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Taste of Sonoma Tix Giveaway

Win Grand Reserve Tickets to Taste of Sonoma, one of the Top 10 food and wine events in the US!

CONTEST CLOSED: CONGRATS DAWN, a Biteclub member since 2007. Membership does have it’s rewards.
Don’t be too sad if you didn’t win, though. I’ll have tickets to the Heirloom Tomato Fest next week.

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Okay eaters and drinkers, this is BiteClub’s biggest giveaway of the year, and darlings, you soooo deserve this.

Clear your schedule and put on your thinking caps, because on Saturday, September 3, two lucky BiteClub winners will receive GRAND RESERVE TICKETS ($195 each!) to Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch.

This ain’t no everyday chew and chug over wine barrels. Named one of the 10 Best Wine and Food Events in the United States, Taste of Sonoma is part of Wine Country Weekend, a deluxe three day celebration of all things food and wine in Sonoma County. Bringing together 170 wineries and 60 local chefs at one of the most beautiful (and exclusive) estates in Dry Creek, Taste is it’s a chance to see, be seen, eat, drink and hobnob with hundreds of your new best friends.

Chefs and winemakers bring out their A-game with primo sips and brilliant bites. BiteClub’s especially excited to check out eats Rick Bruno (Bruno’s on Fourth), Ken Tominaga (Hana Japanese), Justin Wangler (Kendall-Jackson), John Toulze from Girl and the Fig, Thomas Schmidt of John Ash & Co., and Carrie Brown from the Jimtown Store. Each of the three wine tents will include “perfect pairings” created by winemakers and chefs.

Star sommeliers are on hand to guide you through the tasting tents or you can head over to the Bubble Lounge for a sip of, well, bubbly. Once you’re good and comfy, take a self-guided tour of the ranch or watch a cooking demonstration. The world is your oyster for a few precious hours.

And as a Grand Reserve ticket holder (kind of like a Golden Ticket), you won’t be going thirsty. You and a companion also get access to exclusive venues featuring rare wines and behind-the-scenes benefits, including spies from Capture, Flowers, Jordan, Keller Estate, Papapietro, Pride Mountain, Ramey, Rodnesy Strong, Silver Oak and Sojourn Cellars among others.

To sweeten the deal, I’ll also invite you to the judging area of the Steel Chef Competition to sample a few dishes. Hey, what are friends for?

Here’s what you have to do to win.

1. Check out the WCW website and tell me how you plan to spend your day of luxury at Taste of Sonoma n the comments below. Get creative and impress me. These are coveted tickets, and I’m not giving them to someone who can’t appreciate the finer things in life!

2. Make sure you are either signed up for my newsletter or as a Facebook Fan of BiteClub. Membership has its privileges and the longer you’re a member, the more privileges you get, darlings. Not part of the club? Sign up for the newsletter here or my Facebook Fan Page here.

THE SMALL PRINT: Based on your impressive answers and your dedication to BiteClub (I’ll accept new friends, too), one winner will be named on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011 at 10am. You MUST be 21 to win and attend. So if you’re not, please don’t enter. Also, if you’re a non-drinker (and that’s okay!), please hold out for a less wine-related set of tickets (or you can be the designated driver, which is also cool). Finally, Make sure to use your real email address when entering. It’s the only way I can contact you! Are you one of those people who want to read the really fine print? Okay fine. It’s here. But really, you need a hobby.

Good Luck BiteClubbers! See you at Taste of Sonoma…

PS. Just want to forgo the hubbub and buy a set of tickets? Well, you can do that too.

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Comments

75 thoughts on “Taste of Sonoma Tix Giveaway

  1. Very good site you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any user discussion forums that cover the same topics talked about here? I’d really love to be a part of community where I can get feedback from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thank you!|

  2. Very good site you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any user discussion forums that cover the same topics talked about here? I’d really love to be a part of community where I can get feedback from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thank you!|

  3. Thanks for this wonderful article. One other thing is that a lot of digital cameras arrive equipped with a zoom lens that permits more or less of your scene to become included by ‘zooming’ in and out. These kinds of changes in focusing length tend to be reflected while in the viewfinder and on massive display screen at the back of your camera.

  4. Thanks for this wonderful article. One other thing is that a lot of digital cameras arrive equipped with a zoom lens that permits more or less of your scene to become included by ‘zooming’ in and out. These kinds of changes in focusing length tend to be reflected while in the viewfinder and on massive display screen at the back of your camera.

  5. Every once in awhile reality slaps you in the face. The other night it suddenly occurred to me that our wine cabinet was practically bare. We were down to the last vintages from bygone wine clubs and viticultural withdrawal was setting in. Desperate for inspiration, I stumbled upon your Twitter page and after reading on Bite Club Eats about your contest, I knew what I had to do.

    From that moment on, I’ve imagined this day in vivid detail, starting with my outfit. First, the shoes – wedges, not heels on the uneven grass, but something sassy and fun. A colorful shirt (hides wine stains) and a cute a-line skirt, slimming but comfortable to sit in. Dazzling jewelry and possibly a hat reminiscent of Kate Middleton’s wedding. On the arm of my husband, we will step into our waiting limousine at 10 a.m. sharp and be whisked off to the glorious MacMurray Ranch. We may arrive a few minutes early, which will give me time to tweet my thanks and first impressions of the day to @biteclubeats. Perfect!!

    Our first stop will be the Bubble Lounge, because it’s only fitting to start off the celebration of this amazing event with a glass of Gloria Ferrer bubbly! Oh, la, la! Next, I think it will be super fun to hit the Crushpad! What a cool idea to taste and learn about the grapes, see a demonstration of the crush and then sample the finished product. A grape to glass experience at it’s finest!!

    At this point, we’ll be ready for a little food so we’ll check out Pair with the Pros, which is new this year. It sounds like a wonderful opportunity to discover incredible pairings of limited-release wines and delectable food, and since I’ve been known to drink some KJ and can cook up a storm, I’m on it! After the 12:30 session, we’ll want to mosey on over to the MacMurray Ranch House for the self-guided tour. So intrigued to see this historic exhibition, as it’s never been shown before.

