Everyone loves finding the perfect pairing of wine and food. The Wine Road’s Wine & Food Affair dedicates an entire weekend to tasting one perfect pairing after another.

Wine & Food Affair 2017

This premier wine event takes place the weekend of November 4 & 5 along the Wine Road. An extraordinary two days with 100 Sonoma County wineries in Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River Valleys offering the perfect pairing of their wines and delicious small bites.

Soda Rock wine, wine glass, cheese platter and a slider


Sample of a seafood cocktail

Perfect Pairing Options

With 100 wineries to pick from there is a long list of appetizers, entrées, desserts, and more to pick from. A few years ago, at the request of attendees, the Wine Road started listing if a food option was vegetarian (VG) or gluten free (GF). This year 35 wineries are serving a gluten-free pairing, and 29 wineries are serving a vegetarian pairing. If you are a gluten-free vegetarian, you have seven options.

Here are a couple of the vegetarian pairings:
Matcha Pancakes with Caramelized Pink Lady Apples — Chalk Hill Winery
Pizza with Pesto and Fresh Mozzarella — D’Argenzio Winery
Three-Cheese Lasagna with Spinach and Mushrooms — Geyser Peak
Dark Chocolate-Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Brownies — Mill Creek Vineyards & Winery
Gorgonzola and Wild Mushroom Arrancini — Portalupi Winery
Mushroom Cannelloni with Wild Mushroom Marinara — Rued Winery

Parmesan Potato Cakes
Parmesan Potato Cakes

The gluten-free pairings look equally inviting. Here are a few:
Indian Lamb Curry — Amista Vineyards
Steve’s Brined BBQ’d Turkey — Blanchard Family Wines
Chocolate-Dipped Bacon — Clos du Bois
White Bean-Chicken Chili — Deux Amis
Roasted Pork Belly with Zinfandel Reduction & Mango-Pineapple Salsa — Harvest Moon
Hand-Rolled Volo Chocolate Truffles (GF & VG) — Truett Hurst Winery

a tray of French rolled truffles

Off the Beaten Path

It is easy to travel the main highways along the Wine Road, but you might miss some of the hidden gems that require taking the roads less traveled. Below are just a few wineries to consider, along with their food pairings.

ACORN Winery — Roasted Acorn Squash and Farro Ragout with optional Braised Pork topping
Just off of Old Redwood Highway south of Healdsburg, ACORN might have a long driveway to travel before reaching them, but it is worth the extra few minutes to visit this normally by-appointment only winery.

Acorn 2012 Dolcetto bottle with food offering

Christopher Creek Winery — Risotto Milanese (GF) and Vislay Vineyards — NY Strip Sliders with Sweet Black Pepper and Blue Cheese Sauce
These two wineries are both on Limerick Lane, and are neighbors to ACORN. Though close to Healdsburg, Limerick Lane is definitely a road less traveled, but worth the time to explore the wineries down this lane.

Merriam Vineyards —Cabernet Franc and Chocolate Pork Stew with Aerated Yams (GF) — is around the corner and down the road from Christopher Creek. Merriam specializes in Bordeaux varietals and blends, so if you like robust reds, then put this stop on your list.

Battaglini Estate Winery — Tri-Tip with Argentinean Chimichurri (GF)
Just outside of Santa Rosa on Piner Road on your way to Olivet Road, Battaglini is also normally by-appointment only, so Wine & Food Affair offers a chance to experience their charm and gracious hospitality without an appointment.

Occidental Road Cellars — Quinoa with Summer Squash, Local Mushrooms, Wild Arugula and Sweet Corn (VG & GF)
Though in the north end of Sebastopol, this tasting room is tucked back off Gravenstein Hwy just enough that many travelers miss it. Their estate-grown fruit produces some delicious wines worth seeking out.

Jigar — Fall Squash Pakoras with Plum Chutney (VG) and Joseph Jewell Wines — Creamy Cauliflower Velouté with Crispy Shallots (VG & GF) are neighboring tasting rooms in the small hamlet of Forestville. Not the first place you think of for wine, but now maybe you will. Both wineries produce stellar wines worth the stop.

Joseph Jewell logo and bottle and glasses from Jigar Winery
Stop by Forestville and visiting neighboring wineries–Joseph Jewell and Jigar

Stuhlmuller Vineyards — Blue Cheese Burgers with Caramelized Onions
Off Alexander Valley Road, the trek down West Soda Rock Lane allows you to see the charm of sweeping vineyards and country houses. What awaits you at the end of your journey is delicious Chardonnay, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon to pair with the burgers.

sample quiches with tomato jam on top

Hot New Spot

It is always fun to check out the newest wineries to become members of the Wine Road. During Wine & Food Affair there are four new tasting rooms participating:

many bowls of one ravioli for sampling at Wine & Food Affair

So Many Choices

What’s Next?

Happy Sipping!

#WFA2017 #WineRoad #AlongTheWineRoad

Beautiful late fall view of vineyards with mountains in the background