Although there are plenty of other months that last 31 days, for some reason January feels like the longest. Perhaps it’s the cold weather and dark days that make it drag on. Or maybe it’s the unavoidable pressure to detox, eat vegan, and exercise. To ensure that you don’t get a bad case of the winter blues, we recommend getting out of the house and partaking in one of the following fantastic activities. From a truffle-filled weekend to a special dinner on a luxuriously restored train, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the good life this January in the beautiful Bay Area.
On Monday, January 9, Telefèric Barcelona is hosting an exclusive dinner event that showcases Ferrer Family Wines. With deep roots in the Penes region of Spain, the Spanish winemaking family goes back 18 generations and 150 years. If you’re a fan of Spanish cuisine, you won’t want to miss this dinner. Ferrer Family produces everything from Albariño to Tempranillo and six wines will be poured on Monday night at the Walnut Creek restaurant. Of course, chefs Oscar Cabezas and Rodrigo Rubio will be whipping up six delicious courses to pair with the wine.
The 7th annual Napa Truffle Festival takes place January 13-16. Hosted by the American Truffle Company, the weekend-long event is filled with activities. Learn how dogs are trained to sniff out truffles, foray for wild mushrooms, or partake in a winey lunch with cooking demo. The culmination of the weekend is a truffle and wine dinner at chef Ken Frank’s Michelin-starred restaurant La Toque.
That same weekend in Healdsburg, the Wine Road, an association of wineries and lodgings in the Northern part of Sonoma County, will hold its 25th annual Winter Wineland. On Saturday, January 14 and Sunday, January 15 wine lovers will be able to taste vintages, varietals,a and verticals at participating wineries. This theme will allow attendees to sip older wines, three to four types of the same wine, or a different vintages (2012, 2013, 2014) of the same wine. The list of participating wineries is very long and includes some of our favorites—Simi, Medlock Ames, Francis Ford Coppola, and Balletto Vineyards.
Up in Mendocino, the county is throwing their 18th annual Crab, Wine, and Beer Festival from January 20-29. The event offers visitors the opportunity to experience crab-themed dinners, crab and wine pairings, and adventurous sea excursions. Enjoy a crab cippiono dinner, sample crab cakes at a crab cake competition, and learn how to barrel taste wine.
From January 25-29, chef Benjamin Balesteri will serve a classic Northern Italian winter meal known as Bollito Misto at Poggio Trattoria in Sausalito. The dish consists of various cuts of meat that are slowly simmered in a rich broth and served with a selection of homemade sauces like horseradish creme fraiche and bone marrow butter. Chef Balesteri is the only chef in the Bay Area who serves Bollito Misto with a carello, a special cart imported from Italy that allows him to serve the meat table side on heated plates.
Foie gras fans should make a reservation at the Restaurant at Wente Vineyards on Thursday, January 26. For one night only, chef Mike Ward is serving a special four-course menu in which each dish features Hudson Valley foie gras. Sommelier Jorge Tinoco will select and pour the wine pairings.
The Napa Valley Wine Train is partnering with Grgich Hills Estate for an event on Saturday, January 28. Ivo Jeramaz, the vice president of vineyards and production at Grgich Hills will be on board the train to interact with guests while they indulge in a five-course gourmet dinner. The event is a part of the Private Reserve Train’s lineup of winemaker dinners.