2013 Grand Tasting is SOLD OUT

Posted on by Greg O'Byrne

BoardSFWC2011No more tickets remain to our 23rd Annual Grand Tasting on Saturday September 28th at the Santa Fe Opera. Each year we sell only 2500 tickets to our showcase event. It has sold out in each of our previous 22 years. With 75 of Santa Fe’s top restaurants serving sumptuous tastes alongside 100 wineries pouring their best wines, it’s the most fun you can have with a wine glass! Don’t miss out. Come join the show!


SOMM – New Mexico premiere of film at CCA 9/25/2013

Posted on by Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta

sommSanta Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta and Champagne Ruinart Present
The New Mexico Premiere Of:

10:30pm Wednesday 9/25
A one-time event at CCA cinematheque

If you dream of becoming a
sommelier, or just have a love of
wine, this movie is a MUST-SEE.”
Mary Orlin — The Huffington Post

Four men will do anything to pass the most difficult test you’ve never heard of: the massively
intimidating Master Sommelier Exam. The Court of Master Sommeliers is one of the world’s most prestigious, secretive, and exclusive organizations, with just 200 inductees over the past 40 years. All are experts in every nuance of wine, spirits and cigars, and passage means the ultimate dedication. Jason Wise unveils the secrets of a society that has never before allowed cameras. Free popcorn and an introduction by Master Sommeliers.
(U.S., 93m, 2013).

Master Sommeliers Emily Wines, Melissa Monosoff, Tim Gaiser and Joe Spellman will introduce the movie with Champagne Ruinart and truffled popcorn. You won’t want to miss this exclusive premiere. A perfect way to wind down after your Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta winery dinner.

Tickets $20
Reservations Highly Recommended
Call CCA at 505-982-1338 or buy tickets at ccasantafe.org

2013 Grand Tasting Tent Map PDF

Posted on by Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta

2013 Grand Tasting Tent Map (500 KB PDF)

2013 Live Auction Lots Guide PDF

Posted on by Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta

2013 Live Auction Lots Guide (200 KB PDF)

Ticket Sales Open July 5th

Posted on by Greg O'Byrne

Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta is pleased to announce their 2013 schedule of events, featuring an amazing 5 days of food and wine events highlighting the culinary arts of Santa Fe. Tickets go on sale July 5th at 9:00am Mountain Time.The 2012 SFWC Fiesta

The 23rd edition of the SFWC Fiesta features 75 great Santa Fe restaurants and 100 world class wineries partnering in 5 guest chef luncheons, 6 cooking demosat the Santa Fe School of Cooking, 8 wine and food pairing seminars at La Fonda Hotel, 40 nightly wine dinners, the Reserve Tasting, the Gruet Golf Classic and the piece de resistance, the Grand Tasting on Saturday afternoon September 28th at the Santa Fe Opera.

Visiting guests chefs hosting luncheons and cooking demos this year include Matthew Accarrino of the immensely popular Michelan one-star restaurant SPQR in San Francisco, David Tanis chef and New York Times “City Kitchen” weekly columnist, Bruce Aidells founder of Aidells Sausage Company, Susana Trilling chef and owner of the Mexican cooking school Seasons of my Heart in Oaxaca, Laura Werlin cheese authority and author and Katherine Clapner pastry chef and owner of Dude Sweet Chocolate.

No less than 4 guest Master Sommeliers will host the 8 wine seminars. Longtime supporters and introducers of SFWC events Joe Spellman and Tim Gaiser are joined by Master Sommeliers Emily Wines and Melissa Monosoff. Georg Riedel returns to SFWC to host a tasting in honor of his 40th Anniversary of the Riedel Sommeliers glass. Seth Box from Moet Hennessy leads a tasting of older vintages of Champagne Krug, Dom Perignon and Veuve Clicquot. Owner of SPQR and A16 in San Francisco, Shelley Lindgren joins the team and takes guests on a tantalizing Giro d’Italia tasting of wines from 6 of Italy’s wine regions.

