Food and Drink: Cider and wine–oh so fine

Where to find the best tastings, whether you like apples or grapes

by Tanya Henry

In case you haven’t noticed, hard ciders are seriously trending at the moment. Given the ongoing interest in craft cocktails, shrubs, beer and even mead, it’s not surprising that this bubbly beverage is getting some time in the spotlight. Jan and Louis Lee of AppleGarden Farm in Tomales are producing limited quantities of their estate cider made from European and heritage apple varieties that they planted (carefully selected for an English-style cider). The innkeepers-turned-cider-makers say that their product is made from the ground up: harvested by hand, small-batch-fermented and hand-bottled. For more information, and to find out where it is sold in Marin County, visit applegardenfarm.com.

CIDER CRAVINGS If you can’t get enough of this effervescent favorite—you’re in luck! The second annual Cider Summit S.F. is happening on Saturday, April 25 from 12-6pm at the Civil War Parade Ground in the Presidio. The full lineup includes more than 150 ciders from 46 cideries in California—unsurprisingly, at least five of them come from Sebastopol, which is known for its historic apple-growing roots—especially Gravensteins. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door (cash only). For more information or to purchase tickets, visit cidersummitnw.com.

GRAPE FANS UNITE If you prefer grapes to apples, here is a special dinner that you won’t want to miss. One of Napa’s top viticulturists (who was named the San Francisco Chronicle’s Winemaker of the Year in 2014), Steve Matthiasson and his wife Jill, will be at the Farmshop in Larkspur (in the private dining room) for a special event that will include dinner, homemade vermouth and specialty jams—all paired with the couple’s favorite wines, at $95 per person. Wednesday, May 13, 6:30pm, Farmshop, 2233 Larkspur Landing Cir., Larkspur. Reserve a space by calling 415/755-6710 or emailing [email protected]

COOKING TOGETHER Now that the wine and cider opportunities are covered, how about some healthy cooking? Join certified natural chef Suzanne Griffin from April 22 to May 13, 6:30-8pm (consecutive Wednesdays) at the Osher Marin JCC, for a series of hands-on cooking classes, designed to teach you the foundation of cooking healthy, delicious meals. Each class centers around a theme using local, organic and seasonal ingredients. At the end of each class, everyone enjoys the prepared meal together. The classes are limited to 12 people (a couple working together can count as one). The cost is $250 for non-members and $200 for members. To register for a class, call 415/444-8004.

GOLD MEDAL TASTINGS If you haven’t been to The Barlow in Sebastopol, here is a good reason to go—the North Coast Wine Challenge Tasting on May 17 from 1pm to 4pm. The tasting will feature wines that achieved both a gold medal status and 90+ points in the competition. There will also be food tastings prepared by some of the best local chefs, including Douglas Keane, Duskie Estes and Brandon Sharp. Tickets to the tasting cost $95 and are available at northcoastwineevent.com.

ROAD TRIP WITH MOM Still looking for a special treat for Mom on her day? Take a drive out to Marshall for a Mother’s Day Brunch at Nick’s Cove. Executive chef Austin Perkins has a tasty, locally sourced menu planned, including items like lobster and truffle coddled eggs (from their own chickens!) with Pt. Reyes Toma and arugula. A sweet potato duck confit and shrimp enchiladas are also on the menu—along with plenty of fresh oysters, of course! The special Mother’s Day menu is only offered for brunch on Sunday, May 10 from 10am to 3pm. Reservations are strongly recommended. To reserve a table, call 415/663-1033 or visit www.nickscove.com.

Share your hunger pains with Tanya at [email protected]

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