January 2019 – Celebrate the New Year All Month

January 2019
January 2019 has started out with a bang. The fun continues throughout the month. There are many fun things happening throughout California that are sure to be loads of fun.

Attend special wine tastings and dinners, discover unique artwork, participate in a Champagne seminar, enjoy live music, go crab fishing, and more!

Make reservations soon as many of these events do sell out.

Top Ten Wine Events for January 2019

January 16: Bubbles for Every Occasion – Napa
Champagne Sparkling WineAttend a wine tasting class at the CIA at Copia where you explore sparkling wines from around the world. Taste the differences between Champagne and other wines made in the same style. Discover your favorites as you explore sparkling wines in a variety of price ranges.

The CIA at Copia is a branch campus of the Culinary Institute of America. Located in the Napa Valley, it’s the place to go for cooking classes, wine and beverage explorations, chef demonstrations, and wine tasting classes. Check out their schedule for a full list of upcoming events!

ZinfandelJanuary 17-19: Zinfandel Experience – San Francisco
If you love Zinfandel, you won’t want to miss this annual event. Imagine three days devoted entirely to Zinfandel. A variety of options are available including seminars, special dinners, auctions, and wine tastings. This is your chance to taste a wide variety of Zinfandel and experience delicious food in beautiful San Francisco.

January 17-20 Big Sur Foragers Festival – Carmel


Attention all mushroom lovers! If you love mushrooms (or want to know more about them), this is the event you don’t want to miss.

This annual event benefits local healthcare services in the Big Sur area and focus on mushrooms. Plans for this January 2019 event include fund-raising dinners, a special raffle, a Fungus Face Off, Mushroom Walks, and seminars.

crab, beer & wine days
January 18-27: Crab Feast – Mendocino County
Head to beautiful Mendocino County for a ten day celebration of crab. Enjoy crab-themed dinners, crab and wine pairings, whale watching, and crab fishing. Participate in the Crab Cake Cook Off.

Mendocino offers spectacular scenery, world class wineries, uncrowded beaches, and charming towns to explore.

January 19-20: Winter Wineland – Healdsburg
January 2019 Wine EventsTravel from winery to winery tasting wine on Northern Sonoma County’s “WineRoad”. This popular event is in its 27th year. Wineries are in the Healdsburg/Geyserville area.

This is your chance to meet the winemakers, taste limited production wines, new releases or library wines. All participating wineries will highlight a Vintage, Varietal or Vertical tasting for the weekend.

Santa Cruz Mountains
January 19: Santa Cruz Mountains Wine Passport
Passport Days are held quarterly throughout the year at Santa Cruz wineries. January 2019 is a great time to go wine tasting in this beautiful region. Some wineries that are not normally open to the public will open their doors to visitors for passport days.

Special events are planned at participating wineries . Discover the great wine being produced here on the Central Coast! Click here to learn about Santa Cruz wineries.

January 19: Art & Wine With Something More – Placerville
Placerville, CaliforniaEnjoy tastes from 20 local wineries, breweries & distilleries with food from 20 of El Dorado Counties best restaurants & caterers. There’s also a raffle, live and silent auctions, music and the best part …. unique, original art pieces created by our talented artists. The artists are developmentally disabled adults and the proceeds go directly to the artists.

This event takes place in historic Placerville. A fun town to explore! There are many great wineries scattered in and around Placerville.

January 25: Cambria Art and Wine Festival
Enjoy three full days of fun in the charming coastal village of Cambria. The activities are all about art and wine. There’s an art show, silent auction, and demonstrating artists spread throughout the village. Taste delicious wines while enjoying fabulous ocean views. Take a walk along the beach and visit the unique shops.

I always enjoy staying at the Blue Whale Inn when visiting Cambria. It’s right across from Moonstone Beach!

January 26: Uncorked: LA Wine Festival
This is your opportunity to sample over 200 wines in one location. Dance to the music of a live band and a D.J. Gourmet food trucks will be on hand for an evening of fun.

Funds raised will benefit the Rose City Crystals Figure Skating Team of Pasadena. Tip: Use code WINE for $10 off the price of tickets.

January 28-29: Annual Barrel Tasting – Temecula ValleyTour and taste wine at Temecula wineries at this once a year event. Each winery will provide food paired to go with their wines. You can purchase a single day or a two-day ticket. Visit participating wineries that you select and go at your own pace. A great way to explore the Temecula Valley!

Learn more about Temecula wineries!

If you attend any of these January 2019 events, please scroll down and leave a comment. Our visitors really would like to hear about your experiences!

Barndiva – The Place to Dine in Healdsburg

Barndiva - Healdsburg RestaurantBarndiva is the place to dine in Healdsburg. Which is saying a lot about the restaurant. Healdsburg, located in Sonoma County, is known for its many outstanding restaurants. Barndiva’s restaurant, cocktail lounge, and wine bar are truly exceptional. Chef, Mark Hopper, uses fresh local ingredients to create scrumptious seasonally inspired dishes.

From the outside the appearance resembles a rustic barn. However, the inside is an elegant but comfortable ambiance. We decided to dine at this restaurant earlier in the day and could not get reservations. They serve meals as well as drinks at the bar so we snagged seats at the bar.

Barndiva is known for the gourmet field-to-table meals they serve. What we didn’t know was that they are also famous for their artisan drinks. It was fun watching the bartenders create a large variety of spectacular drinks. If you’re looking for a place to enjoy creative and refreshing cocktails, this is the place.

Reservations are definitely recommended. If the weather is nice, ask for a table outside on the back patio. It’s lovely dining under the oak trees. There’s also a small patio in front of the restaurant.

Fillet Mignon - Barndiva
I savored every last bite of the pan seared filet mignon. This was served with an amazing “Loaded” Baked Potato, topped with caramelized onion and bacon. Delicious blue lake green beans accompanied by a tomato vinaigrette finished off the dish.

Chicken - BarndivaMy wife ordered the Crispy Free Range roasted chicken. It was served with sautéed mushrooms and bacon ragout along with egg yolk ravioli. The chicken was cooked to perfection; crispy on the outside, nice and tender on the inside. In fact, the chicken was so tender it was falling off the bone. Everything was bursting with flavor.

Chocolate Dessert - Barndiva
Our meal concluded with a dessert was a chocolate cake topped with chocolate gelato and whipped cream. A delightful end to what was truly a spectacular meal.

Barndiva offers an extensive wine list and we found their prices to be reasonable. Our server was knowledgable about wines and recommended a fabulous bottle to go with our meal. She also suggested nearby wineries to visit the following day.

Next time we visit Healdsburg, Barndiva will be on our list of “Must Do” Restaurants!

Barndiva Contact Information

Address: 231 Center Street, Healdsburg, California 95448
Telephone: (707) 431-0100
Open Wednesday through Sunday.
Lunch: Noon – 2:30 PM
Dinner: Opens at 5:30 PM
Sunday Brunch: Opens at 11:00 AM

Directions Traveling North on Highway 101
1. At exit 503, take ramp right toward Central Healdsburg.
2. Keep straight onto Healdsburg Avenue.
3. Turn right onto Mill Street.
4. Turn left onto Center. Barndiva will be on your left.

Directions Traveling South on Highway 101
1. Exit at Westside Rd toward Guerneville.
2. Turn left onto Westside Road.
3. Turn left onto Center. Barn diva will be on your left.

Park in the parking lot or on the street. Barndiva is just a block or two south of the downtown Healdsburg Plaza.

If you have dined at Barndiva, please share your experience with us in the comment section below. We would love to hear your thoughts.

Healdsburg Guide

This guide to Healdsburg has all the info you need to explore the Healdsburg area. Learn about wineries, places to stay, where to eat, and things to do. Healdsburg is centrally located in the northern part of the Sonoma Wine Country.

Healdsburg Vineyards

The Secret of Cooking with Wine

Cooking with WineThese cooking with wine recipes use wine to enhance and intensify the flavors of the food and help create an unforgettable meal. This is a wonderful ingredient to add flavor to our meals. Cooking food with wine means using it for marinating, in reduction sauces, or as a flavoring.You will find that all types of be used in cooking.

If you try one of our recipes, please come back and leave us a comment. We’d love to hear how it turned out.

Appetizer Recipes

Food and Wine Recipes
Appetizers are often served before the main course of a meal. Cocktail parties and receptions may serve a wide variety of appetizers in the place of a meal. Whatever event you are planning, these hors-d-oeuvres are sure to be a hit! They’re perfect for potlucks and picnics as well.
Click here for the Best Appetizer Recipes:

  • * Stuffed Mushrooms
    * Steak Teriyaki Strips
    * Stuffed Mushrooms (Cheese)
    * Best Tri-Tip Barbecue
    * Sweet & Tangy Meatballs
    * Sautéed Mushrooms

  • Soups and Stews

    Soup recipes
    You’ll love these easy soup recipes. Serve the soup or stew as a first course or make it your main dish. Nothing beats the aromas of home made soup simmering on the stove. Serve with crusty garlic bread, rolls, or freshly baked corn bread for a “feel good” meal.

    Click here for Easy Soup Recipes

  • * Black Bean Soup
    * Cabernet Stew
    * Fishermen’s Copping
    * Fish Soup
    * French Onion Soup
    * Fabulous Lamb Stew
    * Easy Zinfandel Minestrone
    * White Chicken Chili Soup

  • Meats

    Meat Recipes With Wine

    Check out this collection of favorite recipes for beef. Find the best ground beef, steak, pork, and veal recipes from Cheers2Wine.

    Click here for Easy Beef Recipes

  • * Beef Stroganoff
    * Company Pork Chops
    * Extraordinary Hamburger Patties
    * Barbecued Tri Tip
    * Authentic Lasagna Recipe
    * Osso Bucco
    * Zinfandel Manicotti
    * Pork Tenderloin With Merlot Sauce
    * Zinfandel Burgers
    * Gourmet Sloppy Joes
    * Ultimate Spaghetti Sauce
    * Ultimate Meat Loaf

  • Chicken Recipes

    Chicken Recipes With WineFind recipes for the best chicken dishes. They all have wine as an ingredient. Enjoy easy and delicious meals both casual and more elegant. There’s so much you can do with chicken and these recipes prove it. Some of our most requested recipes are in this popular section!

    Click here for Easy Chicken Recipes

  • * Chicken Alfredo
    * Chicken Spaghetti
    * Chicken Breasts With Capers
    * Slow Cooker Chicken
    * Chicken Cacciatore
    * Chicken and Rice
    * Chicken Marsala
    * Easy Chicken Piccata
    * Tasty Turkey Legs
    * Chicken Parmesan

  • Seafood Recipes

    seafoodIt’s easy to follow your doctor’s advice and eat more seafood with these tasty recipes. Cooking with wine creates scrumptious meals that look wonderful, taste great, and are good for you as well.

    Click here for Gourmet Seafood Recipes

  • * Linguini With Clam Sauce
    * Baked Trout
    * Filet of Sole a la Gewürztraminer
    * Shrimp Alfredo Pasta
    * Fisherman’s Copping

  • Dessert Recipes

    dessert recipesEveryone loves dessert. Check out the dessert recipes from Cheers2Wine. These recipes for dessert are favorites that are sure to please. If you love chocolate, this is the place to come!

    Click here to find Recipes for Desserts

  • * Warm Raspberry Muscat Sauce
    * Chocolate Pecan Pie
    * Chocolate Butterfingers
    * Chocolate Covered Strawberries
    * Chocolate Mousse Cake
    * Tuberone Fondue

  • Beverages

    beverage recipes

    In our opinion, you can’t go wrong choosing wine as your beverage. However, sometimes it is fun to drink something else. Check out some of our other favorite beverages.

    Click each link to get the recipe:

  • * Summer Mimosas
  • * The Best Sangria Recipe
  • * Top Ten Most Popular Martini Recipes

  • Sauces & Gravies

    Gravy Boat with Hot gravy
    Try a delicious sauce or gravy.

    Click on each link to get the recipe:

  • * Best Homemade Barbecue Sauce
  • * Giblet Gravy
  • * Cabernet Steak Marinade
  • * White Wine Sauce Recipe

  • Have you tried any of these Cooking With Wine Recipes from Cheers-2-Wine? If you have, we would love to hear how they turned out. Please leave a comment below.

    Valentine Dinner Recipes – Have an Unforgettable Evening

    valentine dinner recipesNot sure what to get him or her for Valentine’s Day? These valentine dinner recipes are perfect for celebrating in style.

    Set the stage by . . .
    * lighting candles
    * chilling your favorite sparkling wine
    * preparing a special meal for two

    Set the mood for romance with these “Must Try” Valentine Dinner recipes: Oysters for Two, Strawberries Dipped in Chocolate, Filet Mignon for Two, and Decadent Creme Brulee.

    Valentine Dinner Recipes for Two

    Oysters for Two

    oystersOysters have long been considered an aphrodisiac. It’s believed they are rich in amino acids that result in an increase in the levels of sex hormones.
    24 unopened fresh oysters
    1/2 cup dry white wine
    1 clove garlic, minced
    seasoned salt to taste
    1/4 cup butter
    1 small onion, chopped
    1 clove garlic, crushed
    1/2 of a (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
    3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
    4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
    4 ounces fontina cheese, shredded
    1/4 cup milk
    freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    2 tablespoons fine bread crumbs
    To Drizzle Over the Top: 4 Tablespoons melted butter 4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

    Instructions for this Valentine Dinners Recipe:
    1. Clean oysters and place in a large pot. Add wine, clove of garlic, seasoned salt and peppercorns. Pour in enough water to cover the oysters. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, drain, and cool.
    2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a pan. Simmer onion and garlic in the butter until they are soft and translucent. Stir in spinach, bacon, and the cheeses. Stir frequently until cheese melts. Add milk. Season with freshly ground pepper to taste.
    3 Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
    4. Remove the top shell from each oyster. Place oysters on a baking sheet.
    5. Spoon mixture over each oyster, just filling the shell. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.
    Bake until golden and bubbly, approximately 8 to 10 minutes.
    6. While baking, melt 4 Tablespoons butter. Add 4 Tablespoons lemon juice. When oysters are done baking drizzle with this butter sauce and serve.

    Filet Mignon for Two

    Filet Mignon for TwoThis delicious sauce is sure to please.
    1/3 cup half-and-half
    2 6-8 oz. filet mignon
    salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    2 tablespoons butter
    1 cup mushrooms, sliced
    1 tablespoon shallots, minced
    1/3 cup beef broth
    1 tablespoon brandy
    1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    1 lemon, cut into wedges
    Italian parsley, chopped

    1. Whisk half-and-half and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside.
    2. Season filets with salt and pepper. Add a tablespoon of the butter to a skillet. Cook filets for approximately 5 minutes on each side. Set aside.
    3. Add another tablespoon of butter to the skillet, mushrooms, and shallots. Simmer until softened. Add beef broth, brandy, and the half-and-half and cornstarch mixture. Simmer until thickened. Remove from heat and add mustard and Worcestershire sauce.
    4. Top filets with sauce. Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley. Serve with a favorite vegetable.

    Strawberries Dipped in Chocolate

    chocolate dipped strawberriesChocolate is often associated with love; making it a necessity for Valentine’s Day. Since chocolate contains serotonin, it creates a a sense of well-being; putting people into a “good” mood.

    1 pound strawberries
    6 ounces semisweet chocolate

    1. Strawberries need to be at room temperature. Wash and dry strawberries. It is important that strawberries are totally dry.
    2. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper.
    3. Melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler or in the microwave.
    4. Hold onto stem of a strawberry. Dip strawberry into the melted chocolate. Swirl to coat all sides of the strawberry. Hold strawberry above melted chocolate. Swirl and shake to remove excess chocolate.
    5. Lay strawberry on the waxed paper. Repeat with all of the strawberries. Keep at room temperature and serve within 8 hours.

    Decadent Creme Brulee

    Decadent Creme Brulee
    1 pint heavy cream
    4 egg yolks
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    4 cups water, approximately
    4-8 teaspoons superfine sugar

    1. Lightly simmer heavy cream in a saucepan for approximate 10 minutes. Stir often and do not let it boil.
    2. In a large bowl mix egg yolks and granulated sugar, and whisk vigorously for 3 to 4 minutes until the mixture is fluffy.
    3. Gradually pour a little of the cream into the eggs and whisk. Continue adding cream a little at a time until it’s all been combined.
    4. Add vanilla bean and salt. Whisk again.
    5. Spray four ramekins with cooking oil. Divide the mixture into the ramekins. Place ramekins inside a 9×13 pan.
    6. Carefully pour hot water into the pan until it is 3/4 of an inch or so from the top of the ramekins. Be careful that water does not flow into the ramekins.
    7. Bake at 300 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes until the the mixture is set. Remove from pan and cool.
    8. Cover and chill in the refrigerator.
    9. When ready to serve, pour 1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar on the top of each ramekin. Use a torch to caramelize the sugar. This will take 2 to 3 minutes for the sugar to turn brown.

    Tip for these Valentine Dinner Recipes: Do Steps 1-8 a day or two in advance so you don’t have lots of last minute preparation. Torch prior to serving for an elegant and decadent dessert. Top with berries if desired.

    Click Here for more Valentine Dinner Recipes.

    Have you dried any of these Valentine Dinner Recipes? If you have, please take a moment to comment below. We would love to hear from you.

    Throw A Wine Tasting Party That Everyone is Talking About

    throw a wine tasting partyHave fun. . . throw a wine tasting party! This step by step guide on how to plan a tasting will guarantee everyone has a fabulous time. You don’t need to be a wine expert. The idea is to relax with friends. Assign each person or couple to bring a bottle of wine. Have them cover the bottle with paper or foil for a blind tasting. Blind tastings add intrigue to the evening. Make the wine tasting a pot luck. Friends will be happy to provide an appetizer, entree, or dessert.

    1. Select a theme.

    Italian Wine Tasting
    A theme will set the mood for conversation. The tasting could focus on sampling one particular varietal of wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, or whatever you decide. If you sample wines from a specific region or country such as Italy or France, the appetizers can also be from that region. Since everyone is always searching for a great everyday wine, you might consider tasting wines under a certain price. There are great wines to be found under $20, $15, or whatever amount you choose.

    wine bargain
    An interesting take on this idea is to buy both bargain wines and more expensive wines. Guests can be challenged to guess which wines are the bargain and which are the more expensive. If your guests are familiar with wine, you could provide different varieties of wine and have them guess which wine is which. Descriptions of each varietal could be provided to assist them.

    2. Things You Will Need to Throw a Wine Tasting Party

    Wine Tasting Steps
    One bottle of wine will serve a 2 ounce taste for up to 12 people. Plan on tasting a total of five or six different wines during the event. It’s overwhelming to sample too many. Serve the wine in clear wine glasses with stems. People should be able to see the wine. Guests should hold the glasses by the stem so that they do not affect the temperature of the wine.

    throw a wine tasting party
    Provide pitchers of water and dump buckets. These can be used to rinse the glasses between wines and some guests may have leftover wine they want to dump. Plain crackers should be available so tasters can cleanse their palate between wines. Print off Wine Scoring Sheets and provide pens for each guests to evaluate the wines.

    3. Feed Your Guests

    Wine Party Food
    It’s a good idea to feed your guests when they first arrive. You don’t want them drinking wine on an empty stomach. Avoid strong flavored foods that will interfere with the flavors of the wine. This means no spicy foods, strong-flavored cheeses, or salty dishes (although they can be served after the tasting of the wines is concluded).

    4. Wine Tasting Details

    Glasses of white, rose, and red wine.
    White wines should be chilled two to three hours in the refrigerator before serving. Red wines can be served at room temperature, but you could put them in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator an hour before serving to open and let them decant.

    Blind Wine TastingNumber wines in the order you want to taste them. White wines should be tasted before red wines. Light wines go before heavy wines and dry wines before sweet wines. However, don’t stress over this. Everyone will be having fun and won’t even notice if the order isn’t perfect.

    Take time to discuss the wines. Ask each guests to share their thoughts. Serve dessert, beverages, or even additional wine for your friends to enjoy after the tasting is over. If your guests don’t all know each other you might want to plan some fun icebreakers to get the party started. Actually, these activities are great even if everyone does know each other.

    Click Here for Fun Ice Breakers for Your Wine Tasting Party

    Your friends will be eager for you to throw a wine tasting party again!