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Sax on the River, a benefit for the Karla J. Williams Foundation is Saturday, October 11, 2014

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If you’re a fan of listening to live smooth jazz while sitting by the water with a nice glass of wine or two, I have got the premier event for you!

Sax on the River is a contemporary jazz benefit concert held to promote breast cancer awareness and raise funds for the Karla J Williams Foundation. This year’s featured artists include Elan Trotman, Lebron Dennis, Cecil Ramirez and Cynthia Marie Douglas. There will be a live auction, raffle, food, no host bar and an amazing view of the Sacramento River. There will also be a tribute to honor a dear friend of Sax on the River lost to cancer in February, Liz Hooper Gibson.

The event will be held on the afternoon/evening of Saturday, October 11 at the residence of Barbara Walker and Chuck Kelley, 10215 Garden Hwy, Sacramento, CA

The schedule for the evening is as follows:

  • 4pm – Doors Open
  • 4:30-5:15pm – Cynthia Douglas
  • 5:45-6:30pm – Cecil Ramirez Group
  • 6:30-6:45pm – Video Tribute to Liz Gibson
  • 7-7:45pm – Lebron
  • 8-9:15pm – Elan Trotman
  • 9:15-10pm – Artists autographs

Unfortunately, there are no VIP tickets left for purchase, but the $50 general admission tickets are still for sale. PURCHASE TICKETS HERE. The $50 ticket does not include food, but there will be food available for purchase, a no host bar, silent auction, and raffle. Tickets will also be available at the door for $60.

You can find Sax on the River on Facebook here and follow them on twitter here.

About Sax on the River
In 2014, Sax on the River is donating 100% of the proceeds to The Karla J. Williams Foundation. Sax on the River was conceived by Trisha Friend while enjoying a Tom Braxton show at Harlow’s almost five years ago. During the final number of the night, several local musicians; Kim Waters, Jeff Clayton and Garrett Perkins joined Tom onstage. Four amazing saxophonists on the stage at one time, playing together, made her heart skip a beat. And the rest is history. The saxophone is an instrument that brings smiles to faces and makes people’s hearts sing and she wanted to bring that to her river event.

As a breast cancer survivor she created the event to promote breast cancer awareness, to give back to a non-profit organization that helps women cancer patients and their families and to share her love of jazz, particularly the saxophone, with all her friends and fellow jazz lovers in the Sacramento area.

Event Flyer:


Nevada City Uncorked: Walk this Way for a Unique Food and Wine Tasting

Last Saturday, Andy and I went up to Nevada City for a food and wine event called Nevada City Uncorked. It was held in historic downtown Nevada City and featured a robust sampling of local Foothill wines and food studded along 40 local businesses all within walking distance.

wine glass
We didn’t hit all the stops, but made it to quite a few. Our first stop was The Broad Street Inn where Solune Winery was stationed. The were pouring a 2013 Sauvignon Blanc Musqué, a 2013 Barbera Rosé (award winning, we were told) and a 2010 Barbera.


solune menu

Then we walked over to the unique and quite beautiful Two Room Inn where Chacewater Winery was pouring the 2013 Syrah Rosé, their 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, and their 2012 Zinfandel. Diego’s Restaurant was serving tri-tip mini sliders with chimichurri sauce, but it was early in the game and I didn’t want to use my food tickets up just yet (you get 5 tickets included with your admission to trade in at one ticket per food item) Additional tickets can be purchased if you want more food along the way.

chacewater winery

Our next stop was Mana Beads which featured Bent Metal Winery and Sopa Thai Restaurant. I finally gave into my hunger and got a yummy spring roll, while Andy went for a vegetable curry served over rice.

bent metal wines

sopa thai
Next on our tour was Sierra Knolls Winery and Jardin del Rio placed in the New York Hotel (also home of The Truffle Shop). I thought Sierra Knolls had made a big improvement in their wines since I tried them last about 5 years ago, and I am happy to have found them at this event. Their 2011 Barbera was very good.

sierra knolls menu

sierra knolls wines
Next up was an actual tasting room, the home of Szabo Vineyards. They were tasting a 2010 Primitivo, a 2010 Zinfandel, and a 2010 Voila (blend). On hand to supply the food were the most gorgeous deli trays from SPD Market. So happy we stopped here, and I happily traded in another food ticket for some lovely fruit and antipasto––grapes, cheeses, olives, ham and turkey!! :)

SPD Market
After stopping for quite a while at Szabo, we made our way to Utopian Stone, a jewelry store who hosted Bear River Winery and Harmony Ridge Market. We didn’t stay long, as I wasn’t willing to trade in one of my tickets for a lemon bar. ;)

bear river

Andy had volunteered for Nevada City Uncorked back in 2011, and recalled that we was stationed at the very corner Utopian Stone sits on. There’s a big plush purple chair where we sat for a minute to watch people go by. Then we got up and headed over to Bel Capeli Salon and Spa.

