Sonoma County Restaurants Offer Free Meals to Furloughed Government Workers

As the government shutdown moves closer to the one-month mark, an estimated 4,000 federal employees in Sonoma County are dealing with the consequences. Rent is late, bills remain unpaid, and food and necessities are becoming scarce for many families, who continue to wait for the government to reopen so that they can get paid and return to work. To support furloughed federal workers and their families, a few Sonoma County restaurants and coffee shops are rallying to provide hot food, cool drink

Dry January Hit List: Best Sonoma County Bars for Mocktails and Non-Alcoholic Drinks

Living in Sonoma County is not without its benefits: a beautiful natural landscape,  amazing food and locally made drinks are only a few of the perks. For the over-21 set, there’s everything from fine wine to hoppy beers to vodka, gin and whiskey. But living the good life everyday can sometimes make you feel, well, a little bloated… For those of us who may have indulged a wee too much during the holiday season, the month of January offers an opportunity to reset by abstaining from alcohol toget

10 Sonoma Wineries With Free Tastings

A visit to Sonoma wine country doesn’t have to break the bank. You can fill your belly at hundreds of affordably priced restaurants that serve up gourmet food just as tasty at the four star next door. Spend the night camping under the stars and take advantage of one of the many free activities in the region. And last but not least: enjoy a free wine tasting. From quaint small town tasting rooms to glamorous, celebrity owned wineries, Sonoma County offers wine sipping opportunities that will ple

25 Sonoma and Napa Wineries Open on Thanksgiving

Whether you’re a Wine Country visitor on a Thanksgiving getaway or a local looking to get away from your relatives, there are plenty of wineries open and offering a relaxing refuge on Turkey Day. A Thanksgiving visit to Sonoma and Napa wineries is also a good excuse to start your Black Friday shopping early, and bring home bottled gifts (to yourself, or someone equally deserving of a special treat). Click through the above gallery to discover 20 Sonoma and Napa wineries open on Thanksgiving Day

Sonoma Winery Makes Wine Spectator's Top 10 List, Others Among Top 100

As has been the tradition for the past twenty years, Wine Spectator has unveiled its Top 100 list just in time for the holidays. The list is a carefully curated selection of wines from around the world, picked by magazine editors from the thousands of wines they have tasted and reviewed throughout the year. Oenophiles keep the list in their back pocket (and now smartphones) as a guide to must-try bottles. This year, a handful of homegrown Sonoma County wines and producers made the top 100 cut,

Sonoma County Breweries Join Camp Fire Relief Efforts

Since its start on November 8, the Camp Fire in Butte County has killed 77 people and destroyed over 11,000 homes, the majority in the town of Paradise. In nearby Chico, the team at Sierra Nevada Brewing Company closed their brewery for health and safety reasons shortly after the fire started. Within days, they learned that many employees, friends and family members had been severely affected by the fire. They decided to do what they could to support their community. As a first measure, Sierra

Best Napa Wineries for First Time Visitors

Napa Valley. The name conjures visions of luxury – from Michelin-starred restaurants to five star resorts, and of course, some of the finest wine in the world. For many wine lovers, Napa is the introduction to California wine country and, with over 400 wineries to choose from, it can be overwhelming to plan a visit. To aid explorers of Napa Valley, we’ve put together a list of the best wineries to visit during a first trip. Click through the above gallery for details.

12 Non-Alcoholic Sonoma Drinks That Don't Need Booze to Taste Great

Sonoma County may be known as a mecca for lovers of wine, spirits and beer, but there’s plenty more local craft beverages to enjoy – minus the hangover. According to those in the know, non-alcoholic drinks are having a moment right now. In Sonoma County, more and more restaurants and bars are staying on trend with mocktails and no-booze beer. In addition to these alternatives, there are also the classics: like herbal tea and plain ol’ milk; drinks that stand out in their own right, without tryin

5 Sonoma & Napa Wineries for Merlot Maniacs

Merlot is back, baby. The delicious, easy drinking varietal of red wine, rich with silky, savory goodness, suffered a blow when the movie Sideways declared pinot noir king in California and merlot the not-so-cute stepchild of the wine world. Sales plummeted due to the “Sideways effect,” but things are on the up and up around here. Merlot sales are on the rise and, I admit, after years of being a pinotphile, I’ve become a merlot maniac. Whether you’re looking to branch out, find yourself bored o

17 Wines You Must Try at the North Coast Wine & Food Festival

We love any excuse to celebrate the food and wine bounty of the North Coast region, and on Saturday, June 9, we’ll do just that at The Press Democrat’s North Coast Wine & Food Festival at SOMO Village in Rohnert Park. Over 60 award-winning wineries, pouring 90 Gold Medal wines, and 20 acclaimed chefs, serving up delicious bites, will be the stars of the show. It’s a must-attend event for any wine lover seeking to discover the best wines from Sonoma, Napa, Lake, Marin, Solano and Mendocino count

John Ash & Co. and Seismic Brewery Team Up to Create New Beer Pairing Experience

Sonoma County may be a wine lover’s playground but, in recent years, the region has also evolved into a mecca for microbrew maniacs. While wine and food pairings have become old hat for some, Sonoma Beer Country is now serving up a new kind of duo. On Tuesday, May 15th, Santa Rosa restaurant John Ash & Co. will team up with Seismic Brewing Co. to create combinations of beer and food that even the pickiest gourmands and beer nerds should enjoy. During a “special beer pairing dinner,” John Ash so

The War on Straws Comes to Sonoma

First it was the plastic bag, now it’s the plastic straw. A favorite way to sip everything from soda to shakes, plastic straws have recently gained a bad reputation for their negative impact on the environment. So much so, that Oakland is considering a proposal to ban food vendors from serving plastic straws unless requested, while Berkeley is considering a full out ban on plastic straws. And now, the war on straws has come to Sonoma. ZeroWaste Sonoma County is leading the local fight against

Sonoma Vintner Jean-Charles Boisset Launches Wine-Based Vodkas and Gin

Like a little caviar or truffle with your vodka? Or perhaps a touch of wine with your gin? Then eccentric vintner and ultra-luxury lover Jean-Charles Boisset has an elixir just for you: JCB Spirits. Boisset’s recently launched line of spirits comprises three vodkas and a gin, all distilled from pinot noir and chardonnay grapes from the Côte d’Or in Burgundy. The new spirits collection includes not only a classic vodka and botanical gin, but also two uber-fancy vodkas: one infused with French ca

French Flea Market Brings Paris to Sonoma

Oui! Annual favorite fête the “French Flea Market” returns to Cornerstone Sonoma on May 26 and 27. This year’s market will feature over 30 antique and vintage dealers showcasing handpicked wares sure to fascinate even the fussiest of Francophiles. Hosted by Cornerstone’s French-inspired boutique Chateau Sonoma, the weekend aims to transport visitors to a classic Parisian flea market, such as Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen. Rummaging flea markets is a tradition for the French who, with Gallic in
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