For the third year running now, wine country has been putting on an event called Flavor! Napa Valley, featuring five days of festivities hosted and attended by renowned chefs and food or wine industry moguls. While the event will bring in attendees from far and wide to sample the rich world-class wines, organizers keep the occasion
exclusive to wine snobs tightly knit by only allowing a very limited number of tickets sold for each event. Plus, chefs and restaurateurs themselves can only participate if they have either graduated from the Culinary Institute of America or own a restaurant in Napa.
While nearly all of the hotels and resorts in the area are offering some kind of package in conjunction with Flavor!, we recently caught wind of what the Harvest Inn has put together; the property is quite close to the Culinary Institute of America, where many of the events will be located. Rates will start at $1,700 per couple for two nights and are inclusive of a King Vineyard room, breakfast both mornings, a bottle of wine (a Napa vintage naturally) and a set of tickets to two events. More on that in second.
This year, over 50 chefs and wine experts will be in attendance at Flavor!, including Todd English, Michael Chiarello, Peter and Margrit Mondavi, Masaharu Morimoto and one of our favorite Master Sommeliers: Andrea Robinson. If you have any wine or food-loving bone in your body (and really who doesn't?) you’re gonna want to secure some tix (like now before less qualified winos snatch them) to events like Wine Lover’s Boot Camp, Culinary Modernism, Interactive Lunch with Todd English, A Tasting to Honor the Life of Robert Mondavi.
Now, if you happen to book the Harvest Inn package we mentioned earlier, tickets will already be included for the special Welcome Dinner at Silverado Resort & Spa on November 21st. The evening will feature a five-course menu prepared by a well-known chef (Todd English or Larry Forgione have been rumored) and of course wine pairings are included.
The second set of tickets included in the package will secure access to Appellation Trail: Tasting Napa Valley on November 22nd, an affair being touted as the “grandest” of Grand Tastings. Happening at the CIA (that’s Culinary Institute of America for those not in-the-know), this gathering is a night of bites and sips, with 25 restaurants offering amuse bouches and 100 wineries from each of Napa’s 16 sub-appellations offering tastings. Note: if you plan on taking full advantage here, you might want to invest in some Advil, we’re just sayin’.
We are told many of the events surrounding Flavor! are small and quite intimate, giving aficionados a chance to actually hang out with some of these culinary heavyweights (eat your heart out Aspen Food & Wine). So if you think you can hang with the best of ‘em, bring on the complicated wine talk, flavor profiles and such… just try not to sound like a douche when you do, please. We’re pretty sure even in these circles it’s frowned upon.
[Photos: Flavor! Napa Valley]