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Wine & Dine

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Steve Muni
3 days ago
Jeri Swift displays some Cooper wines at Amador City’s Downtown Wine last weekend. Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Steve Muni

For someone who enjoys wine and food, Amador County is an amazing place to live. There are exciting things going on all the time. Last weekend was no exception. It started with a Winemaker’s Dinner at the Imperial Hotel on Friday night, featuring the wines of Uphill Vineyards, in Amador City, with a different wine for each course. (Full disclosure — I pour wine for Uphill in their tasting room from time to time.)

This was the first Winemaker’s Dinner I had gone to at the Imperial, and I have to say that they went all out. The...

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Copyright © 2016 Amador Ledger Dispatch
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Via Press Release
3 weeks ago
The strikingly beautiful Romanesque style Preston Castle, on a hill in Ione, was actually the administration building for the Preston School of Industry, the first major attempt in California at rehabilitating, instead of just imprisoning, young offenders. Opened in 1894, the Preston School of Industry became a leader in the juvenile prison reform movement by giving convicted boys a real chance at life by educating them not only in academics, but in all of the useful trades of the time. Closed in 1960, when the Preston Youth... [Read more]
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Caitlyn Schaap
3 weeks ago
Krysta Lewis, left, and Miranda Bermingham enjoy great local wine as they listen to the gypsy violin and guitar music of Giorgi Khokhobashvili and Don Price. The three-hour event drew hundreds of guests to Hanford Courte Park, in Sutter Creek, to taste some of the best local food and wine while raising funds for the Interfaith Food Bank. Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Bill Lavallie

The first-ever Taste of Amador filled Hanford Courte Park Saturday, as hundreds came together to raise funds for the Interfaith Food Bank.

The event featured 35 different food, wine and beer vendors who served bites and sips to the hundreds of event attendees.

The weather was mild, and Hanford Courte was shady and comfortable, with the sounds of gypsy violin and guitar music wafting through the shaded pathways of the venue.

Guests surveyed the raffle prizes, which included signed bottles of wine, a juicer, gift certificate...

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Copyright © 2016 Amador Ledger Dispatch
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Lisa Lucke
08/25/2016 12:28 PM

In a recent column, which I’ve had a fair share of feedback about, I suggested that a winning restaurant formula is this: offer consistently great food at a fair price. Then, try not to mess up the great food with consistently poor service and you’ll be (and stay) in business. I also said, “Don’t be something you’re not.” If you don’t know how to do BBQ, don’t do BBQ. If you don’t have experience in fine dining, and you can’t find a manager who does, don’t do fine dining.

But there’s one more thing to add to the winning formula:...

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Copyright © 2016 Amador Ledger Dispatch
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Via Press Release
08/25/2016 1:15 PM

The Amador Community College Foundation is proud to present its 4th annual gala, Koyou – A Night in Japan’s Red leaves, at the Jackson Rancheria Casino Grand Oak Ballroom on Saturday, November 5, 2016 from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

“Koyou” are to the Japanese autumn what cherry blossoms are to spring. The viewing of autumn leaves has been a quite popular activity in Japan for centuries and today draws large numbers of travelers to famous spots. Themed décor will create the enchantment of Koyou right here in Amador where you can share...

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Jerry Budrick
08/04/2016 3:59 PM
Noceto winemaker Rusty Folena

The highly respected website TheDailyMeal.com has named the 101 top wineries in the U.S. Wineries that made the list are in 14 states, and two of the wineries are in Amador County. Vino Noceto came in at No. 69, while its neighbor, Andis Wines, was very close behind, at No. 72.

“The sheer quantity and variety of good and great wine being made in this country has grown exponentially in recent decades,” said The Daily Meal Editorial Director Colman Andrews. “Wine is now produced in all 50 states, even Hawaii and Alaska (though...

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Steve Muni
08/04/2016 4:07 PM
Wine Tree Farm owner and winemaker Corinne Moore listens to a taster. Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Steve Muni

How do you hold an outdoor wine tasting event when it’s literally 104 degrees outside? Well, if you’re the folks behind the Amador County Fair, you go out and buy a lot of shade cloth and put it up on high poles to block the late afternoon sun. And you bring in ice — lots and lots of ice.

