Wondering what wine to serve at your holiday dinner? Looking to travel to Napa Valley wine country in the off season or perhaps you simply enjoy fun food and wine events? I recommend the California wine country event Flavor! Napa Valley.
The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone is the belle of the ball at this multi-day event, as proceeds from Flavor! Napa Valley support programs and scholarships at the Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone campus in St. Helena, California.
Flavor Napa Valley
Currently in its third year, this November food and wine event is a favorite for locals, as well as wine connoisseurs from across the country.
“A signature event in Napa Valley was long overdue,” said CIA graduate and Bottega Chef and Owner Michael Chiarello.
November in wine country
With the grape harvest over and the crowds dissipated, November is an ideal time to travel to the Napa Valley before the Thanksgiving holiday. From wine lovers bootcamp to cooking demonstrations, The Appellation Trail: Tasting Napa Valley, interactive lunches and Dinner with Napa Valley winemakers, there is an event for everyone.
I attended The Appellation Trail Friday evening at the CIA at Greystone and Saturday night Dinner with Napa Valley Winemakers. Both venues offered excellent opportunities to taste a wide array of wines, many new to me, as well as old favorites.
At the Dinner with Napa Valley Winemakers, the evening began with a wine reception at Meritage Resort and Spa, followed by a dinner with twenty five Napa Valley winemakers.
I had the pleasure of being seated with Dario De Conti, owner and winemaker of Ca’ Momi Napa Valley and his wife and business partner Valentina Guolo-Migotto. It was at The Appellation Trail event that I discovered their bignes from Ca’ Momi Enoteca and learned of their Italian restaurant inside Napa’s Oxbow Public Market.
As I mentioned, both events offer consumers an opportunity to taste the food and wine and interact one-on-one with the Napa Valley chefs and winemakers. Our table hosts introduced me to several Ca’Momi wines, including the 2011 Pinot Noir Reserve from Carneros (my Thanksgiving dinner wine) and the luscious 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve.
Bing also introduced their new Food & Drink app for Windows, designed for use in the kitchen. The app offers access to recipes from top chefs to food bloggers and a wine encyclopedia with information on over 1.5 million bottles of wine.
Whether you plan to attend one event or multiple food and wine events, I recommend you bring a designated drive or stay overnight at a Napa Valley hotel.
For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter and follow @FlavorNapa on Twitter.
If You Go:
I was a guest of Flavor Napa Valley and Bing. All photos courtesy of food and wine writer Nancy D. Brown.