    One of my favorite food channel shows is Iron Chef, so the Steel Chef competition is a must! And thanks to Bite Club we’ll have an invitation to sample a few of the amazing dishes. Woot, woot!!!

    I definitely don’t want to miss the the Sommelier Stars Tour, which is a series of tours hosted by a famous sommelier from some of the best restaurants around the country. While it’s tough to choose, the Iconic Reds tour at 2:30 should be fascinating and VERY tasty, I’m sure. After that we’ll only have an hour left before the event ends. Seriously?? I still haven’t even sampled some of my very favorites from Papapietro Perry, Pride and Silver Oak. Must. Find. Now. Last but not least we’ll end up in the “fertile foodshed” that is the Sonoma Marketplace, where we can purchase goodies to bring home and share with our friends.

    Time to pack our loot into the limo and drive home, recounting our favorite moments from the day. Just as this time of harvest brings the prospect of exciting new vintages, I’m inspired by my experience to seek out new vines and new appellations, to boldly go where this budding wine enthusiast has never gone before!

  6. Every once in awhile reality slaps you in the face. The other night it suddenly occurred to me that our wine cabinet was practically bare. We were down to the last vintages from bygone wine clubs and viticultural withdrawal was setting in. Desperate for inspiration, I stumbled upon your Twitter page and after reading on Bite Club Eats about your contest, I knew what I had to do.

    From that moment on, I’ve imagined this day in vivid detail, starting with my outfit. First, the shoes – wedges, not heels on the uneven grass, but something sassy and fun. A colorful shirt (hides wine stains) and a cute a-line skirt, slimming but comfortable to sit in. Dazzling jewelry and possibly a hat reminiscent of Kate Middleton’s wedding. On the arm of my husband, we will step into our waiting limousine at 10 a.m. sharp and be whisked off to the glorious MacMurray Ranch. We may arrive a few minutes early, which will give me time to tweet my thanks and first impressions of the day to @biteclubeats. Perfect!!

    Our first stop will be the Bubble Lounge, because it’s only fitting to start off the celebration of this amazing event with a glass of Gloria Ferrer bubbly! Oh, la, la! Next, I think it will be super fun to hit the Crushpad! What a cool idea to taste and learn about the grapes, see a demonstration of the crush and then sample the finished product. A grape to glass experience at it’s finest!!

    At this point, we’ll be ready for a little food so we’ll check out Pair with the Pros, which is new this year. It sounds like a wonderful opportunity to discover incredible pairings of limited-release wines and delectable food, and since I’ve been known to drink some KJ and can cook up a storm, I’m on it! After the 12:30 session, we’ll want to mosey on over to the MacMurray Ranch House for the self-guided tour. So intrigued to see this historic exhibition, as it’s never been shown before.

    One of my favorite food channel shows is Iron Chef, so the Steel Chef competition is a must! And thanks to Bite Club we’ll have an invitation to sample a few of the amazing dishes. Woot, woot!!!

    I definitely don’t want to miss the the Sommelier Stars Tour, which is a series of tours hosted by a famous sommelier from some of the best restaurants around the country. While it’s tough to choose, the Iconic Reds tour at 2:30 should be fascinating and VERY tasty, I’m sure. After that we’ll only have an hour left before the event ends. Seriously?? I still haven’t even sampled some of my very favorites from Papapietro Perry, Pride and Silver Oak. Must. Find. Now. Last but not least we’ll end up in the “fertile foodshed” that is the Sonoma Marketplace, where we can purchase goodies to bring home and share with our friends.

    Time to pack our loot into the limo and drive home, recounting our favorite moments from the day. Just as this time of harvest brings the prospect of exciting new vintages, I’m inspired by my experience to seek out new vines and new appellations, to boldly go where this budding wine enthusiast has never gone before!

  7. Hi Heather

    My wife and I have lived in Sonoma County for over 40 years. What a wonderful place to live. My wife and I are both foodies and of course enjoy the wonderful wines offered in our area.

    My wife is a very giving person and does hundreds of hours of volunteer work each year for two major charities in Sonoma County. She is tireless in her efforts, so I would love to surprise her with the event tickets.

    I’m not very lucky, but for her I would love to win these tickets. We have never attended this event and if we won we would, really take time to savor the fine food and wines, slowing sipping each glass with pure delight and pleasuring our palates with all the wonderful foods offered by our local chefs.

    My wife will be totally surprised that I even took the time to enter this contest, but like I’ve stated, she really deserves to be spoiled.

    Just being lucky enough to live in this great county with all the abundance of great food and wine is wonderful in itself, but wining your contest, would be the pièce de résistance, for these two foodies.

    Thanks for the opportunity.

  8. Thanks for the chance to win a pair of tickets to Taste of Sonoma.

    Taste of Sonoma is truly the best wine event on the planet. Over the years, it has introduced us to Starlight Wine Bar and Capture Wines. It has also opened the window to the private life of Fred MacMurray. We were in awe when we toured the house and saw the handmade table.

    I’m now going through menopause. If I win and have the good fortune to attend this year, it’s possible that I won’t know if I’ve had a few tastes too much or just a hot flash. Thanks again for considering me.

  9. This is the type of event you read about how great it was…and how you should have been there… It sounds amazing… I would take my wife who I neglect during my 80 hour work week and pamper her with an event slightly above my pay grade… Enjoy every little beam of sunshine that bounces off my skin… hug a bit longer and smile too much… MacMurray Ranch looks like a dream…In fact…I would be dreaming… What do you say to seperate yourself from everyone who would equally appreciate these tickets?! When the Winner is crowned I will have my answer….in the meantime… it was nice to dream…back to work…and to everyone that is fortunate enough to attend… enjoy every bite…every smile…every sip from your glass…the breeze…smells… sounds…clearly this is God’s Country… LIFE IS SHORT!

    Cheers

  10. Hi Heather

    My wife and I have lived in Sonoma County for over 40 years. What a wonderful place to live. My wife and I are both foodies and of course enjoy the wonderful wines offered in our area.

    My wife is a very giving person and does hundreds of hours of volunteer work each year for two major charities in Sonoma County. She is tireless in her efforts, so I would love to surprise her with the event tickets.