Local chefs partnering with the visiting chefs and hosting luncheons include Mark Kiffin of the Compound Restaurant, Eric diStefano of Coyote Cafe, Louis Moskow of 315 Restaurant and Wine Bar, Tom Kerpon of Tanti Luce 221, Charles Dale of Bouche Bistro, Juan Bochenski of the Anasazi and Fernando Olea. Great Santa Fe chefs hosting cooking demonstrations include James Campbell Caruso of La Boca, Martin Rios of Restaurant Martin, Erin Wade of Vinaigrette, Patrick Garrity of La Casa Sena and Matt Yohalem of Il Piatto.

Chefs Kiffin, Aidells, Accarinno, Clapner and Tony Smith of Eldorado Hotel parter on Friday September 27th at the Live Auction Luncheon presented by LANB where this year’s Honorary Winery of the Year, Plumpjack, with be honored. This year’s Champagne of the Year, Ruinart, will host the auction preview. Five courses from five guest chefs paired with Champagne Ruinart and four Plumpjack wines will be one of the events you won’t want to miss. Proceeds from the auction will benefit Santa Fe’s Cooking with Kids.

The skies are never bluer, the wines never better and Santa Fe’s culinary arts collectively shine never brighter so plan on joining us the last weekend of September for the 23rd Annual Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta!

James Beard Foundation Awards Semi-Finalists

Posted on by Greg O'Byrne

The semi-finalists for this year’s James Beard Foundation culinary awards — known as the Oscars of the food world — have been announced. Three Santa Fe Chefs are notably on the short lists for top honors in their respective categories._MG_2757-5x7james campbell jpeg

Each year, the James Beard Foundation awards recognize the country’s best chefs with regional Best Chef awards. In the Best Chef of the Southwest award, both Martín Rios of Santa Fe’s Restaurant Martín and James Campbell Caruso of Santa Fe’s La Boca have been nominated. Rios says, “I am honored and excited to be a semi-finalist for a James Beard award for the fourth year in a row.  Maybe this will be my year to bring one of these most prestigious awards home to Santa Fe and New Mexico!”KiffinSFWC2012

The 2005 James Beard Best Chef of the Southwest, Mark Kiffin, Chef/Owner of Santa Fe’s The Compound Restaurant, has his Zacatecas restaurant in Albuquerque nominated for Best New Restaurant of the Year. Also, Kiffin’s Compound Restaurant has been nominated for this year’s James Beard Outstanding Service award.  The Compound Restaurant joins an illustrious list of nominees in this category including Del Posto in NYC, Michael Mina in San Francisco, Quince in San Francisco, The Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena and Topolobampo in Chicago.

One of Beard’s annual top honors is the Outstanding Chef award, recognizing the country’s top chef. Six of the 20 nominees in this year’s category are SFWC Fiesta guest chef alumni: Suzanne Goin of Lucques West Hollywood, Paul Kahan of Blackbird in Chicago, Stephan Pyles of Stephan Pyles Restaurant in Dallas, Julian Serrano of Picasso in Las Vegas, Nancy Silverton of Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles and Michael Tusk of Quince in San Francisco.

The finalists for the James Beard Foundation awards will be announced at the annual gala event in New York on May 6th.

1995 Bordeaux Versus Napa Tasting

Posted on by Greg O'Byrne

The 1995 growing season was superlative for Cabernet Sauvignon production both in Bordeaux and the Napa Valley. With ripeness being a primary winemaking decision the past few decades, it has been increasingly harder to differentiate the best wines from these two leading wine regions. Six of the best 1995 Cabernet-based wines from each region were pitted against one another in a Bordeaux versus Napa tasting held this winter in Santa Fe.

95WinesThe impetus for the tasting was a 2011 Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta Live Auction Wine Lot, purchased by Carl and Marilyn Thoma of Van Duzer Vineyards and their friends. The tasting took place at the Thoma’s Santa Fe home with 8 guests taking part. Proceeds from the $12,500 auction lot went to Santa Fe’s public school program, Cooking with Kids.

