A LA CARTE
Food & wine news, upcoming events around Sonoma
Published: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 4:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 4:00 a.m.
Olive Season kicks off with Martini Madness
The Sonoma Valley Olive Season is officially under way, with lots of savory and spirited events planned this month for fans of the brined fruit.
Martini Madness gets the party started at 5 p.m. Friday at Ramekins Culinary School as bartenders from Sonoma's best restaurants and bars shake up artisanal martinis for a cocktail tasting with small bites.
Vote for your favorite drink, then move across the street at 7:30 p.m. for a three-course dinner at the General's Daughter restaurant.
The menu prepared by Ramekins chefs will include s Chicory Salad, Pork Tenderloin with Polenta and Swiss Chard, and Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Spiced Caramel and Creme Fraiche.
Tickets to Martini Madness are $40; $92 with dinner. To reserve: 933-0450.
The signature Feast of the Olive Dinner, bringing together the talents of 19 chefs in the Sonoma Valley, will be held at 6 p.m. Jan. 26 at Ramekins cooking school. The chefs will prepare a multi-course, olive-inspired feast, with teams of chefs preparing different courses for each table.
Participating chefs include Bruno Tison and Andrew Cain of Santé Restaurant at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, John Toulze of the Girl & the Fig, and Ari Weisswasser of the Glen Ellen Star, among others.
Tickets are $150. To reserve, call 996-1090, ext. 108. olivefestival.com.
Ramekins is located at 450 W. Spain St., and the General's Daughter is at 400 W. Spain St. www.ramekins.com.
Get out of the house and warm up during the Winter Wineland event Jan. 19 and 20 in the Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River valleys.
The tasting event, hosted by Wine Road Northern Sonoma County, honors the art and history of winemakers with a selection of tastings, tours and food at participating wineries.
Advance tickets are $45 for both days, $35 for Sunday only. Tickets at the door are $55 for both days, $45 for Sunday only. Designated driver tickets are $5. To purchase, go to www.wineroad.com or call (800) 723-6336.
Slow Food benefit
Slow Food Sonoma County will present "Tastes & Tales of Terra Madre," a reception and dinner with live music, at 4 p.m. Sunday at Shone Farm in Forestville.
During the fundraiser, this year's delegates to the Terra Madre conference in Torino, Italy, will share photographs and experiences from this celebration of clean food from around the world.
Tickets are $85. To reserve, go to www.brownpapertickets.com/event/308943.
Shone Farm is located at 7450 Steve Olson Lane.
To celebrate the birthday of Jack London, there will be a special docent-led hike at Jack London State Park followed by a tasting at Benziger Winery on Jan. 20.
The hike begins at 9 a.m. in the upper parking lot of the park. Tasting at nearby Benziger Winery follows at 11:30 a.m.
Cost is $15 for hike and tasting. To reserve, go to www.jacklondonpark.com.
Green Valley passes
Six Green Valley wineries have partnered to make available a VIP Pass for exploring the wineries. Each winery offers unique experiences, from barrel and library tastings to food pairings and tours. The pass is available for $120.
Participating wineries include Dutton-Goldfield, DeLoach, Freeman, Hartford Family, Iron Horse and Marimar Estate. For more information, call the Dutton-Goldfield tasting room at 827-3600, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hess seasonal shutdown
The Hess Collection will close for its annual maintenance and hospitality training from Sunday to Jan. 18.
After reopening on Jan. 19, the Visitors Center and Hess Art Museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.
For a complete schedule of tours, tastings and special events, go to www.hesscollection.com. The Hess Collection is located at 4411 Redwood Road in Napa.
The third annual Napa Truffle Festival will take place Jan. 18 to 21 at various Napa Valley venues, featuring a stellar line-up of Michelin-starred chefs, mushroom experts and winery dinners.
Highlights include a Truffles and Wine Dinner on Jan. 19 hosted by chef Ken Frank of La Toque, and a free Truffle Festival Markeptlace Jan. 21 at the Oxbow Public Market in Napa. New this year, mycologist David Campbell and other experts will lead a Wild Mushroom Forage on Jan. 20.
Various packages are available. For more information or reservations, go to www.napatrufflefestival.com..
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