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October 25-31, 2006

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Un-stuffy Noir

By Brett Ascarelli

Sidestepping all the hype from that movie, Pinot Noir's resurgence is actually quite deserved. Unlike the Godfather-like commitment that Cabernet Sauvignon requires, drinking Pinot is like watching a light-hearted caper with a subplot. It's refreshing, but red; it's light, but spicy. To bathe gourmets in this jaunty sensation, the second annual Pinot on the River festival gathers fans Oct. 26-29 for a celebration in the Russian River Valley, the heart of Pinot country. High rollers can fork out $625 to attend almost all of the events, from a gala winemaker dinner and winery field trips, to blind and vertical tasting seminars and a buffet lunch, and the list goes on. For $59, Pinot-loving peons can just attend Sunday's Artisanal Pinot Noir Grand Tasting event from noon to 4pm. It features wines from over 75 Pinot producers, along with gourmet samples concocted by local chefs. The long, lush-ious weekend rages red from Thursday, Oct. 26, through Sunday, Oct. 29, at the Vintners Inn/John Ash & Co. Culinary Center, 4350 Barnes Road, Santa Rosa. For full schedule, call 707.922.1096 or visit . . .

As Thanksgiving draws nigh, 1350 KSRO radio throws a little healthy, American competition our way. The radio station's 20th annual Good Food Hour Recipe Contest will be sifting through your stuffing recipes, looking not only for traditional standouts, but also for those with "real personalities, and even family histories." Entries must be received by Wednesday, Nov. 1 (mail those un-stuffy, stuffing gems to NEWSTALK 1350 KSRO Stuffing Contest, P.O. Box 2158, Santa Rosa, CA 95405; fax them to 707.571.1097; or e-mail them to [email protected]). Five finalists will meet for the taste-off (Saturday, Nov. 4, at G&G Supermarket, 1211 West College Ave., Santa Rosa; 11am-noon), which will travel the airwaves during the Good Food Hour. Judging the contest are co-hosts Chef John Ash and Steve Garner, along with a panel of others. Prizes include $250 cash, cooking classes, cookbooks, wine and gifts.

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