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A la carte: Food and wine fun from around the region

  • Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville is offering an unusual 90-minute tasting called Wine Whim & Song, held on one Saturday per month. (Jeff Kan Lee / The Press Democrat, 2012)

HEALDSBURG: Johnson new chef at J Vineyards

Erik Johnson has been named the new executive chef at J Vineyards & Winery, overseeing all food and wine programs, including the seasonal menu of the J Bubble Room.

A former executive sous chef at the Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg, Johnson has been teaching classes at Relish Culinary Adventures and cooking dinners for private clients.

This fall, Johnson is launching a series of three holiday food and wine education classes at the winery. “Get Ready for Thanksgiving,” which includes a three-course meal served with J wines and printed recipes, will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Cost is $110.

“The holidays are a joyous time of the year, but can be a little intimidating when it comes to serving the proper wines with food,” Johnson said. “I will help walk people through the steps needed to make the holidays an entertaining and culinary success.”

To reserve, go to jwine.com/events. J Vineyards & Winery is located at 11447 Old Redwood Highway, south of Healdsburg.

GEYSERVILLE: Pairing wines with the right ... music?

You've had wine with food; now you can try pairing wine with music at Francis Ford Coppola Winery's new sensory experience, Wine Whim & Song.

During the 90-minute tasting, guests will focus on a variety of different styles of music and an assortment of wines. The experience is offered one Saturday per month and includes four to six wines. Upcoming tastings will be held at 3 p.m. Nov. 9 and Dec. 14.

Tastings cost $45 and can be reserved at franciscoppolawinery.com.

To recreate the experience at home, you can take home a package of three wines and a CD of various artists, along with pairing notes.

The winery is located at 300 Via Archimedes. Info: 857-1471.

SONOMA COUNTY: Wine & Food Affair highlights 3 valleys

A Wine & Food Affair will offer sips and bites on Saturday and Sunday in Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River valleys. Each participating winery will prepare a recipe to sample, paired with wine. Ticketholders will receive a cookbook, tasting glass and wristband upon check-in. The event is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. To peruse participating wineries, visit wineroad.com or call 433-4335.

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