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Taste of St. Helena

By Rose McMackin

The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone (CIA) in St. Helena is entering a new era of community engagement with the reopening of its first floor after significant renovations. Community members have traditionally been invited to visit the acclaimed cooking school's restaurant for a taste of what the students are working on, but the recent remodel of the CIA facilities opens a new selection of interactive experiences to the public.

Guests can wander the three-acre, student-run organic garden or browse the world-class campus store, the Spice Islands Marketplace, for cookbooks and top-of-the-line cookware. Visitors can try a "tasting experience" at the Flavor Bar, which offers short sessions in chocolate tasting and palate calibration. Nearby, separated from the store by a clear glass wall, students in the newly created chocolate lab are carefully creating chocolate treats and confectionaries. Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. 2555 Main St., St Helena. Reservations recommended for Flavor Bar, $10. 707.967.2320.

While in St. Helena, challenge your taste buds at the sixth Annual Ultimate Blind Date Wine Tasting Event. Appellation St. Helena offers a traditional winetasting experience, pairing over 60 St. Helena wines with food prepared by preeminent St. Helena chefs Cindy Pawlcyn of Mustards Grill, Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen and Go Fish. A blind taste test is open to all ticket holders, and contestants will have the chance to wine prizes by correctly identifying the varietals, vintage and producers of select "mystery wines." Proceeds from the event with support St. Helena's Work connection, a nonprofit that offers assistance and work placement to vineyard and migrant workers.

This wine country–style blind date is Saturday, May 1, at Charles Krug Winery. 2800 Main St., St. Helena. 2pm to 5pm. $60. 707.963.6054.

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