Read More…

Santa Fe School of Cooking Wine Classes

Posted on by Greg O'Byrne

SFWC Fiesta Executive Director, Greg O’Byrne, and marketing event partner Santa Fe School of Cooking, have joined forces and have launched a series of wine OByrne2012classes. O’Byrne’s first class, Wine 101, is Wednesday January 23rd from 5:30 to 7:00pm at the Santa Fe School of Cooking.

In 1985, after graduating from UC Berkeley with a BA in Computer Science, during a year of increasingly longer lunches while working in Paris as a software engineer, O’Byrne heard (or rather, tasted) the siren’s call and headed down the path of wine and food and never looked back.

A steady presence in the Santa Fe restaurant since arriving in 1987 from San Francisco, O’Byrne has been the Executive Director of the Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta since 1994, a job he started while managing the Coyote Café.

A Certified Sommelier, O’Byrne started his career as a wine instructor at Coyote Café where he annually taught a 10-week wine course to the wait staff and managers. As organizer of the SFWC Fiesta and the Annual Taos Winter Wine Festival, O’Byrne has created and organized hundreds of wine seminars, focusing on fun and informative ways to approach wine.

A passionate home cook, O’Byrne helped start the Santa Fe Slow Food chapter in 2001. He also started the Chaine des Rotisseurs Santa Fe food and wine society in 1995 and served as the Bailli from 1996 to 1999. The wine columnist for the Santa Fe New Mexican for 12 years, O’Byrne has also published in Wine Spectator and Decanter Magazine.

O’Byrne believes in wine with food every night and lives by the motto, It’s not what you drink, but who you drink it with that counts.

Thank you for a great 2012!

Posted on by netman

BoardSFWC2011Dear Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta Attendee,

On behalf of 75 Great Santa Fe restaurants and 100 world-class wineries, thanks for attending our food and wine event the last weekend of September! It is you that makes our event such a success.
We hope to see you next year, September 25th thru 29th, 2013.
Viva la Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta!

2012 Honorary Winery of the Year Award

Posted on by Greg O'Byrne

Ridge CaliforniaThe Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta is pleased to announce that Paul Draper, CEO/Winemaker at Ridge Vineyards, will attend the 2012 event to receive SFWC Fiesta’s Honorary Winery of the Year Award. An internationally celebrated winemaker, Draper has been making wines for Ridge Vineyards since 1969.

Best know in North America for their long-lived zinfandels, particularly single- vineyard Sonoma old vine zinfandels such as Ridge Lytton Springs and Ridge Geyserville, Draper is best know internationally for making Ridge Monte Bello Cabernet, one of the world’s top Bordeaux blends.

Ridge Monte Bello 1971 finished fifth in the famous 1976 Judgment of Paris, a blind tasting of 4 of Bordeaux’s top wines against 6 California Cabernets. To everyone’s surprise, the best taster’s in France rated a California wine over the top Bordeaux wines. The response of the French judges was that California wines would not age and that if the same wines were tasted in 30 years the French wines would win.

So, thirty years later, in 2006, Steven Spurrier, the Englishman who set up the original tasting, set up the tasting again, this time with simultaneous tastings in London and in Napa. Paralleling the 1976 event, nine expert tasters at each location judged the original red wines. The winning wine in both the US and UK was the Ridge Monte Bello 1971. In the combined results, it finished eighteen points ahead of the second-place wine. This was quite an honor for Ridge, especially given the prestige of the tasters, including Michael Broadbent, Hugh Johnson, Jancis Robinson, and Michel Bettane.

