Tip Sliders and Blue Cheese Aioli

    Smoked Tri-Tip Sliders

    Smoked Tri-Tip Sliders

  • Benessere Vineyards enhanced their Sangiovese with a Sangiovese-Braised Lamb and Tuscan Bean Purée Crostini served with a Trio of Sauces (Pesto, Tomato Concasse, and Roasted Red Pepper Purée)
  • Calafia Cellars’ “La Reina” (Bordeaux Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Malbec) was poured next to a Whipped Goat Cheese Tart with Reconstituted Cherries, Walnuts, and Port-Spiked Whipped Cream
  • Ehlers Estate showed off their Sauvignon Blanc with a dollop of Fava Bean and Sheep Milk Ricotta with Pecorino Pepato on Grissini
  • Robert Biale Vineyards’ Petite Sirah complimented a Cocoa Rubbed Pork Loin with Dried Figs and Walnuts
  • Titus Vineyards shared some Cabernet Franc to go with a Pickled Piquillo Pepper stuffed with a Three-Cheese Blend (Blue Cheese, Cream Cheese, and Boursin with Lemon Zest)

    Braised Short Rib Croquette

    Braised Short Rib Croquette

  • Trinchero Napa Valley offered Cabernet Sauvignon to match a Braised Short Rib Croquette served with a Rosemary and Roasted Garlic Dijon Sauce
  • V Madrone Cellars had their Zinfandel paired with a Moroccan Spiced Waffle Cone filled with Raisin Chutney, Sweet Potato and Bone Marrow Purée, Roasted Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds, and a Sunchoke Chip
Parry Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon

Parry Cellars

All of those wineries will be back for the 2014 bASH where they will be joined by Ballentine Vineyards, Casa Nuestra, Charles Krug Winery, Chase Cellars, Clif Family Winery, Corley Family Napa Valley, Crocker & Starr, Egelhoff Wines, Four Cairn Vineyard, hope & grace, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Leto Cellars, Louer Family Vineyard, Parry Cellars, Pellet Estate, Raymond Vineyards, Revana Family Vineyard,  St. Helena Winery, Salvestrin Winery, Sequum, Stanton Vineyards, Taplin Cellars, Varozza Vineyards, Vineyard 29, and Young Inglewood Vineyards.

Chef participants? In addition to about 25 teams from The Culinary Institute of America, you can expect to find small plates from St. Helena’s Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen, Goose & Gander, The Grill at Meadowood, La Condesa, St. Helena Bistro, and the in-house Chef from Clif Family Winery.

To see what the 2013 event was like, watch the video below and then all you have to do to purchase tickets for the 2014 bASH is to go here.  Personally, we can’t wait for this year’s festivities.

2013 bASH Video

Welcome to bASHAppellation St. Helena (a non-profit organization of over 50 wineries and grape growers in the St. Helena AVA) is presenting this event in partnership with the CIA, the St. Helena Chamber of Commerce, Legendary Napa Valley Arts in April, and bASH is also supported by Sunshine Foods Market.  Proceeds will go to benefit Appellation St. Helena and the scholarship fund of the Culinary Institute of America.



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