Upcoming: Pigs and Pinot

Upcoming: Pigs and Pinot

We love wine tasting in the Healdsburg area! The “Pinot on the River” event that we attended a few years ago was a great example of good food, good wine and a good cause. We recently learned that Healdsburg was hosting an event that combines two of our loves: pinot and pork. This charity event that offers a chance to taste the creations from over 60 wineries and more than 20 chefs while raising money for deserving causes. Get excited, it is almost time to attend Pigs & Pinot!

Somehow we have overlooked this great event for a dozen years. Hotel Healdsburg and Dry Creek Kitchen, the award-winning restaurant of chef Charlie Palmer, will be the host for an amazing wine and food event to benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign and wine country fire relief  funds, scholarships and charities. Since the event’s inception in 2006, Pigs & Pinot has raised over one million dollars for No Kid Hungry and Sonoma County charities.

Event supporters include DCS Appliances by Fisher & Paykel, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, Encore Events, Fiji Water and Relish Culinary Adventures, and a host of high-profile chefs and wine experts. “The fund raising efforts of our 13th annual Pigs & Pinot  celebration are incredibly critical this year,” says chef Charlie Palmer. “In response to those affected by October’s fires, this year’s fund raising efforts will have a specific focus on wine country’s fire relief funds. Given the present need in our own backyard, we aim to raise more money than any previous year.”

Taking place Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17, 2018,  ticket are first available on Wednesday, January 10 via Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® pre-sale and on Thursday, January 11 for general sale. Hotel packages and event tickets historically selling out almost instantaneously. That sounds like a challenge worth taking!

Pigs and Pinot chefs
Photo credit: Damion Hamilton Photo

Joining chef Charlie Palmer and Dry Creek Kitchen Executive Chef Scott Romano on this food gala will be:

Rick Moonen, Chef/Owner RM Seafood, Rx Boiler Room
Susan Feniger, Co-Chef/Owner, Border Grill, Restaurants & Trucks, Blue Window
Trevor Bird, Chef/Owner Fable Kitchen
Bryan Voltaggio, Chef/Owner VOLT, Lunchbox, Family Meal, RANGE and AGGIO

The 2018 Gala Pinot Noir Winemakers are:

Ted Elliott, TR Elliott Winery – 2017’s Pinot Cup Winner
Theresa Heredia, Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery
Benoit Landanger, Domaine de la Pousse d’Or
Mark McWilliams, Arista Winery
Shane Munn, Martin’s Lane Winery

Partnering with Spoonbar’s Co-Executive Chefs Casey and Patrick Van Voorhis for Saturday Night’s Swine & Wine event is David Tu Phu of Chefs Hawker Centre.

To keep things light, food-loving celebrity comedian Mario Cantone will emcee Saturday’s Tournament of the Pig seminar.

Pigs and pinot diners
Photo credit: Damion Hamilton Photo

Directly from the event organizers, here is the schedule of events and all the details;

Friday, March 16, 2018

Taste of Pigs & Pinot; 6:30-9:00 p.m.

Friday evening’s kickoff event is the lively Taste of Pigs & Pinot where guests sample 60 highly acclaimed Pinot Noir wines competing in the Pinot Cup competition, both from Sonoma County and around the world. Two Rosé wines will be offered in addition to the lineup of Pinot Noirs treating guests to a “white wine” twist on Pinot Noir. Tastings are served alongside a variety of pork dishes, including homemade sausages, charcuterie, grilled pork, pâtés and other special creations from Chef Palmer and Dry Creek Kitchen, visiting celebrity chefs, and local Healdsburg restaurants. The annual Pinot Cup winner will be announced by discerning judges, Fred Dame MS and Ray Isle, executive wine editor of Food & Wine magazine.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Tournament of the Pig; 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Pigs & Pinot celebrity guest chefs will be divided into two talent-packed teams. Charlie Palmer and actor/comedian Mario Cantone will host this iron-chef style competition so guests can once again expect some lively commentary! The two teams will be given a whole pig, courtesy of Niman Ranch, which they will use to create two distinct dishes, along with ingredients they can find at Dry Creek Kitchen. A pork-loving panel of judges will determine the winning team. And yes, the audience gets to taste, too!

Ultimate Pinot Smack Down; 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.

Join Master Sommeliers Keith Goldston, Fred Dame, Gillian Ballance, and Emily Wines for this exciting March Madness-inspired wine seminar. Each Master Sommelier enters the room with his personal selection of four Pinot Noirs from around the world and proceeds to “sell” their favorites in this lively head-to-head pitch contest, which includes blind tastings where the audience chooses the winner.

Pigs & Pinot Gala Dinner; 6:30 p.m.

Saturday evening’s Pigs & Pinot Gala features a sumptuous five-course dinner at Hotel Healdsburg’s Dry Creek Kitchen.  As a collaborative offering, each course features a signature creation from Palmer and his guest chefs Susan Feniger, Rick Moonen, Trevor Bird, and Bryan Voltaggio.  Every course will be paired with two limited-production Pinot Noirs from highly acclaimed wineries including TR Elliott, Gary Farrell, Domaine de la Pousse d’Or, Arista, and Martin’s Lane.