Inside Bel Capeli, Coufos Cellars wines were being poured. I liked every single one. I tried a Viognier, a Rosé, and their 2009 Buffo Blanc. The food in the salon was provided by Summer Thyme’s. Andy really liked their take on a tomato and mozzarella salad––it was served on a skewer.

summer thymes
The picture below was taken from the balcony of the National Hotel. Pilot Peak was there with their 2009 Cabernet Franc and their 2010 Barbera. Their hotel restaurant Hoovers was serving Prime Rib sliders.

street view
Then tucked away in the back of Nevada City Classic Cafe, and I mean wayyy in the back (had to send a search party to find her) was Jill of Lone Buffalo Vineyards.

jill lone buffalo

The rest of the crew from Lone Buffalo was hustling the vineyard (it was harvest day!) so it was Jill all by herself sharing Lone Buffalo’s current Viognier and their 2011 Tatonka Tempranillo. Also available was their 2011 Where the Buffalo Roam. It was fun to see Jill and Lone Buffalo, longtime friends of and :)

Speaking of friends of this website, our next stop was Crazy Horse Saloon and Grill where Fawnridge Winery was assigned and owners Stewart and Stephanie Perry were pouring their 2012 Chardonnay (yes, please!) and their 2010 Barbera (double yes, please!)

stuart stephanie

A triple yes, please for the delightful goody for which I gladly traded in two of my food tickets. Heck no, it wasn’t Paleo, but didn’t care. :) It was a Reuben egg roll (the program says spring roll, but it was deep fried like an egg roll and had an egg roll wrapper. (Shown below) It was filled with house cured corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese and placed on a bed of spicy mustard. Yum! :)

crazy horse reuben egg roll
We made it to at a few other last places before time was up: Clavey Wines had their own tasting room as a stop, and we made our last stop at the only brewery on the tour: Matteo’s Public. I had the Chocolypto: a chocolate oatmeal stout which served as a fine finale.

Luckily we had an uphill trek back to the car to work off some of those tastings! What a great day in downtown Nevada City full of great people and terrific wine and food (and beer!) Thanks to the organizers of the event for having us out for the experience. :)

You can find Nevada City Uncorked on Facebook here.

Farm to Fork Wine Dinner Series: Sienna Restaurant Featuring Cakebread Wines


Just look at that line up! Those bottles of Cakebread Cellars were the wines featured at Sienna Restaurant’s latest wine dinner last Thursday.

Andy and I were excited to attend this dinner because we are big fans of Cakebread, especially their Reserve Chardonnay.

Pictured below is the menu for the evening, kudos to chef Moses Hernandez at Sienna for making our dinner gluten free!!

Sienna Menu
We started with the 2013 Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc paired with a Scallop and Tiger Prawn Ceviche over cabbage and a mixed vegetable slaw with red chile and blue corn chips. This dish was the best pairing for a Sauvignon Blanc, as it was citrusy, light and refreshing, just as the wine was. And I was a hungry lady after a semi-stressful day at work. Andy remarked that he was transported to Mexico by this dish. Good thing we’re going in November! :)


The second course was a Seared Chilean Sea Bass with Forbidden Rice, Soy Poached Bok Choy, Lemongrass Broth & Thai gremolata. It was paired with a 2012 Napa Valley Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay.

I was so happy to have had this as the second course, as I love Thai food and this was certainly a Thai inspired dish. Again, really refreshing and just amazingly good. The broth was so flavorful, and the rice was cooked perfectly. We had some wine left from the previous course and it went with the Sauvignon Blanc just as well.

The third course was a Roasted New York Steak with Sauteéd Fingerling Potatoes, Citrus Swiss Chard, Pomegranate Molasses, and Roquefort Blue Cheese butter. It was paired with a 2011 Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.


