The pursuit of perfect wine and food pairing will be explored at Flavor! Napa Valley, November 17-20, under the guidance of master wine minds and palates that include Karen MacNeil, author of the award-winning “The Wine Bible”; Andrea Robinson, Master Sommelier and author of the top-selling “Everyday Dining with Wine”; Fred Dame, President of the Guild of Sommeliers; and Ray Isle, FOOD & WINE Executive Wine Editor; along with a host of world-renown chefs and artisan food purveyors.

From the opening “Welcome Dinner” at Silverado Resort and Spa featuring Ellen Flora, an expert on the concept of terroir and an educator on wine, food and art at Domaine Chandon, attendees will pick up indispensible tips and insight from many of the world’s most renowned experts on choosing that perfect varietal and vintage with your meal. Michael Chiarello of Chiarello Family Vineyards will speak on “Wine from a Chef’s Perspective,” and David Funaro, Senior Chef Chocolatier at Godiva, joins Karen MacNeil for “A Hedonist’s Ultimate Tasting,” exploring everyone’s favorite pairing – wine and chocolate.

The fun continues over the course of the weekend, with nearly twenty different demonstrations, tastings, pairings and dining experiences that will allow wine experts and chefs to express the basics of wine and food pairing by exploring the components of wine, including weight or body, acidity, residual sugar, tannin, and alcohol, and how those characteristics are used to complement or contrast the sweet, sour, bitter, savory and salty components found in foods. And, ultimately, discovering how environment is also an important factor in the wine and food pairing experience.

“There are no set rules by which wine and food pairing happen,” stated Karen MacNeil, creator and chairman of the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. “I say it’s wine, food and mood! It’s how you feel, the environment, all conspiring to create something that is delicious to all your senses.”

Napa Valley favorite, Chef Bob Hurley of Hurley’s Restaurant in Yountville, will participate in the ultimate food and wine pairing event, The Appellation Trail: Tasting Napa Valley, held at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena.  Over 100 wineries from the Napa Valley have been carefully selected and paired with over two-dozen of Napa Valley’s best restaurants, combining the Valley’s unique microclimates and sub-appellations, along with the farm-to-table cuisine of the region. The Appellation Trail showcases how the Napa Valley’s vintners and chefs work in harmony to create magical culinary marriages.  Hurley notes, “…taste the wine, taste the food, and see what you think. It’s all a matter of balance and how balance is represented to your palate – only you can make that determination. It’s what pleases you and tastes good to you.”

During four days of events, master sommeliers and wine experts will take tasters through some of the Valley’s most iconic wines, and a “curated” wine dinner with many of the Napa Valley’s most prominent winemakers will guide guests through the exquisite food pairings at the “Dinner with the Napa Valley Winemakers” held at Silverado Resort and Spa.

Flavor! Napa Valley™ is scheduled for November 17-20. Individual event tickets range from $95 To $250, with most events ticketed at the $95 level. A special “Napa Valley Lover” ticket package is also available at $475, which includes entry into many of the events during the four-day festival, and special Flavor! Napa Valley™ room packages are available at many of the finest Napa Valley hotels and inns.

Tickets for many of the up-close and personal culinary classes and demonstrations are limited, and are available through the Flavor! Napa Valley™ website at www.flavornapavalley.com. For more information on tickets, along with the complete Flavor! Napa Valley™ event schedule, including information on extending your stay in order to experience all that the legendary Napa Valley has to offer, please visit www.flavornapavalley.com, facebook at http://www.facebook.com/FlavorNapaValley, and follow @FlavorNV on Twitter.

Click here to view and download HD Flavor! Napa Valley™ Food & Wine Pairing video, b-roll, and recipe and hi-res photo of Silverado Resort and Spa Chef Jeffery Jake’s Spice-dusted Scallops.

About Flavor! Napa Valley

The 2011 inaugural four-day Flavor! Napa Valley™ Celebration of Wine, Food & Fun is an annual event that features world-class Napa Valley wines alongside regional chefs and/or graduates of The Culinary Institute of America’s culinary education programs. Net proceeds from the event support programs and scholarships at the CIA’s Greystone Campus in St. Helena. The event is hosted by founding sponsors Silverado Resort and Spa and Dolce Hotels in partnership with the Napa Valley Destination Council, The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, and the Napa Valley Vintners, and is produced by Karlitz & Company.  For more information on visiting the Napa Valley, please go to www.legendarynapavalley.com.



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