The Tasting Panel magazine

February 2014

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18 / the tasting panel / february 2014 UPCOMING T he good news is that the Ninth Annual Pigs & Pinot event is set for March 21–22, where more than 60 wines from Sonoma and around the world will vie for the coveted Pinot Cup. The not-as- good news is that tickets for the very popular charity competition, as well as the tastings and seminars that accompany it, were expected to sell out shortly after they went on sale in the middle of January. Not to worry: THE TASTING PANEL'S own Publisher/Editorial Director Meridith May is one of the judges this year, and she'll provide an insider's account of the proceedings. Chef Charlie Palmer, the major domo of the event, has rounded up a stellar cast of chefs to provide inspiration for the tasting dishes, and one of them, Dustin Valette of Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen at the Hotel Healdsburg, will be feature pig and Pinot pairings throughout the spring. Even though there's a lot of momentum already behind Pigs & Pinot, Palmer invited media guests to visit Mark Pasternak and his wife, Myriam, at their Devil's Gulch Ranch outside Nicasio, CA, in a remote part of Marin County. Devil's Gulch is the sole pork provider for Pigs & Pinot, and their pork and rabbits are served at virtually all of the Bay Area's most dis- tinguished eateries, from Flour + Water to the Fairmont, from The French Laundry to Fifth Floor. Mark gave visitors a behind-the-scenes tour of the ranch and a quick education about raising quality pork. His pigs are a cross between Berkshires and Yorkshires, and they are fed a diet that includes whole milk, spent brewer's grain, organic whole-wheat bread and. . . tortillas. "Corn isn't the best feed," Pasternak said, "and pigs pass along the lavor of what they eat more than any other animal." Pasternak is a back-to-the-earth kind of guy who not only built the ranch house on the property and rebuilt the historic barn twice, but he also raises grapes that are bought by some of the best winemak- ers in Northern California. It'll all come together in Healdsburg next month at Pigs & Pinot. —John Curley Pigs & Pinot CHEF CHARLIE PALMER'S PAEAN TO PORCINE PASSION RETURNS TO HEALDSBURG Pinot Noirs featured at the Pigs & Pinot press preview at Devil's Gulch Ranch. Chef Charlie Palmer and the pork pancetta that was served at the press preview for the Ninth Annual Pigs & Pinot event to be held in Healdsburg next month. PHOTO: JOHN CURLEY PHOTO: JOHN CURLEY PHOTO: JOHN CURLEY e r

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