It’s been five years now since Flavor! Napa Valley debuted in Wine Country, and over the years, the event has grown even more world-class with its showcase of local and national celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, Rising Star chef and winemaker dinners, vintner workshops, grand gala tastings and “Terroir to Table” behind-the-scenes tours of the area’s best boutique producers.
The event also has a new date, running March 16 through 20 - moved to spring, instead of its traditional November. But the real date to remember is March 17, since the 16th is a street fair, and the real action begins the following day, with the acclaimed Celebration of the Judgment of Paris Wine Dinner.
The event is sold out, but it gives a glimpse into the upscale level of events we can expect for next year (hint: buy tickets for the 2017 festival as soon as they are released). For this, guests gather for five-course dinner toasting the 40th anniversary of the legendary 1976 Judgment of Paris. On the menu: exquisite food from Richard Blais (Top Chef winner and owner, Trail Blais, Inc.), Matthew Accarrino (SPQR), Bradley Ogden (Bradley Ogden Hospitality), Justin Yu (Oxheart, Houston) and Larry Forgione (Conservatory for American Food Studies, CIA Greystone), plus wines including Chateau Montelena, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Freemark Abbey, Spring Mountain Vineyard, Heitz Wine Cellars, Clos du Val Winery, Mayacamas Vineyards, and Veedercrest Wines.
Sign up for other must-attends, like the Napa Valley Wine Tours (Mar. 18 & 19), where intimate groups of 12 guests get to see Napa Valley through the eyes of the estate vineyard owners, proprietors, winemakers, and a private very own sommelier. Each day, the tour includes tastings at elite wineries and secret locations, conversations with winemakers and proprietors, a fabulous lunch, and transportation provided by Pure Luxury.
Another top attraction is the Chef Demonstration: Offal Good – Cooking with Star Chef Chris Cosentino on Saturday, March 19. From noon to 2 p.m., the famed chef takes over the kitchen at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, sharing the secrets of his delicious offal creations at both Boccalone and Cockscomb in San Francisco. His talents have landed him on Food Network shows such as Top Chef Masters, the Next Iron Chef America, and Chefs vs. City.
Then, save room for Legendary Napa Valley, The Grand Tasting, at 7 p.m. at the CIA the same Saturday night. The region most celebrated and innovative vintners and chefs come together to offer delicious samplings of food and drink, with winemakers personally pouring their favorite vintages and reveal how the soils, microclimates and topography influence the wide array of distinctive grapes in this premier wine-growing region.
Tip: Make it an even fancier Flavor Napa with limo service to-and-from the events. Don't worry about parking, and enjoy your very own personal designated driver.