Sipping in the Sun

Upcoming food events of note in the North Bay Compiled

Oysters & Jambalaya: Music & Wine July 27. While viewing a backdrop of valleys and vineyards, enjoy a pairing of wine from Little Vineyards with live music and food by chef Jeff Mall of Healdsburg’s Zin Restaurant. Little Vineyards Family Winery, Glen Ellen. 4–8pm. $65–$75. 707.996.2750.

Uke-a-Palooza Aug. 2. Oxbow Public Market, along with Judd and Holly Finkelstein of Judd’s Hill Winery, present a special Polynesian evening, which includes a performance by the Maikai Gents. Guests are encouraged to bring their own ukulele and perform. Oxbow Public Market, Napa. 6–9pm. Free. 707.226.6529.

Lobster Luau Wine Fest Aug. 3. Featuring an extravagant amount of food and wine, the mouth-watering menu includes fresh baguette with drawn butter and whole head garlic, prawns, corn, artichokes, red potatoes, yellow onions and, of course—fresh Maine lobsters!. Judd’s Hill Winery, Napa. 5–8pm. $135. 707.255.2332.

‘Eggs on the River’ Eggfest Aug. 3. Big Green Egg barbecue enthusiasts unite for this egg-tastic event where up to 20 barbecues will be fired up and cooking a variety of food. Guests choose to be a cook or a sampler in the barbecue competition. Stumptown Brewery, Guerneville. 10am–4pm. $20–$35; cooks free. 707.546.3749.

Napa Chili Cook-Off Aug. 3. A benefit for the Napa Food Bank, this fifth annual event allows contestants to showcase their best chili recipe and vie for the winning award of $1,500 in cash and prizes. Margaritas, too, yum. First and Main streets, Napa. Noon–4pm. Free–$20. 707.738.8261.

Seventh Annual Food & Wine Festival Aug. 10. At the historic Falkirk Cultural Center, a 17-room Queen Anne Victorian with a beautiful view of Mt. Tamalpais, guests enjoy food from local restaurants, sample wines from 25 of the region’s wineries and view a chef demonstration area. Smooth jazz and classical music is provided by local musicians. Falkirk Cultural Center, San Rafael. 1–5pm. Free; sampling, $25–$30. 800.310.6563.

Gravenstein Apple Fair Aug. 10–11. The fair continues its rich history in Sonoma County this year with a fun-filled two days of music, great food, arts and crafts booths, pony rides and don’t forget the contests! An Apple Pie Baking, Pie Eating Contest, Applesauce Drinking Contest and Apple Juggling Contest dominate, with non-apple foods and drinks on hand too. Ragle Ranch Park, Sebastopol. Sat. 10am–6pm. Sun. 10am–5pm. $5–$12. 707.823.7262.

‘Short Haul Shanty’ Aug. 13. In this themed dinner, chef Damon Little partners with fisherman Kirk Lombard to prepare a seafood feast of various fish, such as halibut and monkey-faced eel, all caught by Lombard himself within 25 miles of the Golden Gate Bridge and served to the sounds of sea shanties performed by the fisherman and his wife. Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito. 6:30–9:30pm. $35–$45. 415.331.2787.


Grape to Glass Aug. 17. The 18th annual celebration kicks off with a tasting reception showcasing more than 50 wineries along with local restaurants and caterers offering wine pairings. Guests can stroll through the park-like setting at Richard’s Grove & Saralee’s Vineyard, view local artists’ work and bid on silent auction items. Following the reception is a delicious barbecue and one of the largest homemade Gravenstein apple pies you’ve ever seen. Richard’s Grove & Saralee’s Vineyard, Windsor. 4pm. $85–$1,000. 707.521.2534.

Blues, Brews & BBQ Aug. 24. Napa’s barbecue madness ensues with barbecue chicken, pork, oysters, shrimp and corn, and over 30 microbrews including Lagunitas, New Belgium, Blue Moon, New Castle and more. Music from AC Myles, Lara Price Blues Band, Terry Hanck Band and Frank Bey and the Anthony Paule Band promises a dancin’ time, and there’s always the Catch The Bounty Hunter Rib Eatin’ contest, in which 10 contestants eat as many ribs as they can in 10 minutes. First and Main streets, Napa. 1–6pm. Free. 707.257.0322.

Seafood, Art & Wine Festival Aug. 24–25. The 19th annual festival in Bodega features an abundance of arts and crafts, over a dozen restaurants and caterers with an emphasis on seafood, three stages of entertainment and one large dance floor to show off your moves, kids’ activities, wine and beer tasting and, debuting this year, wine sales. 16855 Bodega Hwy., Bodega. Sat. 10am–6pm. Sun. 10am–5pm. Free–$15. 707.824.8717.

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Aug. 30–Sept. 1. Just think: a whole weekend to be classy and sip wine by the vineyards. The weekend begins Friday as guests dance under the stars at Sonoma Starlight at Francis Ford Coppola Winery while listening to Pride & Joy. On Saturday, savor delectable bites paired with wine at Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch. Finally, on Sunday, bid on world-class wines and experiences at the Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction at Chateau St. Jean. Small-scale lunch and dinner gatherings are also provided for guests wanting more intimate experiences. $85–$500. 707.935.0803, ext. 1.

Kendall-Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival Sept. 28. This event sells out quickly every year, and for good reason. Setting aside the 175 varieties of heirloom tomatoes painstakingly sliced and presented in ascending order from lightest to heaviest flavor as the centerpiece of the festival, and forgetting about the 50 Bay Area restaurants and food trucks selling unique tomato-inspired creations ranging from tacos to ice cream to gazpacho, and let alone the great live music all day, and disregarding the delicious winetasting in several booths, the real shell-out-the-cash-and-get-here-now aspect of the festival is this: there’s a good chance you’ll meet Guy Fieri, and there’s a good chance he will hit on your girlfriend. Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens. 5007 Fulton Rd., Fulton. $95–$150. 866.287.9818.

Sonoma County Harvest Fair Oct. 4-6. This is how the wine country goes on a bender. Three full days of winetasting, with over 150 wineries, and now microbreweries, sampling their wares. Some samples are so limited they might not even become available for purchase outside of some special club. There’s food, of course, and don’t miss the World Championship Grape Stomp. It’s all about local, with winners proudly displaying their award-winning prowess on labels of local food products. Chef demos, winetasting seminars and plenty other gastronomic adventures to keep one busy all weekend long. Sonoma County Fairgrounds. Free admission, tasting pavillion tickets $50. 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. 707.545.4203.

Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival Sept. 27–29. “Blending time and tradition since 1897,” they say. Whatever that means, it includes three different grape stomps, music by Tainted Love, Train Wreck Junction, Shannon Rider, Buck Ford, California Cowboys, Dginn, Beso Negro and It’s a Beautiful Day and, this year, 12k and 5k runs through downtown Sonoma and surrounding vineyards. A glowing night parade and a firefighter water fight (hopefully featuring Stanley Spadowski) are also highlights of the three-day festival. Being in Sonoma, there will of course be winetasting involved. Sonoma Square, West Napa Street and First Street West, Sonoma. General admission free; opening gala, $85. 707.996.2109.