    I’m not very lucky, but for her I would love to win these tickets. We have never attended this event and if we won we would, really take time to savor the fine food and wines, slowing sipping each glass with pure delight and pleasuring our palates with all the wonderful foods offered by our local chefs.

    My wife will be totally surprised that I even took the time to enter this contest, but like I’ve stated, she really deserves to be spoiled.

    Just being lucky enough to live in this great county with all the abundance of great food and wine is wonderful in itself, but wining your contest, would be the pièce de résistance, for these two foodies.

    Thanks for the opportunity.

  11. I plan on eating large quantities of yellow food coloring to cancel out the purple staining my tongue will receive from the large quantities of wine. I would also consider using a fashionable walking stick to aid my balance as the evening progresses.

    I can make no other promises other than to do my best!

    m

  12. Thanks for the chance to win a pair of tickets to Taste of Sonoma.

    Taste of Sonoma is truly the best wine event on the planet. Over the years, it has introduced us to Starlight Wine Bar and Capture Wines. It has also opened the window to the private life of Fred MacMurray. We were in awe when we toured the house and saw the handmade table.

    I’m now going through menopause. If I win and have the good fortune to attend this year, it’s possible that I won’t know if I’ve had a few tastes too much or just a hot flash. Thanks again for considering me.

  13. This is the type of event you read about how great it was…and how you should have been there… It sounds amazing… I would take my wife who I neglect during my 80 hour work week and pamper her with an event slightly above my pay grade… Enjoy every little beam of sunshine that bounces off my skin… hug a bit longer and smile too much… MacMurray Ranch looks like a dream…In fact…I would be dreaming… What do you say to seperate yourself from everyone who would equally appreciate these tickets?! When the Winner is crowned I will have my answer….in the meantime… it was nice to dream…back to work…and to everyone that is fortunate enough to attend… enjoy every bite…every smile…every sip from your glass…the breeze…smells… sounds…clearly this is God’s Country… LIFE IS SHORT!

    Cheers

  14. “Your biggest fan”

    “I’m your biggest fan, read “Bite Club” religiously! Pick me! I’m just a simple guy who love good food and wine. Bite club has inspired me to be creative in my cooking.
    Due to financial hardships my wife and I have not been able to do anything on our anniversary for the last five years, since we both lost our jobs due to the economy. Our anniversary is coming up soon and it would be awesome to celebrate it early and take her to this event!

  15. Born and raised in the wine country has been a privilege. Among hundreds of award winning wines, cheeses, honeys, vinegars, olive oils, pastries, chocolates, meats, breads, and so much more; there’s also an abundance of local fruits and vegetables. I have not had the privilege to attend such a spectacular event. If I were to win tickets to this ultimate wine and food extravaganza, I would be able to enjoy the creations of amazing cooks and wine makers, make new friends and have the time of my life, eating, drinking and laughing while in a truly amazing setting. This would be a dream come true…

  16. Oh, for a chance to spend a day with THE best of the best wineries and chefs of Sonoma County, and at the MacMurray Ranch, no less! Almost difficult to fathom 170 wineries and 60 chefs vying for my attention…imagining the food and wine possibilities…the demonstrations…where to begin? I would certainly come prepared with both an appetite and my camera…and completely and totally immerse myself in the moment, from beginning to end!
    I would get there at the start and make sure to plan my day to make the most of my time…sampling the food and wine temptations, visiting the demonstrations, and making sure to spend some time in the vineyards as well – making it a well-rounded experience. I would take in all the sights, sounds, smells and tastes like a carefree child, and savour every moment.
    There would be plenty of mingling and making new friends – and hopefully meeting up with some old acquaintances, too! I can’t imagine a more wonderful event for making the rounds and people-watching.
    Through my lense, I would capture the event from the viewpoint of a wide-eyed wanderer, traveling through a land of enchantment, making sure to chronicle my experience from beginning to end, and sharing those photos with BiteClub and the MacMurray Ranch. No two lenses see the same thing, although they may be focused on the same subject!
    Finally, I would end the day with humble thanks and appreciation for the event hosts and to BiteClub for sending me on this amazing journey of fineness…an event fit for a queen but enjoyed to the fullest by yours truly…ahhh, truly a day to remember!

  17. If I won the tickets, I would give them to my parents.

    We love going wine tasting and eating good food in our beautiful Sonoma County. They have been helping me out a lot financially lately, plus taking time out of their day to run errands for me so that I don’t have to take time off work to get everything done. … and I have no way to repay them for all that they have done for me.

    There are so many wonderful wineries on the list that I know they love (St. Francis, DeLoach, Murphy Goode, Souverain, etc.) but there are so many more that they have yet to try! So I would drive them there (no drinking and driving!) and let them have a great experience that I know they would never purchase for themselves.

  18. I plan on eating large quantities of yellow food coloring to cancel out the purple staining my tongue will receive from the large quantities of wine. I would also consider using a fashionable walking stick to aid my balance as the evening progresses.

    I can make no other promises other than to do my best!

    m

  19. “Your biggest fan”

    “I’m your biggest fan, read “Bite Club” religiously! Pick me! I’m just a simple guy who love good food and wine. Bite club has inspired me to be creative in my cooking.
    Due to financial hardships my wife and I have not been able to do anything on our anniversary for the last five years, since we both lost our jobs due to the economy. Our anniversary is coming up soon and it would be awesome to celebrate it early and take her to this event!

