When fall strikes, food and wine festivals sweep through the Bay Area to celebrate the season. In true California style, many events feature chefs and hosts creating a wide range of dishes featuring the freshest local ingredients chosen from a sprawling selection of fruits, vegetables, and meats. Many events feature live bands, knowledgeable food and wine personalities, or even, in the case of Noe Valley Festival, hayrides. Fall is also the season of wine, and many events feature wine pairings. Whatever your epicurean interest, there is likely a celebration in its honor.
Thursday, Sept. 11th 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm
$40 a ticket
Chocolate and port have been in harmony for years, but perhaps there's a new kid on the block. TasteTV and San Francisco's Crushpad Wine Making Facility have teamed up to create the world's first wine specifically "designed to pair fantastically with chocolate," and they invite the public to help with the process. The Wine & Chocolate evening at Crushpad in the Potrero Hill District includes a chocolate and wine tasting, panel participation, and a future on a bottle of the final product: Chocolate Seizure 2008. Many premium chocolatiers will attend the event, including Coco Delice, Jade Chocolates, Cosmo Chocolates, and Schoggi. Crushpad will have parking dedicated to the event five blocks from the facility.
Where: Crushpad, 2573 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
Saturday, Sept. 13th 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
$70 a ticket, $60 for Wine Club Members
An event worth the hour-and-twenty-minute drive out of the city, the barbecue at the Alderbrook Winery offers food and wine to excite the spirit in a Sonoma setting that will quiet the mind. Enjoy a barrel tasting with winemaker Bryan Parker and a vineyard walk and grape tasting with viticulturalist Rob Weinstock. Then take a seat for barbecue, deliciously prepared by Ken Rochioli Catering. A winery that truly loves putting food and wine together, Alderbrook crafts many varietals, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Zinfandel, and Carignane. Call 1-800-405-5987 x 2 to make a reservation, as no tickets will be sold at the door.
Where: Alderbrook Winery, 2306 Magnolia Drive, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Thursday, Sept. 25th 6:00 pm to 10:00pm
$150 a ticket
The San Francisco International Wine and World Spirits Competitions draw over 4,000 wines and 800 spirits. At this dinner, guests get to taste the best of the best: twenty to thirty Double Gold Winners. While the specific wines and spirits are left unannounced until the event, they will be from all over the world, ensuring an eclectic evening. Noted wine and spirits personality Anthony Dias Blue and The Tasting Panel Magazine host this elevated evening, which will be held at Silks at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in the Financial District. Silks' awarding-winning kitchen has exclusively designed a dinner to accompany these award-winning wines, and Mr. Blue, who holds the position of Executive Director at the San Francisco International Wine and World Spirits Competitions, will provide a course-by-course narrative. The Mandarin Oriental Hotel offers valet parking for $40.
Where: Silks at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 222 Sansome Street, San Francisco, CA 94104
Anthony Dias Blue: http://www.bluelifestyle.com
Saturday, October 11th 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm, rain or shine
$95 a ticket
With a popularity that just keeps growing, San Francisco Magazine’s Fallfest at Justin Herman Plaza in Embarcadero Square brings together California restaurants and wineries for an eclectic day of local food and wine tasting. While guests sample some of the best local ingredients, world-class chefs will conduct demonstrations, a live band will play, and a panel discussion will elaborate on eating and living local. The event expects 1,500 epicureans and the proceeds will be donated to the nonprofit organization Meals On Wheels of San Francisco. All attendees receive discounted, $10 garage parking at One, Two, Three, and Four Embarcadero Center with ticket stub, and the event is easily reached by all Muni train lines and a wide selection of buses.
Where: Justin Herman Plaza, Embarcadero Center, San Francisco’s Waterfront District
Friday, Oct. 24th 7:30 pm to 10:30 pm
$159 for Adults, $145 for Wine Club Members
Nothing quite compares to seeing the San Francisco skyline from the San Francisco Bay, and an expertly designed dinner with Beaulieu Vineyards elevates the experience to purely delectable. Enjoy the scenic view from the open decks of the Hornblower yacht before moving inside, where a four-course meal awaits, designed with help from Beaulieu Winemaker, Joel Aiken. The meal will begin with Beaulieu Vineyard’s 2004 Brut Reserve and end with their 2004 Port. Live entertainment will be provided throughout the evening. Visit the Hornblower Cruises website for a full menu. Public parking is available at Pier 3, as well as in metered spots and in a selection of parking garages.
Where: Hornblower Cruises & Events, Pier 3, on the Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94111
Saturday, Oct. 25th 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
For four years now, Noe Valley Harvest Festival has celebrated the fall season with all of the essentials: a beautiful farmers market showcasing the recent harvest, a hayride through the San Francisco neighborhood, pumpkin decorating, ten live bands, a jump tent for kids, and even a "pimp my stroller" contest. This event is certainly a labor of love and fun for the whole family. Just arrive with an appetite for fall flavors and community oriented fun.
Where: On 24th Street between Sanchez and Church Streets.
Saturday , Nov. 1st 11:00 am to 8:00 pm
$20 for General Entry, $40 for General Entry and Wine or Beer Tasting
This year's San Francisco Ski Expo comes with a twist: wine tastings from many top-notch Californian wineries. Guests can try some of the newest ski equipment, sold at discount prices, from brands like Lombardi Sports and Porters Lake Tahoe with a glass of wine in hand. The Expo includes an indoor Rail Jam competition, featuring the best of Lake Tahoe's local talent, interactive exhibits with deals on hotels and ski packages, a job expo, as well as unlimited wine or beer. The ticket price also includes two magazine subscriptions and a free one-day lift ticket for Central Sierra ski resorts, like Bear Valley and Dodge Ridge. The Ski and Wine events take place on Saturday, and the Boards and Brew events take place on Sunday. Event parking is available for a small fee.
Where: Fort Mason, at the intersection of Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, in the Marina district
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