It is time for the Sonoma County Harvest Fair at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa again.
Over 150 wineries submit over 1,000 wines. Seriously talented judges of wine taste over three days. Medals are awarded as earned for out and out yumminess.
Tomorrow, Saturday, September 25, from 7 PM- 9:30 PM, the awards will be announced at the Awards Gala. Heather Irwin, who writes BiteClubEats for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat will be an emcee this year. She solicited funny descriptors to add to her arsenal with the best submission winning a pair of tickets to the Gala. I took my shot, and am awaiting announcement of the winner, I would love to go to the event.
EDITED TO ADD: I have indeed won a pair of Sonoma County Harvest Fair Awards Gala event tickets for tomorrow night. Thank you Heather Irwin, ticket angel. I will be accompanied by my good friend Susan Johnson.
Tickets for the Awards Gala are $65 each, or $55 each in a block of 10.
I have attended the Gala several times in the past, usually pouring for either Windsor Vineyards or Adler Fels Winery, but occasionally as a paid attendee. The tension among the wineries is palpable as the awards are announced, with cheers rising when a favorite receives Gold or higher.
I grew up on Sonoma County wines. For better or worse, my palate is a house palate. In blind tastings, I will often gravitate to Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast or Sonoma Valley Chardonnays, Dry Creek Valley Zinfandels and Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley Cab, Merlot, and Fume. I love Sonoma County, and Sonoma County wines, and this event is a celebration of the winemaker’s skill and artistry.
On Monday, I will be attending the Sonoma County Harvest Fair’s Trade and Media tasting.
On Friday, October 1 from noon – 7 PM and Saturday and Sunday. October 2 & 3, from 10 AM – 7 PM, the Sonoma County Harvest Festival will be open for general admission and tastings. In addition to general tasting, there are special events each day. Friday features special accompanied flight tastings with Ziggy “The Wine Gal” Eschliman and Ray “The Wine Book Author” Johnson.
Saturday features a microbrew tasting. Both Saturday and Sunday feature a Chocolate and Port pairing.
In my last post, I gave recipes for a two part dessert I intended to serve paired, homemade strawberry ice cream and chili paste brushed sweet and savory banana fritters.
One change I made on the fly was going with 4 cups diced strawberries cooked down with sugar, and 2 cups diced fresh uncooked strawberries, for the ice cream to add layers of different strawberry flavor.
Impatient, I served the ice cream before an appropriate hardening and ripening time, and it was delicious, but the banana fritters were even better in the same way that beignets or doughnuts hot and fresh are absolutely delicious. The OMG moment came when I crowded my spoon with a little strawberry ice cream AND a banana fritter for a mouthful of wow. Strawberry and banana are great together anyway, but the contrasting temperatures, textures, and tastes reinforced what was great in each and made for a breathtakingly delicious bite.
I have a new show off dessert.