  20. Born and raised in the wine country has been a privilege. Among hundreds of award winning wines, cheeses, honeys, vinegars, olive oils, pastries, chocolates, meats, breads, and so much more; there’s also an abundance of local fruits and vegetables. I have not had the privilege to attend such a spectacular event. If I were to win tickets to this ultimate wine and food extravaganza, I would be able to enjoy the creations of amazing cooks and wine makers, make new friends and have the time of my life, eating, drinking and laughing while in a truly amazing setting. This would be a dream come true…

  21. Oh, for a chance to spend a day with THE best of the best wineries and chefs of Sonoma County, and at the MacMurray Ranch, no less! Almost difficult to fathom 170 wineries and 60 chefs vying for my attention…imagining the food and wine possibilities…the demonstrations…where to begin? I would certainly come prepared with both an appetite and my camera…and completely and totally immerse myself in the moment, from beginning to end!
    I would get there at the start and make sure to plan my day to make the most of my time…sampling the food and wine temptations, visiting the demonstrations, and making sure to spend some time in the vineyards as well – making it a well-rounded experience. I would take in all the sights, sounds, smells and tastes like a carefree child, and savour every moment.
    There would be plenty of mingling and making new friends – and hopefully meeting up with some old acquaintances, too! I can’t imagine a more wonderful event for making the rounds and people-watching.
    Through my lense, I would capture the event from the viewpoint of a wide-eyed wanderer, traveling through a land of enchantment, making sure to chronicle my experience from beginning to end, and sharing those photos with BiteClub and the MacMurray Ranch. No two lenses see the same thing, although they may be focused on the same subject!
    Finally, I would end the day with humble thanks and appreciation for the event hosts and to BiteClub for sending me on this amazing journey of fineness…an event fit for a queen but enjoyed to the fullest by yours truly…ahhh, truly a day to remember!

  22. If I won the tickets, I would give them to my parents.

    We love going wine tasting and eating good food in our beautiful Sonoma County. They have been helping me out a lot financially lately, plus taking time out of their day to run errands for me so that I don’t have to take time off work to get everything done. … and I have no way to repay them for all that they have done for me.

    There are so many wonderful wineries on the list that I know they love (St. Francis, DeLoach, Murphy Goode, Souverain, etc.) but there are so many more that they have yet to try! So I would drive them there (no drinking and driving!) and let them have a great experience that I know they would never purchase for themselves.

  23. Dear Biteclub,

    First of all I want to tell you how much I enjoy your newsletters! This one especially. Born and raised in Sonoma County, I have always wanted to attend this event but it’s hard when you live paycheck to paycheck, prioritizing life. If I were to win these tickets I would finally get a chance to see the beautiful estate, taste award winning wines vs $2 buck chuck and enjoy the wonderful flavors of our local chefs and produce. This would be a once in a lifetime event to experience life in a different way.

    Thanks!

    V

  24. Dear Biteclub,

    First of all I want to tell you how much I enjoy your newsletters! This one especially. Born and raised in Sonoma County, I have always wanted to attend this event but it’s hard when you live paycheck to paycheck, prioritizing life. If I were to win these tickets I would finally get a chance to see the beautiful estate, taste award winning wines vs $2 buck chuck and enjoy the wonderful flavors of our local chefs and produce. This would be a once in a lifetime event to experience life in a different way.

    Thanks!

    V

  25. I have been living in Sonoma County all of my life. Living here gave me the love I have today for fine food, local farms and of course our wine. Anyone who knows me knows that food is the core of my life. I am leaving our beautiful trees and rivers to move to Las Vegas for A YEAR. I will be deprived of all I cherish….great food and wine. This would be the greatest going away gift.

  26. I am already going, so don’t pick me as your winner…. But I plan on doing A LOT of eating. This is my favorite event in all of Wine Country. The best of the best of Sonoma County will be there… Both chefs and winemakers. Well worth the price of the tickets.

    See you there Heather!

  27. I have been living in Sonoma County all of my life. Living here gave me the love I have today for fine food, local farms and of course our wine. Anyone who knows me knows that food is the core of my life. I am leaving our beautiful trees and rivers to move to Las Vegas for A YEAR. I will be deprived of all I cherish….great food and wine. This would be the greatest going away gift.

  28. I am already going, so don’t pick me as your winner…. But I plan on doing A LOT of eating. This is my favorite event in all of Wine Country. The best of the best of Sonoma County will be there… Both chefs and winemakers. Well worth the price of the tickets.

    See you there Heather!

  29. This is THE Premiere event of the season in Sonoma County. Taste of Sonoma is truly a showcase of the best of the best. Sonoma County is one of those rare places that has incredible food, fine wine, and a landscape about as picturesque as you can imagine. I would absolutely be honored to be the winner of these most coveted tickets. I would begin the day by taking photographs of everything that is happening at Taste of Sonoma. I expect to start off with a glass of Ramey and a food pairing. I would then continue my journey through the Alexander Valley appellation-tasting, sniffing and sampling. Now, onto Dry Creek Valley wines, my favorite. As I am journaling by photos ,I will then present to you, Heather, a small scrapbook of the day at Taste of Sonoma. I won’t forget to also thank the gracious Kate MacMurray for opening up her property for this spectacular event. Lastly, watching the Steel Chef competition! My friends and I get together often and do a cooking competition. Let the games begin! Thank you for giving me this opportunity to try and win these tickets. Cheers, Cindy

  30. Wow! The taste of Sonoma at MacMurray ranch! This is heaven on earth in our backyard! We are so blessed! Thank you to Fred MacMurray and Gallo for preserving this for future generations and to host this fine event. Thank you Heather for giving these tickets away and for all that you do. Thank you for sharing the bounty that Sonoma County has to offer. Every day I wake up on the Russian River and am thankful that I made the move here four years ago to immerse myself in wine and food. (Figuratively, not literally, although…) I am a student in the Wine Studies program at SRJC and have been lucky to study in the beautiful classroom that is the Shone Farm. I have been working in the industry and you may recognize me pouring wine at local tasting rooms and special events. I love to be working in this industry! I have spent the last 5 months helping with the opening of Whitetail, the Russian River Winebar, along with the Proprietress, who has been working 12 hours a day for the last 7 months, bringing this gem to the town of Guerneville in the heart of the Russian River resort area. I am very lucky to enjoy my job, but it is still hard work, especially in the beginning. We are so proud to represent the small Wine producers of area. Their passion carries through in every bottle. Think about all of the dreams, blood, sweat and tears and hard work that went into every single bottle so that we can enjoy it. I hope after the hard work, each bottle is enjoyed with the great company of wonderful friends and delicious food. What could be better? That is what it is all about! Cheers! If you picked me, we would enjoy every minute of it and get to experience Wine Country hospitality from the other side of the tasting bar. We are so greatful to be living the dream.