This was the course that made Sienna as a restaurant really shine. Not only was the steak cooked perfectly along with the accoutrements. I want to comment for a moment on the service and attention to detail I witnessed at Sienna. First, one of the servers halted service of this course for Andy and me. They were not sure if we had been served the gluten-free plates or not. Now, that was highly appreciated, because although we do not have a gluten allergy, maybe someone who requested a gluten free meal might have. The staff at Sienna made sure we were delivered the correct entreés.

Another comment is that special attention to detail was given in handling the wine, as it was going to be pretty tight tannin-wise. The bar staff at Sienna took the time to both aerate the wine and then decant it long before dinner guests arrived, so that it would give its best showing.

And the wine was pretty phenomenal to both of us, and pretty much put a spell on Andy. He loved the Cabernet so much, that he ordered a case. I am pretty excited about that, because I benefit. I get to taste the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon as it matures and develops. Softens and becomes even more magnificent. I think he said we are going to open a bottle every 6 months. Don’t be jealous, maybe you’ll get an invite for dinner to share. ;)

Then, it was on to the last course. The dessert course. Sienna made sure to adjust ours so that it was gluten free as well. It was a Peanut Butter Mousse, topped with Whipped Cream and chopped Peanut Butter Cups. It was paired with a 2012 Red Hills Lake County Cakebread Cellars Zinfandel that to be quite honest, longed to be paired with the prior course. No matter. I gave Andy all but two tastes of my dessert and I enjoyed the Zinfandel pretty much as my dessert. It was spectacular. :)


I could pretty much sum this dinner up as pure bliss. It was a beautiful evening under the stars with like minded people. All food and wine lovers like Andy and myself. I want to thank the team at Sienna for making this an incredible evening for all of the guests. No detail was spared and I am pretty sure no one left hungry or the slightest bit unhappy. We’ll certainly be back to enjoy dinner when we come to retrieve the case of Cakebread Cabernet, but we’ll also save the date for your upcoming dinner on October 2nd with Jordan Cellars.


PS: Sienna also does a Monday night Wine and Dine, it’s 3 courses paired with wine for $35 per person. Hook yourselves up by clicking here! Guess what… it’s Monday, you should totally go NOWWWW!!!

OK, that’s the yummy wrap for tonight. I’ll have more Farm to Fork Wine Dinner coverage later this week! Cheers!! :)

You can find Sienna Restaurant on Facebook here and on twitter here.

Farm to Fork Wine Dinner Series: Supper Club Fine Catering Presents Todd Taylor Wines, September 11th




Supper Club Fine Catering is kicking off their Farm to fork wine dinner series featuring Todd Taylor wines at Vierra Farms.

The dinner will be held on Thursday, September 11th from 6:30-9:30pm

I am excited about this dinner because I recently had some of Supper Club’s great food at a party in Curtis Park hosted by some friends of Andy and mine.

Here’s the scheduled menu for the evening:

Passed Appetizers (6:30pm – 6:55pm)
Delta Crawfish Corn Dogs with Lemon Tarragon Dijon Aioli
Bruschetta with Local Fresh Tomato Tartar, Basil, and Olive Fig Tapenade
Baby Red Potato Skins with Caramelized Shallot Mascarpone and House Wild Boar Pancetta
Todd Taylor Tempranillo “Holland Landing” 2012

Soup & Sandwich
“There’s a Fungus Among Us”
Wild Mushroom Latte in Demitasse with White Truffle Crema Shacking up together with Grown Up Grilled Cheese with Smoked Portobello, Gruyere, Oven Dried Tomato, and Arugula Pesto
Todd Taylor Pinot Noir Reserve “Corotto Vineyard” 2012

First Family Style Course
Duck Duck Goose #5
Potato Gnocchi, Shredded Grimaud Duck Confit, House Made Duck Prosciutto, Goose Pancetta, Roasted Vierra Farms Squash, Poblanos, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Light Sage Cream Sauce
Todd Taylor Zinfandel “Clockspring Vineyard” 2012

Second Family Style Course
“3 Little Piggies went to the Farm”
Crispy Pork Belly, Smoked Tenderloin and Braised Shoulder Served with Colossal Runner Bean, Tomato, Fennel and grilled Fig Salad
Todd Taylor Primitivo “Blue House” 2012

Third Family Style Course
“Not your Momma’s Steak and Potatoes”
Grilled Lucky Dog Skirt Steak basted with Secret Recipe House Butter, served with White Truffle Asiago Russet Frites, and Garlicky Green Beans
Todd Taylor Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 337 “Hagen Heights” 2012

“Waiter My Cheesecake is Stinky”
Stilton Cheesecake with Rosemary Walnut Crust and Local Stone Fruit Ginger Chutney
Todd Taylor Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Clone 8 “Alphawolf Ranch” 2010

Seating will be community/family style.

