Sonoma County Wineries Offering Food Pairings
Sipping award-winning wines is amazing, but to enhance the experience, wine tasting in Sonoma County can also mean embracing its farm-to-table, slow-food movement in the form of exquisite wine-and-food pairings.
Established in the 1980s, Gloria Ferrer was the first sparkling wine house built in the Carneros region. Its Vista Terrace offers scenic views of sun-drenched estate vineyards and the rolling hills of the Carneros.
Gloria Ferrer offers several food-and-wine pairing experiences, including a seasonally curated Culinary Wine Pairing that's guided by a wine educator and paired with the winery's sparkling and still wines; a decadent Caviar and Wine Pairing that includes four different sparkling wines; a Terrace Lunch paired with wines both sparkling and still; and a sweet-and-savory Weekend Brunch Pairing designed to highlight Gloria Ferrer's sparkling wines.
This French-inspired Alexander Valley winery offers several distinctive and intimate food-and-wine experiences, featuring their Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay paired with farm-to-table menus designed to showcase foods grown on its nearly 1,200-acre property.
For the one-hour Library Tasting, guests enjoy an intimate seated tasting in the winery's private library, featuring Jordan Wines, estate olive oil, and food pairings by the winery chef. The Paris on the Terrace tasting includes a seated, bistro-style lunch on the terrace of the iconic Jordan chateau.
During the wine harvest, guests can book a two-hour, seated Harvest Lunch from a series of rotating seasonal menus, and the Holiday Tour & Tasting celebrates Christmas with a winery tour, holiday treats, and a seated food and wine pairing.
This elegantly sprawling, chateau-style winery's premium, seated Wine & Food Pairing experience matches K-J's limited-production wines with original bites from their on-site chef. Menu items might include delights like Dungeness crab cakes with carrot, persimmon and radish slaw, or sunchoke soup stocked with Liberty duck confit, dried cherries and mushroom.
Other culinary options include a Cheese & Charcuterie Board pairing, and a Wine & Chocolate Pairing that features dessert wines.
The Seasonal Lunch Pairing from this Russian River Valley winery is an elegant affair, with a seated, three-course meal thoughtfully paired with Lynmar's handcrafted Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays and served on the veranda overlooking the gardens and vineyards. The menu changes every other month, to highlight all that's growing on-site.
If you'd prefer lighter fare, a Provisions Basket could be added to a traditional wine tasting for an on-site picnic experience. Including locally sourced cheese, charcuterie, bread, olives and more, one basket is suggested for two people and must be ordered at least a day in advance.
This small, family-owned winery in the heart of the Sonoma Valley specializes in single-vineyard wines that provide a match between terroir and varietal.
Its Reserve Room, located in the village of Kenwood, operates as a mini-café of sorts, offering seasonal pairing menus from chef John Locher. The Room overlooks local vineyards, as well as the Mayacamas Mountains.
Tastings in the comfortable and intimate Reserve Room are extensive adventures, featuring seven wines, each paired with a separate dish designed to match the wine.
A sample menu might include Feta and Leek Crème Brulee, Seared Scallop Succotash, Beet and Goat Cheese, Mushrooms, Spring Lamb Meatball, Grilled Chicken with Blueberry Gastrique, and Strawberries and Cream.
Set in the hilly Carneros region at the southern end of the Sonoma Valley, Ram's Gate makes great Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and a rainbow selection of other wines.
The 90-minute Seasonal Wine & Food Pairing highlights Executive Chef Stacey Combs’ vision through five courses of delicious food paired with Ram's Gate's single-vineyard wines.
The private, six-course Arbor Experience is served beneath the terrace arbor, featuring a guided tasting of six of Ram's Gate wines paired with a seasonal menu designed by Combs. Allow three hours for the experience.
This Santa Rosa winery's 90-minute, seated Wine & Food Pairings feature five-course seasonal menus prepared by the winery's executive chef, paired with wines from St. Francis' various collections. Each meal is guided by a St. Francis wine expert.
Delicious examples of a St. Francis food-and-wine pairing might be Chardonnay with English pea soup with ginger creme-fraiche and smoky bacon, or Syrah with lamb shank and fennel ragout.
The architecture of this Sonoma Valley winery is breathtaking, a symphony of sloped ceilings framed by soaring glass wings, a rammed-earth wall, and rich finishes of black walnut, travertine and basalt stone.
Hamel's elegant Reserve Experience begins with a tour of their vineyard, 6,875-square-foot estate house, and 7,500-square-foot winery, as well as 12,000 square feet of caves, where you'll taste barrel samples of a yet-to-be-released wine. Following is a seated, four-course menu designed by the winery's executive chef to pair with their Cabernet Sauvignons.
Looking for more fun things to do during your trip to Sonoma County? Take a look at the many outdoor activities to enjoy in the valleys, vineyards, coastline and Russian River areas of Sonoma County.