I’m starting my guided tastings on the third Thursday every month this week – that’s Jan 17 – at Bistro 33 in El Dorado Hills. There will be food and a wine lineup that will compare styles of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet, so people can figure out what style they really like best. I’ll be there to help with all my usual, uh, charm. Right. Charm.
That will be every third Thursday – different subject each month – and the same thing every first Thursday at 33rd Street Bistro in East Sacto.
And as long as we’re plugging me: I’m doing a more focused food-and-wine pairing class – how it works, what to think of, here are a few good ones – at Lava Cap on Jan 26.
I’m in a foothills kind of mood, so I’m pushing the little ice rink that’s going to be set up this weekend in downtown Grass Valley. The weather is certainly right for it, and it’ll be awful pretty up there. And as long as you’re there, there’s a bunch of tasting rooms right in town. See how it always comes back to wine.
Speaking of wine tasting, this three-day weekend (for many folks) is a great time to go wine tasting. Winter is always good because it’s quiet, they’re happy to see you, and it’s very, very pretty. I’ve been up in the foothills a lot lately, which is why they’re on my mind, and they are spectacular in a winter-but-no-snow kind of way. But, really any direction, any day this weekend will be great for visiting tasting rooms. Sunday will be especially wide open because lots and lots of people (me, too), will be watching football. Just sayin’
We haven’t talked about this yet, and it’s a very fun thing for anyone who wants to get all quaint-y and holiday-ish. The sibling towns of Grass Valley and Nevada City both have very cool, throwback-and-stroll weekly Christmas festivals. Grass Valley has its Cornish Christmas on Friday evenings thru Dec 21, and Nevada City has its Victorian Christmas on Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons till Dec 23. I still don’t know what the difference is.
Possibly Cornish game hens? Not sure which one does figgy pudding. Actually, not sure what figgy pudding is. Also, a lot of good wineries in that area and both towns have a bunch of tasting rooms.
A new bit of info for anyone going wine tasting up in Amador County - the region near Plymouth. A bunch of the wineries have started charging a tasting room fee - most are $5 or $10 as of Dec. 1 The reason: So it won’t feel like a pub crawl up there. They just want folks not to think of it as free-bee drinking. And most places are being pretty reasonable about it. Example: my friends at Andis. They’re charging $5, and that money can go toward buying a bottle.
And here’s a chance to do some advance planning for January: Dine Downtown runs Weds Jan 9 thru Fri Jan 18. That’s when about 30 restaurants in the central city offer fixed price meals for $30. Also: BaconFest 2013 goes Jan 20-27 thru many Sacramento area restaurants, with specials and bacon-related events. See, who said it has to be grim in January?