Sonoma Wine Country Weekend 2012

Aug 31-Sept 2

If you’re wondering where all the chefs and winemakers are this weekend, you’ll find them at Sonoma Wine Country Weekend (August 31-Sept 2). Here’s you guide to the action…

Friday: Lay a base for the partying to come (and trust us, there will be partying) at easy-going winemaker lunches on Friday throughout the county. On Friday night, Francis Ford Coppola Winery hosts a Starlight Supper Club dinner under the stars. Live dancing, Pride & Joy play and chefs Carlo Cavallo (Sonoma Meritage) and Jeff Mall (Zin) and Josh Silvers (Petite Syrah) do a whole pig roast, Tuscan brick chicken and sausage, old-fashioned potato salad and more by the pool. $95, tickets here. 

 Saturday: Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch, 11am to 4pm. As someone who’s done this multiple times and made some tragic mistakes of over-indulgence, the key to getting through 170 wineries and 60 chef pairings is to make a plan of attack and pace yourself throughout the day. Vets know to go early (food sometimes runs out later in the day, and the crowd gets thick). Break up the eat-drink fest with Wine Talks, a rip to the Gloria Ferrer Bubble Lounge and a stop by the Steel Chef Competition featuring Steve Rose of Vineyards Inn, Carlo Cavallo, Crista Luedtke of boon eat-drink and Steven Snook of Kenwood Inn and Spa.  Tickets: $150. 

Sunday: Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction at Chateau St. Jean, 1-7p.m. Bollywood is the theme of this year’s epic auction in it’s new location at Chateau St. Jean. Look for plenty of bright colors, flavors and a busting bazaar set up for the event. Auction lots include a racing day, helicopter tour and one-on-one with Dr. McDreamy (aka actor Patrick Dempsey); an aerial tour of Sonoma and private winery tour of Envolve with the Bachelor’s Ben Flajnik; a 10-course Chinese new year feast with Lance Lew of NBC Bay Area and of course lots and lots of great wines. $500 per person.

 Want to know what the Maharaji are eating for dinner? We did too. Here’s the menu:

Thai marinated lobster – Chef Doug Keane, Cyrus

Chicken Momo: Yeti Restaurant

Curry and red chili lomo with paneer: Ramekins

Saffron roasted cauliflower puri:  Chef Duskie Estes, Zazu

Salad with figs, goat cheese and pomegranate vinaigrette: Catherine Venturini, Olive and Vine

Rock Shrimp and heirloom squash lasagna: Chef Carlo Cavallo, Meritage

Spice-braised lamb with black lentils, pea shoot and radish salad, Vadouvan curry vinaigrette: Chef Josh Silvers, Petite Syrah

Caramelized peach tart with basil creme fraiche, Octavio Alcantar, Barndiva

Mango Saffron Ice Box Cake, Chai Shortbread: Moaya Scheiman, Andrea Koweek of Crisp Bakery