For a Special Treat, Try a Winery Dinner

buttonwdThis is the time of the year when wineries start planning their annual “big feasts” for customers. Some are limited to their own club members, while others are open to everyone on a first-come, first-served basis.

I’ve been to many of these events over the years. Back in the days when I wrote a syndicated wine column, I received invitations to at least a dozen such events each year, and I’d try my best to get to three or four of them, as my schedule allowed.

The most memorable was a pig roast that was primarily for the winery’s family members, along with a select few journalists and wine reviewers. I was honored to be included on that guest list; it made me feel as if I’d “made it” as a wine writer.

Today, I’d like to tell you about two such events that sound pretty promising — one in Sonoma County, and the other in Santa Barbara County.

On Saturday, September 10 from 5:30-9 p.m., Trentadue Winery in Geyserville will be transforming its arbor into “Bourbon Street” and celebrating its annual lobster feast Cajun/Zydeco-style.

Guests will get to sniff, swirl and sip their favorite Trentadue wines, take a “gondola” tour through the vineyards, play “spin the bottle” for various prizes, and enjoy a lobster feast with all the trimmings. Then it will be time to dance the night away with the Cajun-Zydeco music of the Funky Gators.

The menu:

  • Fresh Maine lobster
  • Prawns
  • Corn
  • Roasted garlic
  • Artichokes
  • Red potatoes
  • Louisiana all-beef hot links
  • Fresh sourdough baguette
  • Drawn butter
  • It’s It ice cream sandwiches
  • Port and French roast coffee

Tickets are still available, and are priced at $125. For further information or to RSVP, email sue@trentadue.com or call 707-433-2768.

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Coming right up — on Saturday, Aug. 13 — Buttonwood Farm Winery in Solvang will be hosting its “All Farm Dinner,” featuring products from the estate’s orchards, herb gardens, flower beds, vegetable plots, animal pastures and vineyard.

Adam Phillips will provide music as appetizers are passed beginning at 5:30 p.m. Then around 7, guests will sit down for a multi-course, family-style meal.

From the winery’s promotional email: “As the sun sets and the moon rises, we’ll pat our full bellies and enjoy something peachingly decadent to finish the evening.”

I’m sure it will count as two or three fruit servings, so guests will be able to return home or to their hotel/motel/B&B rooms without an ounce of guilt.

Tickets are priced at $150, and are available here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/all-farm-dinner-2016-tickets-26096434137.

Wineries host special dinners, in part, to showcase their wines and build relationships. So you can count on them to roll out the red carpet… and pour their best wines.

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