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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 6:30p.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.

NOVATO: Brewery dinner for HopMonk's 1st birthday

The HopMonk Tavern in Novato will celebrate its one-year anniversary with a beer dinner featuring Ninkasi Brewing Company at 6 p.m. Sunday.

Executive Chef Billy Reid will pair the hoppy brews with an appetizer, salad, entree and dessert. The cost is $58, including tax and tip.

Ninkasi Brewing Company, a craft brewery based in Eugene, Ore., is named after the Sumerian goddess of beer. The brewery produces Total Domination IPA, Tricerahops Double IPA, Believer Double Red and Oatis Oatmeal Stout, among other quaffs.

The tavern is located in the Vintage Oaks at Novato Shopping Center off Highway 101 and Highway 37. Info: hopmonk.com or 415-892-6200.

GLEN ELLEN: B.R. Cohn hosts holiday shopping events

B.R. Cohn Winery welcomes the holiday season every Saturday in November and December with Sip, Savor and Shop, showcasing "must-have" recipes featuring B.R. Cohn gourmet products and free gift-wrapping.

On the first three weekends in November, Shiso Sushi will offer a live sushi bar in the VIP Tasting Room and demonstrate some of the B.R. Cohn gourmet products. There will also be live music.

B.R. Cohn Winery is located at 15000 Sonoma Highway 12. Info: brcohn.com.

SANTA ROSA: Living Room pasta party marks 20th anniversary

The Living Room will celebrate its 20th year of serving Sonoma County's homeless women and children with a pasta party at 3 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Church of the Incarnation's Fahrlander Hall.

The dinner will be catered by "Pasta King" Art Ibleto, served with wine from Murphy-Goode Winery and beer from Mike's Hard Lemonade Co. There will be live music and a silent auction.

Tickets are $20; children under 12 get in free accompanied by an adult. Reservations: 579-0138 or thelivingroomsc.org. The church is located at 500 Mendocino Ave.

HEALDSBURG: Gourmet event benefits dog rescue nonprofit

Herd It Through the Grapevine, a nonprofit that rescues and cares for herding-dog breeds, will throw a gourmet party at 2 p.m. Nov. 10 at Wilson Winery.

The benefit includes paella from Chef Gerard Nebesky paired with gold-medal-winning wines from Wilson, live R&B music by the Honeydippers and a doggie kissing booth.

Cost is $35 in advance, $40 at the door. To reserve, go to hittgv.org. The winery is located at 1960 Dry Creek Road.

NAPA: Gluten-free bakery coming to Oxbow market

Cate & Co., a gluten-free bake shop, is scheduled to open in the Oxbow Public Market in downtown Napa in mid-November.

The shop, launched by Catherine Bergen, will feature fresh-baked pastries, breads, savory and sweet snacks as well as sandwiches, flatbreads and salads. Every item in the shop is 100 percent gluten-free and made with alternative, natural sweeteners.

"For those with food allergies, this is a place where they can come and know that they are in good hands, with lots of tasty choices," Bergen said.

Cate & Co. will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily at the Oxbow, 610 and 644 First St. Info: 226-1940.

YORKVILLE: 32nd annual Chestnut Festival

The Zeni Ranch will hold its 32nd annual Chestnut Festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the ranch in Yorkville, MendocinoCounty.

The afternoon includes a potluck lunch, pick-your-own chestnuts for $3 a pound, live music and garden produce for sale. Chestnuts are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The ranch is located at 30995 Fish Rock Road. Info: zeniranch.com.

SEBASTOPOL: Heart of the Forest event benefits conservation group

The second annual Heart of the Forest Celebration will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday at 1800 Jonive Road. The afternoon benefit includes poetry by Jonah Raskin, a walk through old-growth redwoods and a hearty meal. Bring your own beverage to share and dress for inside or outside.

There will also be an auction and sale of handcrafted wood art to benefit the all-volunteer Sonoma County Forest Conservation Working Group.

To attend, RSVP to Dee Swanhuyser at 823-1839 or pdswan@comcast.net. Info: sonomaforests.org.

HEALDSBURG: Rosenblum opens downtown tasting room

Rosenblum Cellars has a new tasting room in downtown Healdsburg.

The brand is known for its lush, intense wines, particularly for its zinfandel and Rhone reds. The main tasting room, at 18 Matheson St., has an education center, an outdoor patio and a Club & Locals Lounge.

The tasting room is open Thursday through Monday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Info: rosenblumcellars.com.

NAPA: Culinary school offers wine classes for public

The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, located in St. Helena, has launched a wine series and is teaching classes out of the former Copia building in downtown Napa.

The classes run through Dec. 29 on select weekends, offering four topics: "Before You Taste, Become Winewise"; "The Secret Wines of Napa Valley"; "Napa Valley vs. the World"; and "California's Best Cheeses and the Wines that Love Them."

The fee for each class is $40. Classes are held at 500 First St., Napa. Info: cia.localwineevents.com.

Compiled by Staff Writer Diane Peterson, who can be reached at 521-5287 or diane.peterson@pressdemocrat.com, and Peg Melnik, who can be reached at 521-5310 or peg.melnik@pressdemocrat.com.

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