  31. I’ve lived in Sonoma County all my life and have always wanted to visit the MacMurray Ranch as Fred MacMurray was one of those actors that I had grown up with and loved. Experiencing the finest wines, delectable cuisine from our local chefs and not too mention the breathtaking backdrop of MacMurray Ranch via my favorite food newletter “BITECLUB” would be the greatest dessert ever!

  32. This is THE Premiere event of the season in Sonoma County. Taste of Sonoma is truly a showcase of the best of the best. Sonoma County is one of those rare places that has incredible food, fine wine, and a landscape about as picturesque as you can imagine. I would absolutely be honored to be the winner of these most coveted tickets. I would begin the day by taking photographs of everything that is happening at Taste of Sonoma. I expect to start off with a glass of Ramey and a food pairing. I would then continue my journey through the Alexander Valley appellation-tasting, sniffing and sampling. Now, onto Dry Creek Valley wines, my favorite. As I am journaling by photos ,I will then present to you, Heather, a small scrapbook of the day at Taste of Sonoma. I won’t forget to also thank the gracious Kate MacMurray for opening up her property for this spectacular event. Lastly, watching the Steel Chef competition! My friends and I get together often and do a cooking competition. Let the games begin! Thank you for giving me this opportunity to try and win these tickets. Cheers, Cindy

  33. Wow! The taste of Sonoma at MacMurray ranch! This is heaven on earth in our backyard! We are so blessed! Thank you to Fred MacMurray and Gallo for preserving this for future generations and to host this fine event. Thank you Heather for giving these tickets away and for all that you do. Thank you for sharing the bounty that Sonoma County has to offer. Every day I wake up on the Russian River and am thankful that I made the move here four years ago to immerse myself in wine and food. (Figuratively, not literally, although…) I am a student in the Wine Studies program at SRJC and have been lucky to study in the beautiful classroom that is the Shone Farm. I have been working in the industry and you may recognize me pouring wine at local tasting rooms and special events. I love to be working in this industry! I have spent the last 5 months helping with the opening of Whitetail, the Russian River Winebar, along with the Proprietress, who has been working 12 hours a day for the last 7 months, bringing this gem to the town of Guerneville in the heart of the Russian River resort area. I am very lucky to enjoy my job, but it is still hard work, especially in the beginning. We are so proud to represent the small Wine producers of area. Their passion carries through in every bottle. Think about all of the dreams, blood, sweat and tears and hard work that went into every single bottle so that we can enjoy it. I hope after the hard work, each bottle is enjoyed with the great company of wonderful friends and delicious food. What could be better? That is what it is all about! Cheers! If you picked me, we would enjoy every minute of it and get to experience Wine Country hospitality from the other side of the tasting bar. We are so greatful to be living the dream.

  34. I’ve lived in Sonoma County all my life and have always wanted to visit the MacMurray Ranch as Fred MacMurray was one of those actors that I had grown up with and loved. Experiencing the finest wines, delectable cuisine from our local chefs and not too mention the breathtaking backdrop of MacMurray Ranch via my favorite food newletter “BITECLUB” would be the greatest dessert ever!

  35. I don’t envy this tough decision you have to make — great entries. The passion our locals share for food and wine is one of the most delightful aspects of our community. I’ll be home with my two-year-old twins, hoping you, and your lucky guests, enjoy the event this year. Thanks for your column!!

  36. Inspired by the historical setting of the MacMurray Ranch, and in the spirit of a golden age connoisseeeur, I took liberties with the Nat King Cole song: L-O-V_E / ” L” is For the Way You Look at Me.
    Strike up the orchestra!

    B is for the Bites I long to take,
    I is for the Icing on the cake,
    T is for the Taste of the wines: so fine
    E is very, very….Extraordinary
    BITE CLUB was made for me and you.

    Tasting is all that I want to do,
    Drink is more than just a game for two,
    Two at the Ranch won’t fake it,
    Take my song & please don’t break it
    BITE CLUB was made for me and you.

    Heather: I truly do enjoy your newsletter, and I read it religiously. Thank you for providing a valuable culinary education. I would love to be chosen for this event. Pick me and I’ll even sing you my song!
    Cheers,
    Jill

  37. WOW. If I won, I would definitely have a great weekend without having to travel far! I love the zins of Wine Country and definitelly would spend my time Zin tasting as well as enjoying the great food options!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for this opportunity to WIN!

  38. I don’t envy this tough decision you have to make — great entries. The passion our locals share for food and wine is one of the most delightful aspects of our community. I’ll be home with my two-year-old twins, hoping you, and your lucky guests, enjoy the event this year. Thanks for your column!!

  39. If I won two tickets to the Taste of Sonoma, I would be your personal correspondent to this wonderful event! Sharing my experience with you and all of your loyal followers via your Facebook page and of course supplying you with a photo album of the day! What good is wine and food if you can’t share it! Pick me! Cheers!

  40. My husband and I are offically “empty nesters” as of this week, both kids off to college… His new motto, “Let the adventures begin!”. Being a self-proclaimed “foodie” – my biggest concern is how do I now cook for only TWO people! , entertainer, and wine enthusiast (him), I can’t think of a better way to kick start this new stage of our lives together!

  41. OK, I have already bought six tickets because my cousins (female) and my sister are coming to town. I wanted to show them the bounty of Sonoma County. My husband, the Saint, is going to be our designated driver, so if I win a ticket, he could join us as well. We’ll drink good wine, eat wonderful tastes of food, check out the cooking, and wander the MacMurray Ranch. Watch out – the Cousins are coming!!

  42. What I would do at Taste of Sonoma:
    Look at the gem like brilliance of the varietal. Swirl into a spinning kaleidoscope in my glass. Breath in the pleasurable essence. Taste as it rolls across my tongue in a delightful dance of my senses. Swallow and exhale capturing every nuance, eyes rolling towards the back of my head in a haze of euphoria. Then take the perfect bite paired with this exquisite elixir! Shiver with the perfection of it all. Head to the next table, repeat!
    My husband and I breath, sleep, live food & wine. Living in Sonoma County we have been blessed with it’s bounty, the wine, cheese, butter, breads and produce. It’s our passion to cook & entertain. We own over 400 cookbooks, cater on weekends…been to culinary school. We would love to go to this event!
    Please pick us!