To see more on this tasting, see the New York Times post at  http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2006/06/02/judgment-schmudgment

 Results 2006
137 Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello 1971 

119 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 1973 

112 Mayacamas Vineyards 1971

112 Heitz ‘Martha’s Vineyard’ 1970

106 Clos Du Val Winery 1972 

105 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild 1970 

92 Chateau Montrose 1970 

82 Chateau Haut-Brion 1970 

66 Chateau Leoville Las Cases 1971 

59 Freemark Abbey Winery 1967 

Largely due to its cool-climate location and its limestone soil, Ridge Monte Bello is unique from the other top Cabernet wines from California. In view of and located only 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean, the Monte Bello vineyard is high atop the Santa Cruz Mountains, ranging in elevation from 1300′ to 2700′ above and is composed of unique green stone and clay soils layered over decomposing limestone. Limestone does not exists in the well-known Cabernet producing areas of Napa and Sonoma Valleys, making the soil composition at Monte Bello a unique contributor to the wine’s distinctive character. The cool climate and limestone soil combine to make a moderate-alcohol wine destined for long-term aging, with firm acidity and a consistent streak of minerality. 

Often called America’s First Growth, Monte Bello is one of the finest examples of a classic Bordeaux blend in which cabernet sauvignon predominates. The blend in each Monte Bello vintage is different, the cabernet sauvignon showing cassis and adding tannin, small amounts of merlot giving plum character and a bit of softness, a touch of petit verdot contributing dark color and earthiness, and cabernet franc adding fragrance and a hint of spice.

Year after year Monte Bello proves to be a consistently compelling wine with great structure, complexity, and balance and it has been known to lay down for several decades with elegance and ease. 

Taken from their website at http://www.ridgewine.com  the history of Ridge Monte Bello is a fascinating California wine story:

“In 1959, four Stanford Research Institute engineers bought acreage on top of Monte Bello Ridge, a site that had first been planted to grape vines in the late 19th century. In the early years, Dave Bennion took the reigns as winemaker, and in 1962, after three years of producing small amounts of some of the finest wine in California of that era, the four owners re-bonded the winery and released the first commercial Ridge Monte Bello. Production was now located in the old stone winery built by Dr. Osea Perrone in 1892 and acquired from the Trentadue family. Paul Draper joined Ridge in 1969, took over production of red wines the next year, and in 1971 became winemaker, a position he continues to hold today.”

Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta could not be more pleased to have Paul Draper returning to Santa Fe to receive the event’s Honorary Winery of the Year Award. It is anticipated that Draper will host a six-vintage vertical tasting of Ridge Monte Bello on Friday September 28th. Following the tasting, Draper will be honored at the Live Auction Luncheon where four of his Ridge Vineyard wines will be paired with courses from four Guest Chefs.

2012 Auction Guide

Posted on by netman

The Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta is pleased to announce our 2012 Auction Lots in the attached PDF auction guide – containing a list of lots for both the Live Auction and the Silent Auction.

Click here to view the 2012 Auction Guide (PDF, 700 KB)

Auction proceeds support Cooking with Kids. Since 2009, SFW&CF has backed the mission of Cooking with Kids with generous annual contributions. http://cookingwithkids.net/

2012 Grand Tasting Map

Posted on by netman

Click to View or Download the 2012 Grand Tasting Tent Map (PDF, 440 KB)

2012 Grand Tasting Important Updates

Posted on by netman
  1. The Grand Tasting“Will Call” at La Fonda Hospitality Desk will close Friday 4:30pm. Tickets for the Grand Tasting not picked up by then will be available at will call at The Santa Fe Opera  beginning 11am Saturday (event starts at 1pm)
  2. Free continuous shuttles starting at 11:00am Saturday from, and returning to, THE LAMY BUILDING (one pick up location ONLY!), 491 Old Santa Fe Trail near the intersection with Paseo de Peralta (see map). Free parking is available. Last shuttle leaves the Opera at 4:30.
  3. If you need to reach Wine & Chile Fiesta staff by phone, there are special numbers for Saturday ONLY: 505-913-9398 and 505-946-8506.
  4. Enjoy and be safe!

School of Cooking: NEW LOCATION

Posted on by netman

All Cooking Demos & Walking Tours are at Santa Fe School of Cooking’s NEW 2012 LOCATION:
125 N. Guadalupe Street/corner of Johnston Street across from Shohko Cafe


Please do not go to their former location in Plaza Mercado. Santa Fe School of Cooking has moved!

