If you’re free on Saturday, April 9, you should go here now to purchase tickets for bASH 2016, an annual food and wine event from Appellation St. Helena. What is bASH? Well, it’s an amazing spectacle showcasing this northern Napa Valley community where 25 premium wineries join forces with local culinary talent. More than just a wine tasting event, it’s a delightfully fun food and wine pairing competition between 6 pm and 8:30 pm where your votes help select the ultimate winners (and believe us, the competition is fierce).
In addition to trying dozens of delicious wines at bASH 2016 you will be able to enjoy food offerings from local caterers and restaurants such as Goose & Gander, Market and PRESS. However, most of the food pairings will be created by “Rising Star” students at the Culinary Institute of America. These competitors will present dishes specifically designed and developed to pair with the wine that they will be paired with. This makes your evening of wine sipping and food tasting a challenge as you keep trying to figure out which combination (and team) deserves your vote the most.
The St. Helena appellation is well known for its Cabernet Sauvignon and you’re bound to find many outstanding food pairings with that varietal on April 9th. However, we’ve also enjoyed pairings with well crafted wines made from Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, Petite Sirah and Zinfandel grapes at past competitions.
For the fifth time, this lovely extravaganza will take place in the historic Barrel Room at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone (255 Main Street, St. Helena, 707-967-1100). Tickets for bASH are $125 each and that’s a pretty good price for what is practically a 25-course Chef’s Tasting Menu with wine pairings for each course (which also comes with a chance to win an instant wine cellar). You can purchase tickets here and if you have a lot of friends free on the 9th, there is a 10% discount when you buy ten tickets at the same time.
We’ve been to many 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. Lamb Taco with Fig Crema? Been there. Venison, Elk and Duck Ragout? Done that. Arancini with Sausage Bolognese? That box was checked at bASH last year. We’ve enjoyed Gougères, Tostadas, Cones, Lettuce Wraps, and Crostini used as delivery methods for dishes based on Beef, Pork, Lamb and a cornucopia of vegetables.
For even more examples of the types of temptations you can expect, these were some of the winners at the 2015 bASH:
- Black Truffle and Bacon Wagyu Slider paired with Del Dotto Vineyards “Vineyard 887” Cabernet Sauvignon
- Flannery Beef, Spring Vegetables, Charred Chiles & Alliums, Sunflower paired with Edge Hill Mixed Blacks (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Sirah)
- Rib Eye Caprese Ravioli paired with David Fulton Winery “Our Sweet Petite” Petite Sirah
- Garden Radish with Beef and Blue Butter paired with Trinchero Napa Valley Central Park West Petit Verdot
- King Crab & Flat Iron Steak paired with Pellet Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
- Chocolate Wine and Red Berry Tart paired with Rombauer Vineyards Stice Lane Cabernet Sauvignon
We aren’t sure yet exactly which wineries will be returning for bASH this year, but based on prior years you’re likely to see Anomaly Vineyards, Ballentine Vineyards, Benessere Vineyards, Calafia Cellars, Corley Family Napa Valley, Crocker & Starr, David Fulton Winery, Del Dotto Vineyards, Edge Hill Estate, hope & grace, Parry Cellars, Pellet Estate, Raymond Vineyard & Cellars, Revana Family Vineyard, Rombauer Vineyards, Robert Biale Vineyards, St. Helena Winery, Salvestrin Winery, Taplin Cellars, Titus Vineyards, Trinchero Napa Valley, Varozza Vineyards and Young Inglewood Vineyards.
2016 bASH organizers are also including a chance to win an Appellation St. Helena Instant Wine Cellar. When you purchase an event ticket you are automatically entered for the drawing (held at the end of the evening and no, you do not need to be present to win). But, you should get your tickets for bASH before the evening sells out (like it did last year).
Appellation St. Helena is a non-profit organization of over 70 wineries and grape growers dedicated to showcasing and promoting the quality of the wines produced from the Saint Helena American Viticultural Area (AVA). The official AVA was approved in 1995, with its boundaries in Napa Valley defined by Bale Lane to the north, Zinfandel Lane to the South, the intersection of Howell Mountain and Conn Valley Road to the east, and the 400 ft. elevation line marking the west. Proceeds from bASH will go to benefit the scholarship fund of the Culinary Institute of America.
To learn more about the appellation, please click on the photo below to link to an introductory 5-minute video about the special wines and vineyards of Appellation St. Helena.
Personally, we can’t wait for bASH 2016!