If you’re a winery owner setting up to pour some wine for the paying guests, you dress very lightly, wear a brimmed hat, and keep your wines in a cooler with some ice — even the red wines. Not that you’re serving them cold — by the time you pull...

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Via Press Release
08/04/2016 1:15 PM

The Amador County Fair’s Restaurant Invitational Challenge was a tasty success as four Amador County chefs prepared one-bite seafood appetizers and the public lined up for samples. Chef David Fujimura from Taste, in Plymouth, took home the coveted embroidered chef jacket, as well as the People’s Choice award for his ceviche shot. Chefs competing were Adam Masters, Hotel Sutter; Chuck Swisher, Stanley’s, National Hotel; Ed Tracy, St. George Hotel; and David Fujimura, Taste Restaurant.

“The response was tremendous, and we are...

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Caitlyn Schaap
08/04/2016 1:02 PM
The Taste of Amador is drawing nearer, as some of Amador County’s best restaurants, wineries and breweries prepare to share delicious bites and sips with attendees. Cuisine from some of Amador’s newest restaurants will be available for tasting, including offerings from Ahi, the new Mexican restaurant in Sutter Creek, and Choc-O-Latte, Sutter Creek’s newest coffee shop. There will also be tasty offerings from local favorites like Gold Dust Pizza (formerly Pizza Plus), Jamba Juice, Kneading Dough Bakery, El Torero, Hotel Sutter and... [Read more]
Copyright © 2016 Amador Ledger Dispatch
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Eric Winslow
07/21/2016 11:51 AM

A hearty, seasonal, stew, served chilled, which perfectly complements any mid-life repast

(Serves Billions)

Ingredients:

1 human brain (severed from any connection with a human heart)

210 lbs. of desire, fear and ignorance

3 cups of the past

2 cups of the future

1 1/2 heaping tablespoons of chopped "if-onlys"

1 cup of sliced "when's" and "maybe's"

Pre-heat oven to a temperature of 98.5 degrees. Bake the brain, smothered in a morass of desire, fear, and ignorance, for about 50 years.

While the brain is baking, take...

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Caitlyn Schaap
07/14/2016 12:29 PM
Don’t miss the Knight Rider Car Show this Saturday, July 16 at St. Katharine Drexel Parish Center. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
Sierra Repertory Theatre presents Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “State Fair” June 17 to August 7 at The Fallon House Theatre in Columbia. Against the colorful backdrop of an American heartland tradition, “State Fair” travels with the Frake family as they leave the routine of the farm for three days of adventure at the annual Iowa State Fair. Set to the magical strains of an Oscar-winning score, including “It Might as Well Be Spring,” “It’s a Grand Night for Singing” and the title song, “State Fair” is the kind of warm-hearted family... [Read more]
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Caitlyn Schaap
07/14/2016 12:17 PM
Tickets for the Taste of Amador go on sale today, Friday, July 15. This summer food and drink event is hosted by the Amador Ledger Dispatch, in partnership with Cost Less Foods and Hanford Courte Park, to benefit the Interfaith Food Bank. The event, scheduled for August 27 at Hanford Courte in Sutter Creek, will showcase the best our community has to offer, with local wine tasting and delicious food sampling. Spread throughout the lush gardens of Hanford Courte will be stops for sips and bites from some of Amador County’s best... [Read more]
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Via Press Release
07/07/2016 12:22 PM

Winemaker Tom Jones recently launched his new winery called Iron Hub reflecting a new chapter in his 30-year career as an award-winning winemaker. Nestled on a hilltop with a beautiful view in Shenandoah Valley, Iron Hub Winery was previously the Amador Foothill Winery site from 1980 through 2015.

Acknowledged for handcrafting premium white and red wines, Jones has earned wide acclaim as a winemaker known for a bold and elegant style in his wines. Tom employs a handcrafted vineyard-to-bottle winemaking approach, resulting in...

