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SONOMA COUNTY: Taste of Sonoma tickets

The Taste of Sonoma, taking place Sept. 2 and 3 as part of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, will go on sale on June 5 to the general public. Tickets are already available, however, for Visa Signature and Visa Infinite cardholders.

The Taste of Sonoma, offering an immersive experience for wine and culinary enthusiasts, will be held this year at the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park.

More than 200 wineries will share their wines, and about 60 local chefs will serve bites, during the all-day Grand Tasting event held both afternoons. Each afternoon also features Wine Talk seminars, panel discussions and a blind tasting challenge.

One- and two-day tickets range from $150 to $300 per person, with Club Reserve tickets providing special access to the people behind the brands and their limited release wines. To reserve, go to sonomawinecountryweekend.com.

The weekend also includes winemaker lunches, dinners and barbecues. The Sonoma County Wine Auction will be held Sept. 16 at La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard. Tickets to that event will be available in mid-June.

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FORESTVILLE: Crawfish boil at Backyard

Backyard Forestville will host the second annual Bugs, Brews and Brass at 6 p.m. Friday, May 26,at the Forestville restaurant.

Cocktail hour features Point Reyes oysters, New Orleans alligator, Dungeness crab and live music from the Black Sheep Brass Band. The crawfish boil continues with Louisiana crawfish; andouille sausage, potatoes and young onions, dirty rice and beans; hushpuppies with remoulade; and sweet and sour braised collards with salt pork. Dancing and beignets follow.

Tickets are $65 per person for all you can eat and drink. Reservations: 707-820-8445. 6566 Front Street.

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SANTA ROSA: Puppies and pinot

The Pellegrini family will present Puppies & Pinot, a benefit for the Sonoma Humane Society, from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 27, at the winery.

Guests enjoy lunch by Foodie Farmhouse, wine tasting plus special prices on Pellegrini and Olivet Lane Vineyard estate pinot noirs. Volunteers from the Sonoma Humane Society will be on hand with adoption information and a “smooch from a pooch” kissing booth.

Tickets are $25. To reserve, call 707-545-8680 or go to pellegrinisonoma.com. 4055 W. Olivet Road.

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SANTA ROSA: Neighborly picnic

The 145th annual Bennett Valley Picnic and Chicken BBQ will take place at noon June 4 at the Bennett Valley Guild Hall (the former Bennett Valley Grange) at 4145 Grange Road.

The afternoon includes barbecue chicken with all the fixings, donated by Mary’s Chickens and Whole Foods Markets, plus beer and wine poured by Ricardo’s Bar and Grill.

A cherry-spitting contest, homemade desserts, a silent auction and live music by the Bohemian Highway rounds out the festivities. Tickets at the door: $15 adults, $10 kids. bvguild.org.

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POINT REYES: Bay Blue wins contest

For the second year in a row, the Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company won Best of Show — Cow’s Milk for its Bay Blue in the California State Fair Commercial Cheese Competition.

Pennyroyal Farm of Boonville won Best of Show — Other Milk for its Reserve Boont Corners, made from fresh, raw goat milk.

The 2017 California State Fair runs July 14 to 30. For a full list of competition results, go to castatefair.org.

Staff writer Diane Peterson can be reached at 707-521-5287 or diane.peterson@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @dianepete56.

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