The truly crispy air is here at last in Sonoma County and it somehow makes an excellent Pinot Noir taste even more delicious, so grab a layer (or two) and head here for some wine tasting and more this weekend. Here are our picks for some other fun things to do:
- Pick the Winning Chili at Green String Farm. Bob Cannard — founder of Green String Farm — is known for being one of Alice Waters' favorite purveyors of fresh produce for Chez Panisse, so we're betting his chili cook-off at Green String Farm this Saturday, November 10th, is going to be great. Local farmers and restaurants alike will be competing and ten bucks lets you join as judge and taster alike. Live music and farm tours, too! Starts at 5pm and lasts "until the chili runs out."
- Sit by the Fire. To warm up after a wine country ramble, get a table near the fire at the Michelin-starred Farmhouse Inn restaurant in Forestville. Chef Steve Litke is an avid gardener and a big proponent of the Slow Foods Movement but his abiding love for Sonoma County is revealed most authentically in dishes like roasted breast of guinea hen with wild mushroom brioche bread pudding and one called "rabbit rabbit rabbit," with applewood smoked bacon and whole grain mustard cream sauce. The food here is perfect balance of classic and contemporary and the atmosphere is elegantly rustic. Thoughtful wine pairings, a sublime cheese course, and masterful desserts add new dimensions of exquisiteness.
- Hear Timeless Classics Sung in a Buttery Voice. Stephanie Blythe is an acclaimed opera star with an impossibly rich, lustrous voice and this weekend at the Green Music Center
she'll be reinterpreting the standards of Kate Smith — the American
"songbird of the South" whose music helped lift spirits during the Great
Depression and World War II. The New York Times gave this show a rave review,
saying Blythe infuses the material with nuance and sophistication,
painting a vivid picture of the "tirelessly optimistic" Smith and
showing the power of classics like "We'll Meet Again," "The White Cliffs
of Dover," and "When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain."
- Learn to Make Artisan Cheese. Led by Mary Karlin, author of Artisan Cheesemaking at Home, this four-hour workshop at Santa Rosa Junior College on Sunday, November 11th promises to teach you the joys of traditional and contemporary cheesemaking. Karlin is a great teacher with an approachable style and easy-to-follow methods. Highly recommended.
- Enjoy Some Delicious Sparkling and Varietal Wine. While you're in Sonoma, don't miss a chance to visit J Vineyards — just south of Healdsburg — to sip our award-winning Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and sparkling wines in our elegant tasting room. Seated tastings available for a slightly higher fee. More information here.