See our Ticket Holder Info & Map for more event location information

Don’t Miss out on the Grand Tasting!

Posted on by Greg O'Byrne

No other food & wine event in the country can boast 70 great restaurants serving tastes at their main event. Santa Fe was just named the 2012 Best Small Towns for FOOD by USA TODAY’s and Rand McNally’s Best of the Road Rally. We are proud to have such a unique restaurant community and are grateful that 100 of the world’s best wineries want to show their wines side by side with our restaurants at the annual Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta Grand Tasting.

The winner in this relationship is you, our guest! Thanks for attending and for bringing your friends. Our Grand Tasting at the Santa Fe Opera on the last Saturday of every September has been a sell-out event every year thanks to your support. We have added more space to our tents this year while selling the same number of tickets. Last year the event sold out by the end of August so act now because we don’t want you to miss out!

While tickets to some events are sold out, we still have availability at our Grand Tasting, so tell your friends or to purchase click: https://www.santafewineandchile.org/events/grand-tasting

Court of Master Sommeliers comes to New Mexico!

Posted on by Greg O'Byrne

Tasting at the Court of Master Sommeliers Introductory CourseIn conjunction with the Court of Master Sommeliers, last month the Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta sponsored the two-day Master Sommelier introduction course. SFWC is pleased to announce that after the course, Santa Fe restaurants now have 42 more staff with the first level MS degree.

Increased wine knowledge is good news for Santa Fe diners, not only those looking for the best Grand Cru Burgundy on the wine list, but equally good for diners looking for the best $25 Malbec to partner with their meal.

Three of the Court’s 110 Master Sommeliers led the two-day intensive course on Monday March 19th and Tuesday March 20th, hosted at the Hotel Santa Fe. All three Master Sommeliers – Tim Gaiser, Joe Spellman and Emily Wines – have hosted SFWC Fiesta wine seminars every September over the past dozen years.

For more information on the Court of Master Sommeliers, please visit http://www.mastersommeliers.org/

Photos from 2011 Events

Posted on by netman

Join us on FaceBook to view hundreds of fantastic photos from this year’s Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta events

SFWC Fiesta Helps Cooking with Kids

Posted on by Greg O'Byrne

The Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta presented a check for $20,000 to Cooking With Kids in Santa Fe on Tuesday February 10th.

Proceeds from the annual Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta Auction help fund programs such as Cooking with Kids. The check was presented by SFWC President Tom Kerpon (chef of Rio Chama) and SFWC Fiesta Executive Director, Greg O’Byrne. For information on Cooking with Kids see the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Photos from 2010 Events

Posted on by Sue

Join us on FaceBook to view hundreds of fantastic photos from this year’s Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta events

Wine Auction 2010 & Guide PDF

Posted on by Sue
Click To Download:
2010 Auction Guide ~ Live Auction Friday September 24th
(Adobe PDF 240KB)

As a non-profit organization, the mission of the Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta is to create a week of food and wine events that promote Santa Fe as a world-class culinary destination. The Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta Live Auction (this year on Friday September 24th, 2010) raises money for the SFW&C Foundation which sponsors Santa Fe students taking service, wine and cooking classes as well as Santa Fe’s Cooking with Kids program.

These funds come from the revenue generated from wine lots auctioned at the Live Auction Luncheon. Every fall and winter the SFW&C Fiesta Restaurant Education School offers a syllabus consisting of three programs for Santa Fe restaurants and their staff. Intensive six-week sessions are taught by industry leaders in Cooking Skills, Wine Education and Great
Guest Service.

By reinvesting resources and education into the Santa Fe restaurant scene, the SFW&C Fiesta Restaurant Education program serves the mission of the Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta – keeping Santa Fe on the map as a world-class culinary destination.

Thank you to all the sponsors, local restaurants and wineries who help to make this happen. And a great thank you to all the food and wine enthusiasts who keep returning to Santa Fe supporting our great restaurants!