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Via Press Release
07/07/2016 12:32 PM
MSTW's "The Explorers Club" runs through July 23. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
Sierra Repertory Theatre presents Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “State Fair” June 17 to August 7 at The Fallon House Theatre in Columbia. Against the colorful backdrop of an American heartland tradition, “State Fair” travels with the Frake family as they leave the routine of the farm for three days of adventure at the annual Iowa State Fair. Set to the magical strains of an Oscar-winning score, including “It Might as Well Be Spring,” “It’s a Grand Night for Singing” and the title song, “State Fair” is the kind of warm-hearted family... [Read more]
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Via Press Release
06/30/2016 1:10 PM
Take three brothers, a confused wife, an efficient adoption agent, one nosey cop and an illegal Croatian couple who can’t speak English, stir well ... come and see this hilarious, fast-paced farce and be prepared to laugh ’til your sides hurt. “Tom, Dick & Harry” will be presented by Volcano Theatre Company in the Volcano Amphitheatre through July 9, Friday and Saturday nights. Doors open at 6:30 for picnicking and curtain is at 8 p.m. General admission is $18. Seniors 62 and older are $16 and students 18 and under are $14. The show... [Read more]
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Via Press Release
06/30/2016 1:01 PM
Amador Farmers Market is going to have a busy and fun summer with several upcoming events. The first event, July 6, is a coloring contest, in Pine Grove, for children in age groups 4 to 7 and 8 to 14. Prizes will be awarded in both age categories. First prize is a children’s yoga class, from Amador Yoga, in Jackson, and second prize is a gift certificate to Munnerlyn’s Ice Cream, in Pine Grove. Drop off your children’s completed coloring sheets, which you can find either at Amador Yoga, Munnerlyn’s Ice Cream, or at the Pine... [Read more]
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Via Press Release
06/30/2016 12:56 PM

All are welcome to attend the Foothill Conservancy’s annual fundraising dinner, Saturday, July 9, at the Pickle Patch in San Andreas, a Calaveras County favorite. Festivities begin at 4 p.m., with dinner at 5 p.m. This year’s menu includes succulent chicken in a barrel, spinach pesto, roasted vegetables and cool summer salads. Terre Rouge and Easton Wines are providing wine, and Lagunitas craft beers will also be available.

The Wicked Sisters are this year’s musical guests. Named for their feisty and edgy side, the Wicked Sisters...

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Donna Kelley
06/23/2016 12:28 PM

Last Friday evening, many fortunate local individuals, including myself, were wined and dined in a beautiful, green-garden setting in Shenandoah Valley while celebrating the summer solstice.

Mother Lode Harvest, a non-profit organization supporting local farmers who provide a healthier growing environment for their produce, held its first-ever ‘Farm to Fork’ dinner – and what a spectacular dinner it was!

One of the goals of Mother Lode Harvest is to bring us closer to and introduce us to our local farms and farmers, so that we...

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Via Press Release
06/23/2016 12:39 PM
The Upcountry Rotary Club and the Amador Farmers Market have joined together to co-create a family night on the last Wednesday of each month, June through September. This event will be held in the Pine Grove Park at the same time the Pine Grove Farmers Market is being held, Wednesdays, 4 to 7 p.m. There will be food, wine, beer and sodas available for purchase and great local music provided by the Farmers Market. The Pine Grove park has climbing structures and slides for the children to play on while parents are enjoying an evening... [Read more]
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Jerry Budrick
06/23/2016 12:21 PM
Stuart Spencer, of St. Amant Winery, inspects some grapes. Photo courtesy of lodiwine.com
At the California State Fair Wine Competition, a wine made from grapes grown in Amador County was named “Best of Show,” which means it was chosen as the very best of thousands of California wines. St. Amant Winery, whose winemaking facilities are in Lodi, grows grapes on family property in Jackson Valley. St. Amant’s 2014 “The Road Less Travelled” Tempranillo was awarded a Double Gold by the State Fair judges, earned 98 out of 100 possible points, and was ultimately crowned Best of Show Red, Best of Region Red and Best of Class of... [Read more]
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