We’re excitedly looking forward to the 2022 bASH Wine and Food Competition next Saturday. If you enjoy awesome wine, food, and wine-and-food pairings then you should buy your tickets soon for bASH on Saturday, April 2. This annual showcase for Napa Valley’s Appellation St. Helena has 19 premium wineries joining forces with local culinary talent to present the best wine and food pairing of the evening. This is the 11th time this delightful event has happened, giving attendees the power to select the winners. That’s right: if you attend the 2022 bASH, you get to eat, drink AND judge.
Most of the food pairings at the 2022 bASH will come from “Rising Star” students at the Culinary Institute of America. These current and/or recent students will be creating dishes from scratch, specifically designed to complement the wine that they have been matched with. The picture above is a small bite from the last bASH event. It is a Deconstructed Beef Empanada, with Rhubarb and Watermelon Rind Pickled Salad, from CIA students Alejandro Baisman and Jacob Hershberger. The taste was served with Calafia Cellars’ 2016 La Reina (Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot blend).
The most recent bASH Wine and Food Competition was in 2019, and the audience’s choice for best pairing involving CIA Students was a dish called “House of Wolves.” The “house” was a delicious Thai Chile-Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Yuca Puree on a Parmesan-Sage Crisp, topped with Serrano Relish and Candied Grapefruit from CIA students Jonathan Friedman and Daniel Reyes. It was paired with Anomaly Vineyards’ 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon.
In addition to the CIA student pairings, bASH usually also includes pairings from a few professional chef teams. In 2019, the audience’s favorite pairing from a professional team was a Rosemary-Braised Lamb Crostini with Humboldt Fog Aged Goat Cheese and Mint Tapenade from Market Restaurant, paired with Taplin Cellar’s Terra 9 Cabernet Sauvignon. Those three wineries (Calafia, Anomaly, Taplin) are 3 of our favorites from the St. Helena Appellation and all three will be at this year’s bASH.
Other winery participants confirmed for the 2022 bASH Wine and Food Competition are Charles Krug Winery, Chase Cellars, Ehlers Estate, Hall Wines, Mending Wall Winery, Monticello/Corley Family, Pellet Estate, Raymond Vineyards, Rombauer Vineyards, Saint Helena Winery, Salvestrin Winery, Spottswoode Winery, The Crane Assembly, Unwritten Wines, Varozza Vineyards and Young Inglewood Vineyards.
If you’re still not sure, here are some of the other dishes we enjoyed at the last bASH: Oxtail Agnolotti, Korean BBQ Short Rib Tacos, Dry-Aged Beef Tartare, Lamb Meatball, Rabbit Ragu Ravioli, and a Vanilla Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce and Candied Pecans. We also adored a “Cheeseboard” creation of a Manchego, Goat Cheese and Cheddar Basque-Style Cheesecake, served with Elderberry Gastrique and a Shortbread, Marcona Almond and Pistachio Crumble. So, there’s no telling what you’ll find at this year’s competition.
If you come, you will enjoy this lovely extravaganza in the historic Barrel Room of The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone (2555 Main Street, St. Helena) between 6:00 and 8:30 pm. Tickets for the 2022 bASH Wine and Food Competition are $175 each and that’s a pretty good price for what is practically a 19-course Chef’s Tasting Menu with wine pairings for each course. Or, you can purchase a set of ten tickets for the price of 9 ($1575). You can buy tickets here but you should move quickly because tickets are limited to only 300 attendees. When you purchase a ticket, you will be automatically entered to win one of three six-pack cases of wine from participating ASH wineries. Three raffle winners will be selected at the end of the evening.
Appellation St. Helena is a non-profit organization of over 60 wineries and grape growers dedicated to promoting the quality of the grapes grown in, and the wines produced from, the St. 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 establishing the west border. More than 400 different vineyards are located within the appellation, planted in 21 different soil types.
If you are looking for more information about the appellation, and our personal recommendations for nearby wineries and restaurants, please go here. Depending on your interest, you can also follow the drop-down menus on the navigation bar above to see our Favorites By Wine Region for other areas in the Napa Valley (or Sonoma, Mendocino, Santa Barbara, etc.).