  43. Inspired by the historical setting of the MacMurray Ranch, and in the spirit of a golden age connoisseeeur, I took liberties with the Nat King Cole song: L-O-V_E / ” L” is For the Way You Look at Me.
    Strike up the orchestra!

    B is for the Bites I long to take,
    I is for the Icing on the cake,
    T is for the Taste of the wines: so fine
    E is very, very….Extraordinary
    BITE CLUB was made for me and you.

    Tasting is all that I want to do,
    Drink is more than just a game for two,
    Two at the Ranch won’t fake it,
    Take my song & please don’t break it
    BITE CLUB was made for me and you.

    Heather: I truly do enjoy your newsletter, and I read it religiously. Thank you for providing a valuable culinary education. I would love to be chosen for this event. Pick me and I’ll even sing you my song!
    Cheers,
    Jill

  44. In the past I have worked with companies that were present at this event. I thought it would be nice to be a guest there for a change. Because I am worth it. Kind regards,

  45. WOW. If I won, I would definitely have a great weekend without having to travel far! I love the zins of Wine Country and definitelly would spend my time Zin tasting as well as enjoying the great food options!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for this opportunity to WIN!

  46. If I had tixs to the event I would be sure to eat as much and drink as much as I could. Gotta get the full flavor of this extravagant event! I am a member at Coppola, Medlock Ames, La Crema, and D’Argenzio wineries but I may become members at some others if I can make it to this event!! Pick Me!!

  47. Ah, two tickets to Grand Reserve at Taste of Sonoma. What a prize: it’s waking up to a taste of heaven. There’s nothing quite like the MacMurray Ranch, along the banks of the Russian River. From Hollywood to prized Aberdeen Angus in it’s early days to naked hippies, and then finally to the real fruit of the gods – grapes. I can’t imagine a more lovely way to spend my time than being immersed in the culture of wine and food at the 32nd Taste of Sonoma. Now that’s what Fred would call a real Double Indemnity. And I will certainly enjoy looking at both luscious red grapes and the lovely red hair (and sweet smile) of our hostess, Kate MacMurray. While I could never consciously enjoy the experience of some 170 wineries pouring thousands of wines (as I’d be unconscious), I’d give it a try. Thank Goodness for designated drivers, buses, and taxis. And the food. . . . My God, 60 local chefs? What a marvelous way to spend one of the last weekend afternoons of the summer. I can’t imagine anything better than stuffing my belly AND my senses to the brim. And it goes for charity, adding its own to the more than $10 million for local charities? That does it. Give me those tickets!

  48. Oh a little bit of heaven on earth and so close to our anniversary on 9/11. However finances being what they are at our house a trip to the moon is more likely to happen than this extraordinary event, We’ve want to go for years put have never been able to put the money together,

    I’m salivating thinking of the Grand Food and Wine pairing, the Sommelier Star Wine Tour, that in it’s self would be simply awesome. Add in the other treats and MacMurray ranch – oh how I love their pinot – I got to volunteer at the pinot family reunion so I got to taste.

    There’s so much more I could say but words fail me at the mere chance of getting these tickets.

  49. Oh Heather, I’m your biggest fan! Not only do I follow you on Facebook, I listen to you on KZST every Thursday morning and have been a recipient of your newsletter for quite a few years (I inadvertently started the raging fish and chips debate…) In May I emailed you to see when the Taste of Sonoma tix were going to go on sale for SoCo residents…they were already sold out. I consider myself to be a very knowledgeable Foodie (in no small part to you).

    I love Sonoma County! I realize we live in paradise and try to take advantage of this beautiful place as much as I can. I LOVE food and wine events – the Dry Creek Passport (I won the lotto to buy tix the 1st time I tried!) the Taste Alexander Valley, Barrel Tastings and more! But Taste of Sonoma tops them all! I love all the FOOD and the gorgeous venue! I would put on my favorite sun hat, my comfy shoes and revel in the glory of all that FOOD and wine! The Steel Chef competition, meeting all of the chefs and Oh! the Bubble Lounge would be the highlights of my day. Please pick me, Heather! If you do I’ll give you a jar of my homemade hot dill pickles, best year ever!!!

  50. If I won two tickets to the Taste of Sonoma, I would be your personal correspondent to this wonderful event! Sharing my experience with you and all of your loyal followers via your Facebook page and of course supplying you with a photo album of the day! What good is wine and food if you can’t share it! Pick me! Cheers!

  51. My husband and I are offically “empty nesters” as of this week, both kids off to college… His new motto, “Let the adventures begin!”. Being a self-proclaimed “foodie” – my biggest concern is how do I now cook for only TWO people! , entertainer, and wine enthusiast (him), I can’t think of a better way to kick start this new stage of our lives together!

  52. I have been wanting to go to the Taste of Sonoma at the MacMurray Ranch for many years & just have not done it for many reasons. Mostly because we just have not been able to afford it at the time I (we) would just walk around the grounds & do some sampling of the great Wines & Food that is offered there. We would (I) want to go to the Ranch because my Father worked for Mr. MacMurray just after he got the Ranch(before I was born) & worked side by side with him in some rock work (tile or whatever) in front of the Main House. My Father worked for Mr. MacMurray for a few years( not sure how long) & use to discuss who had the best choice of what Breed of Cattle to raise. With Mr. MacMurray going with the Angus & my Father with the Hereford Whte Faced. My Father tolod me that they had many good talks about which one was the best to go with. Being able to go would just be a great day for me to just walk around the Ranch & of course being able to do The Taste Of Sonoma would be the Iceing on the Cake.

  53. OK, I have already bought six tickets because my cousins (female) and my sister are coming to town. I wanted to show them the bounty of Sonoma County. My husband, the Saint, is going to be our designated driver, so if I win a ticket, he could join us as well. We’ll drink good wine, eat wonderful tastes of food, check out the cooking, and wander the MacMurray Ranch. Watch out – the Cousins are coming!!