The cost is $75 per person (+tax and service charge), so $97.65 inclusive. Reservations and pre-payment are required. Menu substitutions are not allowed. Contact Alissa for reservations at or call 916-808-1289.

Vierra Farms is located at 3010 Burrows Ave, West Sacramento

Other Farm-to-Fork upcoming dates are:
10-23-14 Farm to Fork Dinner Featuring Sean Minor Wine Dinner at the Crocker Art Museum
11-20-14 Farm to Fork Dinner Featuring Pruett Vineyards at the Crocker Art Museum
12-18-14 Farm to Fork Dinner (Winery TBD) at the Crocker Art Museum

About Todd Taylor Wines:
Todd Taylor produces single vineyard designated red wines. Napa Valley Cabernet Savingnon, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir. Amador County Zinfindel and Primitivo. Clarksburg Tempranillo. Aged in New Cooperage. Available for tasting Saturday and Sunday 12-5. You can find them online here, on Facebook here, and on twitter here.

For more information on the wine dinner, click here.
You can find Supper Club Fine Catering on Facebook here.

I’ll be attending with Andy and we’ll have a post dinner commentary with pictures next week. Cheers and hope to see you out there! :)

Kathryn Hall Release Party Set for Sept. 13th, 1-4pm


The “Kathryn Hall Release Party” date has been set for Saturday, September 13 at HALL Wines in St. Helena where the 2011 HALL ‘Kathryn Hall’ Cabernet Sauvignon will be released for a crowd filled with wine lovers, foodies, fans, members and tourists alike. The party will take place on the newly designed Great Lawn from 1pm – 4pm PST.

I have been to another event at HALL Wines, their Cabernet Cookoff, which took place in May this year, and I can tell you that they know how to throw a party, and the grounds at HALL are just beautiful.

The Release Party with feature great music from DJ Adam Jobe, farm to table seasonal fare from Feast Catering and a clutch of wine lovers, foodies and fans coming together to celebrate HALL’s winemaking excellence.

It’s HALL’s largest annual event of the year and they are setting the bar high! Get your daytime sip, stroll, and lounge on at HALL, St. Helena.


Vertical Tasting & Kathryn Hall Release Party
12-1PM: Vertical Tasting of 2008–2013 Kathryn Hall lead by Director of Wine Making Steve Leveque

Kathryn Hall Release Party
1-4PM: Kathryn Hall Release Party including plentiful food and artisan wines, DJ and dancing, photo booth, and special signing and photo opp with Kathryn herself.
As an added bonus: Kathryn will be available for a photo opp with you, and will be signing all bottle purchases of “Kathryn Hall” that day.

Tickets are $200 per person for the Vertical Tasting & Release Party: BUY TICKETS HERE, and $90 per person for the Release Party only: BUY TICKETS HERE

HALL Wines is located at 401 St. Helena Hwy S, St Helena CA.
You can find HALL Wines on Facebook here and follow them on Twitter here and on Instagram here.

2014 Curtis Park Wine Tasting, Silent Auction and Beer Garden is October 4th, 4-7pm

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The 2014 Curtis Park Wine Tasting, Silent Auction & Beer Garden Event promises to be one of the best ever! In it’s 24th year, the event boasts more than 20 of the best restaurants in Sacramento, more than 50 wineries, and the always popular Beer Garden orchestrated by Pangaea Two Brews & Bottleshop.  There will be special demonstrations by culinary students of American River College and Oak Cafe along with hundreds of silent auction and raffle items.

The annual Curtis Park Wine Tasting, Silent Auction & Beer Garden Event is the largest fundraising event for the Sierra 2 Center and Sierra Curtis Neighborhood Association.  Proceeds from the event help fund artistic, cultural, educational and recreational endeavors at Sierra 2 Center and throughout Sacramento, including the operations of the Senior Center and community building events.  Additional beneficiaries of this event include Bret Harte Elementary School and C.K. McClatchy High School. The event’s success helps fund many different important community activities.