Spoonbar’s Swine & Wine Dinner; 7:00 p.m. at h2hotel

Saturday evening’s Swine & Wine dinner will begin with a welcome artisan cocktail from Spoonbar’s talented bar manager Alec Vlastnik. Spoonbar’s co-executive Chefs Casey and Patrick Van Voorhis with special guest chef Tu David Phu of Chefs Hawker Centre and contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef Season 15, will prepare a multi course menu of light and modern dishes highlighting the beauty and simplicity of seasonal produce and pork. The menu will showcase two of Sonoma County’s boutique Pinot Noir Producers: Flowers Vineyards & Winery and LIOCO.

Pigs & Pinot Late Night is a late evening celebration following the Gala and Spoonbar’s Swine &Wine Dinner with after-dinner drinks and dessert at Hotel Healdsburg’s Spirit Bar and fireside lounge.  All Pigs & Pinot celebrants are welcome to attend.

Hotel packages, event ticks and sales schedule

Due to the wonderful attention and support from pork and pinot lovers, tickets to this event quickly sell out. Those interested in attending should visit www.pigsandpinot.com  regularly for updates and new offerings.

Pigs & Pinot is sponsored in part by DCS Appliances by Fisher & Paykel and Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® cardholders have the opportunity to purchase tickets during the exclusive Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® pre-sale period on Wednesday, January 10, 2018, as well as receive 5% off package and à la carte ticket prices.  Complete details can be found by visiting www.pigsandpinot.com.

Hotel Packages & Event Tickets

The Platinum Pigs & Pinot Package  includes three nights’ accommodations for four couples in four luxurious Hotel Healdsburg suites (Plaza or Courtyard Suites with sitting rooms and plaza or courtyard views); a personal introduction by Chef Palmer to the featured gala chefs and winemakers; a private table at the gala dinner joined by the featured gala winemaker of their choice; an exclusive take home gift featuring one bottle from each of the featured gala wineries; and VIP check-in to all events for $25,000 plus applicable fees.

The Ultimate Pigs & Pinot  Package includes two nights’ accommodations for two in a Hotel Healdsburg Plaza or Courtyard Suite at $3,003.67 plus applicable fees.

The Luxe Pigs & Pinot package includes two nights’ accommodations for two in a Hotel Healdsburg Premier King Room at $2,616.07 plus applicable fees.

h2hotel, Hotel Healdsburg’s sustainably chic sister property located just down the street, is teaming up with Pigs & Pinot to provide additional lodging packages for guests including two nights in a standard room, two tickets to Taste of Pigs & Pinot, two tickets to Spoonbar’s Swine &Wine Dinner and admission to the Pigs & Pinot Saturday Late Night dessert celebration. Package Price: $1,836.47 plus applicable fees.

À La Carte Tickets
Tickets to the individual events can be purchased online at www.pigsandpinot.com. Taste of Pigs &Pinot tickets are $175 and Seminar tickets are $125 each. Pigs & Pinot Late Night is complimentary to all Pigs & Pinot weekend participants.

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® cardholders receive 5% off all hotel packages.

Ticket Sale Schedule

Tickets will be available for purchase at www.pigsandpinot.com, per the schedule below:

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 | Exclusive Pigs & Pinot  Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Pre-Sale

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® cardholders will have access to purchase tickets during a 24-hour pre-sale beginning at 10 am PST on Wednesday, January 10, which includes: Hotel Healdsburg Luxe, Hotel Healdsburg Ultimate and h2hotel Swine & Wine Lodging Packages, À la Carte Taste of Pigs & Pinot, Tournament of the Pig and Ultimate Pinot Smackdown Seminars.

Thursday, January 11, 2018 | General Sale
Hotel Healdsburg Luxe, Hotel Healdsburg Ultimate and h2hotel Swine & Wine Lodging Packages, À la Carte Taste of Pigs & Pinot, Tournament of the Pig and Ultimate Pinot Smackdown Seminars

Event location

Hotel Healdsburg is located at 25 Matheson Street at the corner of Healdsburg Avenue on the western edge of the historic Healdsburg Town Square (Phone: 707-431-2800 or toll free at 800-889-7188). Dry Creek Kitchen is adjacent to the hotel on the Town Square. h2hotel is located just down the street at 219 Healdsburg Avenue (Phone: 707-922-5251).

More information is available at www.pigsandpinot.com and www.charliepalmer.com. Follow Charlie Palmer on Facebook and on Twitter with the hashtag #pigsandpinot for updates and new offerings.


About the Author: John grills a mean steak and is always in the market for another wine fridge. Believes that if a winery has more than 10 employees, it's probably too big. Buys wine faster than he drinks it, but who cares?

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