  54. What I would do at Taste of Sonoma:
    Look at the gem like brilliance of the varietal. Swirl into a spinning kaleidoscope in my glass. Breath in the pleasurable essence. Taste as it rolls across my tongue in a delightful dance of my senses. Swallow and exhale capturing every nuance, eyes rolling towards the back of my head in a haze of euphoria. Then take the perfect bite paired with this exquisite elixir! Shiver with the perfection of it all. Head to the next table, repeat!
    My husband and I breath, sleep, live food & wine. Living in Sonoma County we have been blessed with it’s bounty, the wine, cheese, butter, breads and produce. It’s our passion to cook & entertain. We own over 400 cookbooks, cater on weekends…been to culinary school. We would love to go to this event!
    Please pick us!

  55. In the past I have worked with companies that were present at this event. I thought it would be nice to be a guest there for a change. Because I am worth it. Kind regards,

  56. If I had tixs to the event I would be sure to eat as much and drink as much as I could. Gotta get the full flavor of this extravagant event! I am a member at Coppola, Medlock Ames, La Crema, and D’Argenzio wineries but I may become members at some others if I can make it to this event!! Pick Me!!

  57. Ah, two tickets to Grand Reserve at Taste of Sonoma. What a prize: it’s waking up to a taste of heaven. There’s nothing quite like the MacMurray Ranch, along the banks of the Russian River. From Hollywood to prized Aberdeen Angus in it’s early days to naked hippies, and then finally to the real fruit of the gods – grapes. I can’t imagine a more lovely way to spend my time than being immersed in the culture of wine and food at the 32nd Taste of Sonoma. Now that’s what Fred would call a real Double Indemnity. And I will certainly enjoy looking at both luscious red grapes and the lovely red hair (and sweet smile) of our hostess, Kate MacMurray. While I could never consciously enjoy the experience of some 170 wineries pouring thousands of wines (as I’d be unconscious), I’d give it a try. Thank Goodness for designated drivers, buses, and taxis. And the food. . . . My God, 60 local chefs? What a marvelous way to spend one of the last weekend afternoons of the summer. I can’t imagine anything better than stuffing my belly AND my senses to the brim. And it goes for charity, adding its own to the more than $10 million for local charities? That does it. Give me those tickets!

  58. I moved to Sonoma County from Colorado 4 months ago, leaving my job, my friends, a boy, and my whole life behind to follow my dreams of growing grapes and making wine. I’m been passionate about food and wine since i was about 12 years old (ya, my parents are Sicilian). I decided while in high school that i would buy a vineyard when i retire, but when i turned 25 i figured, what am i waiting for, i have so much to learn! So here i am. I’m living on a vineyard, soaking in as much knowledge as i can from the vineyard managers, winemakers, harvest interns, and everyone else about growing grapes, making wine, and the wine business. I feel so lucky to have one thing that I’m so passionate about, and i believe that you should pour everything you’ve got into your passion once you know what that is. I’ve been hoping to get my hands on a ticket to Sonoma Wine Country weekend and i really hope you think i deserve it!

    Keep doing what you’re doing, i love the blog!
    Cheers!

  59. Oh a little bit of heaven on earth and so close to our anniversary on 9/11. However finances being what they are at our house a trip to the moon is more likely to happen than this extraordinary event, We’ve want to go for years put have never been able to put the money together,

    I’m salivating thinking of the Grand Food and Wine pairing, the Sommelier Star Wine Tour, that in it’s self would be simply awesome. Add in the other treats and MacMurray ranch – oh how I love their pinot – I got to volunteer at the pinot family reunion so I got to taste.

    There’s so much more I could say but words fail me at the mere chance of getting these tickets.

  60. I have been wanting to go to the Taste of Sonoma at the MacMurray Ranch for many years & just have not done it for many reasons. Mostly because we just have not been able to afford it at the time I (we) would just walk around the grounds & do some sampling of the great Wines & Food that is offered there. We would (I) want to go to the Ranch because my Father worked for Mr. MacMurray just after he got the Ranch(before I was born) & worked side by side with him in some rock work (tile or whatever) in front of the Main House. My Father worked for Mr. MacMurray for a few years( not sure how long) & use to discuss who had the best choice of what Breed of Cattle to raise. With Mr. MacMurray going with the Angus & my Father with the Hereford Whte Faced. My Father tolod me that they had many good talks about which one was the best to go with. Being able to go would just be a great day for me to just walk around the Ranch & of course being able to do The Taste Of Sonoma would be the Iceing on the Cake.

  61. I moved to Sonoma County from Colorado 4 months ago, leaving my job, my friends, a boy, and my whole life behind to follow my dreams of growing grapes and making wine. I’m been passionate about food and wine since i was about 12 years old (ya, my parents are Sicilian). I decided while in high school that i would buy a vineyard when i retire, but when i turned 25 i figured, what am i waiting for, i have so much to learn! So here i am. I’m living on a vineyard, soaking in as much knowledge as i can from the vineyard managers, winemakers, harvest interns, and everyone else about growing grapes, making wine, and the wine business. I feel so lucky to have one thing that I’m so passionate about, and i believe that you should pour everything you’ve got into your passion once you know what that is. I’ve been hoping to get my hands on a ticket to Sonoma Wine Country weekend and i really hope you think i deserve it!

    Keep doing what you’re doing, i love the blog!
    Cheers!

  62. Well, one thing is for certain, you cannot possible taste them all. While I do not attend many of these events (it can get a little expensive) when I do go I stick with what (and who) I know. For me it is about the wines certainly, but the people are just as important in making the perfect day. And EVERY winery has great wines so hard to choose there. I figure about 3 or 4 tables per tent should fill the day
    So, beginning in the Alexander Valley tent, I must drop by to see Coppola because James and his staff are just all too wonderful to pass by; Kelley and Young next as Jim and Kathleen are absoultely the nicest people in the world; Sausal, really great Zins and Gretchen is so much fun!
    On to Dry Creek tent. First stop is Bella, what can you say about the Zins. I don’t know anybody there but they usually have Jeff Mall from Zin restaurant cooking with them and his food is to die for. Then on to Pedroncelli because, well they are neighbors what can I say. And then newly discovered (by me) Stephen and Walker and Debra in the tasting room was my daughter’s karate teacher for 7 years. Next tent Russian River, Foppiano, we ahve know Susan for years and I never get to see her enough. then MacMurray RAnch as you must never forget to say thank you to your host. Finally Acorn, as they are friends of my cousin from Minnesota and i must stop to tell them hello. Latly sonoma Valley, I am not so familiar with them or the wineries so I guess I’ll spend the rest of the afternoon making new friends. What a great day!