If you truly love fine and eclectic wines, THIS is the event for you! :)

Advance until 11:59pm, Oct. 1:  $40 (SCNA Members)/$45 (Non-members) Membership can be purchased or renewed during your registration process. You can register HERE.

After Oct. 1: $50 all

Online tickets available until 11:59pm, Oct. 1.  After Oct. 1, tickets available at Sierra 2 Center office and at the door the day of the event.  Tickets are also available for purchase by visiting the Sierra 2 Center office at 2791 24th Street or by calling 916-452-3005.  Tickets will also be available for purchase at the door prior to the event.

You can follow the Sierra 2 Center on twitter here and find them on Facebook here.

Fogo de Chão in San Jose: A Meat Lover’s Paradise!

When Andy and I visited San Jose a few weeks ago, we dined at a Brazilian churrascaria called Fogo de Chão (pronounced fo-go dée shown). It’s located in Santana Row close to Hotel Valencia, our host hotel for that weekend. A churrascaria is a place where meat is cooked in churrasco style (Portuguese for ‘barbecue’), and it’s pretty much like Paleo heaven. :)



kitchen window
If you have never dined at a Brazilian steakhouse before, there is a procedure to the meal, and it’s really quite fun. After being seated, diners are given a cardboard token (looks like a drink coaster) that is green on one side and red on the other. This token is used to signal the gaucho chefs to begin meat service to your table. But first, it’s off to the salad bar!

The salad bar features premium items such as 24 Month, Aged Parmesan, Aged Manchego Cheese, Prosciutto, Brazilian Hearts of Palm, Artichoke Bottoms, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella, Smoked Salmon, Italian Salami, Jumbo Asparagus, Tabbouleh and Shitake Mushrooms, not to mention at least large bowls full of different lettuce mixes to use for the base of your salad. It would be easy to get full on just the salad bar alone, so pace yourself.

salad bar 2


salad bar

When you are ready for the meats to be served, turn your token green side up, signaling that you are ready for our gaucho chefs to begin tableside service. This continuous service is known as “Rodizio” style.

There are 16 cuts of fire roasted meats to choose from including top sirloin, filet mignon, rib eye, bottom sirloin, beef ribs, lamb, chicken, pork ribs, pork loin (encrusted in parmesan cheese and linguica (a Brazilian-style, cured pork sausage). The gaucho chefs are very attentive and efficient. I would advise you to come not only hungry, but starving! Below are some of the meats the gaucho chefs serve on a nightly basis:

Pictured from left to right: Lamb (cordeiro), Chicken (frango) Pork Ribs (costela de porco), Pork Loin (lombo), Pork Sausage (linguica), Top Sirloin (picanha), Beef Ribs (costela), Bacon Wrapped Filet and Bacon Wrapped Chicken. Wow! So very Paleo! :)

When you are full, you flip the token to the red side until you are ready for more offerings.

specialty meat
In the photo above, Andy is being served the signature steak of the restaurant, the Picanha (pea-CAN-ya), a prime cut of top sirloin.

The meal also includes limitless service of traditional Brazilian side dishes, including: pão de queijo (warm cheese bread), crispy hot polenta (like polenta fries), garlic mashed potatoes and caramelized bananas. (not so Paleo) :(


Fogo de Chão is a recipient of the prestigious Wine Spectator Magazine Award of Excellence for eight consecutive years. I chose a reasonably priced Cabernet made by Trapiche (a label I had at least heard of before). It was quite good.


Below, the gaucho chef serves Andy a bacon wrapped filet mignon, and a bacon wrapped chicken.

Bacon wrapped meat

birthday boy
Someone looks happy! Ask him how many lamb chops he had! ;)

Then, after we had signaled we were done with our meal, one of the gaucho chefs brought out this cake to celebrate Andy’s birthday. What a fun dinner! Thanks so much to the staff at Fogo de Chão, San Jose for taking such good care of us! :)


Lunch at Fogo de Chão San Jose is $34.50 | (Salad Bar Only – $24.50) and is served Mon-Fri 11:30-2:00.
Dinner is $54.50 | (Salad Bar Only – $29.50) and is served Mon-Thur 5:00-10:00, Fri 5:00-10:30, Sat 3:00-10:30, and Sun 12:00-9:00.
Children 6 and under are complimentary. Children 7 to 12 are half price.  Any beverages, desserts, tax, and gratuity are additional.  An 18% gratuity is added to all parties of 6 or more.

You can like Fogo de Chão on Facebook here, and follow them on twitter here.


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