Flavor! Napa Valley... A Celebration of Food, Wine and Fun.

By Carol & Joe Davis
Dining Detectives

We were pleased to attend the second annual Flavor! Napa Valley Appellation Trail Tasting at the historic Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. The Sold Out event was attended by 1500 wine and food lovers. It showcased more than 100 Napa Valley wineries and 25 Napa Valley restaurants, many with Michelin Stars. This year there were also other celebrity chef dinners, wine competitions and cooking demonstrations during the four day Flavor! Napa Valley weekend.

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It was a rainy Friday night but we found that parking offsite and taking the Shuttle to the event was actually quick and fun. We checked in and received our tasting glass which was a One Stemware by Andrea Robinson. It was perfect for a tasting event and the lanyard which was provided allowed us to carry the glass around our necks. There were two floors for tasting Food and Wine including the training kitchen, which kept it from feeling crowded and allowed attendees to be able to chat with chefs and winemakers. There was even an opportunity to have books signed by celebrity chefs like Bottega's Michael Chiarello.

We've made a habit at these events to always taste the Food before the Wine. We enjoyed chatting with and tasting excellent cuisine made by Angele Executive Chef Scott Ekstrom , Brix Executive Chef Chris Jones , Jole Chef Matt Spector, Norman Rose Tavern Chefs Michael and Christina Gyetvan , Meritage Resort Executive Chef Mike Collins, Greystone Executive Chef Almir da Fonseca and last but not least Executive Chef Masaharu Morimoto.

Some of our favorite tastes were the Salmon made by Executive Chef Bob Hurley of Hurley's, the Soup from Executive Chef Phillip Wang of French Blue, the Pumpkin Angel Food Cake from Executive Pastry Chef Paul Lemieux of Auberge du Soleil, and the Sliders from Executive Chef Rick Robinson of Gott's Roadside.

Our second trip around was all about the fabulous Napa Valley Wines.

The Napa Valley is known for growing some of the World's Finest Grapes which allows growers and winemakers to craft a wide range of varietals.

We enjoyed tasting the Silver Oak Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, the PATEL Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, the St. Supery Sauvignon Blanc, the Duckhorn Cabernet Sauvignon, the Mumm Napa Sparkling Wine, the Cakebread Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Grgich Hills Estate Fume Blanc.

We also enjoyed being "spotted" by the San Francisco Chronicle's Inside Scoop crew who posted our picture in real time on Facebook and Twitter. We chatted with other attendees who all said that they enjoyed the world class cuisine and wines at the Flavor! Napa Valley Appellation Trail Tasting and felt they got their money's worth. We had a great time as well and look forward to attending again next year.

Flavor! Napa Valley... A Celebration of Food, Wine and Fun.

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