  63. Well, one thing is for certain, you cannot possible taste them all. While I do not attend many of these events (it can get a little expensive) when I do go I stick with what (and who) I know. For me it is about the wines certainly, but the people are just as important in making the perfect day. And EVERY winery has great wines so hard to choose there. I figure about 3 or 4 tables per tent should fill the day
    So, beginning in the Alexander Valley tent, I must drop by to see Coppola because James and his staff are just all too wonderful to pass by; Kelley and Young next as Jim and Kathleen are absoultely the nicest people in the world; Sausal, really great Zins and Gretchen is so much fun!
    On to Dry Creek tent. First stop is Bella, what can you say about the Zins. I don’t know anybody there but they usually have Jeff Mall from Zin restaurant cooking with them and his food is to die for. Then on to Pedroncelli because, well they are neighbors what can I say. And then newly discovered (by me) Stephen and Walker and Debra in the tasting room was my daughter’s karate teacher for 7 years. Next tent Russian River, Foppiano, we ahve know Susan for years and I never get to see her enough. then MacMurray RAnch as you must never forget to say thank you to your host. Finally Acorn, as they are friends of my cousin from Minnesota and i must stop to tell them hello. Latly sonoma Valley, I am not so familiar with them or the wineries so I guess I’ll spend the rest of the afternoon making new friends. What a great day!

  64. I’ve lived in Sonoma County most of my life. My family grew grapes for various wineries when I was a child but sold the farm when my Grandmother passed. Earlier this year I became a causality of this economy and lost my job as Controller to a Satellite Communications company. After months of unemployment I found a position at a local winery in Sonoma where I live. It’s been over 35 years since I’ve been exposed to the wine industry and would love this opportunity to begin learning again about the business. I have been employed now for about 3 months and have come to realize there is so much to learn and what a better venue than MacMurray Ranch where one will be exposed to so many producers and purveyors. I’d like to start my own blog about being a “newbie” to the industry at middle age and I think this event would be the perfect place to gather information for my first post. Thanks so much for considering me.

  65. Frequent visitor to Sonoma County, but now I actually get to live in this paradise. Luther Burbank was right, as usual: This place is God’s gift to mankind, and I’m a man to makes no excuses about living well, and where better to do it than here. I came here to care for my elderly sister who can no longer care for herself, but helping her is just the gravy on the platter. I’ve been “tasting” Sonoma since I got here, and this event would be the best addition possible to your wonderful gastronomic suggestions. I sincerely hope I’m one of the forturnates who get to raise a glass with you at the MacMurray Ranch. Let’s eat!

  66. I’ve lived in Sonoma County most of my life. My family grew grapes for various wineries when I was a child but sold the farm when my Grandmother passed. Earlier this year I became a causality of this economy and lost my job as Controller to a Satellite Communications company. After months of unemployment I found a position at a local winery in Sonoma where I live. It’s been over 35 years since I’ve been exposed to the wine industry and would love this opportunity to begin learning again about the business. I have been employed now for about 3 months and have come to realize there is so much to learn and what a better venue than MacMurray Ranch where one will be exposed to so many producers and purveyors. I’d like to start my own blog about being a “newbie” to the industry at middle age and I think this event would be the perfect place to gather information for my first post. Thanks so much for considering me.

  67. Frequent visitor to Sonoma County, but now I actually get to live in this paradise. Luther Burbank was right, as usual: This place is God’s gift to mankind, and I’m a man to makes no excuses about living well, and where better to do it than here. I came here to care for my elderly sister who can no longer care for herself, but helping her is just the gravy on the platter. I’ve been “tasting” Sonoma since I got here, and this event would be the best addition possible to your wonderful gastronomic suggestions. I sincerely hope I’m one of the forturnates who get to raise a glass with you at the MacMurray Ranch. Let’s eat!

  68. Born and raised in Sonoma County, it still amazes me how much I don’t know and haven’t seen in my own back yard in this beautiful place I’ve called home all my life.

    I would spend the day taking in the beauty of the vineyards and MacMurray Ranch. Then I would go from tasting tent to cooking demonstrations to learn as much as I can about the fabulous bounty of food and wine offered right here in my backyard. I would meet and talk with others about the wines and compare notes.

    This would be a day of relaxation, learning and enjoying a world very different from the one I live every day.

    Thank you.

  69. Born and raised in Sonoma County, it still amazes me how much I don’t know and haven’t seen in my own back yard in this beautiful place I’ve called home all my life.

    I would spend the day taking in the beauty of the vineyards and MacMurray Ranch. Then I would go from tasting tent to cooking demonstrations to learn as much as I can about the fabulous bounty of food and wine offered right here in my backyard. I would meet and talk with others about the wines and compare notes.

    This would be a day of relaxation, learning and enjoying a world very different from the one I live every day.

    Thank you.

  70. Wow.
    I am the shy quiet one until a glass or two of wine and I usually just read about your doings dreaming that I am there hanging with you. But this is too much. I have to at least try.
    Fred MacMurray is one of my favorite olden movie actors. His ranch has always fascinated my sense of natural wonder even before I realized who owned it. It is one of those locations in So.Co. that I feel connects directly to my heart.
    I can offer a special surprise partner (think 6’7″ with a pink cape, but not for the event of course) who is a wine geek and much wittier than I.

  71. Wow.
    I am the shy quiet one until a glass or two of wine and I usually just read about your doings dreaming that I am there hanging with you. But this is too much. I have to at least try.
    Fred MacMurray is one of my favorite olden movie actors. His ranch has always fascinated my sense of natural wonder even before I realized who owned it. It is one of those locations in So.Co. that I feel connects directly to my heart.
    I can offer a special surprise partner (think 6’7″ with a pink cape, but not for the event of course) who is a wine geek and much wittier than I.

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