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Food & wine news, upcoming events around Sonoma

HEALDSBURG

Wine Road barrel tasting is back

Here's an event that has truly become a spring rite of passage -- the 35th Annual Wine Road Barrel Tasting. It unfolds on two back-to-back weekends, March 1 through 3, and March 8th through 10th. Each day, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., participating wineries offer an opportunity for wine-lovers to taste barrel samples and buy futures -- bottlings not yet released. Tasters also can often taste through older and current vintages. People are encouraged to bring picnic fixings, a portable feast of sorts to pair with the wines from the cellar. Prices range from $30 to $50, and to reserve tickets and/or get more information about participating wineries, visit events at www.wineroad.com or call 433-4335.

SONOMA VALLEY

Savor Sonoma Valley barrel tasting

Yet another spring rite of passage is the spring Savor Sonoma Valley event on March 16th and 17. Wineries in the valley will be showcasing 2012 vintage wines in barrel, as well as offering samples of new releases. You'll have a good shot at meeting the winemakers, as well as enjoy live music and peruse art from local artists. The event is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days, and the price is $65 in advance for a weekend pass. For more information, call 431-1137. To peruse participating wineries, visit: https://www.heartofsonomavalley.com/products/2013-savor-sonoma-valley.

BAY AREA

Beard Foundation Awards semifinalists

The James Beard Foundation has announced its semifinalists for the Restaurant and Chef Awards, with several Sonoma County winemakers and Mark and Terri Stark of Stark Reality Restaurants given nods.

The Starks, who own five restaurants in Santa Rosa and Healdsburg, are among 20 semifinalists up for Outstanding Restaurateurs.


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