We’re thrilled to start planning for the 2022 Wine & Food Affair on November 5th and 6th, and we encourage you to do the same. That weekend, around 50 Sonoma County wineries will welcome Foodies, Cooks, and Wine Lovers (or people who are all three) to come taste their wines. Better yet, each winery will also feature a special dish to sample along with the perfect wine. This is a great opportunity to revisit excellent wineries in the Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River Valleys. A happy development for 2022 is that the old event structure has returned: you do not have to make reservations in advance at each of the wineries you want to visit.
You’ll also find a broad selection of wines to enjoy that weekend such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir, Grenache, Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Food pairings with those wines at the 2022 Wine & Food Affair will include Midwest Sloppy Joes (at Kokomo Wines), Fancy Loaded Tater Tots (Bowman Cellars), Mashed Potato Martini Bar (Notre Vue Estate Winery and Vineyards), Sauvignon Blanc Braised Sausage and Peppers (Roth Estate), Carnitas Tacos (VML Winery), Ribeye Tacos with Corn Salsa (deLorimier Winery), Chili with Cheddar Cornbread (Trattore Farms), Lasagna (Colagrossi Wines), and Wood-Fired Pizza (Longboard Vineyards).
You’ll also find wines paired with Beef Bourguignon (Pezzi King Vineyards), Grilled Chicken Adobo (Pech Merle Winery), Korean Pulled Pork Sandwiches with a Creamy Asian Slaw (Merriam Vineyards), Turkey Sliders with Pinot Noir Cranberry Relish (Bucher Wines), Creamy Herb Polenta with Sausage and Mushroom Ragu (Rockpile Vineyards), Braised Short Ribs (Soda Rock Winery), Wood-Grilled Lamb and Fennel Risotto (Francis Ford Coppola Winery), and Veal Marengo (GC Lurton Estates – Acaibo). Wilson Winery is also participating this year and yes, they will be serving up their famous Tri-Tip.
If you are more interested in tasting wines with vegetarian dishes, your options include Mushroom Cauliflower Bolognese Crostini (at Amista), Sugo of Eggplant on Focaccia (Martinelli Winery), Butternut Squash Soup (DeLoach Vineyards), Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms (Balletto Vineyards), Vegetarian Spring Rolls (Mengler Family Wines), Lentil Curry over Basmati Rice (J. Rickards Winery), and Margherita Pizza (Ramazzotti Wines). Sweet options during the weekend include a Masa Harina Waffle with Berries and Crème Fraiche (Stephen & Walker), Susie’s Almost-Famous Chocolate Dessert (Selby Winery) and Dark Chocolate Truffles (made with Hillside Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon) at Ehret Family Wines.
The 2022 Wine & Food Affair takes place between 11 am and 4 pm on Saturday, November 5 and Sunday, November 6. Tickets are $125 per person for both days, or $95 per person for Sunday only. Tickets are only available in advance, until October 31st (unless they sell out first). Designated Driver tickets are $25 for the weekend which allows the DD to enjoy the food and non-alcoholic beverages offered. Please be aware this event is for adults only, so no one under 21 is allowed (including babies and children).
Many wineries are unable to host groups larger than 7 so please factor that in when planning your weekend’s itinerary. Also, several wineries are offering event “spotlight” sessions on Saturday and Sunday. These activities include vineyard tours, meet-the-winemaker opportunities and educational talks such as discussing the 2022 harvest, how to build a wine cave, or advice on aging wines. More details on these are available on the Wine and Food Affair’s website. You can follow these links for a complete list of participating wineries and the food pairings that weekend or to buy tickets.
If you’d like to start your Wine & Food Affair weekend fun early, there are some additional events happening on Friday, November 4 to consider. Baldassari Wines is featuring live music from The Rains for you to enjoy in their lounge from 6 to 8 pm with no cover charge. Or, you can join West Wines’ owner/winemaker Katarina Bonde for a Sunset Library Tasting showcasing Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve bottles from the 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 vintages between 4:30 and 6 pm for $75 per person (limited to 20 people). Or, you can enjoy a Winemaker BBQ Dinner at Viszlay Vineyards where owner/winemaker John Viszlay will treat guests (limited to 12 people) to BBQ Oysters, Heirloom Vegetables, and Filets between 6 and 8 pm for $100 per person.
Wine Road is an association of nearly 200 wineries and 50 lodgings throughout the Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River Valleys in Sonoma County. The group traditionally presents three major events each year: Winter WINEland in January; Barrel Tasting in March; and Wine & Food Affair in November. You can also play with interactive maps of the region and/or learn about local lodging options (and specials) at the Wine Road website.