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2016 Flavor! Napa Valley Festival: March 16-20, Napa


Do you dream of rubbing shoulders with celebrity chefs while eating phenomenal food and drinking amazing wines? Then Napa is just the place for you. With the right itinerary, the motivated wine lover could certainly accomplish this trifecta of gourmet aspirations any day of the year in Napa, but in a few weeks, anyone with a ticket to Flavor! Napa Valley will simply wallow in such pleasures for five whole days.

Flavor! Napa Valley was conceived of as a world-class food and wine experience that would both showcase the phenomenal talents in the Napa Valley, while giving back to one of the institutions that has made Napa such a destination for food and wine lovers: the Culinary Institute of America. The profits from this star-studded event go to fund scholarships at the CIA.

Anyone who has been to, or dreamed of going to, events such as the Aspen Food & Wine Classic or Masters of Food and Wine at Pebble Beach will understand the type of event that we're talking about here. Think lectures, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, multi-course dinners, and excursions into the heart of Napa Valley, all done in the highest of style.

In past years, this event has taken place in the somewhat chilly weeks of November, but in its new incarnation it will take advantage of Spring's bloom.

The full schedule of events can be found online, but some of the highlights include a retrospective tasting of Chateau Montelena and Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, two of the winners of the Judgement of Paris tasting in 1976 that changed the wine world forever; an in-depth interview with SF Chronicle restaurant reviewer Michael Bauer; a class on higher-altitude Napa wines; and of course the grand tasting event.

If you're looking for something to do around St. Patrick's day, you'd be hard pressed to find something tastier than Flavor! Napa Valley.

Flavor! Napa Valley 2016
March 16-20, 2016
Locations throughout Napa Valley
& The Culinary Institute of America
St. Helena, CA

Ticket packages for multiple events range from $265 to $1555, while individual tickets range from $80 to $280. Buy your tickets online here.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud