Guests at the Kosta Browne dinner with a menu by SingleThread relax amid a table laden with fall leaves and appetizers served on platters of wood decorated with moss.
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The winery’s barrel room makes for an unusual setting.
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Dishes included Aleutian king crab with persimmon, tosazu and koginut squash served with Kosta Browne Cerise Vineyard chardonnay, Anderson Valley 2016 and, later, rib of American wagyu with coal-roasted beets, turnip greens, puffed black rice and kanpyo with two Kosta Browne 4-Barrel pinot noirs.
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The opportunity to indulge in Kosta Browne’s iconic pinot noirs and crisp chardonnays often comes only after years of anticipation on an epic waitlist. Now, the Sebastopol winemaker’s new Chefs of the West dinner series provides a fast track for members who want to experience its finest reserves paired with ultrainnovative cuisine. Becoming a member is a minor online detail (kostabrowne.com/signup). Once that’s finished, await your invitation to an evening with 60 like-minded connoisseurs in the soaring fermentation hall, where winemaker Nico Cueva will uncork rare library selections; wines from the new Observations series; and, perhaps, a bottle or two of the winery’s 4-Barrel Pinot Noir, for which the allocation wait is normally 12 years.
“These dinners are not just about what is on the plate or in the glass,” explains Cueva. “With our chef-partners, these gatherings provide an opportunity to discuss what is happening in fields and the vineyards, and the farming and fishing practices, in search of what is elemental in our food and drink.” The inaugural event in November, which featured six farm-to-table courses from Healdsburg’s SingleThread, a two-Michelin-starred restaurant, sold out in 24 hours. Thankfully, more are planned. Meticulously conceived with chefs who share Kosta Browne’s obsession with local sourcing and sustainability, the series continues Jan. 25 with a Shore to Shore feast from chef Mike Lofaro of Maui’s Humuhumunukunukuapua`a at the Grand Wailea (or just “Humuhumu”to those in the know).
This first dinner of the new year will take its cues from the Russian River Valley. “The meal will be inspired by what is happening at the moment in the fields and vineyards—you can’t force a vision on the food,” says Lofaro, whose Eat Your Invasives program turns Maui’s invasive flora and fauna into culinary art and a satisfying meal. In May, Kosta Browne will welcome Christopher Kostow, chef at The Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena, with three Michelin stars. And for those who favor staying overnight rather than driving back to Silicon Valley at night’s end, select dinners will feature three-day packages with additional tastings and lodging.Dinner tickets $850- $1,500 per person, packages $8,000-$12,000 per couple, 707.823.7430
Originally published in the January/February issue of Silicon Valley