Wine & Beer Event: Taste of Solvang
Solvang’s annual food and wine and beer destination event, Taste of Solvang, will celebrate its 23rd year in March 2015. The multi-day event line-up will span March 18 through March 22,2015, to include a revamped schedule of offerings geared towards both visitors and locals, encouraging attendees to embark on “…a culinary journey through Solvang, where wine country meets ‘dine country’”.
Organized by the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau, this annual Central Coast California foodie escape draws food and wine lovers with its variety of weekend happenings, featuring something for everyone – from farm-to-table, rustic Italian cuisine, to New American and modern Danish fare, to desserts in all forms, to award-winning beers and world-class wines. Taste of Solvang’s menu of activities is available both à la carte, for those with specific culinary interests, or as weekend “Passports”, including a “VIP” ticket level, for guests who wish to immerse themselves in every palate-pleaser that Taste of Solvang has to offer.
Taste of Solvang 2015 kicks off on Wednesday, March 18, with three Farmers Market Chef Walks led by either Chef Budi Kazali of The Ballard Inn & Restaurant, Chef David Cecchini of Solvang’s Cecco Ristorante, or Chef James Owens of The Bistro at The Hadsten House. Chef Kazali’s Farmers Market Walk will be followed by a gourmet, seated dinner at The Ballard Inn, comprised of that day’s Market haul. Chef Cecchini’s guided Walk will lead to a Farmers Market-fresh, wood-fired pizza making demo and tastings at Cecco Ristorante, also utilizing goods that guests secure at that day’s Market. (Chef Owens’ post-Market dining experience, TBD.)
The edible exploration continues on Friday evening, March 20, with Sips & Sweets, where attendees are invited to join a variety of hand-picked, local wineries, and multiple professional and amateur pastry chefs and bakers, for this bountiful dessert reception and wine tasting event during which guests will have the pleasure of voting for “Best Dessert”. Live music and dancing will accompany the symphony of Sips & Sweets, at this decadent evening showcasing some of Solvang’s best food and drink crafters. (Participating wineries and pastry chefs/bakers TBA.)
Saturday, March 21 brings three different experiences: Taste of Solvang’s “Grand Tasting” Event (aka Walking Smorgaasbord), the start of the two-day Solvang Wine & Beer Walk, and anintimate Winemaker Dinner.
On the March 21 Taste of Solvang Grand Tasting, attendees will snack and shop their way through Solvang as more than 30 businesses welcome Grand Tasting participants with edible, and imbibable, treats. Guests will wander Solvang’s many unique boutiques, tasting rooms and other intriguing merchants, while sampling participating businesses’ delightful delicacies and tasty offerings. As an added bonus, the Hans Christian Andersen Museum and the Wildling Museum will offer free admission for Grand Tasting ticket holders.
On the Saturday and Sunday, March 21 and 22, Taste of Solvang Wine & Beer Walk, guests will taste their pick from more than a dozen participating wine tasting rooms, wine bars and beer bars, during the two-day stroll through Solvang Village. The “Walk” is an ideal way for participants to discover new favorites and sample local, boutique wines and craft beers, as they work up a hunger for more Taste of Solvang happenings. (Guests must be 21 and over to participate in the Wine & Beer Walk.)
On Saturday evening, March 21, a limited number of guests will attend a special Winemaker Dinnerin a greenhouse setting, where they will meet local winemaker and vineyard owner, Michael Larner of Larner Vineyard & Winery, and taste the fruits of his labor at this multi-course sit-down dinner with a carefully-curated pairing menu by Bacon & Brine’s Chef Pink. (Space in this event is extremely limited; advance purchase highly recommended.)
New to this coming year’s Taste of Solvang is the Sunday, March 22 event, Bubbles & Brunch, an exclusive brunch to be held at Solvang’s Wildling Museum. The menu will feature a new twist on some Danish food favorites, blended with the farm-to-table food movement, artfully prepared by Louise Smith of Louise’s Kitchen Table – the 2014 Taste of Solvang Friday night dessert reception winner for “Best Dessert”, in the Professional category.
Bubbles & Brunch guests will also be treated to three different sparkling wines from local label, Flying Goat Cellars’ “Goat Bubbles” – a Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs, and a sparkling Rosé. Flying Goat Cellars Winemaker, Norm Yost, will be on-hand to walk guests through each sparkling wine and the sparkling winemaking process. (Space in this event is extremely limited; advance purchase highly recommended.)
Aside from individual, à la carte Taste of Solvang event tickets, Taste of Solvang 2015 offers three “Passport” ticket packages. The “Taste of Solvang Weekend Passport” ($85.00 per person) includes tickets to Sips & Sweets, the Grand Tasting, and the Wine & Beer Walk. The “Taste of Solvang VIP Brunch Passport” ($150.00 per person) includes tickets and early admission to Sips & Sweets; Grand Tasting tickets; Wine & Beer Walk tickets; and Sunday Bubbles & Brunch tickets. And, the “Taste of Solvang Whole Shebang” package ($245.00 per person) includes tickets and early admission to Sips & Sweets; Grand Tasting tickets; Wine & Beer Walk tickets; Saturday Winemaker Dinner tickets; and Sunday Bubbles & Brunch tickets. All three packages also include a souvenir wine glass, wine charm, Taste of Solvang Map, Visitors Guide, and collectible tote bag.
Tickets for all Taste of Solvang 2015 events are currently available for purchase at www.solvangusa.com/tickets. Further information and updates about Taste of Solvang may be found at www.solvangusa.com/tos, and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at facebook.com/TASTEOFSOLVANG, twitter.com/TasteofSolvang and instagram.com/tasteofsolvang.
Visit Event Website: www.solvangusa.com/tos