Bartenders compete in mid-March to make the best Bloody Mary

Taste your way around the North Bay at the Sonoma Epicurean weekend.|


Sonoma Epicurean features food, wine, wellness

The V Foundation’s Sonoma Epicurean weekend, held on March 31 to April 2, will feature curated and hands-on experiences with Michelin-starred chefs, local artisans and vintners with a focus on lifestyle, wellness and sustainability.

The benefit event kicks off at 4:30 p.m. March 31 with a Vintner Showcase Reception on the Oak Lawn at Montage Healdsburg, followed by winery dinners at various venues and an after-party at Roof 106 at The Matheson.

On April 1, guests will choose an activity from the Culinary Artisan Series, then attend a dinner party at Mayacama, a private golf and residential community near Healdsburg.

Local chefs include Thomas Bellec of Bricoleur Vineyards, Jaron Dubinsky of Montage, Duskie Estes of Black Pig Catering, Robert Leva and Ryan Wells of Mayacama, Dominic Orsini of Silver Oak Cellars, Charlie Palmer of Dry Creek Kitchen, Mark Stark of Stark Reality Restaurants and Dustin Valette of The Matheson and Valette Healdsburg.

On April 2, participants will attend a wellness breakfast and panel discussion hosted by Certified Master Chef James Corwell, chief innovation officer for Ocean Hugger Foods, and Cathryn Couch, founder and CEO of Ceres Community Project, who will discuss the role of diet and lifestyle in preventing and treating cancer. The discussion will be followed by a symposium featuring medical doctors from across the country.

The weekend culminates on April 2 with a gala dinner and auction at Montage, with proceeds benefitting the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund. The V Foundation and ESPN established the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund in memory of the ESPN sportscaster after he died from cancer in 2015. Scott was a champion for cancer research and improving outcomes for Black and underserved communities disproportionately affected by the disease.

For more information on the 2022 V Foundation Sonoma Epicurean or to register, go to Tickets range from $750 for one day to $2,500 for all three days.


Bloody Mary contest spices things up at Little River Inn

The public is invited to join MendoParks for its second Annual Battle of the Bloody Marys from noon to 2:30 p.m. March 13 at the Little River Inn, where they can watch local bartenders go head to head to claim the prize of Best Bloody Mary.

The contest will take place at the Abalone Room of the Little River Inn and includes a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich along with five to six Bloody Mary samples. Tickets are $75, available by advance reservation only.

There are starting times every 15 minutes until 1:45 p.m. Guests must arrive at least 10 minutes before their starting time. Tasting is in one direction, beginning in the Abalone Room and exiting at the front parking lot. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and photo ID required for entry.

The event is part of the Little River Whale Festival and benefits MendoParks, a nonprofit that supports state parks in Mendocino County with education, park improvements and visitor services.

To reserve, go to and click on Tickets.


Winery partners with regional parks foundation

Thirty-Seven Wines, one of the leading wineries in the Petaluma Gap, has partnered with the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation to support future improvements in county parks.

Al and Lisa Brayton, owners of Thirty-Seven Wines, have donated a custom barrel of their 2019 Tolay Red wine, a blend of merlot and cabernet franc, to reward generous donors to the parks foundation.

The wine is named for Tolay Creek, which runs through the Braytons’ vineyards. On its label it features the burrowing owl, found in rock outcrops or in burrows made by squirrels and other animals in the Tolay Lake Basin.

This special wine will be available as an appreciation gift for donations ranging from $500 to $5,000 and will be ready for delivery in March and April to donors.

Donations can be made at The wine will be personally delivered or can be picked up at a site to be determined.


Corned beef and cabbage feed to benefit 4-H

The Penngrove Social Firemen will host a Corned Beef and Cabbage Feed from 3 to 6 p.m. March 12 at the Penngrove Clubhouse, 385 Woodward Ave.

The dine-in or takeout menu includes corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots cooked by the volunteer kitchen crew. Cash required for $1 purchases from the dessert table.

Cost is $20; $10 children under 12, with proceeds going to maintain the Social Firemen’s Clubhouse and Penngrove Park. Tickets available at the door or at by March 11.

For information: 707-794 -1516 or

Staff Writer Diane Peterson can be reached at 707-521-5287 or On Twitter @dianepete56

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:

  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.